Ever since moving to La Cienega six years ago (technically the gallery is in Los Angeles), Blum & Poe has been credited with helping to kick off the Culver City art scene. Now Blum & Poe is moving on from its 5,000 square foot digs across the street to a 21,000 square foot standalone building on an acre of land. LA-based Escher GuneWardena Architecture, who also designed the former space, has converted the former warehouse into gallery space, a garden, a private viewing room, and there's even a hidden apartment for visiting artists with a separate entrance.
At the center are three gallery exhibition spaces of varying sizes forming a circulation loop, and the galleries are naturally lit by a calibrated system of deep light wells with skylights above, according to the architects. There's also an additional 2,400 square foot project space for independently curated exhibitions in the upper level. The gallery bought the building back in January 2008, explaining the somewhat inauspicious timing for a major gallery expansion. The first exhibition, a group show is opening there on Saturday. But Blum & Poe isn't the only one expanding, just the largest. In the past few months galleries such as the Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Michael Kohn, Chung King Projects, and Tom Solomon have all expanded or moved into larger spaces, taking advantage of lower rents in the recession. Next up: an expansion for the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, designed by Richard Meier's firm.
· Blum & Poe gallery to unveil larger space [LA Times]