Art Market

Inside Hauser & Wirth’s New Space Dedicated to Craft

Brian P. Kelly
Jul 7, 2022 8:47PM

Installation view of “Of Making and Material” at Make Hauser & Wirth Southampton. Photo: Thomas Barratt. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Wheel throwing, spoon carving, and cabinetmaking might not be practices typically associated with Hauser & Wirth. The mega-gallery most recently made headlines for its $40 million sale of Louise Bourgeois’s Spider (1996) at Art Basel in Basel, and represents name-brand talent from Annie Leibovitz and Nicole Eisenman to the estates of John Chamberlain, Eva Hesse, and Philip Guston.

But Hauser & Wirth has been elevating craft since at least 2018 when it launched Make, a space dedicated to those practices in Somerset, United Kingdom. Spearheaded by Jacqueline Moore, that venue has now hosted 20 exhibitions and shown over 80 artists from the British Isles, Ireland, and beyond. Now that program has arrived in the United States, with Moore opening a new Make outpost in Southampton, New York, last week.

In an interview with Artsy at the new space, located just around the corner from the gallery’s main Hamptons location, Moore explained that Make was largely the vision of co-founder Manuela Wirth, whom Moore described as “a very passionate collector of ceramics and textiles, and…a very good knitter as well.”

The exterior of Make Hauser & Wirth in Southampton. Photo: Thomas Barratt. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Jacqueline Moore inside the new location. Photo: Thomas Barratt. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.


No doubt that Make is also the latest precipitate of an art world that has embraced craft practices over the past decade, after long relegating them to second-class citizenship. Shows like the Whitney’s “Making Knowing: Craft in Art 1950–2019,” which closed in February after running for over a year, and last year’s “Crafting America” show at Crystal Bridges—which included work by Ruth Asawa, Sonya Clark, Jeffrey Gibson, Peter Voulkos, and others—have given craft an institutional seal of approval.

On the market side of things, makers continue to set auction records—Simone Leigh’s terracotta-and-porcelain bust Birmingham (2012) sold for over $2 million in May, more than 10 times its high estimate; and a Nick Cave Soundsuit went for 122% of its estimate at Sotheby’s last year, hammering at $189,000. Galleries at all levels have embraced these movements, from big names like David Zwirner, which presented its first exhibition of Shio Kusaka’s work earlier this year, to Steve Turner in Los Angeles, which is currently exhibiting the textile paintings of Chiachio & Giannone.

Moore comes from a background in photography; she wore many hats, but described her role then most simply as “helping photographers have a career.” She had an established connection with making—“I’ve always been a collector of craft wood, ceramics, studio pottery; many eclectic things; many many things of high value and no value”—and decided she wanted “to see how I could use my skills working with photographers to help makers.”

Installation view of “Five Seasons” at Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset. Photo: Dave Watts. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Starting in 2014, she began running her own pop-up shows in Somerset and London, working with many artists that she continues to exhibit today. She credited the resurgence of interest in craft to a desire to reconnect with the world around us, “to reconsider the objects with which we surround ourselves, to be conscious of the materials from which they are made—their provenance and sustainability.” At the same time, she also developed a relationship with Hauser & Wirth at a point when it was contemplating a program in Somerset that would become Make. After presenting her vision and finding that “we were all on the same page,” she was brought on board to start the new space.

Located in a Georgian townhouse in Bruton—just a 10-minute walk from Hauser & Wirth’s primary Somerset location—the gallery hosts talks, workshops, and community-specific events in addition to usual exhibition programming. During its four-year run, Make has featured work from artists such as Akiko Hirai, Marcin Rusak, and Nic Webb.

Moore said the Southampton program will look to emulate the local focus of the one in the U.K. “We really want to engage with the community,” she said, with plans to host events and artist demonstrations. The first of these will be an August artist residency featuring potter Florian Gadsby, who creates functional works and vessels and whose videos online have earned him 2.5 million followers. A wheel will be installed in the gallery, and Gadsby will demonstrate how he makes his wares. Moore said visitors might even get a chance to throw pottery themselves during the artist’s breaks.

Florian Gadsby giving a wheel-throwing demonstration at an event presented by Hauser & Wirth. Photo credit: Ed Schofield. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Installation view of “Of Making and Material” at Make Hauser & Wirth Southampton featuring some of Florian Gadsby's work. Photo: Thomas Barratt. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Gadsby is one of eight artists in Make Southampton’s inaugural exhibition, “Of Making and Material,” on view through September 10th. Moore said the show was assembled “very much with the intention of contextualizing,” explaining what making is to a new audience and the many forms it can take.

“The material is first and foremost,” she explained. As such, she’s showing a selection of U.K.-based creators working across a wide range of media. “We look at people who are working traditionally, reinterpreting tradition, and also looking for innovation and new concepts,” she continued.

Adam Buick plays with the idea of the Korean moon jar, introducing local materials into his clay and glazes, recontextualizing a classical form. David Gates’s cabinets are functional furniture pieces, but also evoke farm buildings and with their many configurations—doors open or closed, draws shifted—become abstract sculptures in their own right. Harry Morgan reimagines the potential of Venetian glassblowing in architectural works in which ultra-fine threads of glass are used to support weighty concrete masses. And Mark Reddy’s carved spoons—“man’s first vessel” is how he described them when we met at the gallery—range from intimate shamanic relics adorned with objects he finds while walking in the woods to imposing totems several feet high.

David Gates
At Cliffe I and At Cliffe II, 2016
Taste Contemporary

The Southampton location was sourced by gallery president Marc Payot, who has a home nearby. Its plywood-lined walls emphasize the materiality that Moore is focused on. “We wanted to give the space a very particular feeling,” she said. “It even has an aroma,” she added, nodding to the scent of freshly planed wood that envelops you as you walk through the door.

Unlike some galleries that parachute into summer-vacation destinations for the high season and leave when the vacationers do, Moore emphasized that Make is here for the long haul. Operating in a seasonal destination has its difficulties, but she isn’t concerned. “It can be a challenge if you let it, but it doesn’t have to be,” she said. Emphasizing community, especially collaborating with locals “to find out what sort of events would work well and what people want to find here,” gives her confidence about Make’s future.

When it comes to the status of making and craft in the broader art market, Moore bristles at the idea that there’s a distinction to be made between those practices and ones that have been more traditionally accepted. “Why wouldn’t it have equal validity and value?” she asked. “What is value? There’s lots of ways of determining value.”

Installation view of “Of Making and Material” at Make Hauser & Wirth Southampton. Photo: Thomas Barratt. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Still, Moore sees Make’s programming as an opportunity to elevate these movements in established collectors’ minds while also finding a new audience for the artists she shows. She said that, thanks to its parent gallery, many existing Hauser & Wirth clients have discovered and collected new artists from Make shows. Another component of this strategy is making sure to include works at a variety of price points in her exhibitions—works in the current Southampton show range from $100 to almost $16,000. And new collectors seem to be drawn in: “This has been an entry point to collecting,” she said.

In the future, Make Southampton will show works from American artists, and gallery director Christopher Senger will take the helm once Moore returns to Somerset later this summer. She’s enthusiastic about the future of the galleries and the artistic movements she’s helping to highlight. “It’s a very exciting time for Make, for making,” she said. Part of that excitement might also include plans to expand the program in the U.S. if things go well in Southampton. “We’ll see where it takes us,” she smiled. “America is a big country.”

Brian P. Kelly