White Cube Hoxton, the prototype for many of London’s new breed of gallery, are to shut their doors at number 48 Hoxton Square, after visitor numbers dropped, due to the competition from the other two branches of the gallery. The space opened by Jay Jopling, held its first exhibition in 2000 and has exhibited a mind boggling roster of YBA’s and other glitterati of the art world. The gallery has produced the kind of success that other London galleries couldn’t have imagined possible, a decade ago. It was also partially responsible for aggressively promoting London to the new breed of international collector, when contemporary art was in a slump. It will now close it’s doors in December after the autumn schedule winds down for Christmas.
The gallery brand will now concentrate on their two other White Cube galleries and on their international expansion. Mason’s Yard, Mayfair and the Bermondsey Street space which opened a year ago are thriving. Bermondsey has now become more popular than the Hoxton and Mason’s Yard galleries attracting more than 120,000 visitors so far this year. White Cube has also moved into China and now plan to open in Sao Paolo.The Bermondsey gallery has exhibited major artists including Damien Hirst’s Two Weeks One Summer show in May, the largest gallery show ever mounted of Anselm Kiefer and Gilbert and George’s London Pictures.
The Mason’s Yard location opened in September 2006. It is located off Duke Street, St. James’s, home of the original White Cube gallery, on a site that was previously an electricity sub-station. Designed by MRJ Rundell & Associates it is the first free-standing building to be built in the St James’s area for more than 30 years. The building houses a main, basement floor gallery which is a naturally lit, double-height space with a second gallery on street level providing 5000 ft² of exhibition space. White Cube, Mason’s Yard continues with an international, high profile programme of exhibitions and was launched with an inaugural exhibition by Gabriel Orozco. In April 2000, White Cube, Hoxton Square was set up as a second, larger gallery space in London’s East End. Housed in a 1920s light industrial building, and designed by architects MRJ Rundell and Associates, White Cube Hoxton Square had 2000 square feet of uninterrupted exhibition space.
White Cube was set up by Jay Jopling in 1993 as a project room for contemporary art. Although it was one of the smallest exhibition spaces in Europe, it was arguably one of most influential commercial galleries of the past decade. Situated on the second floor of 44 Duke Street, St James’s, one of London’s most traditional art dealing streets, White Cube, Duke Street was, literally, a simple white cube, a room within a room, designed by the architect Claudio Silvestrin.
The central concern when establishing the programme was to create an intimate space in which an artist could present a single important work of art or a coherent body of work within a focused environment, an idea that in some way, stemmed from the memorable experience of Walter de Maria’s ‘Earth Room’ in New York. The programme was singular among commercial galleries in that an artist was invited to exhibit only once. Since its inception, the gallery mounted exhibitions of work by many leading international and British artists including, Antony Gormley,Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin,The Chapman Bros and Gilbert & George.
The East End space will give a final bow with an exhibition by the artist and writer Harland Miller. It closes on December 22.