In the fall of 2012, Gagosian Gallery will inaugurate a bold new gallery space in the north of Paris, at Le Bourget.
The unprecedented choice of location in the industrial area of Le Bourget is linked to the discovery of this exceptional space, an industrial building from the 1950s, comprising 1650 square meters (17,760 square feet) on two levels. A mezzanine of 340 square meters (3,660 square feet) overlooks the ground floor, offering the opportunity to exhibit large-scale sculptures, paintings and installations.
The gallery has been designed by world-renowned architect Jean Nouvel (with its company Jean Nouvel Design in collaboration with HW architecture). Nouvel’s design will retain the building’s distinctive features, while restoring and transforming it into a modern and supple exhibition space that provides artists with an extraordinary context in which to exhibit their work.
In his game-changing architectural practice, Nouvel strives for an original language that combines collective memory and projections of the future, decoration and advanced engineering, gestures of vast public important and of great intimacy. This ongoing aspiration has produced some of the most innovative and controversial buildings of recent times that transform the urban landscapes in which they exist, challenging the perceptions of those who live in and around them, and becoming major urban events in themselves. As Nouvel states, “Each new situation requires a new architecture or the need for re-adaptation that is suitable to the purpose. For this project the need to preserve the original architecture was the instantaneous resolution”–thus the Le Bourget project for Gagosian is informed by a deep evaluation and interpretation of the site, context, and program.
In April 2011, Gagosian Gallery Paris Project Space presented an exhibition of Jean Nouvel Design, including the limited editions Table au Kilomètre and Boîte à Outlils.
Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel in 1945 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A key protagonist of intellectual debate in France regarding architecture, he was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l’Architecture. Nouvel’s major buildings include L’Institut du Monde Arabe (1989), Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, and Musée du Quai Branly in Paris; the Congress Center in Luzern, Switzerland; the Agbar tower in Barcelona; and the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Paris Philharmonic at La Villette and the National Museum of Qatar are among the projects currently in planning. Nouvel’s distinctions include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Institut du Monde Arabe (1989), the Praemium Imperiale International Art Awards (architecture) (2001), RIBA Royal Gold Medal (2001), the Wolf Prize in Arts (2005) and the Pritzker Prize (2008). Exhibitions of his work, including a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou (2001), have been held all over the world, from New York to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. In 1995 Nouvel created the Jean Nouvel Design Agency (JND), to develop design and interior architecture projects in parallel with the architectural practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
Opened in 1979 in Los Angeles by Larry Gagosian, Gagosian Gallery is considered to be one of the world’s foremost modern and contemporary art galleries. With the new space at Le Bourget and the existing gallery in Paris, there will be twelve galleries worldwide–three in New York City, one in Beverly Hills, two in London, and one in Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong. These have been designed by architects including Richard Gluckman (New York), Richard Meier (Beverly Hills), Caruso St John (London) and Jean-François Bodin (Paris).