If there is a art to dealing in art—and any experienced gallerist, collector, or museum director will tell you that there most certainly is—then one of its greatest practitioners is Larry Gagosian. Over the last three decades, Gagosian has built one of the art world’s most expansive (and frequently emulated) global enterprises.
Gagosian Gallery in New York, which Gagosian first opened in 1985 in the then-art-barren neighborhood of Chelsea, now boasts 12 outposts worldwide (three in New York, two each in London and Paris, and one apiece in Beverly Hills, Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong)—the newest, a cavernous space near Le Bourget airport just north of Paris, which opened in October with an exhibition of Anselm Kiefer paintings and sculptures.
The roster of talent that Gagosian has exhibited reads like a who’s who of modern and contemporary art, including the likes of Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, and Cy Twombly, younger artists such as Taryn Simon and Urs Fischer, and iconic masters such as Francis Bacon, Constantin Brancusi, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, among others. Museum-quality historical shows have also always played a major role in the gallery, with rigorously curated exhibitions focusing on specific moments in art or thematically arranged groups of work, and featuring pieces on loan from a variety of institutions and private collections (which are very often not for sale). But while representing artists and the estates of artists remains the gallery’s primary function, Gagosian has also been heavily involved in art’s so-called “secondary” market: facilitating the private resale of works between collectors and institutions. It’s a part of the art business that remains a point of near-constant speculation, if only because it occurs largely behind the scenes and thus encourages debate as to who is selling what and why. But it’s an area in which Gagosian—with his extensive network of contacts, deep well of resources, and uncanny ability to source and deliver hard-to-get pieces—has long been a dominant player, brokering deals that have been reported to reach nine figures for a single work. In addition, Gagosian is himself a collector, and has invested in several other art-related projects, including Art.sy, a recently launched website dedicated to selling art online. To read more of Interviewmagazine.com’s article, click here.