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Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth makes a big birthday book

Another 20-year landmark, now in print

Hauser & Wirth has published a book commemorating the gallery’s 20th anniversary, which it celebrated in 2012. The book pulls together photographs and documentation from 51 artists who are or were represented by the gallery, as well as from Hauser & Wirth’s own archives, in what its co-founders, Iwan and Manuela Wirth, call “a vast memory bank”.

Highlights from the early years include a fax sent in 1995 by Iwan Wirth to the architect Annabelle Selldorf, who was designing the gallery’s first permanent space, in Zürich’s Löwenbräu building. He writes (in German): “Dear Annabelle, Last night I had a panic attack and thought we didn’t have enough room… would it be meaningful, feasible, good to make all of the spaces a little bit smaller to accommodate an additional showroom…?”

“Little pussy”

Other gems include a 1994 photo of the youthful Wirth and the dealer David Zwirner in Japan (the pair ran a gallery, Zwirner & Wirth, in Manhattan between 2000 and 2009). From 1999, there is a 29th birthday “card” for Wirth from the late Jason Rhoades (which, intriguingly, includes the floating phrase “little pussy”). The book also includes the wedding invitation, designed by Franz West, for Iwan Wirth’s marriage to Manuela Hauser in 1996.

West (now represented by Gagosian Gallery) was among the guests, who also included Hans Ulrich Obrist (now the co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery) and the artists Roman Signer, Rachel Khedoori, Paul McCarthy and Rhoades (the last now represented by Zwirner), all of whom contributed to the book.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 246 May 2013