Art and design shared the spotlight during L.A.'s week of Academy Award-related festivities last Thursday night as Beverly Hills' Gagosian Gallery
unveiled its addition in a starry opening for photographer Andreas Gursky.
Among the crowd in the Richard Meier & Partners
-deigned space were actors Adrien Brody (mother is NY-photographer Sylvia Plachy) and Molly Shannon; major Hollywood players like producers Lawrence Bender (Oscar nominated for "Inglourious Basterds"), Brian Grazer and Harvey Weinstein and Independent Spirits Awards' presenter, film director and artist John Waters.
The gallery's polished concrete floors resounded with the clicks of Louboutin heels as fashionistas also took in the scene. Dior Homme's designer Hedi Slimane
stopped by as did the dean of L.A. artists John Baldessari and photographer Catherine Opie (who will soon have a LACMA show).
All had come to schmooze in the newly expanded 3,000 square-foot, skylight-lit, white-walled exhibition space with soaring ceilings that was formerly home to an upscale hair salon. Meier might be best known for his design of the billion dollar Getty Center
as well as the nearby Paley Center for Media
and Wolfgang Puck's Cut
restaurant. But the starchitect also lists among his credits some very high-end residential designs: a New York City glass tower
that includes celeb residents like Nicole Kidman and Martha Stewart and a Malibu beach house for Hard Rock-founder Peter Morton.
The Gagosian Gallery evokes a mini-Getty Center with its white aluminum and glazed glass facade and sky-lit galleries. The façade blends seamlessly with the existing gallery (built 15 years ago) and a 225 square-foot glass and aluminum sliding door allows oversized artworks to be brought directly into the new gallery. "We doubled our space and more than doubled what we can do here," says Gagosian Gallery director Deborah McLeod. As so many of the gallery's acclaimed artists, such as Richard Serra, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, work on an ambitious scale, there's now a range of space to showcase their often monumentally scaled artworks.
Other new additions to the gallery include: offices, an elevator and a private rooftop sculpture garden that has city and hillside views.