Wet Paint: Gagosian to Open a Gallery in the Vacant Marciano Museum, Dealers Stalk Gavin Brown’s Artists, & More Juicy Art-World Gossip

What actor was Loïc Gouzer begging for a Basquiat bid? What artists social distanced upstate with the Mardens? Read on for answers.

Larry Gagosian, Chrissie Erpf, fashion designer Maurice Marciano and guest attend the 2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Barbara Kruger and Quentin Tarantino presented by Gucci at LACMA on November 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for LACMA)

Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column of original scoops reported and written by Nate Freeman. If you have a tip, email Nate at [email protected].


The very hyped and short-lived Marciano Art Foundation ended last November when the millionaire Guess founders Maurice and Paul Marciano abruptly shut down the Los Angeles museum they had opened in an historic former masonic temple. The future of the space, empty since its closing, has been unclear. A listing for the four-story Italianate marble landmark they bought in 2013 for $8 million—and had redone by LA power architect Kulapat Yantrasast and his beloved firm wHY—shows that it was (at least briefly) on the market for $13.9 million—and with Hollywood perks!

According to the listing, “the Nicholas [sic] Cage movie National Treasure shot key parts of this blockbuster film at the building.” (A representative for the foundation said the listing is now outdated, and that the property is not currently for sale.)

Exterior of the Marciano Art Foundation. Photo by Julian Calero.

Exterior of the Marciano Art Foundation. Photo by Julian Calero.

So Paul and Maurice Marciano didn’t find a buyer, but someone big—even bigger than Nicholas [sic] Cage—is moving in. That person is none other than Larry Gagosian. Sources said the mega-gallery owner will extend his footprint in the City of Angels by turning part of the nearly 90,000-square-foot masonic-temple-turned-museum on Wilshire Boulevard into another Gagosian outpost. It will be Larry Gagosian’s second gallery in LA, complementing the longstanding space in Beverly Hills, and muscling up his presence in the town where he started his career by selling framed posters on the street at $15 a pop.

After hearing from sources about this major expansion, Wet Paint approached the gallery, and a rep confirmed the news.

“Gagosian has reached an exclusive occupancy arrangement with the Marciano Art Foundation to program the grand Theater Gallery commencing in January 2021,” a Gagosian representative told Wet Paint.

The land grab heralds a grand expansion for Larry Gagosian, the art world’s original empire builder. As of this writing, Gagosian now has 18 gallery spaces on several continents. And when the gallery moves into the spiffy new North Mid-City digs that once housed a capital-M Museum, the first shows will debut after (or still amid!) a crippling economic meltdown that forced major galleries to either close—see: Gavin Brown’s Enterprise—or downsize their global footprint.

Installation view, photo by Robert Wedemeyer, image courtesy of Marciano Art Foundation 2017.

Installation view, photo by Robert Wedemeyer, image courtesy of Marciano Art Foundation 2017.

Gagosian will be using quite a decent amount of space at the start of the occupancy. The “Theater Gallery” the gallery rep referenced is 13,000 square feet, and that’s pretty massive. The juggernaut Gagosian space in Beverly Hills ballooned to 11,600 square feet after the 2009 expansion, and it’s now the smaller of the two Gago galleries in La La Land.

It also means that the historic temple—a highlight of any horrible traffic-clogged drive down Wilshire—will remain an art space, rather than be some weird office advertised by the realtors. And the shows may not even look all that different than before. The Marcianos have been loyal clients of Gagosian’s for decades, and a chunk of the first show of the collection was big works by the gallery’s most visible artists: Jennifer Guidi, Jonas Wood, Sterling Ruby, Alex Israel, Takashi Murakami.

There’s also an LA real estate play here. Come January, Gagosian will have a foothold near the exploding downtown gallery scene, which was given an infusion of power with the opening of the block-sized city-conquering Hauser & Wirth compound in 2016.



Cy Gavin in his studio. Image courtesy the artist.

Cy Gavin in his studio. Image courtesy the artist.

Last week, Gavin Brown shocked the art world by announcing he would close his gallery and join Barbara Gladstone as a partner, with the news first reported by yours truly.

And in addition to that bombshell came word that 10 Gavin Brown’s enterprise artists would be joining him as well, further stacking the already genius-stuffed Gladstone Gallery roster. But what of those who remain in post-GBe limbo? Of them, a few do not have New York representation, and very well could be snapped up by Gladstone competitors in coming weeks. Sources said David Zwirner is among those in pursuit of Cy Gavin. It sure is auspicious timing that Gavin’s Untitled (Wave Painting) (2020) appears in the just-opened Zwirner online group show “At Sea,” priced at $50,000…

Laura Owens at the launch for her book “12 Paintings,” November 2014. Photo: Alexandra Noel. Courtesy of 356 Mission.

