In The New Yorker, Patrick Radden Keefe profiles the world’s most well-known art dealer in ‘How Larry Gagosian Reshaped the Art World.’
Larry Gagosian is a self-made billionaire who has built the most successful art gallery in the world. He is a controversial figure who has been accused of everything from exploiting artists to inflating prices. However, he is also a master dealer, a consummate salesman, and a ruthless businessman.
Gagosian was born in 1945 in Los Angeles. He started his career as a dealer in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, a time of significant change and upheaval. The art world was also changing, and Gagosian was quick to adapt. He saw the potential and was willing to gamble on new artists and spend big money to promote them.
In the 1980s, Gagosian moved to New York City and became Leo Castelli’s protege, an influential art dealer. Castelli’s focus was on his living artists, so Gagosian was able to network with prominent collectors and focus on their collections, creating a one-person secondary market apparatus.
Despite the controversy, Gagosian remains one of the most powerful figures in the art world. He has a vast network of collectors across the globe, and he represents some of the most important artists of our time. He is a complex and enigmatic figure, but there is no doubt that he has had a profound impact on the art world.
“It’s incredible. He inverted this thing where normally the art dealers were trying to emulate their clients. Larry’s clients are trying to emulate him.” – Loïc Gouzer, a friend of Gagosian’s and a former co-chairman of contemporary art at Christie’s
Read Keefe’s profile for a behind-the-curtain look at Gagonsian’s life here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/07/31/larry-gagosian-profile.