As the star of the Parisian art market continues to rise, Swiss mega gallery Hauser & Wirth announced today that it will open its first location in the French capital, slated for next spring.
The gallery will occupy the entirety of a private mansion from the end of the 19th century at 26 bis rue François 1er in the eighth arrondissement of the city, between avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Élysées. It is located near Gagosian’s rue de Ponthieu space, which opened in 2010, but is somewhat removed from the large cluster of premier galleries in the Marais district, which includes Thaddaeus Ropac, Perrotin, Chantal Crousel and recently, David Zwirner, who opened his first French location in 2019.
Spread over 800 m² and four floors, Hauser & Wirth’s Paris office will include a six-meter-high exhibition space on the ground floor and another upstairs on the first floor. From 1955 to 2018, the building was the headquarters of Europe 1 radio station, one of France’s most popular networks. Before that, it was once occupied by the decorative arts gallery La Maison Decour until the 1940s. Hauser & Wirth will lease the space from an investment fund that bought the building in 2018 from the Lagardère group, owner of Europe 1.
News of the gallery’s arrival will come as no shock to most industry players, with gallery co-founder Iwan Wirth saying in a statement: “We made no secret that we were looking for the perfect home. for Hauser & Wirth in Paris. for a few years and I am delighted that the research is now complete. He adds: “Our love for Paris extends beyond the 30 years of the gallery and joins that of our artists, many of whom have already been adopted by the Parisian artistic community, institutions and collectors who support our program very well. . In this regard, the city is a natural choice for the gallery.
French or France-based artists on the gallery’s long list include Pierre Huyghe and Camille Henrot, as well as the estate of Louise Bourgeois. It maintains European spaces across Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Spain and Monaco.
Hauser & Wirth’s move to Paris is the latest sign of renewed art market interest in the city, which has seen a number of international galleries and councils open over the past five years. More recently, Art Basel announced that it will launch a new commercial event, Paris+, this year, pushing the loyal International Contemporary Art Fair (Fiac) from its usual October slot at the Grand Palais. Hauser & Wirth will apply to participate in the fair’s inaugural edition, a gallery spokesperson said.
News of the recent art trade boom in Paris often accompanies speculation about London’s post-Brexit declining position in the global marketplace. The latest UBS/Art Basel report revealed that the UK’s global art market share fell from 3% to 17% last year, while France’s rose from 7% to 8% during the same period. However, in a move likely to reaffirm its commitment to Britain, Hauser & Wirth announced in December that it would also open a new London flagship gallery on South Audley Street in Mayfair, more than doubling its footprint in the capital. British.
“Despite the disappointments and inconveniences of Brexit, our artists all want to show in London. It has such a draw and such a vibrancy. London is by no means dead by a thousand cuts,” Iwan Wirth told the FinancialTimes at the time of announcement.