Why Did Larry Gagosian Sell His Upper East Side Home for $18 Million?

Does the sale suggest a coming retirement to sunnier climes?

Larry Gagosian
Larry Gagosian

Larry Gagosian, owner of the Gagosian Gallery empire, is $18 million richer, thanks to the sale of his longtime Upper East Side home. According to the New York Daily News, public records show that the historic 1901 carriage house sold to Sascha Bauer, chairman of the SculptureCenter in Long Island City.

To be clear, this is Gagosian’s residence at 147 East 69th Street, not his nearby property, the former Harkness Mansion, at 4 East 75th Street. Earlier this year, a construction worker fell to his death at the latter location, which has been undergoing a $70-million redesign under architect Annabelle Selldorf since Gagosian bought it in 2011 for $36.5 million.

This past May, misfortune befell another Gagosian asset, when there was an electrical fire at Toad Hall, his Hamptons estate. Thankfully, no one was injured, and damage was limited to the guest house, allowing the gallery owner to continue hosting allegedly wild parties for the likes of U2 frontman (and art collector) Bono.

Larry Gagosian's 147 East 69th Street carriage house, which he just sold for $18 million.  Photo: Street Easy.

Larry Gagosian’s 147 East 69th Street carriage house, which he just sold for $18 million.
Photo: Street Easy.

The sale at 69th Street adds further credence to artnet News’ theory that the mega-dealer, now age 70, may be readying for retirement. This past spring, he purchased a beachfront luxury apartment in the Faena Residence Miami Beach development—could Gagosian be trading a life of overpriced (and poorly reviewed) sushi for poolside cocktails and relaxation?

Of course, Gagosian could be moving into the old Harkness Mansion after construction ends—or he could be planning to convert it into a gallery space, as some have speculated.

Larry Gagosian giving a speech at "An Artful Lunch Honoring Larry Gagosian" (February 25, 2014). Photo: Owen Hoffmann, courtesy PatrickMcMullan.com.

Larry Gagosian giving a speech at “An Artful Lunch Honoring Larry Gagosian” (February 25, 2014).
Photo: Owen Hoffmann, courtesy PatrickMcMullan.

Gagosian had owned the 69th Street building since 1988, purchasing it from Christophe de Menil, art collector, heiress to the Schlumberger oil fortune, and grandmother to the late Dash Snow, who has an upcoming retrospective at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut.

During Gagosian’s residency, the three-story carriage house was reportedly full of priceless art by the likes of Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Prince, and Andy Warhol—with rumors that he hung Pablo Picasso’s last painting above his bed.

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