Gagosian Suffers Third Artist Defection As Yayoi Kusama Abandons Gallery

Gagosian Artists quit

Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Now Yayoi Kusama are set to move on from the worlds largest Art Gallery. The question on the art world’s mind remains, why? Kusama who shows with the family run Victoria Miro gallery in London will most likely be looking for a more personal service from her dealer. The actual reasons behind the artist’s departure has not been given but speculation is circulating that they are all connected in some way. It is not often that three of the worlds leading artists give notice to quit within a short period of time.

Gagosian who pulled off Hirst’s Spot painting spectacular last Winter at all eleven of the gallery’s international sites as a prequel to the Tate Modern’s retrospective this year parted two weeks ago. He has shown on and off at the gallery for 17 years. There has been no more information other than the official statements wishing each other well, however The NY Times critic, Millicent Wilner, a director of the Gagosian Gallery in London, was quoted as saying ‘As a gallery, we’ve done everything to support him. But Damien has always done things differently.’ A spokesperson for the international gallery chain mentioned in the same newspaper that Gagosian was ‘reviewing the parameters of our working relationship with Ms. Kusama’.

Last week, it was reported that the decision to leave Gagosian behind may have something to do with the rumoured complaint that it is run like a factory rather than a family. A similar statement was also made by the Los Angeles artist/musician Mike Kelley who committed suicide last year. While it has been confirmed that Kusama and Hirst are most definitely parting ways with Gagosian, speculation as to whether Jeff Koons is leaving permanently is unconfirmed . The uncertainty came to light after Koons agreed to an exhibition with Gagosian’s arch-rival, the New York dealer David Zwirner, but Koons himself has yet to confirm that he is ready to jump ship.

Photo: © ArtLyst 2012

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