As the opening of Los Angeles’s Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel moves closer to its mid-March debut, the LA Times ran a nice walk-through and profile of the space. One of the more interesting details in the story is the fact that the LA outpost is partially modeled on the success of Hauser & Wirth Somerset. The gallery even provided some figures on attendance claiming the initial projections were for 40,000 visitors to the complex of gardens, gallery space, and guest houses. They got 150,000 visitors instead.
In LA, the complex is even more ambitious than the one in the English countryside:
“We have spaces where we can show works on paper, photography, paintings,” Schimmel says. “A large warehouse is only good for certain types of installation. We have that too. But it’s not all we have.”
Of the 100,000 square feet, only 30,000 is exhibition space. The education lab, programmed by former MOCA education manager Aandrea Stang, will feature lectures, concerts and events for kids. A research room will provide additional reading related to ongoing shows.
And then, of course, there is the art. In addition to contemporary works by the gallery’s stable of international artists (including important L.A. figures such as Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford and Richard Jackson), there will also be museum-grade exhibitions organized by Schimmel and other curators.
The opening show, a historic survey of sculpture made by women, curated in collaboration with feminist scholar Jenni Sorkin, will include rare and early works by now venerated 20th century figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Lee Bontecou. Unlike a typical commercial gallery show, many of the pieces are on loan from museums and therefore unavailable for sale. One work — a 1973 sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz — traveled to Los Angeles from the National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland.