Gagosian Gallery Lands Near CDG

Two years after opening a Paris branch, Gagosian, the world’s biggest commercial gallery network, this week inaugurates a giant space in Le Bourget, near an airport on the French capital’s northern rim.

Art collectors of Artkabinett social network can make this their first stop when coming into central Paris via the RER train.

Designed by Jean Nouvel -- the Pritzker Prize-winning French architect -- the gallery is a former 1950s industrial building with 1,650 square meters (17,760 square feet) spread out over two levels.

The inaugural exhibition features new painting and sculpture by the German artist Anselm Kiefer, 67.

The Gagosian opening coincides with the annual Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, or FIAC, in Paris, which is attracting a growing number of wealthy international art buyers.

The presence of billionaire French collectors such as Francois Pinault and Bernard Arnault is further boosting Paris’s appeal as a destination for art dealerships.

Kiefer described the new Gagosian as “a delight” and compared it to his studio, also located near an airfield.

“Airplanes arrive and depart while my works hang there,” he said in a news release issued before the gallery’s opening. “The pictures arrive, stay for a while, and, once seen, can leave again. This is the objective. The flights, the paintings, the comings, the goings.”

The gallery opens to the public on Oct. 18 and reporters were shown the space Monday.

Business Savvy

Lawrence "Larry" Gagosian (born April 19, 1945) is an American art dealer who, Working in concert with collectors including Douglas S. Cramer, Eli Broad and Keith Barish, has developed a reputation for knowing how to push prices upwards as well as for staging museum quality exhibitions.

In the early 1980s, Gagosian developed his business rapidly by exploiting the possibilities of reselling works of art by blue-chip modern and contemporary artists, earning the nickname "Go-Go" in the process.

After establishing a Manhattan New York gallery in the mid-1980s at 521 West 23rd Street Gagosian began to work with a stable of super collectors including David Geffen, Newhouse, Saatchi, and David Ganek. Bidding on behalf of Newhouse in 1988, Gagosian paid over $17 million dollars for False Start by Jasper Johns, a then-record price for a work by a living artist.

That record was beaten in 2008, when Gagosian paid $23.5 million dollars at Sotheby's in November 2007 for Jeff Koons' Hanging Heart (an artist who happens to belong to the Gagosian gallery's stable).

In 2011, the British magazine ArtReview placed Gagosian fourth in their annual poll of "most powerful person in the art world".

However, many regard him as the most powerful art dealer in the world.

In 2003, Gagosian paid $4 million settlement after federal prosecutors accused him and three partners of failing to pay taxes on the sale of 58 works of art.