Hauser & Wirth Plans Bold Statement at Shanghai Contemporary Art Week

The gallery has big plans for Shanghai.

Martin Creed Work No. 2692 (2016). Photo courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth will stage three presentations at Shanghai Contemporary Art Week this year with booths at both West Bund Art Fair and Art021, and the first exhibition dedicated to Martin Creed’s work in China.

The powerhouse gallery–which has no permanent space in the region—has long been a presence at fairs in Asia and is looking to further connect with the Asian audience. Hauser & Wirth recently appointed Vanessa Guo, who previously specialized in development in China at Christie’s, as a director at the gallery with a similar goal; she now heads up projects and partnerships dedicated to introducing their artists to an Asian audience.

“We have been participating at West Bund since its inception in 2014 and have really enjoyed the atmosphere—the Chinese collectors continue to surprise us with their sensitive and diligent approach to collecting,” Guo told artnet News.

“Participating in both fairs allows us to stage two very different presentations and to expand our engagement with the city’s diverse audience,” she added. “West Bund is government-backed and directed by renowned Shanghai-based artist Zhou Tiehai, while ART021 is run by a group of contemporary art collectors.”

Guo specified further, saying “West Bund has also remained ’boutiquey’ while ART021 has grown in scale over the years.”

Martin Creed’s exhibition at Qiao Space is a collaboration between collector Qiao Zhibing and Hauser & Wirth. Looking to build on the success of their Wilhelm Sasnal show at Qiao Space last year, the exhibition “Martin Creed. UNDERSTANDING” will include a range of works from neons, to sculptures, videos, small canvas paintings, and site-specific wall paintings utilizing local materials as an introduction to Creed’s oeuvre.

Other galleries with their origins in Europe and the United States are showing at both the West Bund Art Fair and Art021 this year are David Zwirner, and Paris’ Galerie Perrotin. Zwirner has a Hong Kong space in the pipeline, while Perrotin already runs a location there. White Space Beijing and Pearl Lam are also showing at both fairs.

“Despite the economic slowdown in the country, we believe that the China market is still strong, with collectors increasingly looking to Western art in modern, post-war, and contemporary categories to diversify their collection,” Guo explained. “Shanghai, is at the center of this development—new art fairs continue to meet success, and influential private museums are opening in the West Bund art corridor.”

Also looking to make a splash at Shanghai Contemporary Art Week will be Timothy Taylor gallery who’s exhibiting at West Bund Art Fair and staging the first exhibition of Alex Katz’s work in China in the city.

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