Hauser & Wirth was founded in 1992 in Zurich by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser, who were joined in 2000 by Partner and President Marc Payot and CEO Ewan Venters in 2021. A family business with a global outlook, Hauser & Wirth represents over 90 artists and estates who have been instrumental in shaping its identity and who are the inspiration for Hauser & Wirth’s diverse range of activities that engage with art, education, conservation and sustainability.
The gallery has built a reputation for its dedication to artists and support of visionary artistic projects worldwide. In addition to presenting a dynamic schedule of exhibitions, the gallery collaborates with renowned curators to present museum quality surveys and invests considerable resources in new scholarship and research. Since its earliest days, Hauser & Wirth has mounted historically significant exhibitions. The inaugural exhibition in 1992 took place at Hauser & Wirth’s first gallery, located in the first-floor apartment of an Art Deco villa in the heart of Zurich; it united mobiles and gouaches by Alexander Calder with sculptures and paintings by Joan Miró. Since then, the gallery has continued to forge an ambitious and academically rigorous programme of historic exhibitions, providing a natural home for a number of major 20th-century artist estates and encouraging a continued and engaging discourse around their oeuvres. These include Louise Bourgeois, The Estate of Philip Guston, The Eva Hesse Estate, Allan Kaprow Estate, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, The Estate of Jason Rhoades, Dieter Roth Estate and The Estate of David Smith.
On the occasion of our 30th anniversary, explore an interactive, digital chronology that traces the journey of Hauser & Wirth and the artists who have shaped the gallery through personal stories and a wealth of never-before-seen archival and visual material. Delve into the gallery’s history and wide-ranging projects with this invaluable resource for audiences interested in learning more about contemporary art and the Hauser & Wirth story.
The Wirths are benefactors of museums and international art projects, and contribute to a range of charities supporting the arts, architecture, the environment, conservation, community, and education. They are ongoing supporters of the Reykjavik Arts Festival and the Bruton Museum situated on Bruton High Street, as well as The Holburne Museum in Bath where they made a contribution towards the museum’s contemporary program with a gallery space named The Wirth Gallery.
Iwan and Manuela Wirth have partially funded the ongoing restoration of St. Margaret’s Church in Braemar, and contribute towards the River Dee Trust, Aberdeenshire and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF). They donated a 2-acre plot of land to the local council in Somerset as part of a community garden project, the Durslade Walled Garden. They are both supporters of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Somerset Wildlife Trust, Human Rights Watch and NSPCC, and have an ongoing commitment to Christoph Schlingensief’s Operndorf project in Burkina Faso, through an annual donation allocated to education programs, food and the building and running of a school.
Marc Payot is an active collector and arts patron whose engagement extends from small education-focused organizations such as the children’s arts initiative Time in Kids NYC, to major museums in New York: New Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He served on the Selection Committee of Frieze New York between 2012 and 2016.
Since its founding in 1992, Hauser & Wirth Publishers has grown into a dynamic imprint that produces more than 20 titles per year, with a special focus on artists’ archives and writings. It creates unique, object-like books that encourage an understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art, with a backlist also comprising monographs, artists’ books, publications focused on important private collections, and exhibition catalogues – often bringing new and overlooked aspects of an artist’s creative practice into focus. By commissioning original, in-depth scholarship to give thoughtful insight, Hauser & Wirth Publishers aims to craft accessible, lasting records of artists’ work, ideas, and exhibitions.
In 2019, Hauser & Wirth Publishers opened a stand-alone global headquarters and flagship bookshop in the historic center of Zurich, Switzerland, which operates alongside a parallel enterprise in New York. The Zurich headquarters occupies the former home of the Oprecht & Helbling bookshop and the legendary Europa Verlag publishing house. Today it serves as an international hub for research and scholarship, led by Chief Editor Dr. Michaela Unterdörfer, who has helmed Hauser & Wirth Publishers since 2005.
Iwan and Manuela Wirth co-founded Hauser & Wirth with Manuela’s mother, Ursula Hauser, in Zurich in 1992.
In 2015 Iwan and Manuela were each awarded a Doctor of Letters (Hons) by Bath Spa University. In 2016, Iwan was appointed to the Board of Trustees at CalArts, California and the Swiss Institute, New York. He has served as a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts, London since 2014, and the Maria Lassnig Foundation. Iwan is a member of a number of committees including the Swiss Cultural Fund, the Frieze Masters selection committee, the Council of the Serpentine Gallery and the South Asian Acquisitions Committee at Tate. He was the 2007 Honoree at the Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art Benefit. Manuela is on the Board of The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and a Trustee of The Royal Drawing School. Iwan and Manuela Wirth were jointly ranked as the number 1 most powerful and influential figures in the art world in ArtReview’s 2015 ‘Power 100.’
In addition to their duties as Presidents of Hauser & Wirth, Manuela and Iwan Wirth are also the co-founders of a hospitality business that encompasses the Roth Bar & Grill restaurant and Durslade Farmhouse in Somerset, Manuela restaurant in Los Angeles and The Fife Arms Hotel in Scotland.
Marc Payot has worked closely with Iwan and Manuela Wirth for the better part of two decades. Helping to guide the evolution of the gallery, Payot has played a central role in the establishment of Hauser & Wirth in the United States and worldwide.
Payot oversees all of Hauser & Wirth’s activities in America, leading a staff of over 80 people between New York and Los Angeles; working intensively on a day-to-day basis with gallery artists and estates; guiding a robust program of exhibitions, events, publications, and fair participation; and fostering extraordinary working relationships with museum colleagues, cultural leaders, patrons, scholars, and collectors. He joined the gallery in 2000 as a Director in Zurich after having served on the management team of the Art Basel fair and as a director at Galerie Bob Van Orsouw. Named a Partner of Hauser & Wirth in 2004, he moved to New York City four years later to establish its American presence. Since opening its first US space in an historic Upper East Side townhouse in 2009, Payot has overseen the creation of two temporary spaces in the West Chelsea arts district. He is now leading the development of Hauser & Wirth’s first purpose-built gallery building at 542 West 22nd Street.