Former New York Dealer Perry Rubenstein: L.A. Is ‘No Longer the Sideshow’

Perry Rubenstein at a 2010 gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Photo: Patrick McMullan Co.)

Art dealer Perry Rubenstein, who recently decamped from New York for Los Angeles, revealed his new gallery plans to Jori Finkel in The Los Angeles Times today, and he sounds like a complete and total convert to L.A.

Mr. Rubenstein, whose gallery once resided on West 23rd Street in Chelsea, tells Ms. Finkel:

“New York has very limited possibilities in terms of what you can do with gallery space. … The idea that we can embrace indoor/outdoor life here is a breath of fresh air. I want a space where artists will be excited and enticed to exhibit.”

The dealer’s new space, located on North Highland Avenue in the Hollywood area of the city, will feature a roof sculpture garden and–this being L.A.–a parking lot with space for 30 cars. It is being designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of WHY Architecture, who was responsible for the L.A. branch of New York blue-chipper L&M Arts.

Mr. Rubenstein emphasizes that he has done his homework, mentioning that he has interviewed Irving Blum, who ran the storied–if not financially lucrative–Ferus Gallery in L.A. in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and German dealer Max Hetzler who operated a Santa Monica, Calif., gallery with current New Yorkers Lawrence Luhring and Roland Augustine from 1989 to 1992.

Says Mr. Rubenstein, echoing comments he made earlier this year, when he announced his move:

“I’m making a much more definitive statement about L.A. by making this our flagship gallery. … It’s no longer the sideshow; it’s no longer second to New York as an arts capital.”

In New York, the dealer represented artists like Robin Rhode, Amir Zaki and Richard Woods. For now, he is keeping quiet about his full artist roster.

Former New York Dealer Perry Rubenstein: L.A. Is ‘No Longer the Sideshow’