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Collecting Ceramics and Glass

May 13, 2019

Robin Cawdron-Stewart, Preston Fitzgerald and Stephen Feeke  (photo: Flavia Rittner)

Collecting Ceramics and Glass

Last week GalleriesNow held a debate at Sotheby’s looking at Collecting Ceramics and Glass. Three experts – collector Preston Fitzgerald, curator Stephen Feeke and auction specialist Robin Cawdron-Stewart – were asked to look at the most influential exhibitions, the artists and galleries to watch, as well as tell us about their own experiences of collecting and curating. The discussion included why they started working in this field and what art works they wish they had brought.

ArtPassport events are held in association with Outset Contemporary Art Fund and offer collectors the opportunity to meet artists and curators, gain access to special exhibitions, and learn about the most significant contemporary artworks of our time. For more information email

This GalleriesNow Collect event was presented in association with Outset Contemporary Art and Sotheby’s

Tony Chambers features ArtPassport
in London’s Evening Standard ES Magazine

April 26, 2019

Tony Chambers writes for ES Magazine on ‘the app that takes you inside the best art exhibitions’

“ArtPassport, the app from GalleriesNow that delivers an immersive experience of current exhibitions from top global galleries straight to your phone, has been upgraded. It now offers users an enhanced VR experience with improved navigation and a pinch-zoom feature to get an even closer look at pieces of art. The app has searchable listings, gallery guides in more than 40 major cities and a new ‘NearMe’ button, letting you find art just around the corner.

The best part is, it’s free - a commitment to bringing art to all.”

Tony Chambers is Brand and Content Director of Wallpaper* Magazine

download ArtPassport v2.0 from the App Store

Franz West

March 29, 2019

by Astrid Bernadotte

Internationally celebrated for his humorous and playfully ambiguous sculptures, Franz West revolutionised the concept of sculpture through his pioneering efforts that explored the relationship between art and the viewer. His oeuvre spans a number of different media that include painting, collage, furniture and installation. West was heavily influenced by various performance art movements of the 1960s, including the Viennese Actionists, which he interpreted into an interactive series of papier-mâché sculptures known as Adaptives or Paßstücke. With this breakout body of work, West redefined the spectator’s experience with sculpture by creating an active dialogue between the two. Believing that art should have a function, West’s sculptures are both physically and intellectually immersive for the viewer, and it is through his experimental and innovative use of form, materials, language and colour that West set a new precedent for sculpture from the second half of the twentieth century.


Franz West was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1947. His father was a coal trader and his mother a dentist, whose practice was adjacent to the family apartment in a modern public housing project named Karl-Marx Hof. West recalled a very regimented childhood following the Second World War and recounted a ‘time of darkness’. His playground was amongst the ruins of the War, nestled within the burnt rubble and shattered glass of bombed houses in his neighbourhood.


As an adolescent, West grew up in a politically conflicted time. Post-War Vienna was struggling to extricate itself from its recent troublesome history. Many people during the War had either joined or were forced to join the Nazi Party, and the majority of the Viennese shied away from confronting their past. This reticence spurred a number of political and artistic counter movements in the 1960s, one of which were the Viennese Actionists, who were part of a short-lived yet influential movement of controversial performance artists that directly addressed the horrors of the war and Austria’s role within it. Their aim was to shock the public out of their conservative traditions with outrageous public acts of sado-masochism; West was profoundly affected by the violent and provocative outbursts of the movement. He was present during an infamous performance in 1968 by Günter Brus, a co-founder of the group, who masturbated in public whilst simultaneously smearing his body with his own faeces and singing the Austrian national anthem. Brus subsequently served a six-month prison sentence for ‘degrading symbols of the state’. West also witnessed Hermann Nitsch, another founder of the movement, disembowel the carcass of a dead lamb on top of a white canvas, which caused weeks of distress for the teenager.

West rejected the aggressive ideologies of the Actionist movement, opposing their macabre seriousness and instead sought to incorporate humour, wit and philosophy into his art. He did, however, draw upon and modify a number of the Actionist’s principle foundations, such as the notion that the human body can be used as a living canvas, as well as their innovative use of ordinary household objects in their performances. Incorporating objects such as buckets, musical instruments and empty bottles, they re-contextualised their function by removing them from their associated setting and instead placing them in bizarre and challenging environments. Additionally, West and the Viennese Actionists shared the belief that art can be used as a tool to access the human psyche, albeit through very different methods; West steered clear of the shock factor, instead preferring to subtly engage the subconscious through his work. The Actionists provided West with the provocative tools that would help to lay the foundations of his work.

During this period, West constructed witty collages using popular newspaper advertisements and a bricolage of cut-outs from soft-porn magazines. He fused seemingly random text and images together to create comical conclusions that, at times, directly poked fun at the Actionists. From the very beginning of his career, West playfully manipulated everyday imagery and materials in a novel format.


