Design & Decoration S04 ep4 : Angela Westwater, Sperone Westwater Gallery, [????]
Interview with Angela Westwater
Sperone Westwater Fischer was founded in 1975, when Italian art dealer Gian Enzo Sperone, Angela Westwater, and German art dealer Konrad Fischer opened a space at 142 Greene Street in SoHo, New York. (The gallery's name was changed to Sperone Westwater in 1982.) An additional space was later established at 121 Greene Street. The founders' original program showcased a European avant-garde alongside a core group of American artists to whom its founders were committed. Notable early exhibitions include a 1977 show of minimalist works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Sol Lewitt; seven of Bruce Nauman's seminal early shows; eleven Richard Long exhibitions; and the installation of one of Mario Merz's celebrated glass and neon igloos in 1979 -- part of the gallery's ongoing dedication to Arte Povera artists, including Alighiero Boetti. Renowned American artists Bruce Nauman and Susan Rothenberg have been with Sperone Westwater since 1975 and 1987, respectively. They are joined by established and internationally-recognized artists, including Guillermo Kuitca, Richard Long, Malcolm Morley, Evan Penny, William Wegman and Not Vital, as well as a younger generation of artists like Bertozzi & Casoni, Wim Delvoye, Kim Dingle, Charles LeDray, Tom Sachs, Jan Worst and Liu Ye. Sperone Westwater also has in its inventory work by Carla Accardi, Alighiero Boetti, Lucio Fontana, Heinz Mack, Piero Manzoni, Mario Merz, Otto 'Piene, Julian Schnabel, Richard Tuttle, and ZERO Group. In September 2010, Sperone Westwater inaugurated a new Foster + Partners designed building at 257 Bowery in New York. Today, over 35 years after its conception, the gallery continues to exhibit an international roster of prominent artists working in a wide variety of media.
Certainly, Gian Enzo Sperone introduced the pop artist to Italy and not only introduced them but
sold them and placed the works in very prominent and important collections, so that, that was
a very propitious start.
Gian Enzo and I met each other in 1971 when I had an entry level job at the John Webber
gallery which was located in the first gallery building in Soho, which was 420 West Broadway.
So that goes back a very long time, it's practically ancient history these days. That's when Gian
Enzo and I met and we talked about starting a gallery in 1974 and we actually opened in 1975, in
September, two of our first shows, one was Gilbert and George, one was Carl Andre and
subsequently we showed minimalist artist Dan Flavin Sol LeWit, we also showed certain
conceptual artist and of course The Arte Povera artists as well.
Artist, we did major shows of in addition to Boettie , would include Parlini, would include
Mario Merits, in the 90's we first showed Lucio Fontana, then Manzoni and also Gury , to a
lesser degree, so we've been active in that regard.11:59
Well, it wasn't something that I always wanted to do but I studied artistry in college, there was a
good museum there, bit by bit, I got totally hooked.
I met James Mayor around that time, actually before I even had a gallery.I was the editor of
Artform magazine and that's when I met James.We were both so probably rather naive kids. We
probably couldn't have imagined what the art world would be now and certainly not the kind of
fair where you find us at TEFAF today.
You have emerging markets in Turkey and in Asia which changed radically and a lot of those
collectors seem to be more interested in modern and contemporary whereas, maybe older
generations would have been more impressionist or modern, but I think they're also is to look
back at old masters, there's no reason why an old master painting, well especially here TEFAF,
there many important examples of works of great quality, that we really might really not know
the name of the painter, perhaps not the sitter,there was just actually a great show in New York
sixteenth century Italian portraits or sculptures, as well as paintings, a beautiful exhibition and
in that exhibition, you see not only the famous names, Memling and certain many Italians, but
also artists, whose name we really don't know.But beautiful paintings certainly have been
credited with the highest level of significance and quality.
It always depends on the attributes of a particular piece for example, I'm interested in
archaeology, and so antiquities appeal to me a lot, actually my husband and I have a number of
pieces dating back to Egyptian middle kingdom, but also some pieces from Risen Rome. So I
like to see that breadth, I like to see that chronological diversity, so I think it's more about the
particular object, at least for me.
It's st imulation for our senses and I mean all of the senses, so it's, what you see with your eyes,
what you feel with your heart and what you understand with your head, So it's really a mix.
There's certain level of mystery, there's a level of ambiguity sometimes but also working with
the artist directly, it's very much a reflection of our culture, that is meaningful and that will be
part of the legacy which we leave.
In our old gallery which is on Green Street, now we are 257 Bowery, Mick Jagger came in one
day looking at the show, actually Nabile Nahas, whose painting is on the other wall, as he was
coming back into my office to say hello to me, over the telephone, the speaker, came the voice
of the receptionist at the front and she said "oh my God, oh my God, Mick Jagger is coming in,
what are you gonna do? So Mick was already in my office at that point, so he just had to laugh,
because he heard obviously this very smitten, rather romantic fan, saying Mick Jagger hey, he's
obviously a terrific artist himself and very smart individual, but also someone who happily had
a great sense of humor.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Angela Westwater, Sperone Westwater Gallery, ????