Gigantic Gagosian

Gagosian’s new gallery at 9 rue de Castiglione, Paris. Photo: Thomas Lannes/Gagosian

Gagosian’s new gallery at 9 rue de Castiglione, Paris. Photo: Thomas Lannes/Gagosian

How many locations does Gagosian have? Even some art connoisseurs are easily stumped by this question. The empire of gallery founder Larry Gagosian (born 1945) has grown rapidly in recent years. There are currently 19 locations. Gagosian is represented six times in New York, three times in London, twice in Paris, and once each in Beverly Hills, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Gstaad, Rome, Athens, and Hong Kong. In terms of exhibition space alone, Gagosian has now left the competition far behind - galleries such as Pace, David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth.

Gagosian is a giant. How high Larry Gagosian's annual turnover is, one can only speculate. The gallery itself does not disclose any official figures on this. Market observers estimate the turnover at between 900 million and one billion US dollars. More than three hundred employees work for Larry Gagosian. Quite a few of them previously worked for influential auction houses, museums, and banks - until Larry Gagosian poached them from them. Of particular importance are the sales directors, who are responsible for closing sales and usually only look after a few artists at a time. Nevertheless, as we hear time and again, Larry Gagosian often closes important sales personally.

The Gallery Network

Artists represented by Gagosian are among the trendiest in the world. The gallery's website lists just over 250 artists. Among them you can find such important names as Georg Baselitz, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha. Likewise, the gallery deals in works by deceased artists such as Francis Bacon, Willam de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly.

No less elite is the other side of the business. Among the collectors and clients who helped Larry Gagosian build his empire were Eli Broad and S.I. Newhouse. And even today, the gallery's network of clients is exceptional: names such as Charles Saatchi, Steven Cohen, Jose Mugrabi, and François Pinault can be found among its top customers.

The Beginnings

At the very beginning of his career, it didn't look like Larry Gagosian would ever be able to negotiate on an equal footing with clients worth billions. As the only son of an Armenian immigrant couple, he grew up in Los Angeles. It was a long time before he came into contact with the art market. His mother worked as an actress and singer, his father as an accountant. At the age of 24, Larry Gagosian earned his bachelor's degree in English literature - and not in art history, as one might expect.

After graduating, he initially managed to get by with odd jobs. For a while he was employed by the William Morris Agency, an artists' agency representing artists from all parts of the entertainment industry. After a year, he was laid off again. He began working as a parking lot attendant. When he saw someone selling posters near a parking lot, he decided to give it a try. Larry Gagosian decided to sell posters and apparently managed to build a network with young collectors in the process.

Entry Into the Art World

When he happened to discover pictures by New York photographer Ralph Gibson in an art magazine, he contacted Gibson with the question of whether he should organize an exhibition for him in Los Angeles. Gibson invited Gagosian to New York and introduced him to his gallerist Leo Castelli, one of the most influential people in the international art market. In Leo Castelli, Gagosian had found his mentor, who strongly supported him from then on. In 1980, Gagosian opened his first gallery in Los Angeles and subsequently flew back and forth frequently between Los Angeles and New York. Through Castelli, Gagosian met important artists and collectors such as Samuel Irving (called Si) Newhouse. In 1985, Gagosian opened his first gallery in New York.

Locations

New York (6)

980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

976 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

821 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

555 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

541 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

522 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011

Beverly Hills

456 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

London (3)

20 Grosvenor Hill
London W1K 3QD

6–24 Britannia Street
London wc1x 9jd

17–19 Davies Street
London W1K 3DE

Paris (3)

4 rue de Ponthieu
75008 Paris

9 rue de Castiglione
75001 Paris

26 avenue de l’Europe
93350 Le Bourget

Geneva

19 place de Longemalle
1204 Geneva

Basel

Rheinsprung 1
4051 Basel

Gstaad

Promenade 79
3780 Gstaad

Rome

Via Francesco Crispi 16
00187 Rome

Athens

22 Anapiron Polemou Street
Athens 11521

Hong Kong

7/F Pedder Building
12 Pedder Street
Central, Hong Kong

The Expansion Over Time

1989: Gagosian moves to New York's Madison Avenue, where the company's headquarters are still located today.
1991: Opening of a second gallery in New York's SoHo district
1995: Opening of a gallery in Beverly Hills
1999: Relocation of the New York gallery in SoHo to West 24th Street
2000: Opening of the first gallery in London, located in Heddon Street
2004: Opening of the second London gallery in Britannia Street
2005: Relocation of the first London gallery from Heddon Street to Davis Street
2006: Opening of the third New York gallery in West 21st Street
2007: Opening of a gallery in Rome

2009: Opening of a gallery in Athens
2010: Opening of a gallery in Paris
2011: Opening of a gallery in Hong Kong
2012: Opening of a gallery in Le Bourget (on the outskirts of Paris)
2016: Opening of one gallery each in San Francisco and Geneva
2019: Opening of a gallery in Basel
2021: Closing of the gallery in San Francisco
2021: Opening of a third gallery in Paris
2022: Opening of a gallery in Gstaad

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