LA and San Francisco have always been in an arms race to see which city has more, or better, of everything. With the recent opening of LA's Broad Museum and next month's debut of the new SFMOMA, the stakes have never been higher. However, those proper art museums are facing competition for attention (and Instagram posts) from several major global art galleries setting up in the Golden State. Los Angeles recently debuted a new Annabelle Selldorf-designed Hauser & Wirth outpost in that city’s booming Arts District. Now, not to let their So-Cal brethren have all the glory, San Francisco is rolling out the welcome mat for Gagosian's recently-revealed gallery. Located in San Francisco’s downtown arts district, it will be designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, founder of LA and New York-based wHY. The new gallery is an old brick building owned and occupied by Crown Point Press, a longtime neighborhood gallery that focuses on displaying printmaking and etchings. It's situated across the street from the soon-to-be-opened, Snohetta-designed expansion to Mario Botta’s original SFMOMA building. This new Gagosian certainly looks to fill a growing niche within Northern California’s wealthy, tech industry-driven, art-buying community. In reference to the decision to open this new gallery, Gagosian told the San Francisco Chronicle,“This makes sense with the new museum opening and with the emerging collector base in Silicon Valley.” According to renderings provided to A/N by Gagosian, the new 4,500 square-foot design is organized as a traditional white-walled gallery. It features nothing more than a line of structural columns, some lateral bracing, and a skylight interrupting the otherwise minimal space. The historic building’s facade is being left untouched, save for new signage displaying the gallery’s name over the building entrance. The new gallery's May 18 opening is timed to coincide with the debut of the new SFMOMA. The inaugural show will feature works on paper and sculpture by the likes of Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, and Pablo Picasso.
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Having successfully covered the world (or at least all 11 outposts of the global Gagosian empire) in colorful spots, Damien Hirst is turning his attention to architectural matters. The artist is planning to build more than 500 homes on the land he owns in Devon, England as part of a broader expansion of the glam seaside resort town of Ilfracombe. Mike Rundell of London-based MRJ Rundell+Associates is putting his undergrad degree in fine art to good use and working with Hirst on the project. “He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings,” said Rundell of his artist client. Pressed for details, Rundell described the houses as modern and possibly incorporating eco-friendly touches such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines nestled in the roofs. Pickled sharks or spin art not included.
Gagosian Gallery is apparently trying to take over the world, with locations in New York, London, Rome, La Jolla, Hong Kong, and another coming to Paris. Its latest project is Richard Meier & Partners' expansion of its Beverly Hills gallery which Meier originally designed in 1995. The new space adds 5,000 square feet to what was a 6,600 square foot building. We were able to step inside the project, which opened today on Beverly Hills’ swank Camden Drive, and we weren’t disappointed. The extension combines Meier’s signature pristine white walls and abundant natural light (long acid-etched skylights on both sides of the space are semi-opaque, but still reveal the color of the sky) combined with the grittiness of a wonderful existing barreled vaulted wood truss roof, which was discovered when the firm removed the ceiling from the building’s former tenants, Umberto’s Hair Salon. A huge translucent glass and aluminum sliding door at the street also lets in glowing light, and provides an easy entry for oversized works. Inside the huge walls can support even larger art than before: the first exhibit features Andreas Gursky’s gargantuan, Google Earth-like manipulated photos from space. (Gursky didn’t make it to the press preview, our lone disappointment of the day). Future exhibitions will include Nancy Rubins’ outsized boat sculptures and Richard Serra’s Piranesian metalwork. The expansion also includes new second level offices, a private viewing gallery and a rooftop sculpture terrace, which will all be completed by July, said gallery director Deborah McLeod. So you’re probably wondering, what prompted Larry Gagosian to do all this expanding in this economy? According to McLeod the gallery signed its lease in September 2008, just before the bottom fell out of the economy. At that point they decided to not look back. “Larry is always interested in more,” said McLeod. Not to mention that working in this economy allowed the architects to find sub much easier, and for a much better price. “I think the timing worked out perfectly,” said Michael Palladino, Principal at Meier’s LA office.