New Gagosian Gallery in London Sheds Daylight on Art
Opened last month during London’s Frieze art fair, the new Gagosian Gallery at 20 Grosvenor Hill in Mayfair is decked out with a state-of-the-art lighting system that demonstrates how far LED technology has come.
Installed in the ceiling of two vast gallery spaces, a series of closely spaced LED lights set behind glass panels are programed to use two color temperatures – a cool array and a warm array – and can be set at anything from 50 to over 1000 lux. The result is a scheme that can be programmed to create a limitless variety of lighting options on the gallery’s walls without more lighting equipment having to be added for different types of exhibitions. Perhaps most impressively, the lights are linked up to a set of sensors installed on the outside of the building that are able to read and then replicate the external lighting conditions within the gallery.
"For years and years every architect has said they’ll be able to create the effect of natural daylight and it's never really been true in my view until now," says Mark Francis, a director at Gagosian London. "I was quite skeptical about earlier iterations but I must say this is so close and it can be tuned so carefully that I think it's absolutely fantastic. Technology has really worked to our advantage and I think that artists will really appreciate it."
Developed by Arup, who worked in close collaboration with the gallery's architects, Caruso St John, the system is the first of its kind in the world.
"It's a huge experiment but one we thought was worth it. We want the room to do everything it can to provide the best presentation space," says fellow Gagosian director Gary Waterston. "We want the next generation of artists to aspire to show in this space."