What’s the point of celebrating an anniversary? For R & Company, the much-lauded New York gallery marking its 20th year in 2018, it’s an opportunity to look back, look forward, and reflect on its improbable feat of helping establish design as a collecting category by creating a community within it. To salute the occasion, the firm opened an 8,000-square-foot sister space one block north of its existing Tribeca home last month. Why Architecture’s Kulapat Yantrasast and Andrija Stojic renovated the cast-iron-fronted 1869 building, which features an academic research center, archive, and sprawling exhibition spaces fit for showcasing its diverse roster of 20th- and 21st-century talent, spanning Verner Panton to Wendell Castle to Katie Stout. The new space’s inaugural show, which opened June 6, accompanied by the book R & Company: 20 Years of Discovery (published by Damiani), will further commemorate its contribution to solidifying the importance of design.
The success of its proprietors, Evan Snyderman and Zesty Meyers—who met as members of the B Team, an experimental glass-blowing troupe—lay in knowing how to put on a show. “What we do at the gallery is all about performance. Doing that, in our industry, is what set us on our path,” Snyderman says. Now that the design world has caught up to what R & Company has long been touting, the gallery is entrusted with not only championing a field, but leading it, too. “We built this ship,” Snyderman continues. “Now it’s time to sail.”