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Arne Glimcher, Louise Nevelson, Pastor Ralph Peterson © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In 1977, Louise Nevelson was commissioned to design a chapel for Saint Peter’s Church in Midtown Manhattan. Nestled at the base of CitiCorp Center at 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, with access from the street, the Chapel was always intended to be a public sanctuary to residents, commuters and tourists. Nevelson herself called this space “an oasis of silence” from the hustle and bustle of New York. The tranquil white-on-white installation, with nine wall-mounted sculptural elements, accented with gold leaf and enhanced by the play of shadow and light from a single window, is not just an extraordinary work of art but a deeply transformative environment.

The Chapel is the only remaining, permanent sculptural environment by Louise Nevelson. Over the past two years, the Chapel has been undergoing extensive renovations funded by their "Renewing a Masterwork" campaign to ensure the safekeeping of this peerless sculpture for future generations and the start of art conservation.

Being in a space that permits you to contemplate is like being in love. I meant to provide an environment that is evocative of another place, a place of the mind, a place of the senses.

Louise Nevelson

As the "Renewing a Masterwork" fundraising campaign reaches its first major milestone with a foundational gift from Pace Gallery, Nevelson Chapel is embarking on a public drive to source donations from individual contributors to reach their $5.75 million goal. In support of the fundraising efforts, and to raise awareness of this quintessential New York work of art and the importance of preserving its legacy, we are launching an online charity exhibition from December 9—30th, 2020 featuring three seminal collage works by Nevelson from the 1970s. Sixty percent of the proceeds from these sales will go towards supporting the Chapel’s restoration and endowment.

Continuing our support of our artists' projects and legacies, we're pleased to support the restoration of Nevelson Chapel, and to inaugurate a new phase in this pivotal fundraising effort.

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Arne Glimcher, Founder, Pace Gallery, and Louise Nevelson © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

“Nevelson Chapel is the heart of our public arts program and there is no more integral a partner to our public arts program than Pace Gallery. Arne Glimcher was more than just an art dealer to Louise, he and Milly knew the value of the Chapel before it was ever created. They had the foresight to see that Nevelson could create a lasting space in the center of Midtown Manhattan that would receive all people from all walks of life, offer them respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, and evoke joy and human warmth. All these years later, Arne, Milly and Marc are the strongest champions for Nevelson, for her Chapel and for its ongoing life in the City. Then, as now, this gift from Pace Gallery is a commitment, an investment in humanity.”

—The Rev. Jared R. Stahler, Senior Pastor, Saint Peter’s Church

“For decades, Nevelson Chapel has provided New Yorkers with a safe refuge and space for contemplation. In a world in dire need of that gift, we are thrilled to continue to support Louise Nevelson’s vision through our contribution to the Chapel’s restoration—which also celebrates forty years of history between Pace and Louise, one of the gallery’s foundational artists. We look forward to sharing the story of Louise’s legacy with new audiences through an online exhibition which we hope will bring renewed awareness around the importance of preserving this public masterpiece.”

—Marc Glimcher, President & CEO, Pace Gallery

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Nevelson Chapel, Saint Peter's Church, New York, photography by Thomas Magno © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Although the Church and Chapel have remained closed since the city shut down in mid-March, in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, Nevelson Chapel continues to make advancements on the restoration of the sculpture and its environmental systems. Renovations to the architectural envelope are nearly complete, a new low-intensity LED lighting system has been installed, a dedicated HVAC system with museum-grade climate control is now functioning, conservation of the sculpture and its original paint continues, and a growing library of virtual programming is underway. “Nevelson Chapel is both a critical work in the development of modern sculpture and a gateway to further innovations in site-specific immersive environments,” said David Diamond, Chair of the Nevelson Legacy Council. “The Chapel provides a vibrant link between the history of modern sculpture and the development of conceptual art.”

Artist Projects — Renewing a Masterwork: In Support of Nevelson Chapel, Dec 9, 2020