As Switzerland Slowly Reopens, Dealer Eva Presenhuber Is Forging Ahead With Plans to Open a New Zurich Gallery Next Month

"There was no going back," Presenhuber says of the complicated timing.

Eva Presenhuber in front of a painting by Michael Williams. Photo by Reto Guntli. Image courtesy of Eva Presenhuber.

Despite the ongoing lockdown in the US and many other parts of the world, veteran art dealer Eva Presenhuber is moving ahead with plans to launch a third gallery in Zurich in early June.

There was no going back,” Presenhuber told Artnet News in an email. Presenhuber had always admired the space—previously a gallery on Waldmannstrasse run by Jamileh Weber—so when it became available earlier this year, she jumped on it. Great spaces in that part of Zurich are hard to come by, she says.”

“This was all before the coronavirus escalated in Europe and we could imagine the impact it would have on our lives and businesses,” Presenhuber says. “The shutdown came a month later; I had signed the contract and started to renovate.”

“It is a very peculiar situation to expand during a worldwide crisis,” she acknowledges. However, she is grateful she remains able to move forward.

On June 5, the gallery will open with a show of work by Sue Williams, an artist Presenhuber has worked with since 1993. The new gallery will also host solo presentations by American artists Joe Bradley and Alex Hubbard later this year.

Noting that Weber had previously hosted critically acclaimed exhibitions in the space by artists including Georg Baselitz, Frank Stella, and Robert Rauschenberg, Presenhuber says she looks forward to having “more exceptional exhibitions at the [new venue] and in our Maag Areal and Rämistrasse galleries, where our visitors will be able to see solo shows by Martin Boyce, Shara Hughes, Wyatt Kahn, and Ugo Rondinone before the end of 2020.”

Noting that Switzerland was hit hard by the pandemic, along with many other European countries, Presenhuber adds: “It really is hard for the galleries not to have Art Basel happen. Considering the circumstances, the Swiss government did a great job and the people have been disciplined. I am really happy that on May 11 all museums in Switzerland can reopen and that we can visit the shows that have been closed for seven weeks now.”

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