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Next spring, Lehmann Maupin will open its U.K. outpost in London. While not an official gallery—the location will be flexible, a home base for its directors and team—it offers the possibility of future programming in addition to hosting meetings, showing art privately, and a chance to increase its presence in London and Europe.
At Frieze this week, they’re presenting a solo booth of Robin Rhode’s work, coinciding with his current major museum show at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany. Whitewaller caught up with Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin to hear more about their plans for this latest project, and the opportunity to bringing on more British artists.
WHITEWALLER: Can you tell us about the new space in London and the decision to have a U.K. footprint?
DAVID MAUPIN: We’ll be opening our space at Cromwell Place, in South Kensington, in spring 2020. Located in a historic building from the 1860s, we have a gorgeous, Buckley Grey Yeoman–designed space, including three rooms with period details, and views to the east and west, looking out on the Victoria & Albert Museum.
RACHEL LEHMANN: We have been expanding the gallery globally since opening in Hong Kong in 2013 and Seoul in 2017, and London was always within that plan. It’s home to many of our artists— Gilbert & George, Do Ho Suh, Juergen Teller, Shirazeh Houshiary—and we have a senior director, and now our artistic director, based there. The time was right to formalize our presence in the city, and to service our clients, artists, and institutional partners through a more direct relationship.
WW: Is there any kind of programming planned for the London location?
RL: The beauty of the space is its flexibility. To start, it will mainly be used for meeting and viewing art, and as the home base for our London team, but there is always the ability to expand that to fit new ideas or opportunities. We will see!
WW: Can you tell us about your choice for a solo booth of Robin Rhode for Frieze London? What kind of work will be on view?
DM: Robin has a major museum exhibition opening just prior to Frieze at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg museum in Germany. We wanted to bring that focus and energy of his work to the fair. He recently produced a new body of work shot in the Judaean Desert located in the West bank of Palestine that will be on view, which illustrates his ability to address both formal, justice, and historic concerns.
WW: What is exciting you right now about the London art market?
RL: It’s one of the largest in the world! Also, there is concern about the connection to Europe, of course, but it is as much a bridge to Asia and the Middle East, which is very important for our artists.
WW: Will a space in London offer an opportunity to bring on more artists to your roster?
DM: Yes, we see being based in London as a key opportunity for attracting talent. Just last year, we signed the U.K.-based Mandy El-Sayegh, who just had a show at our gallery in Hong Kong. I think many artists based there would be interested in our longstanding ties to New York and greater Asia.
WW: Outside of Frieze, what are you looking forward to seeing in London this fall?
RL: On September 27, Cecilia Vicuña will be giving a talk at Serpentine Galleries. She is a pioneering and revolutionary artist and poet from Chile who lived and studied in London, so a homecoming for her. Her performances are always transcendent and interactive.