Last August, we went to The Hole Gallery’s Summer Reading show in the Bowery, a group exhibition and transformation of the galleries into a giant art book reading room. The Hole’s spacious rooms were lined with shelves to hold over 5,000 books, with comfortable and very cool looking chairs to lounge about on. Interspersed were some very compelling artworks.

But what got us was how stylish the ordinary metal brackets and painted white pine shelves proved to be. For a couple of reasons:

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

The cheap white brackets were screwed into the walls with black screws, a beautiful touch. The could be configured in a variety of ways, to allow for artworks to be place on the walls, or to use up random spaces.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

And the books were not stacked neatly in the usual way. They looked as though someone had been rifling through them, checking them out, exploring them. Some were upright, some leaning, some horizontal, in a loose assembly that made for great beauty and style. They flew in the face of images of tidy, neatly lined up books on tidy shelves that we see all the time in shelter publications.

They were a relief. Somehow, using the most ordinary, even slapdash materials, The Hole had created a stylish, comfortable, inspiring place to read.

Check out more images here.

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