Gagosian Opens New Space Outside Paris With Kiefer Show

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Photographer: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Art dealer Larry Gagosian.

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Photographer: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Art dealer Larry Gagosian. Close

Art dealer Larry Gagosian.

Photographer: Thomas Lannes/Jean Nouvel/HW Architecture/Claudine Colin Communication via Bloomberg

The interior of the new Gagosian Gallery at Le Bourget. The 1950s hangar has been converted into an art gallery by the Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. Close

The interior of the new Gagosian Gallery at Le Bourget. The 1950s hangar has been converted into an art gallery by... Read More

Photographer: Farah Nayeri/Bloomberg

"Morgenthau Plan" by Anselm Kiefer at the new Gagosian Gallery. The sculpture of a golden wheat field is part of the inaugural exhibition of the new Gallery in Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris. Close

"Morgenthau Plan" by Anselm Kiefer at the new Gagosian Gallery. The sculpture of a golden wheat field is part of the... Read More

Photographer: Farah Nayeri/Bloomberg

German artist Anselm Kiefer at the media preview of the new Gagosian Gallery located on the grounds of Le Bourget airport outside Paris. The gallery, a former hangar, has been converted into an art space by architect Jean Nouvel. Close

German artist Anselm Kiefer at the media preview of the new Gagosian Gallery located on the grounds of Le Bourget... Read More

Two years after opening a Paris branch, Gagosian, the world’s biggest commercial gallery network, this week inaugurates a big space in Le Bourget -- on the grounds of a Paris airport where private jets land.

Designed by Jean Nouvel -- the Pritzker Prize-winning French architect -- the gallery is a former 1950s hangar with 1,650 square meters (17,760 square feet) spread over two levels. The inaugural exhibition is by German artist Anselm Kiefer, 67.

The Gagosian opening coincides with the annual Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, or FIAC, in Paris, which is attracting a growing number of wealthy international art buyers. The presence of billionaire French collectors such as Francois Pinault and Bernard Arnault is further boosting Paris’s appeal as a destination for art dealerships.

“I liked the situation with the hangar here,” Kiefer said in a media briefing on the new gallery’s upper level. “It’s always a space of transition. You arrive and go away, and that’s important for me.”

The centerpiece of the maiden exhibition is the “Morgenthau Plan” -- a huge, golden field of handmade, individually crafted wheat stalks surrounded by a tall, rust- colored steel cage. The title refers to a radical 1944 plan devised by then U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau to disarm Germany by stripping out its industry and turning it into a purely agricultural state.

“I like all those ideas that don’t happen,” said Kiefer of Morgenthau’s masterplan.

Space for Sculpture

He said he came up with the sculpture because, given the size of the new space, “I thought it was not possible just to hang paintings” (of which there are five in the show.)

Nouvel, also at the media preview, said he was shown the building last June, and designed the space in four months. He has put up four white partition-like walls inside, creating a central area, and used the space outside the walls and beneath the high ceiling to create display rooms and mezzanines.

The architect said the gallery was well located to receive every kind of visitor, including collectors flying into Le Bourget or nearby Charles de Gaulle airport on private jets.

The gallery opens to the public on Oct. 18, and will have three to four shows a year. Kiefer’s exhibition ends in January 2013. Gagosian would not say what the next shows would be.

Muse highlights include Jorg von Uthmann on Paris art, John Mariani on wine, Warwick Thompson on London theater and Jeremy Gerard on New York theater.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in Paris at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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