Art World Elite Step Out to Celebrate Gagosian Gallery’s 20 Years in Beverly Hills

Gagosian curated the show of 36 works.


Installation view.
Image: Susan Michals

Friday night in Los Angeles, collectors and fans showed up on Camden Drive to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Gagosian Gallery in this Beverly Hills location. It was not Mr. Gagosian’s first space in the area, however. That was over on Almont Drive in the 1980s, when he exhibited artists such as Chris Burden and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

This show is, above all, an homage to Gogo’s prowess as a dealer and keen eye for talent; 36 pieces are showcased in this exhibition including works from artists such as Rudolph Stingel, Thomas Houseago, Ed Ruscha, Jeff Koons, and Urs Fischer, not to mention the recently departed (from the Gagosian gallery family) Damien Hirst.

“I think [Gagosian gallery] is part of our history,” said MOCA director, Philippe Vergne. “You cannot look at what’s happening in the art world at the beginning of the 21st century and the end of the 20th, without looking at what Larry Gagosian has done. He changed the field.”


Exterior of Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills.
Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

Candy Coleman, gallery director, has been with the firm for 20 years. Has her boss changed much in those two decades? “I don’t know if he has; the great thing about Larry is that he is extremely open to everyone who works for him. At the same time, he can micromanage everybody who works for him. As much as the gallery’s grown, and he continues to be open to everybody’s ideas and to stay on point—he has his vision. Larry curated this show completely on his own.”

When asked what he thought of Gagosian’s selection for the show, MOCA president Jeffrey Soros kept his commentary brief: “Not surprising.”

“[Gagosian] starts with Cy Twombly and ends with Piero Golia,” Mr. Vergne added. “It shows the great breadth of the gallery and artists who are…great masters, and that the gallery’s taking a risk too, with younger artists.”


Installation view.
Image: Susan Michals

To replace the veritable elephant in the room, there was instead a cat and a sheep holding center court in each of the respective first floor gallery spaces—the first by Koons, entitled Cat on a Clothesline (Orange) and the second, by Hirst, Black Sheep with Golden Horns. These two works in particular were the Instagrammers fantasy come true. Though patrons were advised not to get too close, that didn’t stop art collector and dealer Tony Shafrazi from taking a break from the festivities and leaning on the Hirst (security kindly asked him to lean elsewhere, which he gladly obliged). Other notables who stopped in to celebrate included Derek Blasberg, Nancy Rubins, Harmony Korine, casting director John Papsidera, Bonham’s Dane Jensen, and Bill and Maria Bell.


Installation view.
Image: Susan Michals



Installation view.
Image: Susan Michals

Jeff Koons’s “Gazing Ball” paintings are on view at Gagosian Gallery in New York from November 9-December 23, 2015.

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