Tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood, lies a bright, welcoming, and relatively inconspicuous storefront. This is Mier Gallery; and at first glance, one might not expect such a small space to pack much punch. But don’t be fooled—this little one is a big contender. Mier Gallery opened its doors this past February, and hails a roster of impressive new talent curated by longtime art aficionado and collector Nino Mier. If that name rings a bell, perhaps it’s because you’re familiar with Mier’s equally charming foodie haven, FOODLAB, or the selection of deliciously eclectic pieces he selects for the housewares boutique Max & Moritz. And with burgeoning talent like Eve Fowler, Odessa Straub, and Jana Schroeder set to take center stage in the gallery’s new program, it would seem that Nino Mier is once again in his element. After all, he’s already proven a knack for presenting big things in small packages.
While we peruse the quaint gallery space, soaking up sun from the gallery’s generous front window and enthusing over the large-scale canvases by Jan-Ole Schiemann, Nino fills us in on his reasons for opening the space, and the trajectory of his unconventional career path. “I had always wanted to open a gallery, but I wanted it to be well done and thoughtful,” Nino tells us. “My experience as a private dealer has taught me some things. I’ve been lucky to form relationships with some great dealers who have been generous with advice and support. It made it much less daunting.”
A painter-turned-restaurateur-turned collector, Nino acknowledges the nomadic nature of his professional experience. Then again, it appears to have served him well. Mier spent years working his way through the conservative hierarchy of today’s art market before finally making the leap to seek out and curate talent on his own terms. But in the meantime, he cultivated more than a few successful side-ventures. “I went from painter, to co-owner of FOODLAB, to collector, to private dealer, to gallerist,” laughs Mier. “Finally, I just went for it. The program will speak for itself. My name is on the door, but it’s the program that’s important.”
And oh does the program speak. With Jan-Ole Schiemann’s sold-out opening exhibition to kick things off, and an imposing list of new artists set to line the gallery’s walls in the coming months, Mier Gallery is already asserting itself in the LA scene. “The first opening was a bit nerve-wracking,” explains Nino. “I wanted everything to be perfect. For the first 30 minutes no one came; and by 7PM we had over 150 people in the space. It was a very proud moment for Jan-Ole, as well as [for] me.” Eve Fowler set up shop in the gallery from late May through June, dazzling viewers with an expansive exhibition. “She is brilliant, and I am honored to have the opportunity to share her mind and ideas with the world,” Mier says. Even with the influx of so many small gallery operations in Los Angeles, Mier Gallery is clearly capable of holding its own. Like we said: big things, small packages.
1107 Greenacre Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
text + photo RACHEL MANY