Spend the Holidays at Hauser & Wirth

This week my family and I are in Los Angeles for the holidays and each day has taken us to a different part of town. A case in point – on Sunday I planned our day around a visit to Hauser & Wirth’s LA gallery complex in downtown.

Alexander Calder

First and foremost what drew me back to Hauser & Wirth were the current selection of exhibitions. In the South Gallery, central open-air courtyard, and planted garden they’re showing Calder: ‘Nonspace’, featuring abstract sculptures by Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976). I’ve long admired his work and always make a point of visiting his colorful, playful works called ‘Three Quintains (Hello Girls)’ on display in the LACMA sculpture garden. This exhibition presents a completely different side of the sculptor, featuring monochromatic works, many of which are smaller than those on display at LACMA.

I love Calder’s use of geometric shapes and movement and found the gallery space at Hauser & Wirth, which is specially-designed by Stephanie Goto to complement this exhibition, to be the perfect container for and complement to the Calder sculptures, as well as being a work of art in and of itself.

Zoe Leonard

In the East Gallery is an exhibition of photographs by New York-based artist Zoe Leonard titled ‘Analogue’ (1998 – 2009). In this show we’re treated to “…412 photographs arranged in grids and organized into 25 chapters.” What I found most compelling about this exhibit is the way in which the photographer uses repetition and juxtaposition to convey meaning, in this case addressing issues such as gentrification, globalization, and cultural production around the world. This show closes on January 20, 2019.

Zoe Leonard - Analogue (detail)

Zoe Leonard – Analogue (detail). Photo from Hauser & Wirth website.

Julian Rosefeldt

The third and final exhibition currently on display is called Manifesto (2015), by visual artist Julian Rosefeldt. This show provided the most unexpected experience of our visit, because it immerses the viewer in a series of artist manifestos presented as short videos featuring Cate Blanchett, who inhabits “…thirteen different personas – among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man – [imbuing] new dramatic life into both famous and lesser known words in unexpected contexts.”

Julian Rosefeldt - Manifesto

Julian Rosefeldt – Manifesto. Photo from Hauser & Wirth’s website

This is an exhibition that demands your full attention, because the videos are all playing at the same time within two large darkened rooms. I found that the imagery and sound tracks competed with one another due to their physical proximity, which was distracting and yet also powerful, in that each manifesto seemed to be in dialogue with the others around it. This show closes on January 6, 2019.

Time for Lunch!

Manuela Restaurant LogoAfter taking in these exhibitions, it was time for lunch, which was the second reason I wanted to revisit Hauser & Wirth. At the center of the gallery complex is Manuela, a wonderful restaurant that serves brunch, lunch and supper. We sat in the outside space, which has a great view of the central courtyard and the restaurant’s interior. Both the food and the service were excellent. Particular highlights of our meal were the Blistered snap peas served with black quinoa, feta, and sesame date butter; the roasted cauliflower with halawi date vinegar, almonds and the cast iron cornbread. Whether you’re visiting the gallery or just looking for a great place to eat in the Arts District, I highly recommend Manuela.

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The Broad Logo

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