Tag Archives: Larry Gagosian

Art|Basel|2017: «An Experimental Interview With Larry Gagosian»

21 Jun

Larry Gagosian’s Experimental Interview
Portrait created by Andreas Baier
Click to enlarge gogogagosianedly

Larry Gagosian, one of the most influential art dealers in the world, very rarely gives interviews. Nevertheless, he agreed to do an experimental one with us on this year’s Art|Basel|2017, which means that we were preferably communicating with each other on a spritual level only; a mental area where spoken words should be recognised as an exotic exception.

Meerschweinchenreport:
When looking at Jean Pigozzi’s photograph which was taken in 1991 and that shows Charles Saatchi, Leo Castelli and you all dressed to the nines in swimming trunks, we are asking ourselves what all of you might have had for breakfast that very same day?

Larry Gagosian:
That’s an interesting question, indeed. As far as I can remember, we first tore one of Lucio Fontana’s «Concetto spaziale»-paintings apart in order to make its taste a bit more sophisticated. We then had a plate of the usual course: ham, eggs, sausages, baked beans, French toast with strawberries, black pudding and coffee. Lots of coffee. Sure, there was orange juice too. At that moment we thought that this was pretty cool but after all these years, honestly, we’re still busy digesting Fontana properly. The only thing that helps starting collectors to not underestimate Fontana’s work is the price they’ve got to pay for it. If you want to make the people obeying work of art the perfect way, then make the objects as expensive as even possible.

Meerschweinchenreport:
Tom Wolfe wrote in his book «The Painted Word» that abstract expressionism is, at least, about celebrating «nothingness». And he reported that one day Jackson Pollock appeared on one of Peggy Guggenheim’s soirées uninvitedly and completely drunk, managed to get himself undressed and urinated to her guests’ greater surprise stante pede into the living room’s fireplace. Are those days over?

Larry Gagosian:
These are two good questions proving impressively how much the so-called «nothingness» and a strong performance transporting the unbeatable taste of abstract expressionism rely on each other significantly. Irritation is the basis of seduction. I remember a conversation I had decades ago with a professor teaching English literature that led us from literature over aesthetics to contemporary art. For some reason he ended up saying that abstract art were not worthy of serious consideration—that they were superficial and overrated, which was a funny comment to hear in an English class at UCLA. To illustrate the point, he said, «If you look at this da Vinci or this Raphael, you can go from the eyes to the woman’s navel and there is a perfect triangle. But now we have artists who paint a triangle and they call that art.» So I stuck my hand up, which I didn’t do very often, and said, «Maybe sometimes you just want to look at a triangle.» But that sticks out in my memory as something that got me thinking about aesthetics. And to answer your third question: yes but no.

Meerschweinchenreport:
Let’s talk about Leo Castelli and Susan Sontag. While Mr. Castelli was dealing with Gabriele and Alexander Baier about an article in «Magazin KUNST», Susan Sontag grabbed the chance to introduce our staff-photographer with the real essence of life: «Sleep, sleep, sleep!». At that time he was a baby and enjoyed it very much being instructed quite gently this way. Is there anything Leo Castelli taught you in particular, so you feel that you learned from him?

Larry Gagosian:
That’s another very good question. I can’t answer it simply, but he showed me how a gallery could really make the art feel important. Of course, it helps to have work by artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, and Jasper Johns. But the way you present the work has a lot to do with how people receive and regard it. Leo always had great style in the way he presented the work—and without making it too fussy. Leo also showed me that you could have a lot of fun being a dealer. He liked to have a good time. But the fact that you could have a business as serious as Leo Castelli’s and still have a wonderful life—that was a life lesson as well as a business lesson. The other thing he taught me was not to give too many interviews. In the later years of Leo’s life, we were partners. We had a gallery together, we shared artists, and we had a fairly formalized business relationship. But I’d call him up because I wanted to talk about a painting or a show or a deal, and I’d be told, «Mr. Castelli is being interviewed.» [Larry Gagosian laughs]

Meerschweinchenreport:
Sounds like a «Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl» – as we say in Germany. Mr. Gagosian, thank you very much for this highly experimental interview.

Larry Gagosian:
You’re mostly welcome.

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Interviews that helped us very much to be spiritually experimental: Interview Magazine, Bidoun Magazine, WSJ. Magazine and The Guardian.
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Art|Basel|2015: «Großer Luxusbildbericht!»

4 May

Jan Delay in der «Art Collectors Lounge» auf der «Art|2015|Basel».
Click to enlarge delayedly
Alle Fotos von Andreas Baier

Etwas mehr als sehr spät veröffentlichen wir die Supersonderluxusbilderfibel unseres Redaktionsfotografen Andreas Baier über die weltbeste Mutter aller Kunstmessen: die «Art|Basel» in – natürlich – Basel. Aber nicht nur gut Ding will Weile haben, sondern auch ein mit viel Liebe hergestellter Rotwein möchte nicht einfach hinuntergeschüttet werden. Wenigstens sollte man nämlich vorher noch die Flasche geöffnet haben – bevor man sie sich fachgerecht an den Hals setzt; wobei der gut informierte Kenner der Materie längst weiß: Ohne Korkenzieher gehen da manchmal schon ein paar Jahre ins Land. In die Toscana? Auch.

