19th July 2022
A beautiful, world-renowned art gallery on a peaceful Isla Del Rey, a small island in the middle of Mahon harbour, if that’s not enough to tempt you to visit then we don’t know what will. From the moment you step onto the boat that takes you to the island, the experience has already started – the 10-minute boat trip across Mahon’s harbour allows you to see it from a different perspective from the stunning homes along the water’s edge to parts of the old naval base. Once you’re on the island, you will see what has attracted over 58,000 visitors since 2021.
Hauser & Wirth’s art exhibition centre is in a unique setting, located on Isla Del Rey (Kings Island) and established in 1722 as a British naval hospital; nicknamed Bloody Island by British sailors, there are also the remains of a Byzantine church. H&W carefully repurposed the existing 18th-century outbuildings of the former naval hospital into a 1,500 sqm art centre. This new space has not only welcomed more visitors to the island, by offering something unique, but it has also put Menorca on the map and given the island a newfound lustre and flare compared to its sister islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.
Founders Iwan and Manuela Wirth have a home in Menorca and since 2016 have been volunteering, with the ‘Fundación Hospital de la Isla de Rey’ formed by locals in 2004, to help continue the restoration of Isla Del Rey’s original structures.
Admission to the arts centre is free, but welcome donations are distributed between the local charities. There is a strong sense of sustainability and conservation that is very apparent when you come to visit from the setting of the centre to the works being exhibited.
Inside, the current exhibition featured is ‘Sodade’ by Rashid Johnson which will run until the end of November this year and presents a series of bronze sculptures and seascape paintings – "In Sondade, Johnson continues to draw from critical history and narratives around migration and journeys, with a similar gesture of hybridization” - https://vip-hauserwirth.com/gallery-exhibitions/rashid-johnson-sodade-2022/
Image courtesy from Hauser & Wirth
Outside, you can make your way around the outdoor sculpture trail featuring works by six prominent European artists, including work by Joan Miró, Eduardo Chillida and Louise Bourgeois just to name a few. Dutch garden designer Priet Oudolf has designed the gardens to take advantage of the island’s natural flora to enhance the experience of the visit and paths lead naturally to the hospital itself, where you can go in and explore, and if you continue a little further you’ll stumble across the remains of a 6th century Paleo Christian church and take a trip through history.
Hauser & Wirth also understands that once you’ve made it to Menorca and then to Isla Del Rey, you may want to linger a little longer to soak up the atmosphere, so in collaboration with one of the island’s Bodegas, you can book a table in ‘Cantina’ run by the much-loved Bodegas Binifadet, serving local farm-to-table fare with an emphasis on local produce only. So as the sun goes down, you can make a toast with a delicious glass of wine under an olive tree whilst appreciating the island’s stunning surroundings.
Upcoming events in Hauser and Wirth:
-Menorca European Region of Gastronomy with Fra Roger and Amics de la Mar Port – Maó – Saturday 22 October 2022
More details on events can be found on their website, link below.
Visiting Hauser & Wirth Menorca:
Ferries to island are operated by the gallery and depart from Mahon, every hour on the hour. They return every hour on the half hour.
Bookings for the ferries can be done via the website