Hauser & Wirth Expands to Basel, Going Toe to Toe with Gagosian

Hauser & Wirth, the mega-gallery with well over a dozen locations worldwide, is expanding its empire once again, with plans to open next in Basel, the Swiss city where the world’s top fair, Art Basel, is held annually. The Art Newspaper first reported the news on Thursday.

The move sees Hauser & Wirth once again going toe to toe with one of its competitors, Gagosian, who launched a space in Basel in 2019. Hauser & Wirth also has five other Swiss locations—three in Zurich, one in St. Moritz, and one in Gstaad—plus a bookstore based in the country.

This is the 18th Hauser & Wirth location worldwide, after ones in New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and more art-world capitals, as well as more far-flung locales like the Spanish island of Menorca and Somerset, England. The 16th and 17th Hauser & Wirth galleries, in Paris and New York’s SoHo neighborhood, respectively, both open this October.

According to the Art Newspaper, the Basel gallery will be set in one of the current spaces of Galerie Knoell, which will continue to operate another venue in the city. (The move is, however, not a acquisition on Hauser & Wirth’s part.) That gallery’s founder, Carlo Knoell, will become a senior director at Hauser & Wirth.

Galerie Knoell was founded in 2011 and focuses predominantly on secondary-market dealing of modern and contemporary art.

According to Knoell, his gallery will shutter its exhibition program, but it “will continue to manage its own inventory and the estates and collections entrusted to it.”