Owned and directed by Larry Gagosian, the Gagosian Gallery began with one location, in Los Angeles, in 1979. Now, it is a global enterprise with 15 locations around the world, including 6 gallery locations in New York — in Chelsea, on the Upper East Side and at Rockefeller Center. The exhibitions you find there are diverse and the experience of visiting is museum level but more intimate.
Recently, I went to the gallery at 980 Madison Avenue to see paintings by Helen Frankenthaler (on view until October 18). I wasn’t very familiar with her work but was attracted to the abstract color images used to promote the exhibit. According to the gallery, “the exhibition focuses on a brief but critical period in Frankenthaler’s career during 1962-63, when she ‘composed with color’ rather than with line..,” Of particular interest to me were a series of paintings — “Filter, Gulf Stream and Moat (all 1963)” — that include imprints of the floorboards at Frankenthaler’s studio.
While at the gallery, I also visited an Ed Ruscha exhibit — prints and photographs of the past forty years. While more familiar with Ruscha, an American artist associated with the Pop Art movement, I had never seen an in depth look at his work. The prints were simple, elegant and playful. Among my favorites were “Bowl,” from 1974, and “Carp With Fly,” from 1969. I also enjoyed a series of 12 Los Angeles “Roof Top Views” — photographs taken by Ruscha in 1961 and then again in 2003. There are many other photographs and prints that underscore Ruscha’s diversity and creativity.
The Ruscha exhibit is only on view until September 27th.