press release

Yto Barrada and guest artist Bettina: The Power of Two Suns
Michael Wang: Extinct in New York 19.09.2019 - 31.10.2019

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) is pleased to announce the public opening of LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island, the first permanent home for artists and audiences on Governors Island, on September 19, 2019.

Work created and presented at the Arts Center focuses on ecology, sustainability, and resilience related to Governors Island and New York City at large.

The 2019 Fall season includes exhibitions by Yto Barrada with guest artist Bettina and Michael Wang, as well as the Take Care series a fall public program that reframes art curation as a mindful practice stemming from the concept of care. LMCC's Arts Center is also home to an inaugural cohort of 17 artists-in-residence who will be developing work in their studios beginning mid-September through November 2020.

LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island is accessible by ferry, and is a one minute walk from Soissons Landing when arriving from Manhattan. Gallery hours are Thursday–Sunday from 12-5pm, beginning September 19. Exhibitions and programs are free and all are welcome.

LMCC's Arts Center at Governors Island
110 Andes Rd, New York, NY 10004
Gallery Hours: Thursday–Sunday from 12-5pm

Yto Barrada with guest artist Bettina
The Power of Two Suns
On view September 19–October 31
Upper Gallery

Yto Barrada with guest artist Bettina reflects on our individual and collective reactions to the onset of disaster, ecological or otherwise. Faced with the Chesapeake Bay’s rising waters, the people of Tangier Island are hoping for a sea wall to contain the flood. Held on another island, this one with a long military history, this show acknowledges the temptation of insularity as protection from the world, yet embraces hospitality as an act of care and collective resistance.

In The Power of Two Suns, Barrada invites a fellow artist into her space: Bettina, who once lost all her work to a devastating fire, before remaking it over decades from the solitary refuge of a room in the Chelsea Hotel. If environmental catastrophe stems in part from the amplified solar radiation caused by the greenhouse effect, can solace be found in the amplifying power of solidarity? Yto and Bettina share an interest in collecting, in grids and taxonomies, in language and wordplay, and in that special place where the patience of craft meets the intelligence of concept. Their work springs from a careful observation of their respective environments that aims not at didactic exposé but at formal invention. In the present exhibition, this method of documentary abstraction is channeled through clear lines, simple shapes and a dramatically reduced palette—as though to convert the ominous sense of an ending into the primordial forms of a new, quieter beginning.

Curated by Omar Berrada.

Michael Wang
Extinct in New York
Organized with Swiss Institute
On view September 19–October 31
Lower Gallery

LMCC and Swiss Institute present Extinct in New York, the first institutional exhibition in the United States by American artist Michael Wang.

In the gallery at LMCC’s Arts Center on Governors Island, four greenhouses contain a selection of plant, lichen and algae species historically documented in the natural environments of New York City, but which no longer grow wild in any of the city’s five boroughs. In the months leading up to the exhibition, Wang researched, sourced, planted and tended to seeds and seedlings of these former New York City natives in his garden and studio in Upper Grandview, New York. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, these organisms are sustained within a laboratory-like installation, under the care of a team of Arts Center staff, local students and volunteers. The artist intends the plants to remain in the city after the close of the exhibition, in the managed spaces of urban gardens – re-introduced to the lands where they once grew wild, but persisting now only under human care.

In an adjacent gallery, vitrines house a selection of botanical watercolors of pressings of last known collected specimens. Below these are photographs taken by Wang of the species’ last known location. Together Wang’s watercolors and photographs sketch stories of ecological disappearance.

For artist bios and more information about LMCC's Arts Center, visit

The Power of Two Suns is supported in part by Art Matters and Pace Gallery. Additional funding is provided by Étant Donnés Contemporary Art, a program developed by the FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with lead funding from the French Ministry of Culture and Institut français-Paris, the Florence Gould Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Chanel USA, the ADAGP, and the CPGA.