Zabludowicz, who is tight with Sir Nicholas Serota, head of the Tate, and is also a patron of the nonprofit Whitechapel gallery in London’s East End, says it’s a “sin” to keep art in storage. She believes she’s providing a public service. “We wanted to offer something new and original: a gallery that was collector- and curator-based and promoted emerging artists,” she says. The first show at 176, which is housed in a former Methodist church (and is named for its address on Prince of Wales Road), has been put together by Zabludowicz and her in-house curator, Elizabeth Neilson. Called “An Archaeology,” it features works by 38 artists, including Vanessa Beecroft, Sarah Lucas, Eve Sussman and Rina Bannerjee.
In Camden, not far from 176, collector David Roberts is planning to open his second private gallery, a 14,000-square-foot space that will house exhibitions drawn from his 2,000-piece collection. (His first, smaller space, called One One One, opened earlier this year on Great Titchfield Street.) Roberts, a 51-year-old Glaswegian who made his money in the European commercial property business, has been collecting art for the past 15 years; his cache contains works by more than 400 artists, including Paula Rego, Anish Kapoor and Doug Foster, whose medium is 3-D video. Roberts says he loves subverting what he describes as the snobbery of the contemporary art world. “Galleries can be very intimidating, unwelcoming places,” he says, adding that his dream is for people who are new to contemporary art to walk into his gallery and feel comfortable. “I want to do programs for students and schools too,” he says.
Back at the industrial park, Cohen is on an ambitious mission to change the artistic landscape of northern England. Currently he is working with the curator David Thorp on “Unholy Truths,” a show with a Gothic bent featuring work by a mix of well-known artists such as the Chapman brothers and Andro Wekua, and lesser-known ones from India, Korea and China.