In a surprising move, Gagosian Gallery and John Berggruen Gallery will both be opening new spaces in San Francisco. The news, first reported by SF Gate, comes a little more than two months ahead of the reopening of an expanded SFMOMA, on May 14, and also just days before the grand opening of much-hyped Los Angeles gallery Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. (In fact, the press preview for Hauser Wirth & Schimmel just happened today.)
Gagosian Gallery’s new space will be 4,500 square feet, and will be in what is currently the storefront of Crown Point Press, at 20 Hawthorne Street. Called Gagosian Gallery San Francisco, the Californian outpost will now become the gallery’s 16th space around the world. (Counting Gagosian Shop, Gagosian Gallery San Francisco will be the 17th Gagosian location.) The new San Francisco digs put Gagosian just around the corner from SFMOMA. On May 18, under the direction of Anna Gavazzi Asseily, the gallery will be inaugurated with a show that includes work by Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, and others.
Meanwhile, just next door to Gagosian Gallery San Francisco will be John Berggruen Gallery’s new space. Berggruen will drop its old Grant Avenue flagship building, where the gallery has been for 45 years, for a 10,000-square-foot location at 10 Hawthorne Street (the exhibition area will be 8,000 square feet). Berggruen has taken out a ten-year lease on its new building.
The news of two galleries opening in San Francisco comes during a period of growth in the Californian art scene in general. The past few months have seen Zurich’s Karma International, New York’s Maccarone, and Berlin and London’s Sprüth Magers all opening spaces in Los Angeles, and this Sunday, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel joins in on the trend by opening an enormous L.A. space with a show of work by female abstract sculptors. And it seems now that the San Francisco scene will likewise continue to grow. As Berggruen said of the San Francisco move, “The two galleries establishes a small but significant critical mass.”