Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hauser and Wirth

Iwan Wirth was recently judged in ArtReview magazine’s “Power 100”, to be more influential than Charles Saatchi, Christie’s chief, François Pinault, or the million-dollar-a-canvas painter Gerhard Richter. Wirth opened his first gallery in his hometown of Sankt-Gallen while still in his teens, selling Le Corbusier drawings and Miró prints, and in 1992 teamed with wealthy Swiss collector Ursula Hauser and her daughter Manuela (whom he married a few years later) to deal on the secondary market in Zurich.

In the English county of Somerset, Hauser and Wirth bought Durslade  Farm when it was a picturesque ruin. Renovated it provides art-exhibition and education spaces, film screenings, a two-acre landscaped park and a world-class restaurant and bar. Durslade Farmhouse was recently awarded Art Hotel of the Year 2016 by Leading Culture Destinations. The gallery’s onsite restaurant, Roth Bar & Grill, supplied directly by the Wirths’ farm, is included in the Michelin Guide 2017. The heart of the project is an ambitious artist-in-residence program, which has already started with a year-long visit from Pipilotti Rist, along with her ten-year-old son.

'Everything is going to be alright' in Scotland, too. The Fife Arms hotel in Braemar is currently undergoing extensive restoration and expected to reopen in 2018. 

When I was a wee lad in Braemar and we had occasion to go for tea to the hotel, probably invited by one of Pa's parishioners, I wonder if in 1944 we had to take our ration books with us!

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