Sprüth Magers has expanded from its roots in the Rhineland to become an international gallery dedicated to exhibiting the very best in groundbreaking contemporary and modern art. With a gallery in Berlin Mitte, one in London’s Mayfair and a new space about to open in
Los Angeles, as well as an office in Cologne, Sprüth Magers retains close ties to the studios and communities of the German and American artists who form the core of its roster.Sprüth Magers emerged amid the extraordinary outburst of contemporary art that took place in Cologne in the early 1980s. The first gallery opened in 1983 as Monika Sprüth Gallery with an exhibition of paintings by Andreas Schulze, followed soon after by Rosemarie Trockel and Fischli & Weiss. Over the next few years, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Louise Lawler and George Condo all showed at the gallery and have continued to do so for the last 30 years. In 1991, a second gallery opened in Cologne under the name of Philomene Magers with exhibitions of Ad Reinhardt Black Paintings, Robert Morris felt pieces and John Baldessari photographs and text paintings from the 1960s. The two galleries merged into a single entity in 1998. In 2001, the Munich space opened with Ed Ruscha’s Gunpowder and Stains.Sprüth Magers Lee opened its London space in 2003 with an overview of work by Donald Judd. In 2007 Sprüth Magers moved to
Grafton Street and re-opened with a show of new work by Andreas Gursky. And in 2008, in a former dancehall not far from the
world-renowned Museum Island, the gallery inaugurated its flagship space in Berlin Mitte, opening with Thomas Scheibitz and George Condo exhibitions. The latest chapter in the gallery’s history will come to fruition in February 2016, with a 14,000 sq ft gallery in an archetypal
west-coast modernist building on Los Angeles’s Wilshire Boulevard.
Known for its rigorously curatorial approach to its program and for a deep and enduring devotion to gallery artists, the gallery has, over the past three decades, fostered close and collaborative relationships with museums and curators worldwide, while continuing its tradition of commissioning new scholarship and creating innovative books and a range of other publications.
Sprüth Magers now works with over 60 artists and estates. While continuing to work with mid-career artists such as Thomas Demand and Sterling Ruby, the gallery regularly revives its program with up-and-coming younger artists such as Alexandre Singh, David Ostrowski, Cyprien Gaillard, Michail Pirgelis, Analia Saban and Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch while also rounding off its program with enormously important and influential senior artists such as Bernd & Hilla Becher, Reinhard Mucha and Frank Stella, not to mention working with the estates of Keith Arnatt, Richard Artschwager, Hanne Darboven and Craig Kauffman.
Specific Object (2004 – 20013) was a gallery, bookstore and think-tank dedicated to art post 1960s – specifically pop, Fluxus, minimal and conceptual – with an interest in the art that informed the 1960s and 1970s, as well artists whose works organically followed from the era.
Specific Object worked to isolate distinct works of value – historically, monetarily and / or intellectually valuable – and show them in an isolated context allowing these works, or objects, their own place, space and time. The material Specific Object presented ranged from artists’ publications, ephemera, prints, multiples and other editions to literature, music / audio works and unique artworks of the contemporary world.
In November 2004 Specific Object acquired the inventory of Barbara Moore’s bookstore Bound & Unbound. Through her bookshops Bound & Unbound and its predecessor Backworks, founded in 1976, Moore has been a seminal and innovative champion of artists working in alternative mediums.
In February 2005 Specific Object launched the Specific Object Publication of the Year Award to annually recognize excellence in artists’ publication.
From 1998 through 2004 David Platzker was the Executive Director of the non-profit institution Printed Matter, Inc. He is also the co-author, and co-curator – with Elizabeth Wyckoff – of Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process (International Print Center New York & Hudson Hills Press, 2000); and – with Richard H. Axsom – the book and exhibition entitled Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg : A Catalogue Raisonne 1958-1996 (Madison Art Center & Hudson Hills Press, 1997), which was awarded the George Wittenborn Award for Best Art Publication of 1997 by the Art Libraries Society of North America.
He has curated exhibitions of the works of Art & Project, John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Documenta 5, Conceptual Art, Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, Oldenburg, Raymond Pettibon, Dieter Roth, and Edward Ruscha in addition to commissioning or curating exhibitions at Printed Matter of Angelblood, Larry Clark, Erin Cosgrove, Meg Cranston, General Idea, Jenny Holzer, Reverend Jen, Allan Kaprow, Yoko Ono, Ryan McGinness, Sonic Youth, Tom Sachs, David Tremlett, Richard Tuttle and the Guerrilla Girls.
Platzker was also the host of WPS1.org’s Recorded Matter on-line radio program. Archived programs can be found at www.artonair.org.
On May 15, 2013 David Platzker become Curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.