Hauser & Wirth’s artistic empire continues to flourish. The mega-gallery has announced its tenth global arts center will land in Menorca, a secluded Spanish island west of Ibiza and Mallorca in the Mediterranean. The news follows months of negotiations with local officials, who eventually approved Hauser & Wirth’s plans to convert a decommissioned military hospital on Isla del Rey, a remote enclave nestled within Menorca’s Port of Mahón.
As part of the $4.5 million property lease, which is in effect from 2020 through 2032, Hauser & Wirth will oversee the 18th-century naval hospital’s complete restoration. Paris-based architect Luis Laplace, a longstanding collaborator who worked on the gallery’s outpost in Somerset, England, will spearhead renovation efforts, which will create space for galleries, educational programming, gardens by landscape designer Piet Oudolf, and a restaurant.
A rotating series of exhibitions will draw directly from local institutions as well as the gallery’s roster of blue-chip artists, which includes the likes of Jenny Holzer, Thomas Houseago, and Louise Bourgeois. Menorcan native Mar Rescalvo will serve as the gallery’s inaugural director and has already secured crucial partnerships with the Museu de Menorca, Escola d’Art de Menorca, the Fundació Menorquina de l’Opera, and the Institut of Menorquin Studies.
Hauser & Wirth Menorca is closely modeled after the gallery’s outpost in Somerset, a multi-building exhibition hall, restaurant, residency, and education program the dealers founded in 2014 on an old rural property near London. “We love to push the boundaries of what people think galleries can and can’t do,” says co-founder Iwan Wirth. “The responsibility of increasing diversity and leaving the white cube has been our mission from day one.” We love that Hauser & Wirth is taking the Somerset model to new places. Hopefully Menorca won’t be the last.