Hauser and Wirth Is Opening a New Space Dedicated to Craft and Design in the Hamptons
The mega-gallery is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a passion project of Manuela Wirth.
As mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth is coming up on its 30th anniversary, co-founder Manuela Wirth says she made a concerted decision not to step out with a splashy party to celebrate.
Instead, Wirth is going back to her roots as an arts and crafts teacher in her pre-gallery days by establishing the first U.S. outpost of “Make,” an initiative the gallery launched in the U.K. four years ago to present cutting-edge handcrafted design.
And fittingly, it’s happening just in time for the summer season. “Make Hauser & Wirth” will open its doors on the Eastern End of Long Island in Southampton, near the gallery’s existing space there, which opened on Main Street in 2020, during the first summer of the pandemic.
Like the gallery’s storefront in Bruton, Somerset, the new Make Southampton site “happened organically,” Wirth says. “An ideal space presented itself and the opportunity and timing made sense—the stars aligned for something we’d been wanting to do for awhile.”
The space will open with a curated summer show, “Of Making and Material,” organized by Make director Jacqueline Moore, featuring the work of artists such as Helen Carnac, Alexander deVol, David Gates Harry Morgan, Rosa Nguyen, and Mark Reddy. In addition, the London-based ceramicist Florian Gadsby will have a two-week on-site residency in August. During that time, visitors will be able to observe his ceramic-making process firsthand.
It’s yet another sign that the blue-chip art scene that cropped up—seemingly overnight—on Long Island’s East End to serve the many affluent city dwellers who fled Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs in the first months of lockdown is here to stay.
The works on view in the first show are for sale at prices ranging from $2,000 to $20,000, and a second show will follow in the fall. That price range may well feel like a bargain for the uber-collectors used to dropping six and seven figures on artworks by the gallery’s roster of sought-after stars, such as Mark Bradford, Nicolas Party, Rashid Johnson, and Avery Singer.
And as for mining regional demand for such works, Moore said “the audience for crafted objects is certainly growing.” She says it encompasses “dedicated collectors as well as others who simply want to live with these unique pieces in the home context, and then it fans out from there to a wide array of people. We’re anticipating that there will be interest from a local audience and also from visitors to the East End who come from farther afield.”
Wirth says the whole project is an endeavor close to her heart. “Above all, Make is an expression of the values and ethos that informed” the gallery’s initial founding in 1992.
“Our goal is to catalyze community, to forge links between artists and the community, while providing an exceptional platform for the artists we work with. In community-building, we embrace the philosophy that art and life are indivisible: art exists in and with architecture, applied arts and craft, traditional and forgotten skills, food, landscape, and the environment, and especially learning. All of these things are mutually enriching,” she said.
Wirth told Artnet News that the 30th anniversary of the gallery seemed like a great moment to affirm this ethos. With the new Southampton space, “we are creating opportunities to look again at craft practice, and especially the learning aspects of that practice.”
Make is located at 50 Hampton Road, a short walk from the Hauser & Wirth gallery at 9 Main Street in Southampton.
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