But until recently, LA’s influence on the international fine art scene was mostly by accident, born out of thriving subcultures that experimented with the aesthetics of music, street, surf, skate, and high & low art. From the politically charged Chicano murals of the early-20th century to gangland graffiti and the crude punk-show flyers of Raymond Pettibon, LA has always been a place where the best art is created out of necessity. And these days, with the rapidly revitalizing Arts District as its hub, the city is being hailed as the new center of the art world.
In March 2016, Paul Schimmel, former chief curator at MOCA teamed up with Swiss gallery juggernaut Hauser & Wirth to open one of the largest and most ambitious artistic spaces in the world. Natch, it’s in the Arts District. Housed inside a former Pillsbury flour mill next to train tracks and the LA River, the Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel super-complex includes 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, a bookstore, a research area, a planting garden, a restaurant, and a multi-disciplinary arts center. It will host curated museum-grade exhibitions with accompanying public programming, making it unlike any other commercial gallery space in the city, or for that matter, in the Americas.