Home > Art-Culture-Architecture > Damien Hirst’s split from Larry Gagosian turns heads in art world.

Damien Hirst’s split from Larry Gagosian turns heads in art world.

By    The Guardian, Sunday 6th January 2013.    Find Full Article Here:-

Some say gallerist initiated split due to Hirst’s declining sales; others see a shift in balance of power towards top artists.

Larry Gagosian and Damien Hirst in 2007

Larry Gagosian and Damien Hirst in 2007. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features

They seemed the perfect match. On one side, Larry Gagosian, the world’s most powerful art dealer, whose eponymous gallery has more exhibition space than Tate Modern, an annual revenue estimated at more than $1bn (£600m) and puts on exhibitions of the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Warhol to rival the greatest museums. On the other, Damien Hirst, the world’s most successful living artist, who has amassed a fortune of £215m.

So Hirst’s sudden departure after 17 years from Gagosian‘s blockbuster roster of 77 artists and estates – months after the gallerist mounted an unprecedented simultaneous exhibition of the artist’s spot paintings in every one of his then 11 galleries around the world – has raised questions about the careers of these titans of the contemporary art world, and about the art market itself.

The economist Don Thompson, author of The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, which investigated the contemporary art market including Gagosian’s 2005 sale of Hirst’s best-known formaldehyde work, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, believes the gallerist initiated the split due to Hirst’s declining sales.

Figures published by the market analysts Artnet in November revealed that works Hirst produced in his most lucrative period between 2005 and 2008, when he bypassed his dealers and took his work direct to auction at Sotheby’s, had resold for nearly 30% less than their original purchase price. Since 2009 one in three of the 1,700 pieces offered at auction have failed to sell at all.

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