Rumors have been swirling that Hauser & Wirth is leaving its downtown L.A. Arts District location for a new West Hollywood space.
The gallery is leasing a former vintage car showroom at 8980 Santa Monica Blvd., a few blocks west of San Vicente Boulevard. The property will house 5,000 square feet of public exhibition space, about a quarter of Hauser & Wirth’s downtown exhibition space. The WeHo site will feature indoor and sidewalk seating for a restaurant whose chef has not yet been finalized. The gallery aims to open in fall 2022.
“Since the beginning, we always thought of L.A. as a city where we would love to have more than one location,” Hauser & Wirth President Marc Payot said in an interview. “We really expect L.A. to come back to its full bloom after the pandemic, and this is really the next step for us. It’s first and foremost a commitment to L.A.”
Payot called Los Angeles a “world capital of imagination, reinvention and new forms of cultural expression” and noted that Hauser & Wirth already represents 14 local artists and artist estates. The new space, he said, is not meant to complete with the downtown location but to complement it. If L.A. is a city of individualized communities, he said, the new space will offer a distinct Westside home for Hauser & Wirth artists, who include Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford, Larry Bell, Diana Thater, Henry Taylor and Charles Gaines, as well as the late Mike Kelley and Luchita Hurtado.
“Over the many years we’ve worked closely with artists, curators, collectors and so many colleagues in L.A., we have come to prize the way the city operates as a collection of unique communities, each making its own contribution to renowned energy and character of the whole,” Payot said. “So just as our 5-year-old downtown Arts District location, with its grand historical mill structures, serves as a very special arts destination redolent of its place, our new West Hollywood location will express the vibrant atmosphere of that part of L.A.”
It’s not uncommon for Hauser & Wirth — which has outposts in London, Monaco and Hong Kong, among other places — to have multiple locations in the same city. It has three spaces in Zurich, with a fourth in the works, and two spaces in New York City, as well as one in nearby Southampton.
Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects will design the new 10,800-square-foot West Hollywood space, a 1930s Spanish Colonial Revival-style building featuring large windows facing the street. Selldorf also designed Hauser & Wirth’s Arts District complex, which opened in 2016 in a revamped 19th century flour mill.
“This opportunity was presented to us,” Payot said of the new location, “and it’s a space that gives us great possibilities of mixing hospitality and the gallery, which has proven so successful in the downtown space. We are beyond excited to continue here what we started downtown.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.