Throughout his youth, West struggled with a sense of displacement. His mother was Jewish, but his father was not, which meant that his family were not fully accepted into either of their local communities. For a certain period, West became part of the first wave of the Beat Generation; a literary movement whose work would later greatly influence American culture and politics. In line with the lifestyle of the movement, he experimented with narcotics, travelled aimlessly to Baghdad and Tehran, and caroused about in cafés in Vienna with other Existentialists. It wasn’t until 1977, at the age of 30, that West enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he studied under Bruno Gironcoli.

It was largely to appease his mother that West finally decided to pro-actively pursue a career in art. She was exasperated with his idleness and believed in his artistic potential. As a child she had frequently travelled with West to other European countries to admire the classical architecture of churches and to study Renaissance paintings. As a result, West greatly credited his mother as a source of both motivation and inspiration. He humorously cited that his first interaction with Actionism was through his mother’s dental practice. After the War, anaesthetic in Vienna was scarce and West recalled the screams that would emanate from his mother’s surgery. She would later emerge in the doorway with her apron covered in blood. West jokingly believed she was subconsciously an Actionist or at least deserved to be an honorary member. His mother also sourced his first experimental material of white gauze and plaster from her surgery.


Experimenting with everyday materials led West to discover the bountiful qualities of papier-mâché; a medium that today has become synonymous with his practice. The material was used to create one of his most famous body of works, the Adaptives, also referred to as Paßstücke. The name was coined by the Austrian poet and West’s great friend, Reinhard Priessnitz, and fittingly describes their purpose - to adapt to the human body. These early sculptures were first constructed in the mid 1970s and by using papier-mâché, wire, plaster or polyester, West could easily sculpt ambiguous organic forms that would later harden to become rock solid. He typically painted them white, as he believed colour would distract from their arbitrary functions. Light-weight and only a few feet in size, these portable sculptures are interactive, demanding the viewer’s intervention rather than observation. West famously stated that “it doesn’t matter what art looks like but how it’s used” and argued that there is beauty in function. Modernists such as Le Courbusier, championed the notion that if something is of high quality it will work perfectly, and it is within that perfection that beauty arises and as a result ‘form follows function’. Similarly, West’s aesthetics derive from not only their visual quirkiness but also from their use. The participation of the viewer is paramount and only by holding, touching, wearing or using the artwork in some way are the Adaptives deemed complete.

West was a great admirer of Joseph Beuy’s, who once told him that “every human being is an artist.” West took this concept literally and incorporated this notion into his work. The artist and the viewer equally collaborate to shape the artwork’s meaning; the artist by creating the work and the viewer by reacting with and interpreting the sculpture. Adaptives are also referred to as prosthetics, which reflects one of their many functions: to be an extension of the viewer who is an integral part of the process.

Franz West, Untitled (Hat), 1983.

West challenged traditional concepts of sculpture and eradicated the taboo of touching art. He demolished hierarchy in the relationship between the viewer and the artwork by inviting physical interaction. The concept of picking up a work of art is counter-intuitive to most, but through these radically immersive Adaptives the constraints of the “normal” art experience is liberated, and an ongoing dialogue is formed. Art was no longer passive and unresponsive to the viewer, one now had to address the work and think how to engage with it. Consequently, West earned the title of the ‘gentle anarchist.’

West was continually fascinated by people’s reactions to art and studied how others would conduct themselves in public and around artworks. Subsequently, West’s sculptures tap into one’s playful and inquisitive side, turning even the most serious of participants into comical performers. His work is purposefully captivating and designed to distract from the reality and troubles of daily life. They encourage the viewer to break out of their comfort zone and indulge in the innocence of slap-stick fun.

As the viewer physically interacts with an Adaptive, a performance is inadvertently created, one which parallels the Happenings and performance art movements that were prevalent during the 1960s and 1970s. The material itself relates to the theatre, as traditionally papier-mâché was used to create stage backdrops and masks. This connection is no coincidence and alludes to the many ways in which West would insert multiple hidden layers behind his seemingly simple and humorous sculptures. His work is simultaneously light-hearted and deeply philosophical. In many of his sculptures he incorporated everyday objects, items such as empty bottles, mechanical parts, legs of furniture, tinned cans or walking sticks. West transformed the mundane and ordinary into unfamiliar yet recognisable shapes. In reference to his sculptures he once claimed that he believed, “if one could see neurosis, this is what it would look like.” West’s innovative use of re-attribution distorts the status quo and disturbs the objects ability to fulfil its original purpose; one can no longer drink from the bottle or eat from the can. This change in function, challenges the viewers’ accepted norms of reality, where everything is neatly de ned, identifiable and easily placed, which in turn explores the psychology of how art is interpreted. Perhaps it is not surprising that psychology is at the crux of West’s work, considering that, through Freud, Austria is the birthplace of psychoanalysis. Freud had a heavy influence on West, so much so that he modelled his renowned divans on Freud’s therapy couch.

“The perception of art takes place through the pressure points that develop when you lie on it”
- Franz West

Franz West, Auditorium, 1992. Installation at Documenta IX, Kassel.


