Alexander Berggruen debuts—with a show featuring John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Jonas Wood, Emily Mae Smith, and Richard Prince—in a renovated historic space on Manhattan’s Upper East Side
In August, former Christie’s specialist Alexander Berggruen announced that he would become the latest dealer to defect from the auction world and venture out to open a private gallery with his name on the door. Taking over the address that once housed the uptown digs of Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Berggruen’s eponymous gallery opens this Friday with a stacked group show called “Words,” focused on how artists have embraced the verbal in their practices. Heavy hitters known for their motto-based works, such as Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger, and Lawrence Weiner, will be represented, alongside the late Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who both have text slinking through their canvases. Younger artists such as Jonas Wood, Matthew Cerletty, and Emily Mae Smith will also have work in the show.
The Yale-educated, San Francisco-born, Alexander Berggruen cuts an impressive figure at thirty-one years old. The son of Gretchen and John Berggruen, owners of the well-respected Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, and grandson of dealer, collector, and philanthropist Heinz Berggruen, it might surprise some to discover that Alex didn’t always intend to follow his family’s path in the art world. But after stints at BlockRock, Google, and ArtBinder, he ultimately ended up in the nexus for much of the art world, as a junior specialist in Christie’s Impressionist & Modern department in 2014.
Make sure to consult Google Maps before you head out on your first gallery crawl this fall. Over the summer, there has been a mini-flurry of gallery moves and closings across New York City.
One major change is taking place in Chelsea, where mega-dealer Larry Gagosian has absorbed the storefronts next door to his already gargantuan 24th Street location. They were formerly home to Pace Gallery and Mary Boone Gallery.