Installations, Activations, and Interactions
Over the last decade, David Zwirner has undergone an unprecedented transformation and stood as a major driving force in redefining what a gallery presents and how audiences interact with the art and exhibitions. A new breed of expansive and transporting shows offers unique, museum-caliber experiences to a wider, culturally engaged public while also supporting and honoring the artists' ambitious visions.
On the occasion of his 2017 exhibition Richard Serra: Sculpture and Drawings, the artist explained to Meeka Walsh, editor of Border Crossings magazine, that he had come "to a place in his work where he didn't want people to be simply looking at a single object; he wanted them to experience the work by going through it."
From live, participatory readings of On Kawara's epic One Million Years in 2009, to the 2007 recreation of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s functional kitchen installation Untitled 1992 (Free), which was paired with Gordon Matta-Clark's 1972 dumpster work Open House, to Jason Rhoades’s sprawling 3,000-square-foot Black Pussy installation, also in 2007, David Zwirner has embraced exhibitions that challenge expectations of a traditional gallery show.
As Artnet recently reported, the average daily attendance of Yayoi Kusama's 2017 show—which welcomed over 75,000 visitors—exceeded that of most museum blockbusters. "Say what you will about the rise of the intercontinental mega-gallery," wrote Ken Johnson in a review of Serra's 2013 gallery exhibition for The New York Times, "it’s hard not to feel grateful for what it has given the art-loving public."
Directors Justine Durrett and Veronique Ansorge, Director with the artist Katy Schimert at Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007
Installation view, Diana Thater: Chernobyl, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2012. This exhibition marked the re-opening of the gallery in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Editions of Chernobyl are in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Pinault Collection – Pazzo Grassi, Venice; and Kunsthaus Zurich.
Francis Alÿs standing in the flood waters of Hurricane Sandy outside of David Zwirner's West 19th Street spaces, New York, 2012
Yayoi Kusama with gallery staff at the opening of Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013. Pictured here are Ota Fine Arts's Yoriko Tsuruta (far left), Glenn Scott Wright from Victoria Miro (fourth from left), David Zwirner art handlers Joel Fennell (second from left), Young Sun Han (third from left), Kyle Combs (center, back), and Justin Davis Anderson (second from right), and Senior Partner Hanna Schouwink (right).
Child adding stickers to Yayoi Kusama’s The obliteration room (2002–present), on view in Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love, 519 and 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2015
Visitors share their impressions of Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2017
Visitor taking a photo at the opening of Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2013
Raymond Pettibon, Chris Ofili, Marcel Dzama, and Oscar Murillo during the installation of Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon: Let us compare mythologies, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2016
Marcel Dzama with his son, Willem, looking at Neo Rauch's Das Horn (2014) at the opening of Neo Rauch: At the Well, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2014
David Zwirner and Tomma Abts at the opening of Tomma Abts, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014. To the left is Director Veronique Ansorge.
Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Kerry James Marshall at Marshall’s first gallery solo show, Kerry James Marshall: Look See, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2014
Marlene Dumas and Gérard Faggionato with Sigmar Polke's Arcimi Boldi (1984) at Frieze Masters, London, 2016
Lisa Yuskavage at the press preview for her fourth gallery solo show, Lisa Yuskavage, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2015
R. Crumb (left) playing with the East River String Band for the preview of R. Crumb: Art & Beauty, 24 Grafton Street, London, 2016
Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb: Drawn Together, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2017
Sales Associate Julia Mechtler taking a photo at Sherrie Levine, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2016
Hilton Als with Alice Neel's Ron Kajiwara (1971) at the press preview for the exhibition he curated, Alice Neel, Uptown, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2017
Visitor taking a piece of candy from Felix Gonzalez-Torres's "Untitled" (Ross) (1991), on view in Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017
Jordan Wolfson and Lisa Yuskavage at the opening of Jordan Wolfson, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2016
Visitors holding eye contact with Jordan Wolfson's Colored sculpture (2016), on view in Jordan Wolfson, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2016. The sculpture features facial recognition software that can focus the figure's eyes on a watching viewer. Editions of the work are now in the collections of Maja Hoffman / LUMA Foundation Collection and Tate, London.
