Palisadian Bruce Lurie Opens Sunset Boulevard Gallery
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Bruce Lurie has recently introduced a new addition to the heart of Pacific Palisades: a fine art gallery.
A Palisadian for 10 years, Lurie has amassed years of background and experience in art—dating back to when he was a college student in New York and he would visit office buildings, walking door to door with a portfolio in-hand to sell prints.
He would bounce between buildings, sometimes even the World Trade Center.
“I’d go to one office and see someone on the 36th floor and they’d say, ‘Go see my buddy in the next tower or the 97th floor,’” Lurie said to the Palisadian-Post. “I’d spend a lot of time and sold a lot of artwork in those buildings, and that’s how I started.”
Eventually Lurie found himself visiting artists’ studios and acquiring better artwork. Shortly after college, he opened his first gallery in East Village, New York, in 1983.
Lurie recalled encounters with some of the most influential and defining artists of the 20th century, from Andy Warhol to Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“That was when the big art scene was going on, I would get visits by Warhol and Keith Haring,” Lurie said. “I had a group showing where I actually was able to get a couple of Basquiat pieces … and I sold those for like $1,500 a piece.
“It was just that time before Basquiat really took off to another planet, at the time he was living on a park bench in East Village.”
Lurie said that his gallery was one of the first to host Basquiat’s work.
When too many galleries began crowding East Village, Lurie moved to Chelsea, New York, in 1987 and opened one of the first galleries there.
“I’ve never been one who follows the galleries, follows the crowd,” he said. “I always seem to set my own trend.”
Lurie’s life then took a number of turns, leading him to several new places. From pursuing acting and opening his first gallery in Los Angeles in 1993, to moving to Florida and opening galleries in Boca Raton and Miami—Lurie really knew where to take the show.
Years later, he found himself back in LA and opened a gallery in Culver City where he spent eight years. The gallery’s recent closure drew him to a space closer to home.
“I thought it would be a cool thing to open up in the Palisades,” Lurie said. “Now I’m here and I’m perfectly happy being the only gallery, it’s a pleasure to be here. I love the Palisades … it’s a great community.”
Located at 15117 Sunset Boulevard, the Bruce Lurie Gallery focuses on “establishing emerging to mid-career artists specializing in cutting-edge pop art, street art, abstract minimalism, photography and a wide range of monumental sculptors,” according to its website.
“I try not to have anything that other art galleries have,” Lurie said. “I handpick every single artist I have … I work with some of the biggest artists in the country, I work with some amazing photographers.
“My art is always very contemporary, all the artwork I have is really good work … I stand by everything I sell.”
Current artists on display include Takashi Murakami, Gary John, Nick Veasey, Plastic Jesus, Todd Gray and Daniele Matalon.
Lurie said business is being done differently due to the pandemic. In normal times, he would travel to exhibit at different art fairs like Art Market Hamptons and Art Basel Miami—about 10 art fairs per year. Now, he reported 90% of business is being done online.
The gallery is also open to visitors, and people have already purchased art straight off the walls.
“We have sold more things to people walking in the two months we’ve been open than the last two years … in Culver City,” Lurie said. “It’s been a really good move.”
Lurie said one of his goals is to bring more public art to Los Angeles and the Palisades.
“LA is the second largest art capital of the country and one of the top in the world, and yet it has really bad public art,” Lurie said. “I want to try to create something and put some sculptures in various areas … that’s my hope in talking to the people at Caruso.”
You can also catch director Lan Guan at the gallery, who has worked with Lurie for over two years and is responsible not only for day-to-day operations, but client relationship management, art sales and curating exhibitions.
“I heard the first group of people who resided here were writers and other creatives,” Guan said to the Post. “I hope our gallery can bring art, culture and joy to this beautiful neighborhood. I look forward to connecting with the community.
“I feel very fortunate to fully immerse myself in this environment, to learn and discover new talents, while building relationships with art lovers and collectors.”
Lurie said this isn’t an easy business but it can be fun. He has also had the opportunity to share it with his brothers.
Lurie and his brothers have successfully opened galleries all over the country, and helped create and launch art districts in areas like Indiana, contributing to the emergence of Carmel’s Arts and Design District.
“Four brothers in the art business, I think that’s also what makes us really successful,” Lurie said. “People see the family business and the comradery and the love we have for each other as brothers … we work together and we’ve been doing it for a long time.”
The brothers are in the midst of launching their next project in Park City, Utah, and hope to open their gallery in the coming weeks.
For more information, visit luriegallery.com.
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