Larry Gagosian is facing the loss of two of his most well known artists. Last week Damien Hirst’s company Science Limited announced; “Larry Gagosian and Damien have reached an amicable decision to part company.” It was only in January that Gagosian committed to showing the artist’s complete suite of spot paintings at all Gagosian galleries worldwide. The dealer has represented Hirst for 17 years.
Hirst’s departure was followed a day later by that of Yayoi Kusama, who has shown with Gagosian since 2009. (Another Gagosian artist – Jeff Koons – is still ostensibly in the stable, but has lined up a solo show at rival gallery David Zwirner in the New Year). In the mean time, Hirst and Kusama continue to be represented by White Cube and Victoria Miro/Ota Fine Arts respectively.
Art dealer Larry Gagosian is being sued by elderly collector Joan Cowles for selling a Roy Lichtenstein painting without her consent. Cowles claims that her son Charles offered the 1964 painting ‘Girl in Mirror’ to Gagosian without gaining her permission to do so. Asserting that the painting was damaged, the dealer sold the work to an unnamed collector for $ 2 million (far less than its market value) and took a $ 1 million commission in the process.
The $10 million suit accuses Gagosian of “such wanton dishonesty as to imply criminal indifference to civil obligations, with reckless disregard of Cowles’s rights”. In response, Gagosian has described the accusations as “outrageous and baseless,” stating that the fault lies with Charles Cowles, who failed to disclose that he had no authority to sell the painting in the first place.
Cy Twombly died in Rome yesterday, aged 83. Emerging from the abstract expressionist movement, the American painter was renowned for his signature almost graffiti-like scribbles that blurred the lines between painting and drawing. Twombly’s work sold for millions of dollars and ignited such passion amongst his followers that in 2007 a woman in France was arrested for showering one of his canvases in kisses.
It was Twombly’s dealer Larry Gagosian that announced his death, stating: “The art world has lost a true genius and a completely original talent. Despite his increasing fame, he never lost the playfulness and sense of humour that was his true nature, and, more importantly, he retained his humility”.