It’s always a very fun day here at StreetEasy when we can mix real estate with art, especially when it comes to one of the greatest art dealers in the galaxy, Larry Gagosian. After all, the gallery owner and renowned art pusher has created a white-hot map of avant-garde spaces during his 30-plus year history in New York.
The latest happening for Gagosian is the $18 million sale of a carriage house at 147 East 69th Street (photo below), which the 70-year-old dealer had owned since 1988. The deal was consummated in August, when — no surprise here — Gagosian sold to fellow art champion Sascha Bauer, chairman of SculptureCenter, the uber-popular sculpture space in Long Island City.
But back to Gagosian. He is hardly without a place to hang his hat — or some of the hundreds of masterworks he owns or deals. (Word is he hangs a Picasso over his bed.) In 2011, Gagosian bought another fabulous property called Harkness Mansion at 4 East 75th Street (photo below), which was a good deal at $36.5 million.
The Upper East Side building sprawls 20,000 square feet and Gagosian may have actually been enticed that this architectural treasure had been gutted in advance of a renovation by its prior owner. When divorce drove the previous owner to list Harkness Mansion, the raw space must’ve shouted out “More Art Space!” in Gagosian’s super-fine brain.
Gagosian through the years
After all, why wouldn’t Gagosian add to the bevy of 15 galleries and spaces he owns in places like Los Angeles, Rome, London, Athens and Vienna. (Want to see Picasso? Head to the Vienna gallery.) Or, if you want to stick closer to home, trot over to 980 Madison, which has come to serve as Gagosian’s Big Apple crown jewel. Gagosian is showing the late works of Francis Bacon there on Nov. 7, in case you’re interested.
But for all the incredible art deals and real estate acquisitions Gagosian continues to build his empire with, some of us nostalgic NYC natives are kind of stuck in the glorious time warp of when Gagosian first splashed into the downtown art scene. These days, the former Gagosian gallery at 65 Thompson Street is a boutique condo building, where the penthouse sold for $3.5 million last year and where a $9,500-a-month rental is currently listed. But back in the day, Gagosian teamed up with Leo Castelli to define the downtown art scene.
There was also 136 Wooster, where Gagosian lit up the art world by featuring highly anticipated shows by Richard Serra, Maya Lin, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol. These days, years after art space was priced out by commercial enterprises, 134-136 Wooster is occupied by an adidas store. But it’s OK, we guess. Gagosian is the Gingerbread Man of the art world. He keeps running ahead of everyone, setting the standard for hooking up artists with art collectors. We just appreciate the high-brow and high stakes entertainment that comes with his art and real estate deals.