Los Angeles is undoubtedly experiencing a moment in the cultural spotlight. But beyond the hypebeast of this current creative boom, a scene is being built to last on the West Coast: Los Angeles currently counts around 400 modern and contemporary art spaces, with an estimated 50 opening up since 2013.
This sudden influx of new galleries – with a high concentration migrating into the gentrifying downtown arts district – includes new enterprises as well as established names setting up second spaces here. Hauser & Wirth will unveil a 'museum quality' venue in 2016, with a bookstore, bar and restaurant; Sprueth Magers also have an LA outpost in the works; while other blue chips from New York and London have already set up in the city.
The very recent addition of the Broad Museum – now the city's largest free contemporary art spot, opened in September – has confirmed the Downtown neighbourhood's status as a permanent cultural destination for Angelinos and visitors. So what's so special about LA?
One appealing aspect is the space available in LA that allows gallerists and artists to grow and stretch out in a way they couldn't in other cities. The lifestyle quality is of course a factor in the west's glamour capital, and with so much creativity moving into LA, new spaces are being spectacularly repurposed to maximise the year-round sunshine, with rooftops and gardens to showcase work outdoors and capitalize on the warm weather. This architect-led transformation enhances the distinctive experience of viewing art in LA, and unites further the city's autonomous art with its historic, pioneering design scene.
Here, we took a pick of some of our favourite new architecturally minded art spaces: step inside, and you'll get the feeling that this is how art is supposed to be seen - with plenty of room to breathe, in symbiosis with its environment...