The London-Based White Cube Gallery Is Expanding to Paris (and It Supposedly Has Nothing to Do With Brexit)

The gallery says its has been looking for a Paris location for several years.

Jay Jopling, owner of White Cube. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

The London-based contemporary art gallery White Cube, which has two locations in the British capital, is opening a space in Paris on the Avenue Matignon.

Despite all the jitters about the economic impact of the impending Brexit, which is scheduled to take place with or without a deal with the European Union on October 31, the gallery’s senior director, Mathieu Paris, insists the move is “absolutely not due to the political situation.”

He added that the gallery has been interested in establishing a presence in Paris for the past several years. “And the main focus was just finding the right place,” he told artnet News.

“It’s more than an office. The main idea is to show great masterpieces in a prestigious area of the city. We want to continue the Paris tradition of the marchand d’art,” or art dealer, he said.

“Paris since the 1940s has been an important place for art, and in the last few years, we have been in the midst of a Paris renaissance, in terms of museums, in terms of private foundations.”

White Cube, which also has a Hong Kong location, is not the only major contemporary art gallery planning to open a space in the City of Light. Pace Gallery is also reportedly looking for a building in Paris, according to ARTnews.

This past summer, mega-dealer David Zwirner also announced plans to open a gallery in the Marais district this fall. The Zwirner opening will coincide with this year’s edition of French contemporary art fair FIAC, on October 16, with an inaugural show of work by American artist Raymond Pettibon.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Zwirner, who is German, admitted that the decision was prompted by Brexit concerns, telling the paper: “Brexit changes the game. After October, my London gallery will be a British gallery, not a European one. I am European, and I would like a European gallery, too.”

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