On May 25 the Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran is set to unveil a large new space in Wilshire. Renovated by Los Angeles-based architecture firm Standard, it features key elements designed by James Turrell such as the permanent Skyspace, the courtyard, and the lighting scheme throughout the space. The exhibition will also showcase works related to Turrell’s decades-long Roden Crater project sited in a 400,000-year-old extinct cinder cone volcano in the San Francisco Volcanic Field near the Grand Canyon. Yasmine Mohseni spoke with Maggie Kayne and Bill Griffin about their new space, their ongoing collaboration with Turrell, and creating a new kunsthalle in L.A.
What is your relation to Turrell?
MK: Bill and I met through Turrell, who was coming to town to do a site visit. He’s one of my heroes, so I went over to the site. Bill and Jim Corcoran (now my partners) brought him over. I couldn’t have cared less about talking to them at this point; I wanted to talk to James! But we ended up talking and really hit it off.
Why move to the Wilshire area?
BG: It’s between LACMA and Culver City. Maggie was the driving force for looking there, and we all thought that’s the place for us to be. It was also about finding the right building with the right character: The 1940s architecture and the large courtyard captured the spirit of the West. It’s not like a Chelsea gallery where you have no sense of the space and light outside.
What will you be showing?
MK: We all come together in our interest in history more than the market. Bill is interested in doing institutional-level shows in this large space. My priority is always to create an experience and to focus on what I think is historical and not worry about how to sell a show. I have a tendency to shy away from what’s exploding in the market and embrace things that I think are truly lasting.
BG: It’s our DNA. There’s a reason the word gallery isn’t attached to Kayne Griffin Corcoran.