Cultured Magazine

Fall 2015

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206 CULTURED FLASH DRIVE Fourteen years after opening her first New York gallery on the Lower East Side, dealer Michele Maccarone replaces grit with glamour at her new Los Angeles art compound. BY ALIX BROWNE PORTRAIT BY ELENA DORFMAN W hen New York gallerist Michele Maccarone decided to open an outpost in Los Angeles, one of the things she knew that she was going to need was a car. In her mind, she had something unflashy and dependable, say, a Subaru Outback in dark gray. But a friend in the entertainment business insisted she speak to the friend's Car Guy (yes, that is a job in L.A.), who after listening to her automotive needs and taking into account the particularities of her impending West Coast lifestyle (How far do you drive? Do you surf? Do you have a dog?), selected what he deemed the perfect car for her. "I fly to L.A., open the garage and discover he got me an Audi Allroad," Maccarone tells me early one August morning, as we sat in the office of her New York gallery on Greenwich Street in the West Village. "Apparently, that's my profile. But I still think I should have gotten an Outback," she says. The L.A. gallery Maccarone also had in mind was intended to be similarly Subaru-esque. She had signed a lease on a section of a former warehouse on South Mission Road, just down the block from Laura Owens and Gavin Brown, thinking that the painter and Maccarone artist Alex Hubbard could use the space as a studio for a year or two, and when he was done, they would clear it out and show the work he had made there. But it wasn't long before the landlord offered Maccarone the entire building. And then the lot next door suddenly became available. "So then greedy, real estate maven Maccarone got her hands on that, too," she says laughing. Needless to say, the gallery, which opened September 19 with "Basic Perversions," a solo exhibition of new paintings by Hubbard, ended up being substantially larger and, well, grander in every sense of the word. In fact, at 50,000 square feet, it's less of a gallery than a compound, with dedicated studios not only for Hubbard, but also for Oscar Tuazon, another L.A.-based artist, as well as an exhibition space, an additional 15,000-square-foot outdoor exhibition space that is being engineered for heavy, large-scale sculptures and a 2,000-square- foot "apartment" where Maccarone imagines throwing intimate dinners or other more domestically scaled events. According to Maccarone, who enlisted L.A. architecture firm Standard to design the vast space, "the whole thing is wildly over budget." She is quick to add, "There was a moment when we were going to do a very basic renovation and then it seemed not in tune with where my brain was. Those days of Canal Street and going to Home Depot myself and spending $4,000 renovating an entire building—those days are over," Maccarone says, referring to the first gallery she opened, almost guerrilla-style, on the Lower East Side in 2001. "I need to understand the seriousness at which my gallery is being taken

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