David Zwirner at 30: The Mega-Gallery That Keeps on Learning

Exterior of David Zwirner’s new Los Angeles flagship building located at 606 N Western Avenue, designed by Selldorf Architects. Photography by Elon Schoenholz.

David Zwirner is celebrating its 30th birthday underneath the Hollywood sign. 

After first opening in Los Angeles last year, the gallery, which operates 12 locations across New York, LA, London, Paris, and Hong Kong, is toasting three decades and the completion of its West Coast flagship with an exhibition that (re)unites its sprawling roster of artists.

David Zwirner. Photography by Jason Schmidt. All images courtesy of David Zwirner.

Spanning three buildings and 15,000 square feet of the new LA flagship, "David Zwirner: 30 Years" features work from each of the mega-gallery’s more than 80 artists and estates (yes, every single one). The show, which opens to the public May 23, includes pieces from figures that Zwirner has worked with since the beginning, like Luc Tuymans and Stan Douglas, as well as recent additions, such as Emma McIntyre and Walter Price. It is a testament to Zwirner’s past as much as the gallery’s future, which now points due West as he joins a number of tastemaking galleries, including James Fuentes, Clearing, and Morán Morán, in cementing Melrose Hill as a new art hub. 

Installation view, David Zwirner: 30 Years, David Zwirner, Los Angeles, on view May 23–August 3, 2024.

Zwirner’s loyalty to those he works with—and his eye for change—are written all over the new space. Annabelle Selldorf has designed all of his galleries, from the first one at 43 Greene Street in 1993 to the LA outpost that opened last year. The new flagship is a far cry from Zwirner’s original 1,600-square-foot storefront in SoHo. The dealer’s first-ever show, of Franz West, famously sold nothing. Yet the experience taught him a hard lesson: never privilege business above an artist’s career. 

Installation view, David Zwirner: 30 Years, David Zwirner, Los Angeles, on view May 23–August 3, 2024.

He went on to acquire his space on West 20th Street with the work of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin in mind. Monumental shows for highly celebrated artists like Richard Serra and Yayoi Kusama have since brought people out in droves. It’s this commitment to the artists' vision, no matter the scale, that’s defined David Zwirner’s past 30 years—and it’s still working, even as his staff has grown to more than 340 employees.

As the art world further turns toward LA, the gallery is staking its claim as a powerplayer that refuses to remain stuck in its ways.

"David Zwirner: 30 Years" will be on view at David Zwirner's 606, 612, and 616 N Western Avenue spaces from May 23 through August 3, 2024.