The Old Santa Monica Post Office reopens as an art gallery – The Hollywood Reporter

The old Santa Monica Post Office on Fifth Street, which closed in 2013, is now an art space.

In the coming months, New York-based gallery owner Vito Schnabel will present shows in the large building from the time of the Depression, which has 15,000 square meters of exhibition space. The 1938 modern style building is currently owned by Alexander Dellal of Britain’s Allied Commercial Exporters Ltd. (ACE), which bought it from David Ellison’s Skydance Media for $ 30 million in 2018.

ACE also owns the historic Venice Post Office, which it purchased for $ 22 million in 2019, and is developing it for an undisclosed use; The building was previously owned by producer Joel Silver, who planned to convert it into offices.

Schnabel’s first Santa Monica exhibition, running through January 16, is Francesco Clemente: Twenty Years of Painting, 2001-2021; it illuminates the colorful, large-format works of the 69-year-old Naples-born painter who lives in New York, which are full of dreamlike symbolism.

Francesco Clemente says: “Every picture should be memorable, but also convey the feeling that the picture is ephemeral,” because, he adds, “the spiritual world is not a kind of refuge in which one can finally anchor oneself to something permanent. No way – it’s ephemeral, just like everything else. “

The Clemente show also includes new watercolors; a self-portrait of the artist with pink antlers sprouting from his head; and portraits of the writers Fran Lebowitz and Toni Morrison. It is Clemente’s first solo show in Los Angeles in nearly two decades.

1248 Fifth Street, Santa Monica; Gallery visits by appointment only, Thursday to Sunday, via

Francesco Clementes “Initiation, 2006”, oil on canvas, 78 x 68 1/8 in. (198.1 x 173 cm).
© Francesco Clemente; With kind permission of the artist and the Vito Schnabel Gallery

This story first appeared in the November 10th issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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