In the early 1980s, West turned his attention to furniture. He fashioned divans out of metal, foam and wire, that were surprisingly comfortable, and referred to them as “Adaptives for the human body at rest.” During this period, West’s international reputation was growing, but it wasn’t until 1992 whilst exhibiting at Documenta IX in Kassel that he firmly placed himself on the art map with his conceptual and public installation - Auditorium. Made up of seventy-two upholstered divans covered in Persian rugs, the work was installed in an open-air car park. They were directly inspired by the famous divan in Freud’s office on which his patients lay during his psychoanalytical therapy sessions. Freud believed that the divan was an instrumental tool in relaxing the human psyche and West believed the same. His interactive installation took on a life of its own and it unintentionally became the meeting hub for visitors at the exhibition.

Auditorium exceeded its purpose of facilitating public interaction, both with his installation as well as with one another. Many of West’s works can be seen as functional social experiments; observational tools in decoding man’s relationship with art. This installation relied on man’s natural tendency to congregate, socialise and communicate. It functioned by opening up a dialogue with the human psyche, something which is at the heart of all of Franz West’s work.

“It doesn’t matter what art looks like but how it’s used.”
- Franz West

Franz West in his Studio.


During the latter part of 1980s, West’s artistic vision, which necessitated interaction between sculpture and audience, was at odds with the desires of commercial galleries, who preferred the works to remain untouched and to be displayed traditionally in order to maintain their financial value. West decided that if his pieces could not be exhibited in the way that he intended, he too would adapt. In 1986 at Neue Galerie in Graz, he debuted a new series of works in an exhibition with the self-mocking title, Legitimate Sculptures. These vague bulbous forms were created from papier-mâché mixed with polystyrene, cardboard and lacquer. Larger in scale they sat perched on top of handmade plinths that accompanied the works. They were no longer easy to carry and too fragile to handle. In contrast to the stark white Adaptives, these works were mottled in brightly coloured reds, greens, pinks and blues, applied in thick layers that defied gravity by dripping in all directions.

West strived for a more critical analysis of his sculptures from the spectator. He recanted on his previous invitation to touch the works, this time visitors were requested to interact intellectually instead of physically. These sculptures reached their completion through the viewers examination and through the various chains of associations that are triggered whilst engaging with the work. The sculptures’ arbitrary forms are immediately intriguing, as their bulky contours coax the viewer to investigate further and, in-so-doing, anthropomorphic qualities may often start to manifest. Upon close inspection, one can make out a nose, an ear, or a chin, but as soon as one grasps the physiognomy they vanish like a mirage, and the whole work morphs into something else entirely, such as a meteorite or an ice-cream cone.


In 1990, West was chosen to represent Austria at the Venice Biennale, and years later, in 2011 he was awarded the Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The 1990s was a period where he flourished, and West continued to push the boundaries of sculpture by exploring new forms and materials. He encountered the robust and glossy surface of aluminium, which was in stark contrast to the fragility and rough texture of papier-mâché. This new material allowed West to produce much larger and sturdier sculptures that could be placed outdoors. Never without humour and always venerating the mundane, West claimed his new oblong shapes, were inspired by the Viennese sausage. Although deemed to be abstract forms, their phallic shapes are purposefully suggestive and playful. At the same time, they act as satirical critiques of the soft porn industry, which West also touched upon in his collages.

Patchworked and welded together, these brightly coloured aluminium sculptures tower in public settings such as parks and town squares, naturally inviting passers-by to interact. Ambiguous from afar, their function comes into focus as one gets closer, as they provide a seat to sit on. Seating areas are often revealed by a protruding arm or a specific curve in the work. This concept echoes West’s memories from his trips with his mother; he evoked the benches he found hidden in church alcoves where one could sit and piously reflect. He wanted his art to also provide an environment where one could rest in contemplation.

Painted in hot monochromatic colours, sourced from a Toys “R” Us catalogue, bubble gum pink, baby blue, forest green and submarine yellow, the colour palette adds to the toy-like quality and playfulness of the sculptures. Although, West did not view himself as a great colourist, colour is a key element in his work. The bright white of the Adaptives call to mind a blank canvas with endless possibilities, as well as a sense of purity and innocence. In his later works, the vibrant colours act as a honey trap that draws the spectator in and, like a magpie, one is enticed to touch the glossy surface. The use of pink features heavily, either as a bold blanket of colour or sprayed on top of other layers of colour and is a reference to his mother and her dentistry; pink being the colour of dentures and gums.

These sculptures come in various forms, sometimes worm-like or as twirling ribbons or spheres. As a result of their obscure shapes and bold colours, they are devoid of any responsibility to fit in or adapt to their environment. West wanted to offend nature in order to create a dialogue, therefore the more garish the colour the more sublime the work became to him.

Both intrusive and inviting, these sculptures create their own environment where form and function are roughly compatible rather than mutually exclusive. West stated that he never planned his works but instead, like the Abstract Expressionists, believed that spontaneity was key in finding complex order in disorder.

Franz West, Untitled (painted by Herbert Brandl), 1986.


