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  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Spectacular space. I came here to see the Cy Twombly exhibit and I was delighted and enchanted! Mr. Twombly could not have chose a better venue than this lovely light filled building to show the very last paintings he made. Glorious huge paintings with greens, yellows, reds, and cursive swirls the size of doorways.  

    The Gagosian is like a museum, except everything is for sale. It is a Ferrari dealer of art, the best kind. I went here on Black Friday...I missed out on a $30 tablet somewhere, no loss.

    Go take a gallery visit, feel the last lush swirls of a genius, look at each painting and revel in Twomblys last wonderous yet knowing marks. RIP C.T.

  • 5.0 star rating
    3 check-ins

    If you didn't know, Gagosian is a New York Grandaddy of Modern art.  He has galleries all over the world, and His shows are on the level of museum exhibits, except everything is for sale.

    Extremely modern.

    Go to the rooftop patio for a 5 minute escape from new York, or a romantic kiss.

  • 2.0 star rating

    This place is very confusing! It's in a ritzy office building and the main entrance is on one of the upper floors. I can never remember which one, and it's not marked in the elevator, and I don't want to ask the security guard in the lobby because when I go into a fancy building on the UES I just want to breeze by like I know what I'm doing, know what I mean? I'll concede that this last point is my problem and not the gallery's. But still. When you get off on the upper floors there are narrow, dark corridors and multiple doors to the gallery, some marked and some not. I always feel like I'm sneaking in an exit, or about to open a door to an employee lounge. At one entrance you're immediately confronted by a narrow staircase, leading to a gallery on the top floor. Considering this is one of Manhattan's top galleries it's a bit disconcerting that it's laid out like a rabbit warren.

    Because of its size this location of Gagosian always has several shows up at once. On my last visit one of the big draws was Cy Twombly, an artist who I personally have never liked. When I first started to learn about painting I thought this was my fault--I suspected that there was something special about the relation of the pigment to the brushstroke to the canvas, or about the form of his scribbles to the classical texts referenced in the titles, that I just couldn't understand. As time passed I became  more confident that this was not the case. He's a reasonably proficient painter with a few novel ideas and a lot of pretentious talk around them to magnify their importance. (Come to think of it, this description can be applied to most successful artists.) I can see how some people can be moved by his work but overall I think he's way overrated. Cy Twombly died recently and Gagosian Gallery was showing his last paintings. They were big whorls in bright red/chatreuse, green, and yellow--like his old chalk-on-chalkboard drawings but done in synthetic pigments in fast-food-chain colors on wood, for durability. When I looked at them I found myself imagining a 3rd-rate painter ca. 1972 saying to himself: "Now that I've combined Abstract Expressionism with Pop I'll be proclaimed a GENIUS!!" This imaginary painter didn't coincide with the image I'd had of Cy Twombly--and that's partly why the exhibition felt strange to me. On another floor there was a gallery of Twombly's photographs, taken in the Italian countryside where he lived. Lots of shrubs, trees, and country roads with nothing particularly distinctive about them, all overexposed, blurred, and excessively bright with no sense of composition--it was like a bad and pretentious Instagram account (and I should know, haha! Follow me on Instagram). If I had any doubts about my assessment of Twombly's artistry, those photographs killed them. RIP Cy Twombly. RIP doubts.

    But that's not all!! There was ANOTHER exhibition at the gallery, of another artist--Richard Prince. It was some black and white text pieces, the hood of a car, tarry textured paintings. I wasn't into it. I love Prince's early work, the photographs of magazines and joke paintings. Magazine ads create an image of a social setting that everyone recognizes but can't actually take part of because it doesn't exist, a simulatneous sense of familiarity and alienation, whereas jokes are what people say to each other when they want to sustain a conversation but are afraid of talking about things that are honest and personal, or just have nothing to say. And Prince's old works are about these feelings. A lot of people seem to think of those works are wry cerebral games but they've always struck me as very melancholy and pointed reflections on being a lonely outsider. What happens to lonely outsiders when they become hugely successful? Some of them turn into surly jerks. That's what happened to Richard Prince. Most of his work of the last ten years is all about being a surly jerk and I'm over him.

    I think there was at least one other show at this gallery. It's huge! I can't remember what it was though.

  • 3.0 star rating

    This is for serious modern art lovers only. A black canvas and a white canvas? Surely you jest. I guess when I prime a canvas, I've joined the ranks of the talented. I caught Malevich and the American Legacy at this location on a recommendation and it was the fastest blitz of art I've ever taken in. I had this pained smile on my face all thetime; the guards were smiling as they noticed how quickly I fled the exhibit rooms one after another, from such displays of genius. I saw a family do a blitz of the show also. I don't understand abstract art and don't pretend to. I admire the empire of Gagosian but at times, I still can't comprehend what these hoity toity collectors denote as "modern, abstract, GREAT art". I came, I saw, I almost puked in horror. If the Frick had been open, I would have gone there for an IV of Rembrandt to help me recover.

    Oh, the three stars is for the gallery, which is spacious, well lit and laid out well.  The current exhibit gets squat.