Die Art|Basel ist nicht nur die weltbeste Kunstmesse, sondern auch ein exklusiver Ort der Ruhe, Besinnung und Entspannung.

Was erwartet unsere Meerschweinchenreportleserinnen und Meerschweinchenreportleser? Zum einen ziemlich viel Kunst. Klar. Zum anderen scheinen die Grenzen zwischen Sammler und Künstler, zumindest was das Äußerliche angeht, zu verschwimmen. So wird manches Baier-Bild die berechtigte Frage aufwerfen: Sammler oder Künstler?

Ganz inkognito und immer ein besonderes Highlight:
Gilbert & George beim Messerundgang.

Zusätzlich erhalten Sie einen schönen Einblick in den exklusivsten Teil des Messegeländes: die «Art Collectors Lounge» (siehe Titelbild). Dort versüßen u.a. Promotiongaben von schmackhaftem Mövenpick-Eis den millionenschweren Kunsterwerb. La vie est une Pralinenschachtelle, n’est-ce pas? Und wer meint, diesen Sachverhalt kritisieren zu müssen, der mag sich vergegenwärtigen, daß ausgewiesene Kapitalismuskritiker, beispielsweise namens Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara oder Mao Tse-tung allesamt Diktatoren und Massenmörder waren.

Darauf haben Kunstsammler überall auf der Welt lange warten müssen: Das genüßliche Ausruhen in der sozialen Hängematte wird für gefühlte € 2,5 Millionen pro Stück endlich gesellschaftsfähig. Endlich.

Doch zurück zum herrlich gepflegten Sandkasten für erfolgreiche Erwachsene und damit zum hinreichend avisierten Bilderkompendium der «Art|Basel 2015»: hier. Enjoy! Und: Möchten Sie auch dieses Jahr wieder zur «Art|Basel»? In der Zeit vom 16. bis zum 19. Juni haben Sie einmal mehr Gelegenheit dazu!

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Larry Gagosian: «The Trials Of An Art Superdealer»

16 Feb

Larry Gagosian: «Always Hirsty On My Mind»

The article starts with «Alberto Mugrabi was having a drink in the lobby at Claridge’s Hotel when his cell phone flashed to tell him Larry Gagosian was calling. It was June 2009, and they were in London for a week of auctions. Gagosian and Mugrabi are among the richest and most powerful figures in the art world, though the two function differently.»

The article finishes with «Still, there’s something about Larry Gagosian that’s thrilling to certain artists. He’s a force of nature, a predator—a shark. “He’s a player,” says Richard Serra. “I mean, nothing frightens the guy.”»

In-between the author Eric Konigsberg allows us to gain a deep look through an unusually intimate window providing us with the secrets of how the art market is shaped at its highest levels by Larry Gagosian and his associates.

So, why don’t you go for The Full Monty, then?

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John Currin: «The Wizard»

14 Feb

Click to enlarge sensitively

Sometimes, when we have up-loaded an image we will then get in touch with some extra information that suddenly appear in a special box. Here, in this case, the text goes precisely like this: «The Wizard circa 1994 John Currin born 1962 Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of Peter Norton 1999 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/L02065» Now we know. By the way: John Currin is represented by Larry Gagosian.

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John Steinbeck: «Weihnachtspinguine im Februar»

14 Feb

John Steinbeck: «Weihnachtspinguine im Februar»
Click to enlarge steinbeckly

Der amerikanische Schriftsteller John Steinbeck wurde einst vom amerikanischen Präsidenten Ronald Reagan als «der Gerhart Hauptmann der amerikanischen Beat-Generation» bezeichnet, worauf nicht eben wenige amerikanische Intellektuelle sich für einige Zeit der scheinbar schönen Annahme hingaben, vielleicht doch von einem ganz vernünftigen Präsidenten regiert zu werden. Das ist soweit Standardwissen.

Weniger bekannt ist, daß John Steinbeck, von dem übrigens das Zitat «Es ist besser, sich mit zuverlässigen Feinden zu umgeben, als mit unzuverlässigen Freunden» stammt, nach seinem Urlaub in Wien im Jahre 1956 in einer Straßenbahn stets die «Badewanne, die sich Menschen nennende Außerirdische als ihren Arbeitsplatz bezeichnen» sah. Ein Umstand, der sich auch immer wieder in seinen – bisher leider weniger bekannten – bemalten Photographien manifestiert.

Larry Gagosian stellt Steinbecks Fotogemälde noch bis Ende Juli 2012 in seinem New Yorker Frühstückskabinett aus.

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