Lehmann Maupin Goes All in on Tech, Offering NFTs and an Augmented Reality Experience From Ashley Bickerton

Less than a year after it started accepting cryptocurrency as payment, Lehmann Maupin is wading further into the digital art world.

Ashley Bickerton’s Floating Ocean Chunk (South Pacific for North Atlantic) 1 (2021) as seen through CollectAR, Lehmann Maupin’s new Augmented Reality Platform, on Little Island at West 12th Street and Hudson River. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.
Ashley Bickerton’s Floating Ocean Chunk (South Pacific for North Atlantic) 1 (2021) as seen through CollectAR, Lehmann Maupin’s new Augmented Reality Platform, on Little Island at West 12th Street and Hudson River. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

Lehmann Maupin gallery is venturing further into the digital realm with a new augmented reality platform and a planned NFT drop from one of its top art stars, Ashley Bickerton, whose work often blurs boundaries between traditional media.

CollectAR, as the project is called, launches today in collaboration with NiftyGateway, a subsidiary of Gemini, the tech company founded by twins and early Facebook antagonists Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Last year, the gallery began a partnership with Gemini allowing it to accept cryptocurrency as payment for artworks.

As part of the new project, on March 29 Lehmann Maupin will release three NFTs by Bickerton to be sold in editions of six and priced at $10,000 each (Bickerton’s physical works often fetch six-figure prices at auction).

Ashley Bickerton’s <i>0°36'06.2"N, 131°09'41.8"E 1</i> (2022) as seen through CollectAR, Lehmann Maupin’s new Augmented Reality Platform, outside the gallery on West 24th Street and 10th Avenue. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

Ashley Bickerton’s 0°36’06.2″N, 131°09’41.8″E 1 (2022) as seen through CollectAR, Lehmann Maupin’s new Augmented Reality Platform, outside the gallery on West 24th Street and 10th Avenue. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

“We have always remained open to new opportunities in order to enhance and grow our art models,” gallery cofounder Rachel Lehmann told Artnet News. “I love the idea of ‘art accessible to all,’ and the ability we have with AR, and Ashley’s project in particular, to add new locations where art can be viewed by the public.”

The AR platform will allow users with smartphones to see Bickerton’s “Ocean Chunk” series at three Manhattan locations, including the gallery’s headquarters on 24th Street and 10th Avenue; at the High Line at 23rd Street and 10th Avenue; and on Little Island at Pier 55 in Hudson River Park. 

Bickerton’s current show at the gallery, “Seascapes at the End of History,” closes March 12.

Ashley Bickerton’s <i>Hanging Ocean Chunk (To Be Dragged Up Cliff Faces, Strung Across Ravines, and Suspended From The Forest Canopy) 1</i> (2022) as seen through CollectAR, Lehmann Maupin’s new Augmented Reality Platform, on the High Line at West 23rd Street and 10th Avenue. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

Ashley Bickerton’s Hanging Ocean Chunk (To Be Dragged Up Cliff Faces, Strung Across Ravines, and Suspended From The Forest Canopy) 1 (2022) as seen through CollectAR, Lehmann Maupin’s new Augmented Reality Platform, on the High Line at West 23rd Street and 10th Avenue. Image courtesy Ashley Bickerton and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

“What’s most exciting to me is the accessibility to the public,” Lehmann said. “It’s playful. It invites exploration. All you need is a phone and you can discover these works hidden in plain sight all around you.”

In a statement, Bickerton said he was thrilled to step into augmented reality. 

“It is something that I have always wanted to do, but never seemed to find the time or the right tech partners. Suddenly I was given both,” he said.


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