Throughout his career, West collaborated with a multitude of artists, often inviting them to paint his papier-mâché sculptures as well as make additions to his collages. He would also frequently include works by other artists into his own exhibitions. West never believed in the notion of the individual artistic genius, nor the creation of a great masterpiece. Instead, he was interested in collaborations. In the same way that he invited the viewer to complete his works through interacting with them, West invited other artists to paint his papier-mâché creations. Throughout his career, he worked with leading visual artists, including Douglas Gordon, Marina Faust, Mike Kelley, Sarah Lucas, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Rudolf Stingel and Herbert Brandl. From 1988, an intense collaboration between Brandl and West had developed. Brandl frequently painted West’s sculptures and participated in the creation of his works, but they also collaborated on involving the viewer in both of their works simultaneously. In 1994, for an exhibition at the Lisson Gallery in London, suitably titled Konversation, Brandl produced a painting that depicted an eye that was to be observed whilst drinking wine from a vessel that West had created.

For West, collaborations were not only important to expand and finish his works, they also helped to illustrate and solidify the concept that producing art is an open and interactive process.

Installation view of Sisyphos Sculptures, 2002 at Gagosian Gallery, London, 2018.


The importance of colour, form and function is visually evident in West’s work, but equally important is his subtle use of language to provide multiple contexts for his arbitrary forms. West was strongly influenced by renowned philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who explored the various tools of language and semantic games. Wittgenstein argued that the meaning of a word is its function, but this meaning is not necessarily exclusive to referencing one thing; words are not fixed, but instead are dependent upon their context. West applied this theory to his art, allowing art to have meaning through multiple interpretations. Subsequently, West preferred to use the word ‘object’ instead of ‘sculpture’, in reference to his own work. He argued that ‘object’ is a word associated with an abstract form whereas ‘sculpture’ denotes figuration.

Although West insisted his work not be limited by a set meaning or single construct, he often used accompanying text to suggest a particular conceptual aspect of a piece. His 2002 series entitled Sisyphos is indicative of his use of philosophical archetypes that simultaneously reference classical mythology. These painted mounds of papier-mâché, cardboard and Styrofoam are named after the mythical king Sisyphos, who was punished by Zeus for being devious and conceited. He was sentenced to eternally push a heavy boulder up a steep hill, only for it to roll back down as soon as he got within reach of the top. The title of this series alludes to the eternal struggles and frustrations that artists are doomed to endure in their artistic pursuits. However, without its title, it would have remained completely abstract and without context. West continued to make similar works which resembled large heavy boulders throughout his career but gave them different titles or none at all.

West also provides nonsensical titles to provoke viewers; such was the case with his 2013 retrospective at The Hepworth Wakefield Museum where he played with free association. West sadly died in 2012 during the preparations for the exhibition but on his death bed, when asked what he wanted the show to be called, he replied “Where is my Eight?” West was satirical to the very end, as none of the curators understood the meaning behind the title. For the last time, he demonstrated that ambiguity opens an infinite number of interpretations, which then create personal dialogues with the viewers.

From the very beginning and in contrast to his peers, Franz West declared his allegiance to sculpture and was committed to the importance of physically creating a work of art. For West, without a physical entity, the ability to engage the viewer and form a dialogue would be lost. This exchange between viewer and artwork is paramount, be-it through touch or interpretation, dialogue lies at the foundation of Franz West’s practice. His innovative use of materials, form, colour and language, blurred the lines between sculpture, installation and furniture. As a result, West created new archetypes for sculpture that allowed the viewer to intervene and interact. His sculptures captivate us because, although they are inherently ambivalent, they provide small glimpses of recognisable shapes, hidden in the contours of the work. He taunts our instant re ex to identify and contextualise what is in front of us, highlighting the psychological need to understand and dispel the abstract. This, in turn, plays an important role in opening the human psyche, as every person’s experiences are individual.

Franz West, Untitled, 2007.

There is no single concept or prescribed meaning that West conveys. He used abstract forms to create a multitude of different interpretations which can alter from day to day, depending on the individual and their state of mind. West’s sculptures demand attention, drawing the viewer into a world that is both ambiguous and unnerving at times. They are simultaneously philosophical and literal, and it is through these revolutionary constructs that he has altered our perception of sculpture forever.

Astrid Bernadotte is Gallery Director at Omer Tiroche Gallery, London.

Franz West: Indoor Sculptures is on view at Omer Tiroche Gallery, London until June 7, 2019.
Concurrent exhibitions with works by Franz West are also on view at Tate Modern, London; David Zwirner, London and Hauser & Wirth, Zürich.

GalleriesNow Collect second event

March 21, 2019

The second COLLECT event was held on 20 March in collaboration with the Victoria Miro Gallery and the Embassy of Denmark.

Jacob Thage, Director of the Museum Jorn, Silkeborg, flew in from Denmark to give a talk about Danish artists Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, and Tal R, on view at Victoria Miro.

Jacob explored common themes across the work on show, while also looking at the inspiration taken from American Pop Art and stylistic similarities, such as the use of collage displayed in the exhibition.

More than seventy people attended the event, which offered a last chance to see the exhibition.

