Legendary Photographer William Eggleston Ditches Gagosian for David Zwirner

Kusama, Schnabel, and now Eggleston. Who's next?

William Eggleston== THE WHITNEY Celebrates The Opening Of "WILLIAM EGGLESTON: DEMOCRATIC CAMERA"== THE WHITNEY MUSEUM, NYC== November 05, 2008== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - PATRICK MCMULLAN/PatrickMcMullan.com== ==
William Eggleston celebrates Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964–1977 and William Eggleston: Democratic Camera Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. Image courtesy of ©Patrick McMullan; photo by DAVID CROTTY/PatrickMcMullan.com.

William Eggleston at “William Eggleston: Democratic Camera Photographs and Video, 1961-2008” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. Image courtesy of DAVID CROTTY/PatrickMcMullan.com.

David Zwirner gallery has announced the exclusive representation of the legendary photographer William Eggleston, who has been previously represented by Gagosian Gallery for the past five years.

David Zwirner made the announcement today, adding that an exhibition of Eggleston’s “Democratic Forest” project will take place in its New York branch in November.

“We are honored to welcome William Eggleston to the gallery. One of the most important artists of our time, his painterly understanding of color and unmatched eye continue to exert an indisputable influence on visual culture,” David Zwirner said in a statement.

William Eggleston <i>Untitled from The Democratic Forest, ca. </i>(1983-1986) Photo

William Eggleston, Untitled from The Democratic Forest, ca. (1983-1986). Courtesy of the Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner, New York/London

“I think the photo community sometimes takes their own and holds them hostage,” said Zwirner to the New York Times. “It’s important for Eggleston’s work to be seen among the great art that’s being made. I know that’s very important for him in choosing our gallery,” he added.

Eggleston’s decision to leave Gagosian comes hot on the heels of Julian Schnabel quitting Gagosian to return to Pace Gallery, on the grounds that he “wanted to have a more human relationship with the person who was representing my work.”

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William Eggleston, Untitled from The Democratic Forest, ca. (1983-1986). Courtesy of the Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner, New York/London

This seems to be becoming quite a trend, as in 2012, Yayoi Kusama also left Gagosian for Zwirner.

Eggleston, Kusama, and Schnabel are not the only artists to crave a less business-like approach from the mega-gallery Gagosian, which has and continues to expand across the globe.

As Mike Kelley told Artillery Magazine in a 2011 interview: “Larry Gagosian, I know, doesn’t care about my work… He’s a businessman. It’s like, you’re there as long as he can make money off you.”

However, it’s not all bad news for Gagosian, as the infinitely collectible Damien Hirst returned to the Gagosian fold in April, after parting ways with him just a few days following the 2012 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach art fair.


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