Hauser + Wirth continue their march toward super-gallery status with this announcement of plans for Hauser Wirth & Schimmel in Los Angeles. The complex of buildings will function more as mini-museum with multiple exhibitions, residency programs and other features that essentially set up Paul Schimmel to regain his role in Los Angeles:
Iwan Wirth, president and owner of & Wirth, the internationally acclaimed gallery of contemporary art and modern masters with exhibition spaces in Zurich, London, and New York, announced today the company’s new Los Angeles venue will be located at 901 East 3rd Street, in a historic 100,000 square foot flour mill complex in the city’s burgeoning downtown Arts District. Under the direction of partner Paul Schimmel, & Schimmel will transform the site’s sprawling collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings and outdoor spaces into a dynamic multi-disciplinary arts center. The new venue will offer innovative exhibitions, museum-caliber amenities, and a robust schedule of public programs that contextualize the art on view, drawing upon, illuminating, and contributing to the urban culture of L.A.
In January 2015, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel will host a three-month group exhibition in the raw, un-renovated spaces of 901 East 3rd Street, focusing upon Los Angeles artists who have emerged in the past fifteen years.
With a variety of spaces ranging from eccentric small rooms to soaring industrial interiors, the architecture of the complex at 901 will enable Hauser Wirth & Schimmel to offer many different types of art viewing experiences. Intimate and grand spaces alike will be used to showcase the full scope of art’s mediums and scales, with three to five exhibitions on view at any given time, changing several times a year. In addition to shows and projects by the gallery’s L.A.-based artists, exhibitions at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel will encompass a mix of important historical, thematic group exhibitions; exhibitions that introduce L.A. to the gallery’s artists from points around the globe; and one-person exhibitions and special projects by artists new to Los Angeles and the gallery.
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel will be the sixth location of Hauser & Wirth worldwide. In addition to its exceptional program, the gallery is widely admired for a sympathetic approach to restoring historic buildings and giving them a new lease on life as contemporary art spaces that invigorate surrounding communities. From its first venue in the former Löwenbräu brewery building that became Hauser & Wirth Zürich in 1996, to the Edward Lutyens-designed former bank that became Hauser & Wirth Piccadilly in 2003, to the legendary Roxy discotheque and skating rink that became the company’s second New York space in 2013, the galleries of Hauser & Wirth connect internationally significant art with local culture through architecture.
Paul Schimmel had an interview with the LA Times about the plans:
You envision the arts center as a sort of exhibition-gallery-event space hybrid with free admission. What would you compare it to, physically and programming-wise, in Los Angeles right now?
I’d compare it to the Geffen, in terms of scale and that it’s downtown. It’s a little like Mass MOCA [in Boston], one of the children of MOCA, in that it’s in an industrial area in different buildings. It’s of that lineage.
Hauser & Wirth is a major international gallery with a very strong representation of L.A. artists, so that’s one kind of programming. The commitment is to do both historical exhibitions, like you’d see in museums, that really explore things thematically, generationally, conceptually. It will also be a space that will invite artists with whom Hauser & Wirth has no affiliation, or maybe have never even shown in L.A., to come and make projects, so it’s a project space too. It’s a facility that’s really a destination — a strong educational component, with exhibitions, events, a restaurant and bar, and places for people to linger and experience art in a more casual manner.
Tell us about the debut show planned for January, prior to renovations. Will it include Hauser & Wirth artists such as Mark Bradford, Paul McCarthy and Sterling Ruby?
It’s a group show, artists who have emerged in the last 15 years. There may be some lesser-known names and quite a few well-known names. There will be five or six artists, and each will have their own building. So five or six gallery-sized, one-person exhibitions, with people from the gallery and people who have never shown with Hauser & Wirth previously. But all with a connection to L.A. I wanted to start with work made by artists working here and now. I wanted it to be relative to the 21st century, rather than, say, the 1980s.
I remember when PS1 opened years ago in New York. It was quite special that they invited artists to come in and make works that would go on display in a building that was untouched, a raw space. [In January] we will have made none of the improvements to the space yet. It will have 100 years of history in it. We’ll put up lights and it’ll have security and the art will be safe from the elements, but other than that, it will be untouched, the way it looked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Paul Schimmel and Hauser & Wirth pick downtown spot for arts complex (Los Angeles Times)