Carol Vogel’s Inside Art column in the New York Times talks about Hauser & Wirth’s expansion in New York:
While many galleries are paring down the number of exhibitions they present, shrinking their staffs or closing altogether, Hauser & Wirth — a 17-year-old business that operates exhibition spaces in London and Zurich — has decided to open a gallery in New York. It will be primarily devoted to artists it represents, an international group that includes Louise Bourgeois, Dan Graham, Subodh Gupta and Paul McCarthy.
“The economic crisis is not stopping us,” said Iwan Wirth, one of the gallery’s founders. “This is a long-term strategy.”
The gallery’s press release adds to the story:
Hauser & Wirth New York will be located at 32 East 69th Street, offering four full floors of new exhibition and event space at an address freighted with cultural significance: until 1970, the building was home to the legendary Martha Jackson Gallery, a pioneering force during the post-war American art scene and a legendarily powerful advocate for unfamiliar and challenging new art. Beginning in the 1950s, Martha Jackson adopted a daring global perspective, actively exhibiting artists from around the world, giving women artists such as Louise Nevelson their first solo shows, educating the public, and cultivating devoted collectors at a time when few thought to buy original contemporary works. Hauser & Wirth New York will operate in much the same spirit, seeking to serve, in the words of Martha Jackson, as ‘an art dealer whose primary role is that of a mediator between the artist and society’.
Marc Payot, Hauser & Wirth partner and vice president, will serve as director in New York City.
The new gallery will present a series of highly ambitious public exhibitions and events, spotlighting the work of some of the most respected and challenging artists of the day, introducing new work by emerging talents from around the world, and showcasing never before seen works by landmark artists whose estates are represented by Hauser & Wirth.
Hauser & Wirth New York will celebrate its public opening in September with YARD, a seminal Environment first made in 1961 by Allan Kaprow, the profoundly influential American painter, assemblagist and pioneer of performance art known as the inventor of ‘Happenings.’ Proclaiming ‘The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible,’ Kaprow staged interactive events within and beyond the traditional museum and gallery context. More than forty years ago, he famously filled the backyard of a Manhattan townhouse with rubber auto tires heaped randomly for viewers to climb in and around. That work was Yard and the townhouse, then home to the Martha Jackson Gallery, was located at 32 East 69th Street, the address soon to be Hauser & Wirth New York.
Inside Art: Seeing the Hudson through 700 Windows (New York Times)