For more information about GalleriesNow Collect events email

This GalleriesNow Collect event was presented in association with Outset Contemporary Art, The Embassy of Denmark and the Victoria Miro Gallery

Sophie Hastings on Milena Muzquiz

March 7, 2019

Milena Muzquiz in 2019
(photo: Renee Parkhurst)

Milena Muzquiz (b. Mexico 1972) grew up between the sister cities of Tijuana and San Diego, on either side of the most visited border in the world. There is a little piece of ocean in between that she could feasibly have swum across, Muzquiz tells me, but she took the Interstate 5, moving between high school and home, no ID required. ‘Learning to navigate extremes was part of my life and still is: everything gets mixed up, culturally. There’s nothing purist about my work.’

While notions of nationalism and identity are thrown up by the title of Muzquiz’ first major UK show, “California” refers directly to ‘a kind of Freudian narrative’ that emerged as the multi-media artist embarked on this new body of work, comprising twenty-one ceramic vessels and a series of large-scale paintings. She describes vivid recollections of her childhood in the Californian landscape, visits to dilapidated beach clubs and banal shopping malls, and the cacophonous selling of souvenirs at the Mexican border.

‘It was very intense in the car. Objects would appear and disappear at the window – piggy banks, gnomes, Christ figures, Mickey Mouse, and the Virgin of Guadalupe’, an icon invented to persuade the indigenous people to embrace Catholicism, known as the Virgin of the Poor. ‘She was very Mexican, covered in stars and lights. You’re taking it all in super-fast and I guess I repeat that experience as I work, grabbing images, collaging, seeing what works.’

Muzquiz cuts and scores her clay, applying pieces to the vessels like magazine cut-outs, layering colours, patterns, images, tendrils, baubles and pendants to create complex self-portraits so full of movement they are almost performative. This is unsurprising, given the 15 years Muzquiz spent as one half of the art band Los Super Elegantes. Muzquiz and Martiano Lopez-Cortez performed their signature blend of theatre, dance and punk-mariachi-hip-hop at museums, galleries, art fairs and the Whitney Biennale (2004), gaining an international reputation as a must-see art world fixture.

When they split, in 2009, Muzquiz found that ‘it was natural for me to grab a piece of clay and figure out what to do with it.’ Having received her BFA at the California College of Fine Arts, San Francisco, Muzquiz joined the masters programme at the Art Centre, Pasadena, where she was tutored by Mike Kelley. ‘There was a kind of Californian eco-system where we’d visit UCLA and Cal Arts for talks, and guys like Chris Burden, Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari would come to see us. But mostly I was learning from Mike’. Kelley died in 2012, aged 57, and left Muzquiz with ‘a monumental piece of advice: After all the theory he taught me, it was, “Just do something with your hands”. He realised that what mattered most was your relationship with yourself.’

Artists are continually confronted with themselves, says Muzquiz, and California’s wild, ‘non-historical’ landscape provides the requisite freedom for quiet introspection: ‘It is such a contemporary place, you can just carve out your own existence.’ But Muzquiz’ California is complicated, resonant with the loss of its Native American history. ‘California has a shallow surface and beneath it you can feel its ghosts. They are howling and hooting into the night.’ Muzquiz’ cross-border childhood and her capacity for self-reflection are contained in this evocative body of work that makes a political statement almost by default.

Sophie Hastings

Collecting Contemporary to Old Masters

December 3, 2018

Roland Cowan, Emma Crichton-Miller, Andrew Fletcher and Nazy Vassegh
Roland Cowan, Emma Crichton-Miller, Andrew Fletcher and Nazy Vassegh  (photo: Laurence Cannings)

GalleriesNow held the inaugural Collect event “Collecting Contemporary to Old Masters” last week at Sotheby’s New Bond Street, with a discussion, drinks and a preview of the Old Masters auction.

Roland Cowan, collector and Outset Trustee, Andrew Fletcher, Head of Department, Old Masters, Sotheby’s, Nazy Vassegh, Strategic Art Adviser and chair Emma Crichton Miller, freelance journalist for the FT and Apollo, discussed how art fairs such as Masterpiece and auction houses like Sotheby’s increasingly encourage and facilitate people to collect different genres side by side.

The debate also looked at the way in which museums and galleries as well as organisations such as Outset support contemporary art shown in classical surroundings, and whether we are witnessing a new fluidity in collecting.

For more information about future GalleriesNow Collect events please email Philippa Hobson.

This inaugural GalleriesNow Collect event is presented in association with Sotheby’s, Outset Contemporary Art and is supported by onefinestay.

David Juda celebrates 50 years working with artists

November 22, 2018

photo of Annely and David JudaAnnely and David Juda in 1985

At Annely Juda Fine Art we have just installed a beautiful exhibition of 50 artists that we have shown over the last 50 years. I do not believe it’s necessary to blow one’s own trumpet as the 50 years just happened, but I am incredibly proud of the artists’ work that we have shown.

50 Years, 50 Artists

50 Years, 50 Artists” at Annely Juda Fine Art“50 Years, 50 Artists” at Annely Juda Fine Art

This exhibition is an incredible mix of Russian Constructivists, de Stijl or Bauhaus next to established and young artists from all over the world.

It marks the rich history of the gallery, which has been a stalwart and influential space for artists and visitors since its opening in Tottenham Mews, central London.

