Home Sweet Home: Brooklyn's artsiest house is for sale

Nothing but blue skies …. Brooklyn artist Rob Fischer took his glass house to the great-out-of-doors in upstate Sharon Springs. Photo courtesy of the Artist and Derek Eller Gallery


Eye On Real Estate: Here's a look at artist Rob Fischer's glam glass creation

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn's hottest house is a real work of art.

Really. It's an artwork.

Artist Rob Fischer built the enchanting, big-enough-to-live-in glass house in his Gowanus studio.

The glass facade of the split-level one-bedroom home is covered with jewel-tone blocks of color that call to mind Mondrian's paintings. And there's a curtain strategically placed by the bed. If it were plunked down in a spot with a little bit of privacy, nobody would see you sleeping in it.

It's got spare but perfect furnishings like a 1970s-vintage stereo in the bedroom, fine wood floors and even art on the walls. Fischer screen-printed images of other artworks of his onto some of the glass panels.

A Portrait of the Artist … as house builder. Photo by Rob Abruzzese

The house is for sale – though not in the conventional way, through a real estate broker.

Instead, “Good Weather (Glass House),” as it's titled, is being offered through Derek Eller Gallery at 615 W. 27th St. in Chelsea, where it is on display in a solo exhibition of his work. The show runs through April 19.  

Fischer doesn't know whether a purchaser will surface who wants to keep the house in an art collection – or place it on a piece of land or a rooftop and hang out in it. If it's the latter, he would build a two-foot-high cement platform as a foundation for the glam glass house.

“It would be amazing on a roof high enough that you'd have a view,” Fischer told Eye on Real Estate.

If he could pick the location for the house, Fort Greene would be his choice. “It's just a great neighborhood,” he said.

Really tall people take note: In some parts of  the house, you'll need to slouch a bit. The ceilings aren't terribly high.

This life-sized work of art is on display at Derek Eller Gallery in Chelsea. Photo by Rob Abruzzese

“I build these things to my own scale,” said five-foot-nine Fischer.

The glass house just fits inside his studio at 157 7th St. He can't see its bedroom wall when it's there. The studio is in a building not far from the Gowanus Canal that he rents with other artists.

The steel for the house frame came from an East New York steel yard. Some of the glass he used is recycled from earlier artwork of his, and he bought some of it from Mega Tempering, a supplier in Gowanus. He recycled the flooring from earlier work.

The Minneapolis-born artist, who has been a Brooklyn resident for 14 years, lives in Carroll Gardens with his family in a garden-level apartment where “there's not much light,” he said.

If the glass house doesn't get sold, he might keep it for himself, and put it somewhere secluded. “Imagine waking up in a gorgeous, deserted place,” he said.

He has thought about putting the artsy house in a Minnesota bog – where the landscape is mossy and punctuated with gnarled black spruce and tamarack trees.

In addition to his Gowanus studio, he has an art studio in the Minnesota woods, near the biggest bog in the state.

The bedroom in the artwork/glass house has a 1970s-vintage stereo. Photo by Rob Abruzzese

The glass house has never been to Minnesota – but has done quite a bit of traveling.

He had former students take an early version of the house, in pieces, on a trailer to Marfa, Texas, in 2012. They were delivering it to the Chinati Foundation, where he did a stint as an artist in residence. There was an ice storm and the pieces of the house froze together – and were still frozen when the trailer arrived in Marfa.

While he was there, he tried to make a video of a crane destroying the house, to echo a video he'd done with a smaller structure.

“I thought it would be this beautiful video of this gorgeous colored glass breaking apart,” he said.

But the glass panels wouldn't break – even when they were hit with sledge hammers.

Last winter, he took the house apart and put it in a box truck for a visit to upstate Sharon Springs, at the edge of the Catskill Mountains. He took it there “to show it in the real world,” he said.

Photos he gave us from the house's snowy sojourn to Sharon Springs offer an intriguing contrast to the pictures our colleague Rob Abruzzese took inside Derek Eller Gallery.

Fischer has had solo museum exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria in Manhattan, Armand Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.

His work has been in a group exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, as well as group shows at the Museum of Modern Art's PS1 in Queens, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and museums in Vienna, Ridgefield, Conn. and Minneapolis.

Color My World … Here is a peek at the kitchen in the Rob Fischer glam glass house. Photo by Rob Abruzzese

April 2, 2014 - 1:30pm



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