Laura Owens at the launch for her book “12 Paintings,” November 2014. Photo: Alexandra Noel. Courtesy of 356 Mission.

Other sources close to the artists suggested that Laura Owens could join Matthew Marks, which showed the artist in its Los Angeles gallery last year, and that several New York shops are also interested in representing the painter Ella Kruglyanskaya.

Meanwhile, the Gavin Brown boost hasn’t slowed Gladstone’s other artist recruitment avenues. This week, the marvelous painter Jill Mulleady—who broke out in the months before quarantine with New York shows at Swiss Institute and the Whitney— announced on Instagram that she was joining Gladstone Gallery. She won’t be the last to come on board in the coming months.



Paddle8 lunch celebrating John Pigozzi during Art Basel Miami 2015 at Soho Beach House. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Soho House & Co)

Some time ago, we alerted you to the fact that, if so inclined, you could purchase social media accounts once used by the bankrupt online auction house Paddle8. In addition to possessing a curio of an art market boom the likes of which we’ll likely never see again, you could send out pictures to all the people who followed Paddle8 accounts. Kind of a strange thing to pay money for, but by all means!

Now there’s something on the bankruptcy block that could actually be worth buying. Lawyers have announced that next week they will be offering up to the highest bidder the chance to have at their fingertips access to The Motherlode—all the names and contact information for the winners of every lot ever offered on Paddle8.

Per a note from the firm you get: “All available contact information for Paddle8 Users who bought a lot (whether in a benefit or curated auction), plus, for each such User, a description of each lot won by each such User, the date won, and amount paid for such lot.” Have you spent the last six years trying to figure out what insane person spent $900,000 for a Faberge egg designed by Jeff Koons that started its bidding at $500? Now’s your chance. Bidding will begin August 4.



Would you believe it if I told you that not a single person got the last Pop Quiz correct? A few identified the art, but no one guessed the collectors. That’s OK. Life goes on.

Here’s a new clue, and maybe it’s a tad easier. Name the artist and artwork behind Kate!

Winners will retain bragging rights forever, and maybe even get a Wet Paint baseball cap that your proprietor is actually making. A must-cop. You know the email.



Future home of Lyles & King. Photo courtesy Google maps.

Lower East Side gallery Lyles & King will be moving to tricked-out new address complete with a large exhibition space, private viewing room, and performance space at 21 Catherine Street—right around the corner from Wet Paint HQ, as it happens—and a group show with an apt title, “I WANT TO FEEL ALIVE AGAIN,” will open September 2 with work by Dan Herschlein, Rebecca Horn, Jessie Makinson, Ariana Papademetropoulos, and more … People were very angry with former Metro Pictures employee Alex Pall, scolding him for playing a Hamptons gig with his musical project, the Chainsmokers, where fans could have definitely spread the novel coronavirus  … Glee creator Ryan Murphy is spending at least part of his $300 million Netflix deal money on contemporary art, and has hired one-time Lower East Side gallerist Joe Sheftel as his adviser … Bushwick gallery Clearing is supplementing its in-real-life group show with online viewing rooms, and the latest is an online exhibition of new Zak Kitnick works: his beloved patchwork metal functional sculptures that act as backgammon tables … The Eckhaus Latta store finally reopens Friday in Chinatown, nature is healing …



Aby and Ghislaine, dining. Photo courtesy Instagram.

Art-collecting building-buyer Aby Rosen sitting at dinner with Ghislaine Maxwell, in an undated picture courtesy the terrifying but must-follow Instagram account @celebswithghislaine *** Francesco and Alba Clemente joining Brice and Helen Marden for dinner at the Mardens’s Hudson Valley inn, Hotel Tivoli, with Jessica Craig-Martin joining in as well, with her dog Roo *** Emily Ratajkowski, the collector and Richard Prince muse, dining at The Odeon with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard and Josh Ostrovsky, better known as The Fat Jew *** Loïc Gouzer jumping into his own Instagram comments to encourage Avengers star Josh Brolin to bid on the Basquiat the rainmaker was offering on his Fair Warning auction platform—”Go for it,” Gouzer told the actor *** Hauser & Wirth president Marc Payot installing Louise Bourgeois‘s Eye Benches II (1996-97) at the Southampton Art Center—and yes, you can sit on it! ***

Marc Payot, mask-on, installing a sit-able Bourgeois. Photo courtesy Hauser & Wirth.


Correction, 7/31: A previous version of this story stated that the building that housed the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles was for sale. In fact, while it was for sale, the real estate listing is no longer active.

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