The Gagosian Gallery}

The Gagosian Gallery

by

Alan Friedman

The Gagosian Gallery is said to be one of the leading contemporary art galleries today. It is owned by Larry Gagosian. Gagosian has made quite a name for himself in the art world. Not only does he have three of his galleries in New York City, but he also has galleries in Los Angeles and a few abroad locations. Gagosian began his gallery in the mid-1980’s. Gagosian brought his gallery from Los Angeles to New York City in 1985. The one main thing his galleries have always stood for is that they maintain important works of contemporary art. They also try to present pieces from the earlier part of the modern era, an aspect that still holds true to this day. In the 1980’s alone, the Gagosian gallery held exhibits that were dedicated to the New York School, as well as exhibits on Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. This was achieved by showing the early work of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Willem de Kooning, and Roy Lichtenstein.

Due to the great success of the first gallery, Gagosian opened a second location in New York. This time, he chose the neighborhood of SoHo. The year was 1991, and SoHo had become the center of the art world. Artists worked hard to turn what used to be the old factory district in Manhattan into large exhibition areas and studio spaces. With more room, Gagosian began showing large-scale pieces by artists like Richard Serra, Mark di Suervo, Chris Burden, and Barnett Newman. As the downtown gallery showed younger international artists such as Cecily Brown, Ellen Gallagher, Douglas Gordon, and Jenny Saville, the uptown gallery was more into showing exhibits of a historically grounded nature. Artists included in this showing were Miro, Moore and Calder. Andy Warhol was a favorite at both gallery locations. The Andy Warhol Foundation and the galleries displayed landmark exhibits like Late Hand Painted Paintings, Rorschach Paintings, Ladies and Gentlemen, Camouflage Paintings, Diamond Dust Shadow Paintings, and Oxidation Paintings.

Since historical exhibitions made the Madison Avenue location what it was, they introduced a fifth floor gallery space designed solely for the purpose of focusing on more young and upcoming artists. Old Space New Space debuted in January of 2007. It featured works by Hayley Tompkins and Anselm Reyle. This fifth floor gallery has also since exhibited works by Steven Parrino, Mark Grotjhan, Isa Genzken, Dan Colen, and Dash Snow.

In 1999, the SoHo gallery moved to Chelsea. The 25,000 square foot building was completed in September of that year. Gagosian artists were now allowed an even larger space to display their work. Richard Gluckman, the architect behind the Chelsea gallery, was again called on to design another space. This gallery is on West 21st Street, and it opened in October of 2006. Recently, this gallery held a special exhibit on the works of Pablo Picasso. These late works of Picasso, entitiled Mosquertos, was curated by Picasso historian John Richardson. The show had a great turn out, and was an instant success.

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The Gagosian Gallery

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