Jeff Koons leaves Gagosian and David Zwirner Gallery to go to Pace Gallery
After years of collaboration, the best-selling artist in the world decides to take another path and the reasons are all to be discovered…
Breaking news: Jeff Koons, the living artist who is among the most highly regarded in the art market, has severed his working relationship with Gagosian Gallery and David Zwirner Gallery, which represented him since 2001 and 2013, respectively, to work exclusively with Pace Gallery.
The statements released by those involved are of friendly circumstance. Gallerist David Zwirner wished the artist the best, while Larry Gagosian limited himself to declaring that it seems like a “good move”. For his part, the American artist known for his glittering aluminum sculptures sold for millions of dollars simply said “I’ve always liked the idea of having more than one gallery to represent me, where people could turn to find my work. Now it’s time for a change.” The pandemic situation must have led Koons to consider a change of heart in favor of the Pace Gallery founded in 1960 by Arne Glimcher and now led by President and CEO Marc Glimcher.
Only last year, in April 2020, in the midst of a crisis due to the closure of galleries all over the world, it was Pace itself that was at the center of attention when, despite boasting considerable economic power and eight offices scattered throughout the world, including London, Hong Kong, Geneva and Seoul, the New York office made a 25% cut in personnel, triggering a great deal of discontent.
Megas’ crisis seems to be over, and now a new challenge awaits it: to be the only gallery to represent Jeff Koons, the world’s highest-rated living artist. Koons’ first solo show with the new gallery is scheduled for 2022 at the Palo Alto, California location: a single work of art at center stage. This will be followed in 2023 by a single, more impressive show at the historic New York location, where Koons will unveil a new project he’s apparently been working on for years.
An announcement that shakes up the art world and that is equivalent to a great change in the ranking of power in this sector. Also because it comes shortly after another resounding abandonment: before Koons, in fact, also the Swiss Urs Fischer interrupted his collaboration with Gagosian to move right into the stable of Pace. A simple coincidence or the beginning of something bigger?
While Koons’ motivation related to a professional turnaround might be true, it is also necessary to point out that the artist’s market has been declining in recent years and he has been involved along with Gagosian and Zwirner in multimillion dollar lawsuits for the non-delivery of some works commissioned by collectors such as financier Steve Tananbaum and dealer Fabrizio Moretti.
In 2017, sales of the “Gazing Ball” series at Gagosian, had not been particularly brilliant and Koons had thus been forced to reduce the staff working for him.
In the meantime, its production has been increasingly oriented towards more high-tech manufacturing processes, a factor that may probably have been decisive in the choice of Pace as a new gallery given the great interest shown by this space in new technologies, also reiterated in its Statement and representing the collective teamLab already from 2019 founders of the largest museum of Digital Art in the world, the MORI Building Digital Art in Tokyo.
Pace’s focus on the increasingly important relationship between Art and Technology is a key element that is also directly related to Fischer’s choice: intending in fact to sell his first NFT pieces, the Swiss sculptor left Gagosian, who would have preferred to have more time to consider and reflect on the Crypto Art phenomenon and Blockchain technology.
In fact, the choice of a gallery is essential for the continuous growth of an artist’s career, even if its quotations are already millionaires: changing path could lead to new and exciting projects.
We just have to wait for the results of the new collaboration between Jeff Koons and Pace Gallery.