October 30, 2015
Contemporary art, by definition, is what is happening now and predicting what is happening next. If you’ll indulge us, though, our Beverly Hills gallery is having a moment of nostalgia: this week, we’re celebrating the twentieth anniversary of our Southern California space. Designed by the architect Richard Meier, the space opened in 1995 with a show of sculptures by Frank Stella. To mark the occasion, founder Larry Gagosian has curated a special site-specific exhibition. More than thirty artists that span three generations will be shown, From Damien Hirst’s 2009 black-sheep vitrine to Robert Therrien’s enigmatic No title (blue bow) (2015) to Roy Lichtenstein’s Portrait of a Woman (1979). We are celebrating the gallery's richly diverse international program in the city where it all began.
Los Angeles is an important location in the development of the gallery. Larry Gagosian was born and raised there, and his first gallery was opened on North Almont in the early 1980s. He shuttered that operation when he moved to New York in 1985 to open spaces in Chelsea, and also in Soho in collaboration with Leo Castelli. Ten years later, the Beverly Hills outpost was up and running. We were one of the first galleries that covered American art from coast to coast—literally—and one of the first to devote important West Coast exhibitions to artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, whom we first showed in 1982; Chris Burden, and Richard Avedon, whose 2013 exhibition “Avedon: Women” showed his work in Beverly Hills for the first time since 1976. Five years ago, we called on Meier again to expand the gallery into the next-door building, and soon our February openings, coinciding with the Academy Awards, became some of the most anticipated in the L.A. art world. Urs Fischer, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, and Andreas Gursky have been among the artists featured. Two decades of shows with some of the art world’s most compelling and renowned artists reminds me of something that Pablo Picasso once said: “It takes a long time to become young.”
"Beverly Hills 20-Year Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, 1995–2015" is on view through December 19, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills.