Matthew Marks is known as an artist’s dealer, but the longtime New York gallerist outdid himself in January 2012, when he convinced one of his most eminent artists, Ellsworth Kelly, to transform the building that houses his new Los Angeles outpost into a piece of art. When Kelly looked at architect Peter Zellner’s design—a white, cube-like structure with no windows that stands on North Orange Grove Avenue in West Hollywood—the 89-year-old, hard-edge abstractionist got the idea to add a black bar that extends across the top of the facade. The result echoes two classic Kelly black-and-white works—a collage from 1954 and a painting from 1966—and serves as a way to let visitors know that, when they cross the threshold, they will enter a space completely devoted to the experience of art.
The opening exhibition of works by Kelly was followed by shows devoted to the talents of Los Angeles artists Charles Ray and Ken Price; Jasper Johns; and Robert Gober, among others. In this location, Marks intends not only to welcome California artists but also to focus on artists who are underexposed on the West Coast. Either way, both artists and art enthusiasts will feel at home at Marks and Kelly’s place.
Matthew Marks, 323.654.1830, www.matthewmarks.com