If you build it, provided that "it" is a massive expansion to your best art museum, they will come, if by "they" you mean famous art collectors.
Hot on the heels of the soon-to-reopen SFMOMA, a three-times larger space of which you can sneak a peek here, two major gallerists, Larry Gagosian and John Berggruen, announced their plans to locate nearby to the action at the SFMOMA's new Howard Street entrance. Their twin arrivals, in next door galleries across the street from the museum, were heralded by the Chronicle in March.
Now Gagosian, whose first show will open on May 18th, four days after the SFMOMA opening, gets a little T magazine treatment from the NYT, and through that we learn a bit about the forthcoming inaugural show and his designs in the Bay Area.
"The emerging collector base in Silicon Valley and the reopening of SFMOMA made it a perfect time to open in San Francisco,” Gagosian originally told the Chronicle when news of the move broke. “If I didn’t find the right space, I wouldn’t have done it. I wasn’t going to force it." His space at 657 Howard Street, be it known, is a lovely old brick newspaper bulletin building. "... San Francisco has always been a great city for art collectors,” the collector added.
The first show at Gagosian San Francisco, will be “Plane.Site,” curated by Sam Orlofsky, a New York gallery director. The theme is artists who worked in two and three dimensions, highlighting their sculpture and drawing, painting, etc. side-by-side. You can expect works from the likes of the Bay Area's late Richard Diebenkorn and David Ireland, along with previously unseen work from Cy Twombly and, yeah, of course a lot more. The first of what are to be about five shows per year will run through August 27th. Gagosian, by the way, said we in San Francisco aren't used to very many shows and so won't be getting as many until we're habituated.
Like Gagosian, Berggruen also cited the SFMOMA's proximity and Silicon Valley's presence as an attaction. “I want a change of scenery and I want to be reinvigorated in terms of my surroundings,” Berggruen said to the Chronicle. “The idea of being South of Market is intriguing, and you cannot underestimate the importance of what SFMOMA is embarking upon and what it is bringing to the Bay Area, nationally and internationally.”
As Gagosian San Francisco director Anna Gavazzi Asseily, who comes to the Bay from London, tells the Times, "Silicon Valley is quite separate; it’s about an hour away, but SFMOMA has the best outreach to any audience in the Bay Area... They have an important education program — and that’s how it starts.”
It was also in March that the opening of the Minnesota Street Project, which is in the Dogpatch, along with the hype surrounding SFMOMA caused the Wall Street Journal to note a "moment" for art in San Francisco. Let's hope, and now we may have several reasosn to, that the moment lasts a little longer than that word implies.