Larry Gagosian

Established gallerist with 16 venues worldwide putting on museum-quality exhibitions

How does the saying go? When Larry opens a door, someone closes a window? Perhaps that is what happened this past April when Damien Hirst returned to representation by Gagosian Gallery, only for Julian Schnabel to decide he’d had enough of the same and jump (back) to Pace. More likely there is just no megagallery large enough to fit those two Jupiter-sized egos. But it’s Jupiter-sized egos, or rather Jupiter-sized reputations, for Larry no matter what: Richard Serra and Sally Mann in New York and London; a debut for Anish Kapoor in Hong Kong; a big congratulatory profile in WSJ magazine (with photos by Roe Ethridge to boot); and a brand-new gallery (the 16th to be correct) in San Francisco, just across from the newly reopened SFMOMA. To prove he can be down-to-earth, Gagosian offered a pop-up tattoo parlour at the New York Art Book Fair with designs by the likes of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Kim Gordon. He also lent his gallery and artists to Hillary Clinton this past September, hosting a benefit auction to raise funds for her campaign. But then there was a dispute (settled) with the Qatari royal family over ownership of a bust by Picasso; and that little $4.3 million settlement with New York State on some disputed sales taxes. Though it’s nothing to brag about, perhaps it’s fitting that the settlement of the latter is the largest the attorney general’s office had ever reached with an art gallery. Gagosian goes big, even when things don’t go well.