In late 2015, HG Lighting Design was approached by Christie's Auction House to provide lighting design services for their galleries on a full time basis. We helped Christie's find two excellent candidates to work full time with their specialists and art handlers, and introduced Jonathan Talley and Lois Catanzaro to the ever-shifting world of gallery lighting design. HGLD also brought Kara O'Grady on board to help with logistics. If you think, "oh it's just pointing light at paintings", you couldn't be more mistaken.
There are 17 galleries that shift property each week. Imagine the MET or the MOMA -- and now imagine them changing their shows and permanent collections each week. At the height of the auction season, team HGLD had up to seven people working in the building to light hundreds of works of art. For one 43 million dollar Rothko, we changed an entire gallery from direct tungsten to diffuse daylight using LED fixtures installed outside the gallery. The results were beautiful and affected the viewing and experience dramatically. In the same show as the Rothko, we had Koons equilibrium next to Henry Moore next to Calder. Basquiat, Monet, Picasso, & Chagall were all represented.
This project has been utterly fascinating. I'm a novice art historian, as I believe all designers must be, and to see unique pieces that have been in private collections for years is a wonderful experience. If you happen to find yourself near Rockefeller Center, just walk in. The galleries are free and open to the public. I've put some photos below, although they don't do justice to the work being done by our team.