On Friday, March 11th, we arrived in LA for the opening of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel’s new 100,000 square foot flour mill complex in the flourishing downtown Arts District. It will be transformed into “a multi-disciplinary arts center” under the inspiring direction of partner Paul Schimmel, former chief curator of MOCA. This project continues the vision of the Hauser & Wirth team realized in Somerset. The inaugural exhibition “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016, curated by Paul includes around 100 works by 34 artists spanning 70 years.
Before the opening, it was thrilling to have a private tour of the entire space including the private exhibition areas and offices in the tower. The Bontecou sculptures from the late 1950’s and 1960’s were pioneering works in the use of heavy materials including welded steel, canvas wire, and soot. They maintain the ability to confront and challenge the viewer today. One of the commissioned works for this exhibition is Phyllida Barlow’s “GIG” a giant installation of multicolored fabric and yarn. She has been recently nominated to represent Great Britain in the 2017 Venice Biennial. The young artist Abigail Deville’s” Intersection” is reminiscent of Richard Serra’s torqued ellipse sculptures made out of reclaimed plywood theater flats, lumber, and accumulated debris. Walking through Deville’s installation one experiences the openness of the architecture, unlike Serra’s confining steel works. It is a visually stunning and beautifully installed exhibition. Hauser Wirth & Schimmel’s space adds another dimension to the ongoing cultural growth of downtown LA.
It was an unexpected surprise to meet up with Henry Taylor, Anderson Cooper and Mark Bradford across the street from HWS. We were invited by Sarvia Jasso from Blum & Poe to go up to Henry Taylors’ live-in loft studio space. The walls were filled with paintings documenting his personal relationships, as well as a long wall of drawings of patients with whom he interacted over many years in a mental institution.
On Monday evening, we attended the opening of Robert Mapplethorpe’s exhibition, “The Perfect Medium” at the Getty Center including selections from Sam Wagstaff’s superb photography collection. This is one of his largest museum exhibitions featuring portraits, nudes, still lives and the controversial X Portfolio. A complimentary presentation will be opening at LACMA next week, which will highlight different aspects of Mapplethorpe’s works.