Dozens of art galleries have made the western migration to Los Angeles in recent years, but not all of them have embraced the city’s freewheeling optimism quite like Jenny’s. Launched in 2014 by L.A. native Jenny Borland and former Regen Projects staffer Mathew Sova, who first met while working together at the nonprofit space White Columns in New York, the pair opened the gallery with open minds and no “solid plan,” says Borland. “Our attitude toward the space was always more intuitive and it has continued to be that way.”
Over the next three years the gallery built a roster of 10 artists that includes Liz Craft, Mathieu Malouf, Max Hooper Schneider and Gili Tal, among others. “Matt and Jenny brought a whole new energy to Los Angeles,” says artist Pentti Monkkonen, who joined the gallery in 2016. “A social scene formed around them that was very organic, and brought together some of the real legends of L.A., like Richard Hawkins and Mayo Thompson, with young artists from L.A., transplants from New York, curious people from Hollywood, weirdos and just a really good diverse mix of people. You could feel the energy at their openings as being a real thing, and it really made ripples in the art world.”
With backgrounds in both commercial and nonprofit galleries— Borland has also worked for Gavin Brown’s Enterprise—Jenny’s combines aspects of both models. “The gallery materialized from something that is nearer to a nonprofit or artist-driven mentality, and although we are a commercial gallery, the focus is on exhibitions and developing close working relationships with the artists,” Borland says. At the same time, they saw in L.A. an open market opportunity. “We’re able to engage with people on such a different level here because it is not oversaturated,” unlike New York, she says.
This fall, Jenny’s is staging two solo exhibitions by artists who are notable in Europe but have little recognition in the United States: Paris-based artist Renaud Jerez, whose industrial skeleton sculptures appeared at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami last year, and the German artist Wolfgang Breuer, whose show at Jenny’s will mark his L.A. debut.