Paula Cooper Has Long Refused to Expand Her Storied Gallery Beyond New York. Now, She’s the Latest to Open Shop in Palm Beach

When it comes to satellite art hubs, Palm Beach is officially the new Hamptons.

Facade of Paula Cooper Gallery's seasonal pop-up location, 243 Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL, open December 2020 until May 2021. Photo by Robert Klecinski, courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

The ranks of art galleries flocking south to Florida as winter approaches (and, not coincidentally, as virus cases spike and travel limitations resume) just keeps growing. Veteran Chelsea gallerist Paula Cooper is the latest to announce a new space in Palm Beach.

The opportunity was rather serendipitous, according to senior director Steve Henry, who will oversee the space. He explained that collector and former Warhol muse Jane Holzer, who has a residence there and is a partner in Le Bilboquet, a new French restaurant opening nearby on Worth Avenue, tipped the gallery off to an available spot on the city’s main drag.

“With the cancellation of art fairs and restrictions on travel, we’ve been looking for ways to adapt to best benefit our artists,” Henry told Artnet News. “There is a passionate and discerning art community in Palm Beach and, of course, in neighboring Miami.”

While Paula Cooper is almost indelibly associated with Chelsea and has resisted the urge to expand outside New York in the past, Henry said it made sense for the gallery to open a satellite when so many clients are panning extended stays in Palm Beach.

(How times have changed: While collectors and gallery directors used to spend their holidays flying to and from Gwangju, Paris, St. Tropez, and the Alps, now they are embracing… Florida.)

Sarah Charlesworth, Red Scarf (1983). © The Estate of Sarah Charlesworth. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Sarah Charlesworth, Red Scarf (1983). © The Estate of Sarah Charlesworth. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Paula Cooper’s lease is for six months. The gallery will open on December 5, in time to participate in New Wave Art Weekend. It will host an outdoor reception as part of an open-house event.

The inaugural exhibition will feature drawings and sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen with a focus on “images of food, sport, music, and other symbols of pleasure.”

Subsequent exhibitions will present work by Cecily Brown, Sarah Charlesworth, Sol LeWitt, Eric N. Mack, Paul Pfeiffer, Joel Shapiro and Dan Walsh, among others.

To date, blue chip galleries Pace, Acquavella and Lehmann Maupin, as well as Sotheby’s auction house, have announced new Palm Beach gallery and office spaces.

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