Iwan Wirth Announces New Venue, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, To Open In a Historic Flour Mill In Los Angeles
Iwan Wirth, president and owner of Hauser & 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, Hauser Wirth & 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. Like Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the gallery's exhibition and outdoor art facility opening in July 2014 on the historic Durslade Farm at the edge of the ancient town of Bruton in southwest England, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel proposes a new paradigm for the 21st century art gallery.
'I'm thrilled to welcome Hauser Wirth & Schimmel to LA's downtown Arts District,' said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 'Their new commitment to our renowned contemporary art scene is just the latest piece of LA's cultural renaissance, positioning us squarely at the heart of international creativity.'
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. The facility, for which the gallery has signed a long-term lease, will then close for renovation and open to the public permanently the following winter. The renovation will be overseen by the L.A. real estate and project management firm Creative Space, working with the direct support of Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar and Council District 14.
'We have long dreamt of making a lasting contribution to the Los Angeles community that means so much to our artists and to us personally', said Iwan Wirth. 'L.A. has been an essential part of Hauser & Wirth's history since the gallery's inception twenty years ago. More of our artists live in L.A. than in any other city - they're a diverse, multi-generational group whose work informs our international program and shapes contemporary dialogue. It seems particularly fitting to launch our third decade by creating Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, and pioneering a new gallery model in the city known around the world as a place for imagination, reinvention, and new forms of cultural expression.'
Los Angeles artists represented by Hauser & Wirth include Mark Bradford, Thomas Houseago, Richard Jackson, Rachel Khedoori, Paul McCarthy, Sterling Ruby, Diana Thater, and the late artists Allan Kaprow and Jason Rhoades.
'Los Angeles has exploded as a creative community for the visual arts', Paul Schimmel said. 'Artists based here want to exhibit in their home town, and increasing numbers of artists from around the world want to live and work in Los Angeles. With Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, we aspire to give all of these artists a unique second home: a place to create and show their art in historical context, a place that encourages their most rigorous and best expressions, a place that brings them and their art into a dynamic, exciting, and transformational dialogue with the public.'
About 901 East 3rd Street
The site of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is bounded by 2nd and 3rd Streets, connected by an internal breezeway and South Garey Street, in a part of Los Angeles currently experiencing rapid renewal and growth. This historic complex is comprised of seven different buildings, including a Neo-Classical bank building; a five-story mill structure; two warehouses with arched truss ceilings and skylights; and a third warehouse, the largest building on the site, featuring a windowed clerestory. 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.
A key feature of the complex at 901 East 3rd Street is a 20,000 square foot interior courtyard - one of the largest in downtown Los Angeles. Currently covered, this central space will be opened to the sky to provide a unique platform for outdoor sculpture exhibitions, a venue for special events, and areas for quiet contemplation and informal gathering. The complex, which also features 28 covered parking spaces, has been mostly uninhabited since the 1950s. Over decades of vacancy the address earned the moniker "The Graffiti Building," owing to the vibrant, raucous painted expressions of local street culture that have accumulated on its exterior street walls. This graffiti will remain through the course of the gallery's 2015 exhibition in the raw space, connecting the new facility to its neighborhood, the site's history to its future.
In addition to indoor and open air spaces for museum-quality exhibitions, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel will over time include special studios for artist residencies and projects; dedicated spaces for workshops and education; and a restaurant and bookstore. Paul Schimmel has described the facility as 'a destination, a place where the city's creative community and the public will be able not only to see art, but participate in it actively'.
Formerly chief curator of the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now Orange County Museum of Art) and for two decades chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), Paul Schimmel has played a pivotal role in establishing Southern California's unique contemporary art scene as a potent force on the global cultural stage. In a slew of memorable exhibitions and publications, he has examined the artists whose work and lives have defined the city. At Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, he will continue the explorations that have made him one of the most admired curators of his generation.
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 Lo?wenbra?u brewery building that became Hauser & Wirth Zu?rich 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. So, too, will Hauser & Wirth's new arts centers in Somerset and Los Angeles.