In June 1979 Tasende Gallery opened in La Jolla with a museum-caliber exhibition of sculptures and drawings by laureate artist Giacomo Manzù. The artist's ten-foot-tall Grande Striptease in bronze, installed in front of the building, heralded the beginning of a new era in the cultural climate of the community.
Exhibitions with accompanying publications soon followed for Latin-American luminaries Jose Luis Cuevas and Roberto Matta.
With the cooperation of Henry Moore, Tasende Gallery presented a comprehensive exhibit of the artist’s work in the early 1980’s featuring more than 20 sculptures and 13 drawings. As part of the exhibition, two monumental Moore sculptures were temporarily installed at the Ellen Browning Scripps Park and The Salk Institute. A lively community debate over the value of the two monumental works was played out within the pages of the local newspapers.
A relationship with the Musée Rodin, Paris, was established and two extraordinary historical exhibits of sculpture by Auguste Rodin were presented in 1987 and in 2000
In the mid-1980s Tasende Gallery undertook the exclusive US representation of Eduardo Chillida and a two-year nationwide publicity campaign ensued which heightened the artist's recognition in this country. This program involved the organization of various exhibitions including one here in La Jolla, the largest ever mounted for the artist in California, as well as exhibitions for New York galleries. Monographs were published and the film Chillida was co-produced and underwritten by the gallery for national broadcast on PBS.
Throughout our history Tasende Gallery has loaned large-scale sculpture to institutions, special projects and cities. For the gallery’s 10th anniversary, nine sculptures were installed along Prospect Street in La Jolla including work by Isamu Noguchi, Henry Moore, Eduardo Chillida, Giacomo Manzù and Mark di Suvero.
Tasende Gallery has collaborated on public sculpture projects with the Salk Institute, City of San Diego, the City of Beverly Hills, City of West Hollywood, Chicago’s Mile of Sculpture, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and The Timken Museum of Art.
For 25 years Barbara Cole of John Cole’s Book Shop, located two doors down from the gallery (now home to the Historical Society) was our strongest and most enthusiastic collaborator in presenting large scale sculpture to the community. Barbara Cole made her lawn a welcome destination for sculptures by Henry Moore, Giacomo Manzù, Niki de Saint Phalle, Andres Nagel and others.
In the 1990s the gallery's program expanded when it acquired a second venue in Los Angeles. Modern and contemporary painters and sculptors, especially those working on a larger scale, were featured in solo presentations including Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Pousette-Dart, Wayne Thiebaud, Kenneth Noland, Keith Haring, Markus Lüpertz, Fernando Botero, Lynn Chadwick, Andres Nagel and Riera I Arago.
The Sculptor’s Hand
The 30th anniversary exhibition, The Sculptor's Hand, invited sculptors from the Tasende Gallery roster to introduce examples and commentary illustrating the relationship between drawing and sculpture. The presentation looked to examine the evolution of the process – conceived first in the mind, then relayed by hand on paper and concluding with tangible, solid material.
Botero in LA, took place in 2010 and showcased recent drawings, paintings and sculpture.
In 2011, Mark di Suvero was featured at the La Jolla venue with steel sculptures, both monumental and indoor works, along with rare early drawings.
Tasende Gallery celebrated its 37th year with an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Wayne Thiebaud.
In 2017 after a year of building renovations, the gallery reopened in September with Signs of the Times, an exhibit featuring 19 works from 19 artists. This show honored the many artists who contributed to the history of the gallery and the cultural life of the community over the last 38 years. Two new artists were introduced: Melissa Chandon and Jonathan Seliger.