When my mother started the gallery and I joined her in 1968 it had never been important to her where the artist came from and how well known or unknown they were. Our job was to show good art well and if we have somehow succeeded a bit in this, that’s all that’s necessary.

50 Years, 50 Artists” at Annely Juda Fine Art“50 Years, 50 Artists” at Annely Juda Fine Art

The full list of the artists includes: Roger Ackling, Max Bill, Anthony Caro, Alan Charlton, Eduardo Chillida, Christo, Prunella Clough, Alexandra Exter, Lesley Foxcroft, Gloria Friedmann, Katsura Funakoshi, Naum Gabo, Stefan Gec, Sheila Girling, Philipp Goldbach, Alan Green, June Green, Nigel Hall, Werner Haypeter, David Hockney, Sigrid Holmwood, Peter Kalkhof, Tadashi Kawamata, Gustav Klucis, Leon Kossoff, Edwina Leapman, Catherine Lee, Kasimir Malevich, Kenneth Martin, Mary Martin, John McLaughlin, Michael Michaeledes, László Moholy-Nagy, François Morellet, David Nash, Lucia Nogueira, Sarah Oppenheimer, Liubov Popova, Edda Renouf, Alan Reynolds, Alexander Rodchenko, Yoshishige Saito, Kazuo Shiraga, Yuko Shiraishi, Suzanne Treister, Lun Tuchnowski, Georges Vantongerloo, Friedrich Vordemberge- Gildewart, Graham Williams and Katsuhiro Yamaguchi.

David and Annely Juda in 1997David and Annely in 1997

London Gallery Map Autumn/Winter 2018

September 23, 2018

The Autumn/Winter London Gallery Map is available now!

Over 200 exhibitions and auctions and information on more than 100 leading galleries and public museums across the city.

Pick up your free copy at the VIP desks of Frieze and Frieze Masters, or ask for one at any leading gallery or museum.

... and look out for our Gallery Maps in New York and Vienna - great exhibitions at leading galleries in NYC and around the viennacontemporary fair.

GalleriesNow presents a curated selection of the world's best exhibitions from leading galleries to an international audience of collectors, curators and art professionals. We have been producing print maps in London and New York since 2013. To ensure a consistently high standard, participation involves a strict review process - if you would like more information on our print map and online subscription options please contact us at or on +44 20 7534 9898.


Mai 36 founder Victor Gisler
on 30 years in the art world

July 1, 2018

photo of Lawrence Weiner and Victor Gisler, Mai 36

Victor Gisler, right, and Lawrence Weiner

30 Years Mai 36 Galerie – As Long As It Lasts

I became a gallerist in 1988 when I stepped beyond being interested in looking at and enjoying the art that I saw in museums and started showing, telling and selling what I liked in contemporary art.

photo of Victor at the Art Cologne Fair in the early 90s

Victor at Art Cologne in the early 90s

Since opening Mai 36 Galerie at Maihofstrasse 36 in Lucerne in February 1988, my goal has always been to exhibit art that I care about deeply, that is new to Switzerland, relevant for the time we live in, and global in its dialogue. I have remained committed to the art I love over all these years and am proud to still be working with a large group of artists today, whom I have already exhibited in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Text-based art and works that address important social, political or cultural issues are probably the categories of art that I love, besides my sincere interest and enthusiasm for photography. Starting a contemporary gallery in the heart of Switzerland - as Lucerne is known as - was not easy at the time, with Basel, Berne and later Zürich being the epicenters of contemporary art in the country.

We went on to establish the gallery in the mid-1990s in Zürich and ever since, through the support of the local and international art community and through participation in international art fairs, have seen a constant growth.

Over the course of three decades, the art world has changed dramatically. Everything has drastically increased in speed. Nowadays everyone knows everyone - and everyone can see everything immediately - no matter where, no matter when. But I still believe it’s crucial to experience art in person. There’s no better way to understand the artists thinking and the ideas or the beauty of what they are doing than by visiting galleries and institutional shows.


1/5 Les Levine is the first ever exhibition at Mai 36

2/5 Lawrence Weiner in 1994 at the first Zürich space

3/5 Robert Mapplethorpe in the new “Showroom” in 2015

4/5 Matt Mullican in the main Zürich space in 2017

5/5 Zang Kunkun opens the newly-expanded upstairs space in 2018


I feel lucky and honoured to be able to offer a place and structure:

- to artists where they can show what they do

- to collectors where they can purchase what they enjoy

- to curators where they can discuss

- to critics where they can study

- and to all other art professionals and enthusiasts where they can experience what they love the most: art to be seen for the very first time in a gallery exhibition.


photo of Victor and artist Rémy Zaugg

Victor and Rémy Zaugg at the gallery


I’m thankful to the artists, who are the heart and mind of the gallery, without whom there would only exist an empty space. I thank you for your courage, trust and belief in us and for all the good times we have together. I’m grateful to the collectors with whom we work and salute you for your confidence and companionship. Mai 36 Galerie would never have lasted three decades without the engagement and contributions of all who have worked with me. I have had the great pleasure and fortune to employ the best of the best and I am very thankful for their hard work, their great spirit, talent and dedication.

