Nam June Paik’s Estate Joins Gagosian’s Empire
The estate of Nam June Paik is the latest addition to the Gagosian empire.
The gallery will kickoff the partnership with the opening of the exhibition “Nam June Paik: The Late Style” at its Hong Kong outpost on September 17. The show will feature Paik’s signature video installations, as well as paintings and drawings produced during the last decade of the artist’s life, many of which have never been exhibited previously.
According to the Art Newspaper, Gagosian’s representation of Paik was initiated by reps in the Hong Kong gallery (who, we recently learned, will now get a cut of all Paik sales for the next year).
Paik died in 2006, and has been called the “father of video art.” He has also been said to have “predicted the Internet age” with his artwork, even coining the phrase “electronic superhighway” as early as 1974.
Paik’s work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Tate Modern, and several other institutions, and was featured prominently in the Whitney Museum’s inaugural exhibition “America Is Hard to See.”
In 2007, the sculpture Wright Brothers beat the record for a sculpture by Paik at auction, achieving HKD 5,031,500 ($646, 897) at Christie’s Hong Kong, according to the artnet Price Database.
It isn’t uncommon for artists and estates to default from their longtime galleries when a more prestigious institution comes to call, but Gagosian did recently get dumped by Rauschenberg, whose estate jumped ship for Paris’s Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, São Paulo’s Galeria Luisa Strina, and fellow uber-gallery Pace.
Paik will be a major loss to James Cohan’s roster, but luckily, the gallery just announced a new space on the Lower East Side, where they intend to show a host of young artists on the rise.
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