Which Is the Biggest Mega-Gallery? We Ranked the Total Footprints of 14 of the World’s Most Powerful Art Dealerships
Achieving global relevance in today's art market demands a lot of real estate—but some galleries have a vastly bigger footprint than others.
Over the past 25 years, success in the gallery sector has become synonymous with growth of all kinds. Yet even as gallerists try to wrestle an ever-expanding list of business variables into equilibrium, many of their individual options still ultimately depend on perhaps the most basic scale question of all: How much physical space do they have?
The square footage controlled by any gallery determines fundamental aspects of its identity and operations: the size and quantity of the works it can show on site, the number of employees it can bring in house, the amount of off-site storage space it needs, and more. But with a new announcement about gallery expansion seeming to hit the art-industry newswire every day, it can be vexing to try to visualize just how physically large even one major dealer is in 2018, let alone how that dealer compares to some of their closest peers.
To help better define the ecosystem, artnet News confirmed the total square footage (meaning: exhibition, office, and on-site storage space combined) across all locations for 14 galleries normally classified as “mega” or “high-end.”
The chart below captures the respondents’ data in one easy-to-see location. However, it will change soon. Three respondents already have new spaces under construction: Lévy Gorvy’s new Hong Kong gallery, slated to debut in March 2019, will total 2,500 square feet; Pace’s pending West 25th Street headquarters, due to open in September 2019, will total approximately 70,000 square feet; and David Zwirner’s new West 21st Street base, set to bow in 2020, will total 50,000 square feet. (Pace’s and Zwirner’s new locations will replace some of their existing real estate.)
As the chart makes clear, the gallery business, even at the top end, is not one-size-fits-all. Victoria Miro has three locations (two in London, one in Venice), while Gagosian has a globe-engulfing 16. And galleries aren’t the only art industry pillars on a building spree: For comparison, it may be helpful to note that the entire downtown Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, which opened in 2015, is 220,000 square feet, while the Broad in Los Angeles, also completed in 2015, is 120,000 square feet.
Total Area: 176,219 sq. ft.
Cities Active: New York (five galleries), San Francisco, Beverly Hills, London (three galleries), Paris (two galleries), Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong
Total Area: 115,886 sq. ft. (forthcoming building +75,000 sq ft.)
Locations: 10 (A new headquarters will replace one existing space in 2019.)
Cities Active: New York (three galleries, before and after new headquarters), Palo Alto, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Beijing
Total Area: 113,021 sq. ft.
Cities Active: Paris (two galleries), Salzburg (two galleries), London
Total Area: 105,000 sq. ft.
Cities Active: London (two galleries), Hong Kong, New York (viewing room)
Total Area: 87,000 sq. ft. (forthcoming building +50,000 sq. ft.)
Locations: 5 (New headquarters to replace one existing space in 2020)
Cities Active: New York (three galleries, before and after new headquarters), London, Hong Kong
Total Area: 75,000 sq. ft.
Cities Active: Paris (two galleries), New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai
Total Area: 68,028 sq. ft.
Cities Active: New York (two galleries), Los Angeles, London, Somerset, Zurich, Hong Kong, Gstaad
Total Area: 28,126 sq. ft.
Cities Active: New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles
Total Area: 27,000 sq. ft.
Cities Active: London (two galleries), New York (two galleries)
Total Area: 22,000 sq. ft. (including the new roof garden)
Cities Active: New York (three galleries)
Total Area: 20,490 sq. ft.
Cities Active: New York (two galleries), Hong Kong, Seoul
Total Area: 20,000 sq. ft.
Cities Active: London (two galleries), Venice
Total Area: 11,200 sq. ft. (forthcoming building +2,500 sq ft.)
Locations: 2 (3 by 2019)
Cities Active: New York, London, Hong Kong (expected 2019)
Total Area: 3,720 sq. ft.
Cities Active: New York, London
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