A week before the international art world descends on Los Angeles for the city’s iteration of the Frieze art fair, David Zwirner announced that his mega-gallery will now have a presence in the city. Los Angeles–based dealer Alexandra Tuttle has joined David Zwirner as senior director, where she will work will artists and be part on the gallery’s global sales team.
David Zwirner, which currently operates galleries in New York, Paris, and Hong Kong, hasn’t yet announced a physical space in Los Angeles, but it seems that the gallery is gradually building out a staff there. Another senior director at the gallery, Robert Goff, relocated from New York to L.A. last year.
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“Los Angeles, and California as a whole, is booming and an ever more important part of the gallery’s ecosystem,” Zwirner said in an email, adding that Tuttle and Goff will help “our outreach to California-based clients and, of course, work closely with our artists who live and work in Los Angeles.”
Zwirner’s decision to establish a presence in Los Angeles comes a week after ARTnews reported that Pace Gallery would merge with local powerhouse gallery Kayne Griffin, whose Mid-Wilshire location would become a Pace space in April. At the time, Pace president and CEO Marc Glimcher said, “Los Angeles has always been a magnet for artists, and its position as a center for world-class contemporary art has been growing stronger.” Zwirner’s other two main competitors already have spaces in the city: Gagosian was founded there in 1980 and currently operates a branch in Beverly Hills, and Hauser & Wirth opened its mammoth space in the Downtown Arts District in 2016.
Tuttle was most recently director at 356 Mission, the now-defunct commercial gallery founded by artist Laura Owens and curator Wendy Yao in the city’s Boyle Heights neighborhood in 2013. The gallery closed in 2018 after years of headline-making protests by community activists, including the group Defend Boyle Heights, which accused the gallery of being a gentrifying force within the neighborhood. At the time, Owens and Yao said the decision to close had “more to do with the natural life cycle of an artist-run space coming to an end than any protests,” according to the L.A. Times.
While at 356 Mission, Tuttle worked on some of the gallery’s well-received, large-scale installations with artists like Wu Tsang, Lutz Bacher, and Charlemagne Palestine. Prior to her time at 356 Mission, Tuttle was a director at New York’s Greene Nafatli from 2006 to 2014.
Zwirner said, “I am delighted that Alex has joined the gallery. She has experience working in galleries, but more importantly, her long and in-depth experience working with and for major artists fits perfectly with our artist-centric model.”