Will Larry Gagosian Expand Nan Goldin’s Work Profile and Value?

New artists on Gagosian's roster have previously seen a rise in value for their works after joining the blue-chip gallery.

Nan Goldin, middle-aged woman with curly red hair wearing blue sweater, smokes cigarette
Nan Goldin, Self-portrait smoking, Simon’s house, Stockholm (2013) © Nan Goldin/Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

Photographer and activist Nan Goldin will now be represented by Gagosian, the gallery announced yesterday (March 29).

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Goldin is leaving the Marian Goodman Gallery, where she has been represented for the past five years. She will also continue to be represented by San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery.

In an interview with the New York Times, Goldin said the move to Gagosian was incentivized by her desire to expand her global profile and widen her collector base, as the price of her work has remained below those of her contemporaries.

Goldin’s highest-selling work thus far is a series of photographs that fetched $250,000 in a 2002 Christie’s auction, according to data provided by Artsy.

New artists on Gagosian’s roster have previously seen a rise in value for their works after joining the blue-chip gallery. Larry Gagosian, art dealer and owner of Gagosian Gallery, reportedly emphasizes the value of high auction sales for his artists and occasionally purchases works himself if auction bids are low.

Contemporary artist Jia Aili, who joined the gallery in 2017, saw her highest auction sale in 2019 in a Christie’s sale that brought in $2.3 million. Before being represented by Gagosian, Aili’s auction record was $1.7 million from a 2015 auction.

Meanwhile, painter Titus Kaphar broke his auction record a year after joining Gagosian in 2020, when Phillips Auction House sold a painting of his for $1 million in June 2021. His highest sale before joining the gallery was $81,000 for a work sold at a 2018 auction.

Why is Goldin joining Gagosian?

“Among the most consequential artists of her generation, Goldin has introduced new modes of image making that have transformed the role of photography in contemporary art,” said Gagosian Gallery in a statement.

The artist has long incorporated activist causes into her work, including photographing aspects of the HIV and AIDs crisis, and in 2017 she founded Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (PAIN), a group focused on raising attention to the overdose epidemic.

Goldin has staged protests worldwide in successful attempts to remove the name of the Sackler family, founders of Purdue Pharma, from various art institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Louvre. Most recently, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum announced it would finally drop the Sackler name after years of opposition.

Goldin’s activism and work are the focus of All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, a 2022 film from Laura Poitras which was nominated for an Oscar and won the Golden Lion at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Will Larry Gagosian Expand Nan Goldin’s Work Profile and Value?