Girl power: Gavlak gallery celebrates ten years of championing female artists

Gavlak 10th anniversary
In honour of its 10th birthday, Gavlak gallery's Palm Beach, Florida and Hollywood, Los Angeles locations are both surveying the trajectory of the gallery’s decade of work
(Image credit: Sheila Hicks/ Marilyn Minter/ Aleksandra Mir and Gavlak Gallery)

Gavlak gallery is celebrating. In a perennially unstable art world, ten years in the business is certainly something. The gallery’s locations in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Hollywood, LA, are surveying the trajectory of its decade of work: an aesthetically and conceptually distinctive mix of sculpture, painting and photography that inculcates a dialogue with contemporary textile, ceramics, and feminist theory.

Founded by dealer Sarah Gavlak, Gavlak gallery has carved a place for leading female and LGBT artists, a commitment that Gavlak asserts. 'I’ve always gravitated to and supported women artists – that hasn’t changed in 10 years, and won’t change in 10 more years.'

In her bi-coastal spaces, this translates to representing artists including the late Bunny Yeager (whose photographs are included in the LA edition of the anniversary show), Betty Tompkins (known for her Sex Works and large-scale Pussy Paintings, also on view) and giving early shows to renowned artists such as Sheila Hicks, Marilyn Minter and Aleksandra Mir. A female figurehead in the art world herself, Sarah Gavlak’s attentive eye and singular curatorial approach has introduced many new names to the art market since 2005 – and has created a credible commercial platform for high quality art in Florida, where art audiences are known to fluctuate with the seasons.

So what have been Gavlak’s personal highlights over the years? 'There are so many exhibitions that I’m proud of! In Palm Beach in 2008 I did a show with T.J. Wilcox, Pae White, and Sheila Hicks. The show unfortunately did not get as much recognition as I would have liked, due to the market crash that same year. I also did a show with Marilyn Minter in Palm Beach in 2006.'

Having established herself on the balmy shores of the east coast, Gavlak opened her Hollywood outpost in 2014, just a stone’s throw from other pioneering female contemporary gallerists, including Hannah Hoffman and Shaun Regen, of Regen Projects. As well as joining a fleet of gallerists flooding to the West coast city from the East, being in Los Angeles has given Gavlak a chance to work with Californian artists, in a 10,000 ft space, and to enjoy the growing local culture and economy converging there.

'I’m particularly excited about the new artists I’m working with in Los Angeles. I'm working with many mid-career artists, such as Judie Bamber, Amy Bessone, Francesca Gabbiani, and Marnie Weber, which are all very important artists that I’m hoping to help gain international recognition. I’m also in love with the Rob Wynne works in both exhibitions,' she says.

Girl power: Gavlak gallery celebrates ten years of championing female artists

In Los Angeles, the exhibition is an aesthetically and conceptually distinctive mix of sculpture, painting and photography, that inculcating a dialogue with contemporary textile, ceramics, and feminist theory

(Image credit: Sheila Hicks/ Marilyn Minter/ Aleksandra Mir and Gavlak Gallery)

Gavlak 10th anniversary

Founder/dealer Sarah Gavlak has carved a place for leading female and LGBT artists, like Brian Willis (his 'Untitled', 2015 is pictured right) and T.J. Wilcox

(Image credit: Sheila Hicks /Marilyn Minter/Aleksandra Mir and Gavlak Gallery)

Gavlak gallery celebrates 10th anniversary

A female figurehead in the art world herself, Sarah Gavlak’s attentive eye and singular curatorial approach has introduced many new names to the art market since 2005. Pictured: Living Loving Party Going, 2015 and Hegemony or Survival, 2015, both by Milena Muzquiz 

(Image credit: Sheila Hicks/ Marilyn Minter / Aleksandra Mir. And Gavlak Gallery)

Gavlak gallery celebrates 10th anniversary

Being in Los Angeles has given Gavlak a chance to work with Californian artists, in a 10,000 ft space, and to enjoy the growing local culture and economy converging there

(Image credit: Sheila Hicks/ Marilyn Minter / Aleksandra Mir and Gavlak Gallery)

INFORMATION

Gavlak’s 10 year Anniversary show runs in Los Angeles until 23 December and in Palm Beach until 19 December. For more information, visit the Gavlak website (opens in new tab)

Photography: courtesy of the artists and Gavlak Gallery

ADDRESS

Gavlak Los Angeles
1034 N Highland Avenue

Los Angeles, California

VIEW GOOGLE MAPS

Charlotte Jansen is a journalist and the author of two books on photography, Girl on Girl (2017) and Photography Now (2021). She is commissioning editor at Elephant magazine and has written on contemporary art and culture for The Guardian, the Financial Times, ELLE, the British Journal of Photography, Frieze and Artsy. Jansen is also presenter of Dior Talks podcast series, The Female Gaze.