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The Zwirner Gallery in Paris, with Raymond Pettibon

[27/08/2019]

France generates around 2% of global secondary market turnover on Contemporary Art. That’s not much… but the French capital has lots of cultural assets which attract a constant stream of international tourists and collectors, as well as some major international galleries.

The Thaddaeus Ropac gallery – already present in Salzburg and London – has now opened two spaces in Paris. The first located in the heart of the Marais, the second in Pantin in a former factory with a surface area of 2,000 m2. Likewise for the Gagosian gallery, which now has two spaces, the first in the golden triangle of the 8th arrondissement, between Avenue Matignon and Avenue des Champs-Elysées, and another larger space (1,650 m2 spread over two levels) located at Le Bourget, in the north of Paris.

Now, David Zwirner – labelled the most influential personality in the art world in the latest ArtReview ranking (2018) – is about to open a branch in Paris. The powerful German-American gallery owner represents some of the most famous artists of our time including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Luc Tuymans, Jeff Koons and Yayoi Kusama, and he is already present in London and Hong Kong and is preparing to open a 4th exceptional space in New York with a surface area of 7,000m2 in 2020… In Paris, he has set his sights on the 800m2 space previously occupied by the gallerist Yvon Lambert on rue du Vielle du Temple in the Marais. David Zwirner Paris will be co-directed by Victoire de Pourtalès and Justine Durrett who was until now his Sales Director in the New York gallery.

This summer, Zwirner confided to the Financial Times the reason for this first branch in continental Europe: Brexit, currently scheduled for October 31, is apparently the primary motive for his decision. “Brexit – he said – has changed the game. After October, my London space will be a British and non-European gallery. I am European and I want a European gallery”.

In an official press release posted by the gallery, Mr Zwirner said “in recent years, Paris has quickly become one of the most dynamic cities in the visual arts in Europe. It is a city where history mixes with the present and we are delighted to be able to occupy one of the most beautiful and legendary spaces in the Marais”.

The inaugural exhibition of the new Paris venue will take place on 16 October right in the middle of the FIAC (October 17 to 20) which attracted some 72,500 visitors during its last edition and at which the gallerist will also be participating. Zwirner is planning to show the graffic-punk treasures created by Raymond PETTIBON at both the fair and his new exhibition space. This American artist (and not French as the name might suggest) has been represented by David Zwirner since 1995. His works are part of the collections of several major museums in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Paris, London, Madrid… and his price index is showing exceptional growth of +615% since 2001.

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