February 7 2015
Los Angeles Adds to Growing Art Scene
The art collector Adam Lindemann knew that opening a gallery in the Los Angeles area could be risky. He had seen others try and fail, namely the Pace Wildenstein Gallery, which closed its Beverly Hills location in 1999, and L&M Arts, which shuttered its Venice outpost in 2013.
But he firmly believed there was an increasingly vibrant art scene in downtown Los Angeles. And that, although the city’s car culture works against a concentrated arts district, residents would nevertheless drive far for exciting art.
So he decided to open a gallery that presents primary works and young artists.
“New York needs another gallery like it needs another pizzeria,” said Mr. Lindemann, who owns Venus Over Manhattan on Madison Avenue (his wife, Amalia Dayan, also has an Upper East Side gallery, Luxembourg & Dayan). “But L.A. is still undergalleried.”
His new gallery, Venus Over Los Angeles, is to open on April 18 with work by Dan Colen, including a new series of sculptures inspired by the open road, and some complementary paintings. Other artists scheduled to exhibit this year are Elaine Cameron-Weir, the sculptor, painter and installation artist; and Dan McCarthy, the painter and ceramist.
Mr. Lindemann is not venturing into this relatively new geographic territory alone. The Night Gallery moved from Boyle Heights neighborhood to downtown Los Angeles in 2012, for example; 356 Mission opened in 2013; Mama Gallery arrived in 2014; the Maccarone Gallery is planning to open sometime this year; and Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is expected to make its debut in 2016 in a 100,000-square-foot historic flour mill complex.
“I felt like, with all this other stuff going on, there was enough but not too much,” Mr. Lindemann said.
He was happy to find two old warehouses — one a former nightclub — that both had abundant light, high ceilings and that holy grail of galleries: column-free space. The square footage totals 15,000, which gives artists plenty of space to spread out.
“I don’t know that I’m going to be the person to find the next great L.A. artists,” Mr. Lindemann said, “but it’s a great place for huge sculpture, huge paintings.”
“Ultimately the artists will respond to the space,” he added. “The artists have carte blanche to install the work any way they want.”