PRINT April 2000


London’s East End

DILAPIDATED WAREHOUSES, abandoned industrial buildings, disused retail spaces—these would seem to be staples of the international postwar avant-garde milieu. In New York in the ’50s and ’60s such premises hosted Happenings, Warhol’s Factory, and the Castelli Warehouse. Usually, only minor renovations were carried out, and the primitive appearance of the structures jibed nicely with the rawness of the art that was made and displayed in them. On a more practical level, derelict industrial spaces also tend to be cheap, light, and spacious.

In Britain, the intersection of this nostalgia for the industrial and the pressure to find affordable space in an overheated real-estate (not to mention art) market has led to boom times in the East End of London, which has established itself as something of a mecca for edgy art and artists, akin to Chelsea in New York and SoHo before it. With the arrival

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