The Top Cities to Open a Second Gallery Space

Beijing, Zurich, and Miami score high.

Sprüth Magers, which has locations in Berlin and London, will open its Los Angeles outpost later this month, while Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, an arm of the Zurich, London, Somerset, and New York-based gallery Hauser & Wirth, will inaugurate their new space in the same city this March. These two blue-chip powerhouses aren’t the first to go West—that honor belongs to pioneers like New York-based dealers Michele Maccarone and Adam Lindemann—but its clear that they won’t be the last.

Selecting a city to open your gallery’s second (or first!) location can be a daunting task—choose one of the world’s major art cities like New York, London, or Paris, and you run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle of an over-saturated market, but choose a still-emerging city without a solid scene and you could find yourself without colleagues, artists, and worst of all, customers. So where are the best places to set up shop right now?

Using artnet’s Gallery Network, we’ve crunched the numbers on the cities where the highest number of member galleries exist in an effort to illuminate which cities are presumably most hospitable to artists, gallerists, and collectors at all stages of their careers. And some of the results are surprising.

gallery graph[1]

The percentages indicated above are based on the total number of galleries in the artnet Gallery Network.

For example, you may have guessed that Miami is a secondary city on the rise (thanks Art Basel!), but did you know that Zurich and San Francisco actually have more galleries than the beach-side art fair destination?

“Los Angeles may not be considered by some on the East Coast and in Europe as a gallery hub, however, many artists live in this city and the community here is very strong and very supportive,” said Maccarone, who recently opened her gallery’s second space in Los Angeles, in an email to artnet News. “LA has always been a city populated by important and historical artists, because it is a very affordable place for artists to live and work, and a great deal of production is done on the West Coast.”

Maccarone noted that a major reason behind her decision to go West was to work with several LA-based artists like Oscar Tuazon, David Lamelas, Rodney McMillian, and Alex Hubbard, while other gallerists clearly find factors like local art fairs, cheap rent, and interesting spaces important when selecting a second home.

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