Before establishing her own gallery in London in 1999, Pippy Houldsworth worked at Waddington Galleries, London and the New Art Centre, Roche Court. For several years, the focus of the gallery was on young British artists. Since its move to Heddon Street in 2011, the gallery has accelerated in growth and focused on building an important new international programme of emerging and established artists producing work of serious, critical interest. Generational crossover is a major element of the gallery’s ethos, making a conscious effort in its programme to understand the importance of the interdependent relationship between elder and younger artists.
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is committed to highlighting the work of significant female artists. The gallery presented a Feature booth at Art Basel 2014 with Mary Kelly, juxtaposing unseen, archival material from the 1970s with new work produced specifically for the fair. This was followed by Kelly’s first solo exhibition in London since her show at the ICA in 1993. Succeeding her retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the gallery also staged Carrie Mae Weems’ first solo show in the UK, bringing together a carefully curated selection of her work from the past 30 years. In 2015, the year began by juxtaposing emerging artist Aimée Parrott alongside Abstract-Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, with Francesca DiMattio producing a new body of paintings and ceramics in October. Tania Kovats was nominated for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery towards the end of the year.
In 2016, the gallery has continued to maintain this focus. It has recently taken on representation of three young artists, Ayan Farah, Stefanie Heinze and Ana Prata, and presented an anniversary exhibition in November 2016 comprising over 35 artists who have had a formative role in the programme over the past five years. The gallery exhibited a solo presentation of American artist Luke Diiorio’s work at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 and a solo presentation of historic work by Mary Kelly at Frieze New York 2016.
Alongside the main gallery programme, the gallery presents a series of site-specific commissions in its project space, The Box. Artists have included David Batchelor, Olaf Breuning, Shezad Dawood, Susan Hiller, Dean Levin, Paul McCarthy, Shana Moulton, Martha Rosler, Yinka Shonibare, Alina Szapocznikow, Barthélémy Toguo, Ai Weiwei and Jane & Louise Wilson.
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery works hard to raise the profile of its artists, both through the quality of its programme, and via publications, museum collaborations and public talks. It also hosts museum forums on specific topics, giving curators, writers and artists the opportunity to meet and discuss current curatorial issues.