Gagosian’s New Top Customer: MoMA

Richter, Tote 1963

Carol Vogel reveals the details of MoMA’s two recent acquisitions, both of which were held until recently by Gagosian Gallery. One is an important work by Robert Rauschenberg:

Rauschenberg’s “Overdrive,” a silk-screen incorporating images of a bird, a stop sign, a one-way-street sign, the Statue of Liberty and other objects, is a promised gift from Glenn Dubin, the Manhattan financier who is a MoMA trustee, and his wife, Eva. Sotheby’s had sold the painting at auction in New York five years ago, to Larry Gagosian, the super dealer, for $14.6 million. He recently sold it to the Dubins for an undisclosed price.

The other is an early Gerhard Richter:

The 1963 painting by Mr. Richter, which the museum bought from Mr. Gagosian, is “Tote” (the German word for dead). “It’s a man who has washed ashore underneath what appears to be an iceberg,” Ms. Temkin said. It is one of the earliest examples of the artist’s photo-paintings, based on a photograph of a shipwreck taken in March 1963 that he discovered in Quick, a German magazine.

The painting also has an auction history. Sotheby’s sold it in London 10 years ago for about $5.6 million to an unidentified buyer. Experts say it is now worth about $6 million. It is the museum’s earliest work by Mr. Richter and was included in his retrospective there in 2002.

There’s a slight error in the story. Vogel meant to write that the work sold in 2003 for slightly less than $1m and is now estimated to be worth about $6m. Whether Gagosian sold it for $5.6m or the number is simply a typographical error is not known.

Inside Art: Adding Rauschenberg and Richter to MoMA (New York Times)