The Independent has decided that Hauser + Wirth represents a new style of art dealing that is low-key and bucolic:
The pair can resist the gravitational forces that drag the art world’s glitterati on a never-ending cycle of the globe’s richest cities. They don’t have to go to the scene: they can bring it to them. That, at least, is one interpretation of their decision to set up what has quickly become a world-class art centre in their adopted home of Bruton, in Somerset.
[…] The Wirths’ rise owes to more than just what they exhibit and sell. They have also challenged the very core of the dealership model. “As big art dealers are becoming ever better at selling art for high prices, and as collectors want to see themselves as more than just anonymous purchasers,” ArtReview wrote of its list, “the husband-and-wife team understand that selling art objects isn’t the whole story – the well-off want to be sold a lifestyle.” […]
The couple often welcome members of the art world to their rural idyll, with Wirth grilling meat from his farm and offering artisanal produce. They have also been known to throw fête-style parties involving the whole village. The Wirths describe Hauser & Wirth Somerset – which opened last year (although they moved there in 2009) and has attracted 100,000 visitors – as the “epicentre” of everything they do. It still very much looks like a barn – with the exception that a giant Louise Bourgeois spider, constructed of steel and marble, stands guard outside.