25 Years of David Zwirner
"Twenty-five years ago, the gallery opened in a relatively small space at 43 Greene Street in SoHo in New York, with the intention to show challenging art without compromise. It's been an extraordinary quarter of a century, with over 300 exhibitions behind us—from Greene Street to Chelsea in New York, then onwards to London, the Upper East Side, Hong Kong, and soon another Chelsea expansion—and an incredible roster of artists, outstanding staff, and community of collectors, curators, and supporters. I am proud that the ethos and spirit of commitment to the artists and their art that guided the gallery from the beginning remains true today and as we look ahead. This anniversary presents an opportunity to look back at—as well as behind the scenes of—a few of the highlights that have made these decades so memorable." —David Zwirner, January 2018
David Zwirner and gallery partners by John McCracken's Fair (2011) at 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017. From left: Zwirner; Hanna Schouwink, Senior Partner; Bellatrix Hubert, Senior Partner; David Leiber, Partner; (on stair) Gérard Faggionato, Partner; Kristine Bell, Senior Partner; Christopher D’Amelio, Senior Partner (on stair), and Angela Choon, Senior Partner and director of David Zwirner London. Photo by Jason Schmidt
Michaël Borremans, Marcel Dzama, John McCracken, Jockum Nordström, and Mamma Andersson at the joint opening of Jockum Nordström, 525 West 19th Street, and John McCracken, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2006
In the last five years, the gallery's presence has evolved to reach beyond its physical spaces and exhibition programming, exploring new avenues in publishing and philanthropy, while also expanding into both digital and international landscapes.
Led by Lucas Zwirner, David's son, David Zwirner Books was established in 2014 as a stand-alone publishing house with international distribution to produce catalogues, monographs, historical surveys, artists' books, and catalogues raisonnés.
Beginning in 2001, when David Zwirner asked artists to donate works to an exhibition to benefit victims of the World Trade Center attacks, the gallery has organized regular charity auctions and exhibitions, from Artists for Haiti in 2011 to the ACRIA Unframed Auction supporting HIV/AIDS research in 2014 and 2017’s Thread benefit for a community center and artist residency established by The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Senegal. The Thread auction was the first charitable Viewing Room on davidzwirner.com. Launched in early 2017, the Viewing Room is a curated space to view artworks online.
In 2017, David Zwirner opened a third gallery in New York in a town house at 34 East 69th Street. The uptown space was designed by Annabelle Selldorf and is dedicated to historical exhibitions and special projects. The inaugural show, featuring rarely seen works by Josef and Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, and Ray Johnson, explored the influence of Black Mountain College, a unique experiment in arts education where these artists met in the late 1940s. In 2018, David Zwirner’s first outpost in Asia, in the new H Queen’s building in Hong Kong's Central district, was also overseen by Selldorf. On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary, The New York Times announced an expansive new gallery on West 21st Street will be designed by Renzo Piano.
Anni Albers: Notebook 1970–1980, published by David Zwirner Books, 2017. The original notebook is included in the exhibition Anni Albers: Touching Vision at The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
David Leiber, Partner, and Lucas Zwirner, Editorial Director of David Zwirner Books "art handling" at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut during production for Anni Albers: Notebook 1970–1980, 2016
Mamma Andersson and Jockum Nordström signing copies of Who is sleeping on my pillow: Mamma Andersson & Jockum Nordström at the London gallery, 2014. Reprinted by David Zwirner Books in 2014, the book was originally published on the occasion of the artists' concurrent solo shows at David Zwirner, New York, in 2010.
Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, published by Art Institute of Chicago / The Museum of Modern Art / Whitechapel Gallery, 2015
In early 2011, David Zwirner and Ben Stiller joined efforts to organize the charity auction and exhibition Artists for Haiti, following the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The auction of twenty-six artworks took place at Christie’s, New York, on September 22, 2011, and raised over $13 million, with one hundred percent of the proceeds funding education and health programs for children in Haiti.
Tim Fain, Philip Glass, and Richard Serra at the special performance organized inside of Serra's Equal (2015) to benefit the charity House with Heart, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2015. Friends since the 1960s—when Glass was one of Serra's studio assistants—they have also been longtime collaborators pairing music and sculpture.
Philip Glass during his special performance organized inside of Richard Serra's Equal (2015) to benefit the charity House with Heart, an organization for women and abandoned children in Nepal that needed funds to rebuild their facilities following the 2015 earthquake, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2015
Installation view, The Friends Seminary Auction, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2015
Isiah "Izzy" Tamar reading his poetry at the David Zwirner Books Pop-Up Bookstore, 535 West 20th Street, New York, 2017. Tamar was the winner of the first annual student literary prize awarded by David Zwirner Books and 826NYC, a literacy nonprofit that the gallery began supporting in 2006. Winners of the prize participate in a summer publishing program that includes work on a writing portfolio.
"Chris Ofili, Richard Prince, Raymond Pettibon and Suzan Frecon are among the illustrious artists who have donated works for a summer exhibition, all proceeds from which will benefit the New York chapter of 826, an American not-for-profit organisation . . . that provides writing programmes for under-resourced children aged six to 18."
The Financial Times
View of Thread, the artist residency program and community center in Senegal founded by The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
Exterior view of 34 East 69th Street, New York, 2017. Architectural Digest reported, "Selldorf’s latest project for Zwirner is a stately 1907 townhouse, which opened just last week right off of Madison Avenue. 'At a gallery, form follows function,' says Zwirner. 'The important thing is that the art must look as good as it possibly can, and that's what Annabelle excels at. Her understanding of light and space is unique, and that has always been the case.'"
"The anniversary coincides with a new outpost in Hong Kong, which will open in January with an inaugural show by Belgian artist Michaël Borremans, lauded for his figurative paintings. David's go-to architect, Annabelle Selldorf—who previously designed his immense, light-filled New York and London spaces—is also designing this 10,000-square-foot space in the city's Central neighbourhood."
Art Handler Joel Fennell, Monica Zwirner, Annabelle Selldorf, and Lucas Zwirner at the opening of Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, H Queen's, Hong Kong, 2018. Photo by Pal Wong
Michaël Borremans, Hanna Schouwink, and Kaat De Jonghe at the opening of Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, H Queen's, Hong Kong, 2018. Photo by Pal Wong
Guests at the opening of Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, H Queen's, Hong Kong, 2018. Photo by Stephen Lee
Exterior view of H Queen's, Hong Kong. Photo by Stephen Lee
Flowers at the opening of Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, H Queen's, Hong Kong, 2018. Photo by Kitmin Lee
Gallery artists, directors, and friends at the opening of Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, H Queen's, Hong Kong, 2018. Photo by Kitmin Lee
Debuting in June 2018 and produced in partnership with Slate Studios, Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast is the latest installment in a series of initiatives celebrating the gallery’s twenty-fifth anniversary. In each episode of Dialogues, the gallery brings together two extraordinary artists or cultural leaders for an open-ended conversation about art, culture, and the creative process. Featuring leading figures in the worlds of art, architecture, film, music, and beyond—from Jeff Koons to Lisa Yuskavage, Russell Tovey to Jason Moran—each unique pairing of the podcast explores how art shapes, elevates, and shifts our point of view.