Gagosian Takes on Moscow, Part II


By Emily Waldorf

Gagosian Gallery borrowed Jeff Koons' Baroque Egg with Bow, 2006, for the exhibition at a former chocolate factory in Moscow

September is a hot month for contemporary art in Moscow. Gagosian Gallery is mounting it’s second major one-off exhibition in the Russian capital, “for what you are about to receive,” in a former chocolate factory, adjacent to the Kremlin, on September 18th.   Artists include Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso as well as never before seen work by Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, and Cy Twombly.

According to the gallery, “The upcoming exhibition contrasts ways in which contemporary artists continue to investigate the twin pillars of twentieth century art: the readymade and pure abstraction, reflecting on the sublime through a self-conscious engagement with material and process.” Only some of the work is for sale and there are no plans to open a permanent exhibition space in Moscow. 

Kelly Crow points out the enormous expense and security concerns that Gagosian encountered while orchestrating the sale, in her article in The Wall Street Journal. According to Crow: “Axa Art and Hiscox, the gallery’s insurers, insisted that the gallery transform the empty chocolate factory into a veritable fortress, complete with a climate-control system, metal detectors, hidden cameras, panic button at the reception desk, and at least 14 armed guards, including one to patrol the factory grounds around the clock. The rate to insure these artworks was also 25% higher than usual, according to LeConte Moore, an art-insurance broker with the DeWitt Stern Group who handled the deal.”

New York based artist, Aaron Young, will perform Arc Light at the Gagosian opening in Moscow with a team of motorcycle riders. The resulting skid marks are meant to create a dialogue with Jackson Pollock’s featured action paintings. The opening will coincide with the much awaited and publicized opening of Dasha Zhukova‘s Center for Contemporary Culture or the “Garage” as it is popularly known, featuring a début retrospective of Ilya and Emilia Kabokov

Click here for a slideshow of the work.


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