Barbara Gladstone, veteran New York gallerist, dies

Barbara Gladstone. Photo: Sharon Lockhart. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York

Barbara Gladstone, the New York gallerist, has died aged 89.

Born in 1935, Gladstone gave up teaching art history at Hofstra University to open her eponymous Manhattan dealership in 1980. She soon established herself as champion for some of the decade’s biggest stars, including Richard Prince, David Salle and, most notably cementing the gallery’s fame, Matthew Barney.

Shirin Neshat, Carrie Mae Weems and Wangechi Mutu went on to join the gallery. The roster was further energised with Gavin Brown joining as a partner in 2020, bringing some of the artists previously represented by Gavin Brown Enterprise, including Joan Jonas, Ed Atkins, Mark Leckey, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Arthur Jafa and the Jannis Kounellis estate to the business.

‘The art business curiously has had a lot of women in it, because it was considered harmless,’ Gladstone told W Magazine in 2018. ‘You could still be a good wife and mother. It wasn’t dangerous, because you weren’t going to make any money anyway.’ When Gladstone opened her first space, she was twice divorced with three children.

Gladstone Gallery currently operates three spaces in New York and an appointment only viewing room in Los Angeles. The gallery expanded to Brussels in 2008 and in 2021 opened a new gallery in Seoul’s Gangnam district.

In recent years, Gladstone has assembled a senior leadership team helmed by senior partner Max Falkenstein, with Brown, Caroline Luce and Paula Tsai as partners.

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