With LA Space, Maccarone Leads a New Class of New York Galleries
Maccarone's program is more mature and idiosyncratic than any of her peers.
The refrain that Los Angeles is booming is wearing thin on residents of either coast. Even so, this past weekend may have represented a tipping point in the evolution of the city’s ever less provincial art scene.
At long last The Broad opened its doors with a pair of glitzy parties and a long list of lackluster reviews, criticizing the Diller, Scofidio and Renfro building design for being too mild, and the uber-blue chip collection it houses even more so.
In its shadow, however, a new class of gallery franchise has sprouted up, also at long last, on South Mission Road east of Downtown, beside 356 Mission. Timed with the 15th anniversary of her New York gallery, Michele Maccarone has opened up shop in Los Angeles with a show of new wall- and floor-mounted paintings by Alex Hubbard.
“Everyone knows I’m a whore for good spaces,” she confided during a lunch. Indeed, this one, newly renovated, is an open, bright 50,000 square feet. The spare, neatly kept courtyard next door collects hard-edged shadows from nearby industrial buildings—it’s soon to be a sculpture garden, which will first be used by Carol Bove in conjunction with an upcoming show.
The rest of the program at the LA space, which is run by former Hauser and Wirth project coordinator Alexis Rose, will feature other regulars from Maccarone’s New York roster including Nate Lowman, Ryan Sullivan, and Oscar Tuazon. Though, Maccarone wouldn’t divulge which show is up next.
There are two things significant about Maccarone’s anticipated arrival on the West Coast. One, she represents a new class of New York dealer to set up a space in LA that is more than a pop-up. Neither fledgling nor expressly blue-chip, her program today is more mature and idiosyncratic than any of her peers who have given California a whirl.
Secondly, she and Gavin Brown, intentionally or not, are acting out a fantastical you-can-build-anything-you-want-here ethos by re-creating the proximity they shared in the West Village in an industrial wasteland baked in permanent sunshine.
“It was a different time, for me, and for LA,” said Maccarone recalling the last time she lived here, in the mid-aughts, when she was opening her project space MC. “It was still about the artists then. Maybe now it’s actually even more about the artists; although the institutions have developed a lot too.” Now, she says she feels ready, and that LA, too, is ready.
“LA is changing, for sure. But I hope it doesn’t change too much. It’s perfect.”
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