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When an Artist Redesigns His Gallerist’s Home

Valerie Goodman enlisted Jacques Jarrige to create a new interior — plus all the furniture and the art.

The Living Room: View looking toward the kitchen with a wall that incorporates the original railroad wood beams. Jarrige designed all the furniture and art. Photo: Anthony Bootz
The Living Room: View looking toward the kitchen with a wall that incorporates the original railroad wood beams. Jarrige designed all the furniture and art. Photo: Anthony Bootz

In 2014, the gallerist Valerie Goodman decided it was time to renovate the modest farmhouse she owned just a little bit upstate in Piermont, New York — which is along the Hudson in Rockland County. She gave the project to Jacques Jarrige, one of her artists, to whom she gave carte blanche.

The Paris-born Goodman moved to New York in 1983 and lived mostly in the East Village. She first rented part of this farmhouse from the married artist-couple Vincent Capraro and Tatiana Onus in 1996. The late Capraro used the ground floor for his studio, and Goodman took the upstairs. She loved the place and its grounds: “I mean, there was a pear tree!” Although she had not intended to move upstate full-time, “it was progressive,” she says, pointing out that it’s only a 35-minute commute by car on a good day from her house to her gallery on 91st Street, which is quicker than most subway rides to Brooklyn — plus, there was a forest behind the house.

Once she took over the whole house, she brought in Jarrige to unite it. His love of humble materials such as plywood was in sync with the thick wood beams the house was built with (some from the railroad tracks near the house).

On the first floor, Jarrige took down the two walls that originally sectioned off the kitchen and built a plywood box that contains a bathroom and laundry room. He made all the furniture and sculptural art in the house, and he created a dreamy guest room upstairs after Goodman decided she wanted him to redo more than just the ground floor as had originally been planned. In her bedroom, he designed the hinged-wall closet.

And he did much of it over Skype, since he was living in France through much of the process. “Valerie trusted me to do it without my presence,” Jarrige says (Jarrige’s work will be featured at the European Cultural Centre’s Biennial Contemporary Art Exhibition in Venice this summer, and his Christ for Lent/Easter will be on view at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.) “It’s the way I like to work; it’s more organic and day by day.”

The Ground Floor: When Goodman started renting the upstairs, the first floor seen here today was artist Vincent Capraro’s studio. Photo: Anthony Bootz
The Dining Room: It has a gray painted floor and is lit by a skylight that was put in by Capraro. “The skylight is really the treasure of the house,” Jarrige says. “It is the soul of the house.” One of his luminous aluminum ribbon sculptures hangs above the table in lieu of a chandelier. Photo: Anthony Bootz
Bathroom and laundry room, inside a plywood enclosure on the ground floor. Photo: Anthony Bootz
The Kitchen: There’s view into the dining room. Jarrige’s art here includes a full-body piece attached to a clothes hanger evoking a female figure. Photo: Anthony Bootz
Library and Sitting Room: On the second floor where Goodman had opened up the wall but kept the original wood beams, Jarrige created a library and sitting room. Photo: Anthony Bootz
Guest room in the attic. Photo: Anthony Bootz
Guest Room in the Attic: The bed floats on a plywood platform. Photo: Anthony Bootz
Goodman’s Bedroom: Jarrige designed the hinged plywood closet. Photo: Anthony Bootz
The exterior of the 19th-century farmhouse stands as it was built, giving no clue to the juxtaposition of the modern interiors within. Photo: Valerie Goodman

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Artist Jacques Jarrige Redesigned His Gallerist’s Farmhouse