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A stretch of Camden Drive in Beverly Hills that’s already home to Gagosian and Christie’s will soon welcome a third gallery space. Sotheby’s, which has operated in Los Angeles for over four decades, has plans to debut its first public exhibition space on the West Coast there on Oct. 14.
Located at 350 N. Camden Dr. in a 1941 modern building, the new Beverly Hills flagship will feature 4,300 square feet of flexible gallery spaces and private viewing salons and feature a rotating selection of both auction previews and buy-it-now luxury items.
“We’ve had a presence in L.A. for quite a while,” says Sotheby’s chairman, managing director and worldwide head of business development, global fine art, Mari-Claudia Jiménez, “but our locations have never been on a street front, where you could drive by and see what’s in the window of Sotheby’s. This is an exciting way to engage the public in a much more open way in the middle of Beverly Hills.”
The new space will open with a showcase of nine works of art from the upcoming auction of the 65-piece modern and contemporary Macklowe Collection, which is expected to gavel for a total sum of more than $600 million when it’s held in New York on Nov. 15. The collection, owned by real-estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda, is being sold under court order. Among the works from the trove that will be on view in Beverly Hills are pieces by Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Franz Kline, Gerhard Richter and Robert Rauschenberg. “It’s one of the most important collections of contemporary art that has ever been sold at auction — exceptional, museum-quality works that have never been sold at auction before and never really been seen by the public,” says Jiménez. The Macklowe Collection works will be on view in L.A. through Oct. 17.
In addition to showing previews of upcoming auctions, the space will have a retail feel as well, with items like handbags, jewelry, watches and sneakers for sale. Recently, the auction house has delved into creating more store-like settings, launching pop-up stores, for example, in East Hampton and Palm Beach last year. The items on offer, explains Jiménez, are available for immediate purchase via clients who “choose to sell it that way as opposed to having them go up for bidding in an auction.” She adds that, “during the COVID period, people were stuck at home and they wanted to shop and buy things immediately. We really have built up that buy-now experience. We were really able to engage clients who wanted immediate satisfaction.”
The new Beverly Hills space will also function as a spot for lectures and other programming, and Sotheby’s is looking to partner with nonprofits and other groups in the L.A. community on arts-education programs and fundraisers. Peter Kloman, the head of Sotheby’s Los Angeles, adds that he is looking to program the space geared around cultural events happening in the city, such as major museum shows, entertainment-industry events and art fairs like Frieze. “Perhaps it’s a fashion and jewelry [exhibit] that coincides with the Oscars,” he says. “There are so many opportunities that we want to lean into with this new space.”
After the Macklowe Collection preview, Kloman says that the Sotheby’s gallery plans to mount a “mirrored-room installation” by artist and musician Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer for The Strokes. (Moretti previously collaborated with Sotheby’s in New York in 2019 on designing an exhibition of Old Master paintings and sculptures.) “Fabrizio has a background as a visual artist, and he’s building a sculpture piece for our Sotheby’s Los Angeles space,” says Kloman. “The installation will really challenge the viewer in terms of perception, of how they view themselves in the larger space but also in relation to great objects of art.” The Moretti installation, which will be available for purchase, will launch in late November and remain up for a few weeks, in conjunction with a selection of artworks by artists associated with the California Light and Space movement.
Kloman’s hope is that the new Beverly Hills gallery further cements Camden as one of L.A.’s arts hubs, creating “a little community between ourselves and the other establishments like Christie’s and Gagosian,” he says. “I’ve already heard feedback from collectors that they are really excited that they have this opportunity to visit all of us together.”
In other gallery openings and moves, Harper’s, which has three gallery spaces in New York and one in East Hampton, is about to open its first L.A. space at 8115 Melrose Avenue. Led by Kimberly Brown, Harper’s Los Angeles is debuting on Friday, Oct. 1, with a group show titled Melrose.
Meanwhile, L.A.’s David Kordansky Gallery has just announced that it will open its first space in New York next spring, presenting new work by Lauren Halsey. And Morán Morán recently moved locations, opening at 641 N. Western Ave. in August. Its new show is an exhibition of works by Dash Snow.
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