The UBS Art Gallery launches in New York

The space at 1285 Avenue of the Americas features installations by major artists and rotating exhibitions

Sarah Morris, UBS Wall Painting, 2001/2019, Household gloss paint on wall, 196.5 in x 536 in, 499.1 cm x 1361.4 cm, UBS Art Collection. © Sarah Morris. Photo credit: Tom Powel Imaging

The UBS Art Collection has launched the UBS Art Gallery at 1285 Avenue of the Americas — a new public arts space in the renovated lobby of the firm’s Midtown New York Headquarters. The gallery will provide an opportunity to discover works from the Collection, with rotating special exhibitions presented alongside permanent installations by important artists including Sarah Morris, Frank Stella, Fred Eversley and Howard Hodgkin.

The UBS Art Gallery will be inaugurated by 'A History and a Moment: Works from the UBS Art Collection', an exhibition of works spanning more than 60 years, which will provide insight into the history and evolution of the Collection since the 1960s. Featuring works by established artists including Ellsworth Kelly and Cindy Sherman, the show also celebrates recent acquisitions by Dinh Q. Lê and Xaviera Simmons.

'A History and a Moment' reveals the UBS Art Collection's engagement with the most significant artistic movements of the 20th and 21st century, featuring works by Abstract Expressionist Helen Frakenthaler, Louise Lawler and Robert Longo of the Pictures Generation, and a Neo-Expressionist painting by Carroll Dunham. The media and styles of these works is equally diverse, including photography painting, mixed media, collage and works on paper.

"The Collection has expanded over the decades alongside the growth of the firm, and now encompasses a wealth of works and artists representing cultures from around the world, including iconic art of the last half century and new acquisitions that express the impulses and preoccupations of the current moment,” explains Mary Rozell, Global Head UBS Art Collection. “The guiding mission for the Collection is to capture the most significant artists and ideas of our time, and we are proud to now have a dedicated gallery space to share that work with the public.”

Alongside special exhibitions, the lobby will feature a permanent installation of works from the UBS Art Collection. Among them is a parabolic lens by Light and Space artist Fred Eversley, known for his high-gloss, vibrant curved sculptures, and a mixed-technique print by Howard Hodgkin, whose bold paintings burst with color and emotion. Other works include a minimalist sculpture by Eva Rothschild, which delicately tumbles to the floor from its plinth, and a polychromatic metal relief by Frank Stella, from his dynamic 'Moby Dick 'series.

The new space also pays homage to the Collection’s longstanding history of collaborating with living artists throughout their careers, presenting major artist commissions. A chromo-kinetic sculpture by Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez was once part of an architectural intervention in the Union Bank of Switzerland in Zurich. A monumental wall painting by Sarah Morris facing 1285 Avenue of the Americas and measuring over 44 feet in length was first created as an on-site installation at a UBS building in 2001.

For Sarah Morris, 1285 Avenue of the Americas is a fitting location. Her first studio was on New York’s 42nd street, in Times Square – a location that prompted a fascination with the corporate buildings of Midtown Manhattan. Discussing her reimagined work, the artist says: "I wanted to slightly redefine the piece, to make sure that it is right for the new environment”.

The UBS Art Gallery is divided into two primary sections – the North and South Galleries – with the South featuring rotating exhibitions of works from the Collection each year. A solo exhibition of work by Ed Ruscha is planned in fall 2019, celebrating an artist renowned for his stylized depictions of American consumer culture and the California landscape. Beginning in 2020, the UBS Art Collection also plans to collaborate with partner institutions, offering a platform for artistic dialogue and exchange.

This new addition to New York’s cultural landscape is an exciting development in the history of the UBS Art Collection which, since its genesis in the 1960s, has grown to be one of the largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art in the world. The opportunity to share the collection with the public, and create a space for new art initiatives, reflects UBS’s commitment to art – not merely as a source of inspiration, but as a tool that drives innovation and sparks conversation around the most significant issues of our time.