The West Coast
When my plane broke through the Los Angeles smog on an afternoon in early spring, I imagined I had willed the town into existence by nothing more than my arrival. It’s the city’s foundational myth—perpetually born yesterday. I was there to cover an art fair called Paris Photo, which was being held at that most mythic of L.A. landmarks—Paramount Studios—and to report on the city’s art world. If New York had a say in the matter, it was something of an accident of history that there were ever artists in Los Angeles at all. The dealers and collectors were always in New York. And who could force the entertainment industry to care? For decades, the most noteworthy thing about successful Los Angeles artists—aside from a core group—was that they left for the East Coast.
The reality is more complicated. New York changed. Downtown ceased being a squatter’s free-for-all and became an outdoor shopping center. The S&M clubs and taxi garages of Chelsea gave way to galleries stacked on top of one another. Increasingly, the creatively minded transplants who migrated each day to New York from all over the country came with expiration dates. Ten years would go by, if you were lucky, before the inevitable fatigue set in. So many migrants have gone to California as a solution to some problem that it’s become an American trope. But in a town where the front page of the largest daily newspaper reports the unsubstantiated rumor that industry blogger Nikki Finke would be fired from Deadline Hollywood, the arts have quietly carved out a home. New York just got more and more expensive.
Just in case anyone was worried that Larry Gagosian is slowing down, he announced today that he will open a third gallery in London. Carol Vogel of The New York Times has the story in her Inside Art column.
The new 22,000-square-foot space is in the capital city’s Mayfair District, where rivals David Zwirner, Michael Werner and Pace have opened galleries recently. It sports 15 foot ceilings.
People like to say that Larry Gagosian almost never gives interviews, but recently he has granted them to various international publications fairly regularly. In the past few years he’s chatted with The Financial Times, Abu Dhabi’s The National, The Wall Street Journal, Paris Match, Le Figaro, British Vogue and Interview with Peter Brant, letting slip that his forthcoming Upper East Side restaurant will serve waffles and chili. (Really looking forward to that, for the record.)
Yayoi Kusama will join David Zwirner, The New York Times‘ Carol Vogel writes. Shortly after Art Basel Miami Beach last year, The Art Newspaper reported that she was parting ways with Gagosian Gallery. She had her first one-person show with the gallery in 2009. A recent profile of Mr. Gagosian in New York magazine said that a representative for the artist told the gallery last summer that she wanted to cease working together. In late December, the German newspaper Die Welt reported the widely circulating rumor that Ms. Kusama was set to join Zwirner in New York. And now the official word has arrived.
And in another item from Carol Vogel’s Inside Art column in The New York Times: the Dia Foundation has just begun a campaign to repair and better conserve Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field, originally commissioned by that organization and completed in 1977.
Larry Gagosian cannot stop opening art galleries! The New York Times‘ Carol Vogel reports today that Mr. Gagosian has a second gallery in the works in Paris, where he first opened in the fall of 2010. This will be the dealer’s 12th gallery, and will be situated at Le Bourget, home to an airport for private planes.
Larry Gagosian’s Upper East Side office has “the calm of a private papal chamber,” according to author Philip Delves Broughton. He visited the dealer back in 2000 for an article in the Daily Telegraph on the occasion of the opening of the first Gagosian Gallery in London, on Heddon Street. Mr. Delves Broughton has drawn on that interview for a section of his new book, The Art of the Sale, which profiles a number of high-profile deal-makers in various industries.
For decades, Larry Gagosian has been a fixture at Sant Ambroeus, the Upper East Side cafe around the corner from his flagship gallery 980 Madison Avenue, which he opened in the late 1980′s. He even has a regular table, where he can watch the rest of the art world stream by, many stopping to pay their respects before taking their own seat inside the eatery that has long been the art world’s living room.
But soon Mr. Gagosian will be sipping his espresso closer to home—and it will be curious to see how many of his fellow connoisseurs will follow him.
As Gallerist reported in February, Mr. Gagosian plans to open a cafe in one of the storefronts at 980 Madison, and work is now underway on the project, which will include space for a gallery. In April, permits were filed with the Department of Buildings for demolition, plumbing and renovation work to the storefront previously occupied by the Spot Shop, where tchotchkes connected with the Damien Hirst show (books, prints, cufflinks) had been on sale.
Last week, the construction permits were approved by the city, and they reveal that the new cafe will be designed by Annabelle Selldorf. Additional city records filed with the Landmarks Preservation Commission provide definitive proof that Gagosian Gallery is opening a cafe in the multi-story storefront, along with additional gallery space.
As we reported two months ago, art and design collector Adam Lindemann, who pens a regular column for The Observer, is opening a 3,200-square-foot gallery space at 980 Madison Avenue, the building owned by developer Aby Rosen’s RFR that is also home to Gagosian and other galleries. Today, Mr. Lindemann announced that the space will open in May and provided details about its programming; naturally, we gave him a call.
“A lot of dealers have asked me over the years why I don’t have a space, or why I don’t curate shows,” Mr. Lindemann told us. He made the decision to take the plunge last Aug. 3—his birthday, auspiciously enough.
One of the first things you learn in any introductory journalism class—nestled somewhere between how to write a nut graf and why you shouldn’t use a pen when you’re reporting outside in the winter (the ink freezes)—is never to include in an article details about the meal you ate during an interview. This is why we’re so tickled by the Financial Times’ ongoing “Lunch with the FT” series. Here, the writer gets what sounds like a very expensive lunch with a powerful person–including a number of important art dealers–and meticulously catalogues the food consumed, often using the interviewee’s order choices as an extended metaphor for his or her personality and biography. Another thing, one that may or may not be particularly true of The Observer (we’ll never tell), the FT always picks up the tab.
They might not pass journalism 101, but boy howdy are these things a hoot. Let’s see what we’ve learned about our favorite art dealers from the kind of salad they eat.