Since it's origins in 1980 as a small Los Angeles gallery specializing in modern and contemporary art, Gagosian Gallery has evolved into a global art octopus devouring the contemporary art world. Gagosian rivals many public institutions in terms of breadth and reach and maintains multiple distinct exhibition spaces in multiple cities and countries. Gagosian Madison Avenue opened in New York in 1989 and has expanded to occupy three floors of the building. The versatile gallery complex on West 24th Street in New York, which opened in 1999, was joined by a spectacular gallery on West 21st Street, both designed by Richard Gluckman. In 2013, a specialist bookshop and adjoining gallery opened at 976 Madison Avenue. A storefront gallery, Park & 75, opened in the spring of 2014.
Over the last three decades, Gagosian Gallery has presented an unparalleled program of exhibitions by legendary figures such as Richard Artschwager, Francis Bacon, Max Beckmann, Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, Willem de Kooning, Walter De Maria, Alberto Giacometti, Arshile Gorky, Mike Kelley, Roy Lichtenstein, Kazimir Malevich, Piero Manzoni, Claude Monet, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Egon Schiele, David Smith, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Franz West. Such programming attracts remarkable crowds: "Picasso: Mosqueteros" (Gagosian New York, 2009) drew 100,000 visitors, while "Picasso: The Mediterranean Years (1945–1962)" (Gagosian London, 2010) received more than 60,000 visitors. Major exhibitions in New York in 2012 included a retrospective of the work of Lucio Fontana, and the monumental photographic murals and related photographs of Richard Avedon. In 2013 a major survey of more than 50 paintings by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat attracted 85,000 visitors to the West 24th Street gallery.
Together with its distinguished historical program, Gagosian presents a roster of ambitious exhibitions by the world’s most acclaimed living artists, including Georg Baselitz, Cecily Brown, John Currin, Urs Fischer, Mark Grotjahn, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, Sally Mann, Brice Marden, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Rudolf Stingel, Mark Tansey, Tatiana Trouvé, Rachel Whiteread, and Christopher Wool. The exhibitions are accompanied by beautifully designed scholarly catalogues and monographs. Gagosian also publishes catalogues raisonnés on several key artists, as well as a vibrant quarterly magazine for its global constituency.
Gagosian Gallery Chelsea — West 24th Street is located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Once a mixed, low-income neighborhood on the West Side, Chelsea has become a focal point for artists and galleries. It has a wide reputation as Manhattan's gay mecca, and while that has historically been true, rising acceptance of the gay lifestyle—and soaring rents—has led to a dissipation of the community in the neighborhood. These days, Chelsea is, very simply, a bastion of affluence more than any other social status, with the conversion of many apartment buildings to condos and co-ops and the on-rush of multimillion-dollar brownstones and lofts. In the ever-northward shift of Manhattan's masses, the high prices of Greenwich Village and Christopher Street area (which has boasted a large LGBT community since the 1960s) led many to head north to Chelsea in the late 1980s. In that migration, many have already moved on from Chelsea to the northern climes of Hell's Kitchen and Washington Heights, or east to Brooklyn. While Eighth Avenue between 14th and 23rd Streets formerly had one of New York’s highest concentrations of gay-operated restaurants, stores, cafes, the population transfer changed the demographics once again—you'll find much higher concentrations in Hell's Kitchen nowadays. The Chelsea art scene blossomed thanks to the conversion of garages and warehouses between Tenth and Twelfth Avenues, and likely will become a victim of its own success. What SoHo and the 57th Street area lost in stature has been Chelsea’s gain, and almost all the well-established flagship galleries make Chelsea their base. How did it all begin? In 1987, the Dia Center for the Arts—later known as Dia: Chelsea—became one of the pioneers in the area, establishing its main exhibition facility on West 22nd Street. Ironically, after opening its flagship museum Dia: Beacon upstate, it was left without a Manhattan presence. Plans to move down to Greenwich Village and abut the new High Line elevated park were scuttled, and the Whitney instead grabbed the valuable tract that once appealed to Dia. Of course, the High Line further increased property values, thus begetting additional high-rises between Tenth Avenue and West Street, which in turn brought in starchitects like Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel, whose creations can be seen soaring from the earth along West Street. You can learn more about these in our new architecture of Manhattan walking tour. While the ethnic diversity of Chelsea was once truly enviable, the neighborhood still remains one of only a few places where housing ranges from high-rise public housing projects to single-family brownstones to new glass condominiums—even on the same block! Some of Manhattan’s most affordable rent-stabilized apartments can be found between Seventh and Ninth Avenues. The historic district has some fine examples of nineteenth-century city dwellings, and small gardens and flowering trees abound. If you think the grounds of General Theological Seminary (440 West 21st Street) look familiar, that's because it is frequently functions as a set for the TV show Law & Order! Even seminaries have to make money, and thus G.T.S. (as it's known) demolished its former entrance on Ninth Avenue to make way for (what else?) luxury condominiums. At its Tenth Avenue entrance, G.T.S. created one of Manhattan's most charming niche hotels, the Desmond Tutu Center, named after the great South African archbishop. Speaking of hotels, Chelsea has no shortage of great places to stay and to eat. On Tenth Avenue you'll find the renowned tapas of Tia Pol and its offshoot El Quinto Pino just two blocks away. There's the upscale Cookshop nearby, and further south on Tenth Avenue you'll find the Iron Chef's Morimoto at the great Chelsea Market, also home to Buddakan on the Ninth Avenue side.
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