Heading to Hauser & Wirth’s new gallery, in Monaco, with Airport, please!
Over a nearly 30-year history, Hauser & Wirth has created physical spaces in locations where their artists and collectors reside—of course in the large urban cities of London, New York, and Los Angeles but also in legendary resort communities and seasonal gathering spots such as Southampton and St. Moritz. In July 2021, Hauser & Wirth will also open an extraordinary center for the arts on King’s Island, in the port of Mahon in Menorca. The artists and estates represented by the gallery has always been its driving force for expanding in the areas of art, education, conservation and sustainable development. The impact of the events of the last year and one-half have acted as a compelling catalyst to accelerate Hauser & Wirth, and every major network of galleries, auction houses, and art fairs, in developing new and innovative, often technologically based, ways to present and sell works of art.
On June 19th, located in the heart of Monaco, near the historic Hôtel de Paris, Hauser & Wirth’s latest gallery features a spectacular main exhibition space, an impressive 350 square yards cube with 30 foot high walls, lit by a dramatic skylight. The conversion of the site has been conducted by Selldorf Architects, New York, which has collaborated with Hauser & Wirth on its spaces internationally since the founding of the gallery in 1992. In Monaco, Hauser & Wirth occupies the lower spaces of a building designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and owned by the Société des Bains de Mer.
The inaugural exhibition ‘Louise Bourgeois. Maladie de l’Amour’ (Love Sickness although it sounds so much better in French!) runs from June 19th until September 26th, 2021. A monumental public sculpture from the French American artist’s Spider series, a bronze arachnid over three meters tall, will be installed in the gardens adjacent to the gallery.
‘When we were invited to play a part in the continuing revival of the art scene in Monaco,’ says Iwan Wirth, President, Hauser & Wirth, ‘we saw that it offered an exceptional opportunity to present our artists in the heart of city, engaging with the vibrant contemporary scene across the south of France, strengthening our European presence. In former times, Monaco was a destination for artists, writers, and filmmakers who were as captivated as we have been by the Côte d’Azur.
INAUGURAL EXHIBITION, HAUSER & WIRTH, MONACO: LOUISE BOURGEOIS
The works in the inaugural exhibition by Louise Bourgeois span a period between 1947-2008 and draw on recurring themes of anxiety and longing, emotions which the artist repeatedly evoked to create her personal visual vocabulary. Along with Bourgeois’ monumental Spider sculpture dating from 1996, one of the artist’s most enduring and iconic motifs, two further aluminium sculptures are suspended inside the gallery. ‘Untitled’ (2004) gently rotates, as a continuously morphing form. The abstract spiral belongs to an important series Bourgeois made during the 1990s and shares a particular affinity to a previous work entitled ‘Les Bienvenus’ (1996), commissioned by the French Government and installed in the Parc de la Mairie in the village of Choisy-le-Roi, France, where she grew up.
Bourgeois’s work is inextricably entwined with her life and experiences. ‘Art,’ as she once remarked in an interview, ‘is the experience, the re-experience of a trauma.’ Employing motifs, dramatic colors, dense skeins of thread, and a vast diversity of media, Bourgeois’s distinctive symbolic code enmeshes the complexities of the human experience and individual introspection.
Rather than pursuing formalist concerns for their own sake, Bourgeois endeavored to find the most appropriate means of expressing her ideas and emotions, combining a wide range of materials – variously, fabric, plaster, latex, marble and bronze – with an endless repertoire of found objects. Although her work covers the range of painting, drawing, printmaking, and performance, Bourgeois remains best known for her sculpture.
Bourgeois’s work was included in the seminal exhibition ‘Eccentric Abstraction,’ curated by Lucy Lippard for New York’s Fischbach Gallery in 1966. Major breakthroughs on the international scene followed with The Museum of Modern Art in New York’s 1982 retrospective of her work; Bourgeois’s participation in Documenta IX in 1992; and her representation of the United States at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993. In 2001, Bourgeois was the first artist commissioned to fill the Tate Modern’s cavernous Turbine Hall. The Tate Modern’s 2007 retrospective of her works, which subsequently traveled to the Centre Pompidou in Paris; The Guggenheim Museum in New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; and The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., cemented her legacy as a foremost artist of late Modernism.
In response to the isolation and distancing of the pandemic, many of the major galleries have successfully opened branches in luxurious resort areas, Palm Beach and the Hamptons, on the East Coast. The debut of a new Hauser & Wirth gallery on the Cote d’Azur is a seductive destination and supports Monaco’s efforts to establish an active art scene with Monaco Art Week and the Monte-Carlo fair.
See for yourself! Airport, please!