–Victor Gisler

see what’s on at the gallery right now here


photo of artist Thomas Ruff at the gallery

Thomas Ruff gives a talk during his recent exhibition at the gallery

David Zwirner director James Green on the UK’s first exhibition of Andrzej Wróblewski

March 23, 2018

picture of the painting Self Portrait in Red by Andrzej Wróblewski

To accompany the exhibition of his work at David Zwirner London, director James Green writes for us about Andrzej Wróblewski.

We, at David Zwirner, are delighted to be presenting the first solo exhibition of Andrzej Wróblewski's (1927–1957) work in the UK. We're showing a group of key paintings and a wide-ranging selection of works on paper detailing recurring subjects from throughout the artist’s oeuvre, which often drew on Poland’s sociopolitical atmosphere in the wake of the Second World War.

portrait of David Zwirner Director James Green

David Zwirner Director James Green

Wróblewski’s practice can be characterised as a unique language of figuration, with some abstract or surreal tendencies, relying on what has been termed the “eye of the soul”; not drawn or painted from life, but experienced even if not seen. He was responsible for a form of “Traumatic Realism”, in stark contrast to the Soviet Realist doctrine that had been declared in Poland in 1949 which was rejected soon after by Wróblewski. He was determined that history, and the trauma carried with it, should not be left in the past.

There is mythic construction of Wróblewski as a self-destructive, melancholic figure who was encroached upon by tragedy from all sides, but this is too simplistic. He had experienced great trauma, but also moments of hopefulness and personal contentment during his short life. The apex of these moments coincided with the political change due the “Thaw” in 1956, following the death of Stalin in 1953, and the birth of Wróblewski's two children.

Wróblewski was “semi-active” as an artist, arguably as a result of the unsettled conditions and difficulties that faced post-war Poland and Europe, and his work was neither ignored nor celebrated. It is not a historic record or archive, but something restorative following the traumatic events in Poland during this period of the 20th century. We hope the exhibition will encourage more dialogue around Wróblewski and reaffirm his importance and contribution to contemporary European figurative painting; not only in relation to artists from Poland and the former Soviet Union, such as Wilhelm Sasnal, but also with regard to figures such as Luc Tuymans and Marlene Dumas.

see the exhibition - with 360° preview - here

New York Gallery Map Spring 2018

February 23, 2018

The Spring GalleriesNow New York Gallery Map
is available now!

Our map has over 150 exhibitions and auctions as well as information on more than 100 leading galleries and public museums in the city.

Ask for your free copy at leading galleries across New York, or download here.

... and check out our London Gallery Map for more of the same!

GalleriesNow presents a curated selection of the world's best exhibitions from leading galleries to an international audience of collectors, curators and art professionals. We have been producing print maps in London and New York since 2013. To ensure a consistently high standard, participation involves a strict review process - if you would like more information on our print map and online subscription options please contact us at or +44 20 7534 9898.


London Gallery Map Spring 2018

February 13, 2018

The Spring GalleriesNow London Gallery Map is available now!

Our biggest ever London map includes over 200 exhibitions and auctions and information on more than 100 leading galleries and public museums.

Ask for your free copy at leading galleries across the city, or download a copy here

... and don’t miss our New York Gallery Map - great exhibitions at leading galleries across the Big Apple!



GalleriesNow presents a curated selection of the world's best exhibitions from leading galleries to an international audience of collectors, curators and art professionals. We have been producing print maps in London and New York since 2013. To ensure a consistently high standard, participation involves a strict review process - if you would like more information on our print map and online subscription options please contact us at or +44 20 7534 9898.


The Guardian writes about ArtPassport

November 16, 2017

Mark Smith, The Guardian, 16 November 2017

The Guardian’s Mark Smith talks to the founders of GalleriesNow and ArtPassport Tristram and Patrick Fetherstonhaugh about getting more people to see more art, while democratising and demystifying the art world - ending on the positive note that “there’s never been a more exciting time to be an artist or a gallery”.

guardian ArtPassport article

Read the article

Download the pdf

Download the ArtPassport app

London Gallery Map Sep-Nov 2017

October 20, 2017

Download the latest edition of the GalleriesNow London Gallery Map for world-class exhibitions across the city this Autumn.


London Gallery Map Sep-Nov 2017 - Download PDF

The latest London Gallery Map includes more than 150 art exhibitions and auctions and details visitor information for over 100 galleries and public museums. The map's release coincides with Frieze London (Oct 5 – 8) and will be distributed in participating galleries and at VIP booths during the fair.


GalleriesNow presents a curated selection of the world's best exhibitions from leading galleries to an engaged, international audience of collectors, curators and art professionals. We have been producing print maps in London and New York since 2013. To ensure a consistently high standard, participation involves a strict review process - if you would like more information on our print map and online subscription options please contact us at or +44 20 7534 9898.

