Perry Rubenstein to open gallery in Los Angeles
Perry Rubenstein is opening a new art gallery in Los Angeles — and it’s not the same old story of a hotshot New York dealer opening a small branch here just to dip their toes in a different body of water.
Rubenstein has already moved to town with his daughters and wife, PR maven Sara Fitzmaurice of Fitz & Co, and he has closed his New York space for good. (Fitzmaurice, on the other hand, will split time between the two cities, as her company's headquarters remain in New York.)
The dealer is renovating a former film supply warehouse at 1215 Highland Ave., across from the restaurant Ammo, with plans to open in time for next year’s Oscars. “I’m making a much more definitive statement about L.A. by making this our flagship gallery,” Rubenstein says. “It’s no longer the sideshow; it’s no longer second to New York as an arts capital.”
“And quite frankly, from my interviews with those who have attempted to open a branch or satellite in the past, like Irving Blum and Max Hetzler, there was a real consensus: if you’re not part of the community here the gallery is less likely to work.”
In New York, Rubenstein worked with such artists as Robin Rhode, Amir Zaki, Richard Woods, Kamrooz Aram and the street art collective FAILE. He is not sharing details yet about his new roster, still being assembled, except to note that he has signed up L.A.-based Zoe Crosher and will be showing her photographs at the Art Platform fair in October.
His architect for the renovation is Kulapat Yantrasast of WHY Architecture (who recently did the L&M gallery space in Venice and came recommended by both Jeffrey Deitch and Michael Govan, he says.) The plan, he says, is to create “a significant roof sculpture garden” on top of the 8,500-square-foot gallery, which will also have about 30 parking spaces.
“New York has very limited possibilities in terms of what you can do with gallery space,” he says, still at the stage where the Manhattan-versus-L.A. conversation is very much on his mind. “The idea that we can embrace indoor/outdoor life here is a breath of fresh air. I want a space where artists will be excited and enticed to exhibit.”
-- Jori Finkel
Image: Rendering of Perry Rubenstein's new gallery at 1215 Highland Ave. Credit: WHY Architecture