Gagosian Joins the Team of Galleries Representing Jordan Wolfson, Enfant Terrible Creator of High-Tech Installations
The gallery will share representation with David Zwirner and Sadie Coles.
Over the past decade, artist Jordan Wolfson has become famous for complex, large-scale, and often controversial artworks that require a heavy lift from his galleries, both financially and logistically. According to a lengthy 2020 New Yorker profile, Wolfson’s creepy installation Coloured Sculpture (2016) cost $1 million to produce and came to fruition thanks to financial backing from his galleries David Zwirner and Sadie Coles.
The work, which drew lines outside Zwirner in New York, involved a demonic doll with flickering video screens for eyes being yanked around the gallery on a pulley system with the song When a Man Loves a Woman blaring in the background. The dealers’ bet paid off—it was quickly snapped up for three times its production cost, or $3 million, according to the magazine.
So it’s perhaps not surprising that yet another mega-gallery has come on board to help share the load. Yesterday, Gagosian announced it would split representation of Wolfson with Coles and Zwirner.
The announcement contained minimal detail about the nature of the arrangement, but Artnet News understands that Zwirner will continue to focus on New York while Gagosian will focus on Los Angeles. (The artist divides his time between the two cities.) Coles will keep her focus on London.
Zwirner and Gagosian will also present the artist’s work at their Hong Kong and Paris venues, respectively. Zwirner is planning a solo Wolfson show in Hong Kong in 2023 and another in New York in 2024.
“In recent years, Jordan Wolfson has created some of the most iconic work of the last decade,” David Zwirner told Artnet News. “Given the ambitious nature of his practice, Sadie and I are excited to be adding the Gagosian gallery to this team of producers.”
Zwirner and Gagosian have shared representation of an artist with ambitious (and expensive) production needs before. Jeff Koons cut ties with both galleries to join Pace in August 2021.
Of the roughly two-dozen works by Wolfson that have appeared at auction to date, most are ink-jet prints, the priciest of which sold for $260,000 at Phillips Hong Kong in June, according to the Artnet Price Database.
The prices for major installations sold on the primary market are far higher. According to the New Yorker profile, which raised questions about whether Wolfson’s often controversial subjects threaten to get him “canceled,” his works may be better received outside the United States.
A recent animatronic sculpture called The Cube—a box suspended from a chain attached to a robotic arm used in car manufacturing—was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra for a reported $5 million. (The pandemic reportedly delayed the acquisition; the National Gallery did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Artnet News.)
“Wolfson wanted the Cube to have its debut in a prominent American museum, rather than at one of his galleries,” the New Yorker reported, “but that didn’t happen.”
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