In 1995 the Javier López Gallery opened its doors in London with the aim of showing a personal and unique vision of contemporary art through curated projects and by supporting young creators as well as established artists. At that time, the gallery programmed innovative exhibitions, including the shows of the X-Art Foundation with Hélio Oiticica, Martin Creed, Thomas Ruff’s project on Herzog & de Meuron, and Alix Lambert’s reflection on gender identity.
In 1996 the gallery moved to Madrid to continue this project and to present for the first time in Spain exhibitions that were often ahead of the trends that would later mark the artistic landscape and currents of those years, when photography also took a prominent place. Artists such as Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha, and Hiroshi Sugimoto starred in the exhibitions of that period.
Aiming to give a broader vision of contemporary art, the gallery always chose to alternate emerging artists with more established ones. Exhibitions of Alex Katz and Donald Judd were held in 1998. Since 2000, the gallery has shown internationally renowned artists such as Tatsuo Miyajima, Liam Gillick, Nobuyoshi Araki, Jenny Holzer and Dan Flavin, Sarah Morris, Robert Indiana, Jack Pierson, and Francesco Clemente.
Between 2006 and 2013 the gallery had an exhibition space in New York, the Gering & López Gallery, designed by architect Joel Sanders and located in the historic Crown Building on Fifth Avenue in New York. The gallery organized the first exhibitions of artists who were as ground-breaking then as they are today, including Leo Villareal, KAWS, and Todd James, boosting the careers of these creators at their outset.
In November 2010, Javier López opened a unique space in Madrid to move his gallery from the city centre to an exceptional building, designed by the renowned architecture studio Vicens + Ramos and located in La Florida, in a privileged setting close to the national park of Monte de El Pardo. The dialogue between architecture and surroundings creates a special environment, close to the idea of the Kunsthalle, where exhibitions are planned with an in-depth approach and a longer duration to present a complete vision of an artist’s work.
This new phase was inaugurated with the Alex Katz retrospective Once in a Lifetime, followed by projects by Jason Martin, Francesco Clemente, José María Yturralde, and KAWS. Since 2011 the gallery has developed its activities in this space created to present a dynamic programme of new and established artists, who produce exceptional and innovative work within the framework of the latest trends, open to using cutting-edge techniques and types of medium, such as Phil Frost, KAWS, David Salle, and Pascale Marthine Tayou.
After more than 25 years of contributing to the art scene in Spain, often as a pioneer in its selection of artists, it is beginning a new phase in 2022 as the López de la Serna CAC, a private centre for contemporary art that aims to promote projects with a unique approach and to develop an exhibition program including collaborations with Spanish and international artists and institutions. At the same time it will seek to put into context and to set up a dialogue between a selection of works from the centre collection and other pieces in its emblematic exhibition space in La Florida.
The first exhibition of this new centre was The Early Paintings of Peter Halley, which focused on the works that the American artist produced in the 1980s and 1990s, a crucial period in his career. The following one was The Lion Approaches, a project with Phil Frost that spanned the American artist work of the last two decades, with a special focus on his latest works. From February to September this year, the centre is presenting a show with landscapes and portrais by Alex Katz, a carefully chosen selection of works from the mid-1970s to the first decade of the current century, as a continuation of the work being done to support the artist retrospective at the Thyssen Museum in Madrid and at Guggenheim Museum in New York.