Rakks Shelving at New York’s Whitney Museum

by Rakks | June 15th, 2015

On April 30, 2015, the Whitney Museum inaugurated the opening of its new home.

The building marks the culmination of more than a decades work by French architect Renzo Piano. Samuel Cochran recently described the building in Architectural Digest, “Over the last half-century, he (Piano) has completed some two dozen museum projects including the 1977 Centre Pompidou in Paris (conceived with his then-partner, Richard Rogers) to the 1986 Menil Collection in Houston and the revamped Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this past November. Along the way he and his studio, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, have earned a reputation for conjuring flexible light-filled spaces that offer ideal conditions for exhibiting art.”

Inside and Outside – Art Is Everywhere



The cantilevered entrance has turned the area outside the building into a spacious sheltered public space. Once visitors enter, they are greeted with breathtaking views of the Hudson River and beyond through large windows on the west side. Inside this new nine-floor, 200,000-square-foot building is approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space. Terraces face the High Line – the elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions is approximately 18,000 square feet, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City.

Rakks On Display in Inaugural Exhibition

“America Is Hard to See,” the inaugural exhibit in the Museum’s new building is comprised of pieces entirely from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection. Included in the exhibit is a work we are particularly excited about because it uses Rakks wall mounted standards and brackets. “Adventures in Poetry” by Carol Bove.











“Adventures in Poetry” is considered by many to be Ms. Bove’s most important early sculpture. Through a constellation of books and images, the piece conjures the sexual, political, and aesthetic ideals of the 1960s and 70s. Scott Rothkopf, curator and associate director for programmes at the Whitney sums it up: “In Bove’s hands that era feels both real and imagined, lovingly, longingly, mysteriously.” We couldn’t agree more.

Ms. Bove Talks About Rakks

“I’ve used Rakks shelves in my sculptures, in my office, my library and at home. The first time I came across them was when a friend gave me a large Rakks unit before she moved overseas in 1995. I had no furniture at the time so the gift was most welcome. I hadn’t acquired the shelves with any particular intention so I played with different uses and configurations for months before permanently installing them. One day I put a single shelf up in my studio and noticed how great everything looked on it. The objects on the shelf felt distinct from their environment and they seemed suddenly self-conscious. Rakks shelves provide a very clear, deliberate display for their contents. They create a context for the objects that brings out their sculptural qualities. These early arrangements on the framework of the shelving started me thinking about the relationship between objects and provided a foundation for my practice today.”

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