Two major art galleries announced Friday that they are opening new galleries across the street from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
San Francisco’s John Berggruen and international gallery owner Larry Gagosian will have new spaces right in front of SFMOMA’s new Howard Street entrance, in an effort to ride the coattails of the museum's reopening.
“All of a sudden I walked into my gallery one day,” Berggruen said in a telephone interview, “after being here for 43-plus years, and I thought, ‘Wow wouldn’t it be nice to have a new experience?' Particularly with the enormity and significance of SFMOMA’s reopening in this wonderful new facility."
SFMOMA reopens May 18 with triple its former gallery space after a $305 million expansion.
Berggruen says he’ll close his gallery on Grant Street near Union Square when the lease runs out at the end of July, continuing an exodus of art dealers out of Union Square, once a prime location for San Francisco galleries.
“There’s a certain energy level that’s south of Market (Street),” Berggruen said, “with the tech invasion. Or the tech community. I shouldn’t call it an invasion.”
Gagosian, who owns galleries in New York, Beverly Hills, London and other cities, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he’ll open his first San Francisco gallery in a building owned by Crown Point Press.
Berggruen said he and Gagosian are old friends, but that he learned of Gagosian’s plans just recently. “That’s a plus,” Berggruen said for the success of the two ventures. “It’s a small critical mass, but significant.”