London, 27 September 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).
After the announcement of the opening of an office in Hong Kong, White Cube Gallery is preparing to open a third space in London: White Cube Bermondsey. The opening of this new establishment will occur on 12 October 2011 coinciding with Frieze Art Fair’s opening night.
The third gallery, opening in the Bermondsey building, will be the largest commercial gallery in England with a measured surface of 5,400 sq metres. This large gallery will allow space for exhibitions and will include an auditorium as well as a library. Yet it was the same man who, in the early 1990s, opened one of Europe’s smallest exhibition areas on Duke Street. The name White Cube was inspired by the small gallery – where artists would display their artwork in what was a simple square room with white walls, designed by Claudio Silvestrin.
Since Duke Street in 1993, it is evident that Jay Jopling has made a lot of progress. Now counting over 100 staff, he is on the verge of creating a true empire in London. The new gallery will be situated near the other White Cube establishments: Mason’s Yard which opened in 2006, and Hoxton Square in 2000.
White Cube Bermondsey is situated near many other galleries in South London such as the Tate Modern, The Drawing Room, Cafe Gallery and even Design Museum. Joplin thus chose an interesting area to situate his new addition, as it is likely attract new traders from the capital of England.
Another point to consider is the proximity between Tate Modern and White Cube Gallery, which allows both galleries to coincide on different events and current affairs. In fact, certain people are already talking about a coinciding exhibition by Damien Hirst which is scheduled to take place at Tate Modern in 2012.
For White Cube’s director of exhibitions, Tim Marlow, the new establishment is a real advantage as he tells The Guardian: “The more interesting and the more varied spaces we can provide, the more excited artists get about working in them.” In other words, galleries battle to represent the best artists at the top end of the market, and the more attractive the gallery is the more chance it has that artists choose to work with them. Especially given that competition is tough in this segment – especially in London – with galleries such as Gagosian, Haunch of Venison, Lisson Gallery, Hauser & Wirth… the list goes on.
Finally, this event shows the two-tiers of art market. On the one hand, there are the major players who, despite the economic crisis, recognise a strong growth, whilst on the other, there those who only focus on the many difficulties they are faced with.