Forbes reviews the ArtPassport VR app

September 14, 2017

Ian Morris, Forbes, 14 September 2017

Forbes’ Ian Morris reviews the ArtPassport app and talks about how GalleriesNow 360ºs facilitate engagement with the artworld, saying “The app has been made by people who really love the world of art” and noting that “like a lot of things, the casual browsers of today might be the art collectors of tomorrow, so nurturing them with a nifty VR app seems sensible”

Read the article

Download the pdf

Download the ArtPassport app

Mayfair Art Weekend 2017

June 27, 2017

GalleriesNow is delighted to be involved again this year with Mayfair Art Weekend and, once again in conjunction with the Royal Academy, to produce the official gallery map for the event.

GalleriesNow Map

download your map now!

Mayfair and St James’s is one of the oldest and most important arts quarters in the world. It is home to the Royal Academy of Arts as well as the major auction houses and leading art galleries.

The Royal Academy of Arts
Established by King George III in 1768 to promote art and artists, the Royal Academy of Arts stages a diverse public programme of major exhibitions and events, and is home to the UK’s longest established art school. To this day it remains an independent charity that is run by many of the country’s greatest artists and architects – the Royal Academicians.
In 2018, the Academy will celebrate its 250th anniversary and unveil an expanded campus and programme. For more information visit

Mayfair Art Weekend 30 June - 2 July
Mayfair Art Weekend joined by the Royal Academy of Arts, 60 art galleries and artists celebrates Mayfair as a vibrant hub of talent, creativity, craftsmanship and production. The weekend’s programme offers free talks, walks and events providing a chance to experience the unparalleled artistic knowledge, quality and diversity found within Mayfair’s art community.

GalleriesNow is the leading independent gallery guide featuring exhibitions from significant galleries and art museums around the world with listings, 360° panoramas, openings, fairs, auctions, events and maps. Sign up for our free weekly openings and closings newsletters and download ArtPassport, the new 360° panorama app from the Apple App Store.
@galleriesnow #firstlookart

TIME picks ArtPassport as one of its Apps of the Year

June 2, 2017, 2 June 2017

Lisa Eadicicco, Alex Fitzpatrick, and Matt Peckham of chose their 25 favourite apps of the year so far - with GalleriesNow's ArtPassport coming in at number 8!

“If you can’t swing a trip to the world’s best art galleries, viewing them in 360-degree virtual reality might be the next best thing” they say of the app


TIME ArtPassport article

Read the article

Download the ArtPassport app

GalleriesNow releases bumper edition of their New York Gallery Map with Frieze VIP

May 4, 2017

GalleriesNow is delighted to have worked again with Frieze VIP to publish a bumper edition of the GalleriesNow New York Gallery Map.

The 2017 Frieze edition is the most comprehensive to date, featuring galleries across Chelsea, the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side and Harlem.

The map details over 200 art exhibitions and auctions happening throughout May, June & July and lists more than 100 art spaces including leading international galleries and public museums.

Spring/Summer 2017 has seen several exciting changes in the New York art scene such as the inaugurations of new Lower East Side galleries for Galerie Eva Presenhuber (Zürich) and Galerie Perrotin (Paris) and the opening of Lisson Gallery's second space on 10th Avenue.

The map's release coincides with Frieze New York (May 5 – 7) and will be distributed in galleries across New York and at VIP booths during the fair.

To download a digital version of the map please use the links below.

New York Gallery Map Frieze 2017 - Download PDF
New York Gallery Map Frieze 2017 - A4 Version - Download PDF 

GalleriesNow presents a curated selection of the best galleries in the world to an engaged and international audience of collectors, curators and art professionals and has been producing print maps with Frieze VIP in London and NYC since 2013. We also produce a regular quarterly map of Upper East Side & Harlem galleries and museums with Elizabeth Dee and a map of Mayfair and St James's with the Royal Academy in London. To ensure a consistently high standard, participation involves a strict review process - if you would like more information on participation options please see more here or get in touch with Helen Cooper on or +44 (0)20 7580 7227.

GalleriesNow Upper East Side & Harlem ArtMap

November 8, 2016


The GalleriesNow Upper East Side & Harlem ArtMap is now available.

Created with Elizabeth Dee, it features over 70 exhibitions at galleries and museums across the Upper East Side and Harlem districts of New York. You can pick up a copy at any of the 40 featured galleries and museums, or download it as a pdf here.

And sign up to our weekly Newsletter to get regular updates on exhibition openings and closings at great galleries in NYC and around the world.

GalleriesNow and The Museum of Everything talk Dubuffet

October 8, 2016

GalleriesNow and the Museum of Everything

Le Foyer de l’Art Brut: Jean Dubuffet and his search for artistic truth

As part of the first Reading Room series of events at Frieze Masters 2016, co-founder Tristram Fetherstonhaugh and James Brett of The Museum of Everything talk about Jean Dubuffet’s radical Parisian salon Le Foyer de l’Art Brut, and the ways it inspired the artist on his lifetime journey of discovery.

The original Foyer attracted the attention of many of the best known artists and writers of that generation, including people like Joan Miró, Jean Cocteau, Tristan Tzara and André Breton - and the Gallery of Everything’s historical interpretation of the exhibition is part of Sir Norman Rosenthal’s Collections at Frieze Masters 2016.


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