The stellar Art Dealer Larry Gagosian is showing 72 works from his personal collection of art compiled over a number of years in Abu Dhabi in September. The exhibition is titled “RSTW” Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Twombley, Warhol, & Wool. Gagosian represents work by these artists in his nine galleries around the world and the exhibit offers fresh clues into his actual likes and preferences. Curated by Anne Baldassari, the world’s pre-eminent Picasso scholar it will explore American postwar art exposing the “collector behind the art dealer”. Paintings include Twombly’s calming trio of purple flowers from 2001, “The Rose (IV),” and Wool’s gray abstract from 2005, “She Smiles for the Camera.” Among the earlier works in the show are Ruscha’s cheery blue “Robin” and Rauschenberg’s “Overdrive” from 1963. (Gagosian bought “Overdrive” at Sotheby’s a day after the artist died in 2008.)
“This ‘contemporary collection’ parallels the idea of Abu Dhabi as a place of accelerated progress, mounted in a city which is in the process of urban renewal.” The exhibition will be held at Manarat Al Saadiyat, an exhibition centre located in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District—the district that will house the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi when they are completed. The show opens 22 September. Gagosian said Tuesday that he is “very excited” to play collector, adding, “I hope that this exhibition advances the dialogue in this region.”The question remains,is this just another example of the Saatchi effect? Public exhibitions propping up private sales.