Gagosian Gallery started in the mid-eighties in Los Angeles, and became a bi-coastal operation by 1985 with a space on West 23rd Street, in New York City. This second venue in New York mounted exhibitions primarily dealing with the history of The New York School, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, such as The Black and White Paintings of Robert Rauschenberg, 1949-1952; The Picasso Paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, l962-64; The Abstract Landscapes, 1955-1964 by Willem de Kooning. At the same time, however, the original Los Angeles gallery showed younger contemporary artist such as Eric Fischl, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and David Salle. The primary focus of the Gagosian Gallery increasingly became the organization of important exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as the continued presentation of classical material.
In 1989 a new and more spacious gallery opened in New York City at 980 Madison Avenue with The Maps of Jasper Johns. This show was followed by The Sponge Reliefs of Yves Klein, The Shadow Paintings of Andy Warhol,, The Bolsena Paintings of Cy Twombly, The Black Enamel Paintings of Jackson Pollock, and The Black and Metallic Paintings, l959-l964 by Frank Stella. Shortly after this move to Madison Avenue, several important artists such as Walter de Maria, Philip Taaffe and Francesco Clemente joined Gagosian Gallery.
In 1991 Gagosian opened a second location in SoHo, an artistic section of lower Manhattan. With this new venue, the gallery began a program that included showing the work of major international sculpture by Richard Serra, Mark di Suvero, Barnett Newman, and Chris Burden. Though the uptown gallery maintained its commitment to making historically valued exhibitions by showing monumental sculpture by Miro, Calder and Moore, the SoHo gallery featured younger artists of international acclaim such as Damien Hirst, Ellen Gallagher, Jenny Saville, Douglas Gordon, and Cecily Brown. However, major works of Andy Warhol have been represented continuously in both the Madison Avenue and SoHo galleries, such as The Rorschach Paintings, The Camouflage Paintings, The Late Hand Painted Paintings, The Oxidation Paintings, the Ladies and Gentleman, Philip Scull and the Diamond Dust Shadow Paintings.
With the growing need to satisfy both the West Coast as well as the New York markets, Gagosian Gallery returned to Los Angeles in 1995 with a new space in Beverly Hills designed by architect Richard Meier. In addition to the aforementioned artists, the Beverly Hills gallery has mounted major exhibitions by Edward Ruscha, Nan Goldin, Frank Gehry, Cecily Brown, Jeff Koons and Richard Prince.
The move of the SoHo gallery to Chelsea area of Manhattan represents a new and most significant phase in the Gagosian Gallery development. While partially under construction, Richard Serra inaugurated this Richard Gluckman designed space in November 1999, presenting, "Switch", a monumental sculpture which was soon followed by a show of new works by Anselm Kiefer and later, the Warhol Diamond Dust Shadows series. The entire renovation of the Chelsea space was completed in September 2000, opening with a show of new work by Damien Hirst.
In the spring of 2000, Gagosian Gallery became international when it opened a Caruso/St. John designed space on Heddon Street in Picadilly, London. This gallery inaugurated its exhibitions program with a performance by the Italian-American artist Vanessa Beecroft, whose show was followed by a Chris Burden exhibition, as well as an Eric Fischl painting show that summer.
Also designed by Caruso/St. John is another London gallery on Britannia Street, which opened in May 2004 with a paintings and sculpture show by the internationally acclaimed artist Cy Twombly. Comparable to the Chelsea exhibition space in size and grandeur, this addition to the Gagosian Galleries will be able to accommodate an agenda of large sculpture, video pieces and installations like Martin Kippenberger: The Magical Misery Tour, Brazil which followed the Twombly exhibition. The Heddon Street location closed in July 2005, and a new storefront space on Davies Street opened at the same time with a historic exhibition of Pablo Picasso prints, La Minotauromachie: All VIII States.
Gagosian Gallery in Rome launched in June 2005 with an exhibition of Ed Ruscha: New Drawings. The newest addition to Gagosian Gallery is a new Richard Gluckman designed space, which was inaugurated in October 2006 on West 21st Street in Chelsea as a joint exhibition with our West 24th Street gallery, Cast a Cold Eye: The Late Works of Andy Warhol.