Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth New York unveiled its new branch gallery last week in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit “Dieter Roth. Björn Roth,” which showcases the work of the prolific Swiss father-and-son team.
The gallery (also Swiss) was founded in the early 1990s and began occupying London with several outposts in the new millennium. A mainstay of art fairs worldwide, where it displays tastefully dressed booths, the gallery features names like Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Henry Moore that balance its contemporary collection of artists, including Roni Horn and Caro Niederer.
Marching steadily westward, Hauser & Wirth established its New York base uptown in September 2009 and recently took over the 24,700-square-foot space that was once home to the Roxy, the legendary roller rink and discotheque (where, incidentally, Keith Richards met Patti Hansen). Hauser & Wirth believes that its new 18th Street location, designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf, will be one of the grandest galleries in New York—though no promises as to whether its former matchmaking powers will extend to its now demure white walls.
“Dieter Roth. Björn Roth” itself, however, may be draw enough. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once described Dieter as a “performance artist in all the mediums he touched.” (He played materials—paint, sculpture, texts, found objects, prints, film—like instruments in concert.) Dieter regularly collaborated with his son, Björn, who teamed up with his own sons, Oddur and Einar, to construct the latest iterations of Roth père’s never-ending tower projects. The works appear with more than 100 objects created since the late 1970s, from simple paintings to the floor of an artist’s studio raised to vertical as a painting-cum-screen-cum-sculpture.
Dieter also designed several working bars over the course of his life (he died in 1998), so Björn fashioned one for Hauser & Wirth. It will serve patrons coffee and liquor until long after the show has closed and the set readies for another artist’s conquest. Through April 13; 511 W. 18th St.; 212-790-3900; hauserwirth.com.