Wolfgang Tillmans photographing Jordan Wolfson's Colored Sculpture, 525 West 19th Street New York, 2016
Ruth Asawa, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017
Anni Albers, Black-White-Gold I, 1950, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
A recreation of Rirkrit Tiravanija's Untitled 1992 (Free) (1992), a provisional kitchen set up to cook and serve Thai curry for visitors, on view in Gordon Matta-Clark & Rirkrit Tiravanija, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007. Pictured here is Ben Berlow, one of the gallery’s longtime registrars, cooking the curry. Gallery staff still speak of this curry. Tiravanija's work is now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
David Zwirner, Julia Joern, Partner, and Alexandra Whitney, Director of Research and Exhibitions, deep in conversation at Jason Rhoades: Black Pussy, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2007
Chris Ofili and Cameron Shaw, then the gallery's Research Manager, participating in the reading of On Kawara’s One Million Years, on view in On Kawara: One Million Years, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2009
Jerry Saltz, in New York Magazine after participating in the reading of On Kawara's One Million Years at the West 19th Street Gallery
Visitors lining up for Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013
"The work of the Japanese artist has captured the attention of the public en masse in a way art rarely does . . . the lines snaked down 19th street (where the gallery lives) around the corner to 10th Avenue."
The evolution of Yayoi Kusama's The Obliteration Room (2002-present), on view in Give Me Love, 519 and 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2015
Children creating their own artworks with stickers inspired by Yayoi Kusama's paintings on view in Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love, 519 and 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2015
Raymond Pettibon and Lucas Zwirner taking stock of Pettibon’s works in progress for Raymond Pettibon: To Wit, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2013
Art handlers Young Sun Han and Clive Murphy putting the finishing touches on Jeff Koons’s Gazing Ball (Farnese Hercules) (2013) before the opening of the artist's first gallery solo show, Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2013. An edition of the work is now in the collection of The Broad, Los Angeles.
David Zwirner and Neo Rauch at the press preview for Neo Rauch: At the Well, 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2014
Colombina candy-making employees at the press preview for Oscar Murillo's first gallery solo show, Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014
Colombina staff starting a conga line at the opening of Oscar Murillo: A Mercantile Novel, 519 West 19th Street, New York, 2014. Sales Associate Julia Mechtler (right) looks on with delight.
Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Studio), 2014. Now in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Jason Rhoades & PeaRoeFoam (2014), video by Lucas Zwirner and Dylan Kenny, who traveled throughout the United States and Europe interviewing those who knew the artist
David Zwirner, Isa Genzken, and Wolfgang Tillmans on West 19th Street. Longtime collaborators and friends, Genzken and Tillmans had joint exhibitions at David Zwirner, New York, in 2015.
R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb holding hands in front of their works on view in Aline Kominsky-Crumb & R. Crumb: Drawn Together, 525 West 19th Street, New York, 2017
Christopher Williams at the press preview for Christopher Williams, Open Letter: The Family Drama Refunctioned? (From the Point of View of Production), 24 Grafton Street, London, 2017
Lucas Zwirner, Editorial Director of David Zwirner Books, giving a tour to Success Academy students of Alice Neel, Uptown, 525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York, 2017
Visitors watching a go-go dancer in Felix Gonzalez-Torres's "Untitled" (Go-Go Dancing Platform) (1991) at the opening of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017
Director Branwen Jones, Marcel Dzama, and Partner Julia Joern at the opening of Marcel Dzama: Une Danse des Bouffons (A Jester's Dance), 525 and 533 West 19th Street New York, 2014
"David Zwirner’s West 20th Street space in Chelsea looks like a basketry forest, or a subaqueous garden, or a cloud of microbial life. The sight is one of the enchantments of the New York fall season," Holland Cotter wrote in The New York Times after seeing Ruth Asawa, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 2017.
Press preview with Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, of Josef and Anni and Ruth and Ray, exhibition walkthrough with, 34 East 69th Street, New York, 2017
Raymond Pettibon at the "Ad Reinhardt: Artists Among Artists" panel talk at 537 West 20th Street, featuring Peter Halley, Josephine Halvorson, Nathlie Provosty, Cheyney Thompson, and moderated by Seth Cameron, in October 2017.