  • 5.0 star rating

    I saw the India Wolf (Architect Maya Lin & art dealer Daniel Wolf's daughter) curated a fabulous exhibition called "Stepping Up for Art": artist designed shoes: Ed Ruscha, George Condo, Sol Lewitt, Hugo Guiness, Jeff Koons, Sara Sze, Cindy Sherman, Christo, Francesco Clemente, Richard Prince, Tom Sachs, Maira Kalman, photographed by David Levinthal, Laurie Simmons, Marilyn Minter, and the architect herself Maya Lin (with delicious recycled glass cubes similar to candy); utilizing Charlotte Olympia heels designed by Brazilian heiress Charlotte Dellal. Five schools--including PS 75 Manhattan,  PS 45 Queens,  PS 16 Staten Island, PS 39 Brooklyn, PS 196 Bronx--also contributed their inventive Dollys to the show. "The kids' work is so surprising, they don't disappoint, either," said Thomas Cahill, CEO of Studio in a School. "That's one of the lovely things about [Stepping Up for Art], to benefit Studio in a School, a non-profit organization that brings art education to public schools in NYC & where my friend Mary S. Chen works.  vogue.com/vogue-daily/ar…  studioinaschool.org

  • 5.0 star rating

    Such a nice gallery.

    It is small though. But nice

  • 3.0 star rating

    Gagosian, you are a very reputable gallery, worldwide. Your space here on Madison in the UES is quite impressive. The floor layout was really quite nice and the sheer amount of wall space you command is enviable. By now, you're probably like, "Why did you only give me three stars!?" Well, I'll tell you, as gently as I can. Because your current exhibition sucks. It wasn't just one floor of suck, it was three floors of suck. I actually questioned if you were trying to appeal to younger buyers that can't bankroll the more expensive stuff. And buddy, hey, in this economy I can understand that. But choose something that better represents what a gallery of your standing and quality level should be at. It was also hung salon-style, as in way too many paintings on the wall. If you're trying to make the work seem more important, take a few paintings down, pal.

    Don't worry Gagosian, I'll update my review when I see you put up something that I thought was fresh-and-new. Take this as constructive criticism and not a bashing.  Stay strong!

  • 5.0 star rating

    Agree that it takes a little blind faith to actually get to the gallery, what with the elusive elevator, the unmarked floors, and the stuffy feel to the buliding's outside.

    But the gallery, itself, is outstanding: plain white walls with the art sparingly hung about so that there's plenty of room to appreciate the individual pieces without feeling like the space intrudes on the work.

    I went for the Picasso exhibit, which was mildly disappointing (they had only one or two of his paintings).  But, I was quite impressed with the majority of the other work, including a couple Warhols and two Eadweard Muybridge movement studies.

    Best piece of the day, however, goes to Jenny Holzer, who took a piece of white marble, shaped it into an uncomfortable looking seat, and adorned it with the tagline "The Future Is Stupid."  What's even better?  The same line is also a tweet on her Twitter page.  

    Oh, and don't expect the young, 20-something girls interspersed randomly throughout the gallery's few floors to want to talk to you.  Maybe it's the nature of all docents and attendants to be aloof.  But these chicks straight up scowl if you ask 'em a question.

    Either that, or they didn't like the fact that the gallery closed at 6 and we showed up at 5:55 and gave ourselves the full tour anyway.  Whoops.

  • 5.0 star rating
    First to Review

    Amazing space.  Yes, it's a little daunting to walk into what looks like (and basically is) a corporate building, not knowing which floor to push on the elevator, but it's worth it.  I went for the Murakami exhibit a while ago (one of my favorite artists!  Love the Japanese Superflat crowd).  But when I got out of the elevator, I found myself in front of a set of glass doors, through which I saw a gigantic upside down statue, funky paintings on the walls, and a cement floor that looked like it had been shelled (there was literally rubble everywhere and gaping holes in the floor).  Got distracted, and had to go in...

    The upside down statue seemed to have something to do with the state of California, an image of which was pasted next to it, and which it actually did resemble (the statue - I think it was of some saint -  upside down and angled, almost exactly matched the shape of California?  Weird).

    So after running around seeing funky whatnots, I went down the hallway to check out the newest Murakami paintings.

    Compleeetely different space.   Giant paintings, in one giant room (the other area was separated into little rooms).  Nice lighting, polished floor.  Perfect for displaying the paintings, which had Zen-ish auras while retaining crazy Murakami flavor.  

    Solid gallery.  One of the most reputable in the city, so they'll get the big names like Murakami, but still willing to take risks.  It's a great break from museum monotony up on the Upper East Side.

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From the business


Commerical art gallery specializing in modern and contemporary art.


Established in 1989.

In 1989, 980 Madison Avenue opened in New York City with the inaugural exhibition: "The Maps of Jasper Johns."  During its first 2 years, the Madison Avenue space presented work by Yves Klein, Warhol, Twombly and Pollock. At the same time, several important artists such as Walter de Maria, Philip Taaffe and Francesco Clemente joined the gallery.  

Having established itself with historical exhibitions, the Madison Avenue location introduced a fifth floor gallery space, set up to focus more on young and upcoming artists. Featuring works by Hayley Tompkins and Anselm Reyle, "Old Space New Space" inaugurated the space in 2007.  The 5th floor gallery has since showcased the works of Steven Parrino, Mark Grotjahn and Isa Genzken, Dan Colen and Dash Snow, to name a few.

In 2008, Gagosian Gallery expanded its Madison Avenue gallery to the 4th floor, with an inaugural exhibition of works by Bacon and Giacometti in "Isabel and Other Intimate Strangers."