Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island will be the first place Larry Gagosian shows a portion of his personal art collection. Here are some excerpts from the press release announcing the four-month show starting in late September:
Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) at Manarat Al Saadiyat presents the world premiere of RSTW (Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Twombly, Warhol and Wool), a novel exhibition of masterpieces from the private collection of one of the art world’s preeminent figures, Larry Gagosian. This event will challenge the perception of what it means to be simultaneously a private collector and public figure, while instigating a paradigm shift in modern aesthetic experiences. In Abu Dhabi, new dimensions are explored; RSTW will explore the collector behind the art dealer.[…] Each of these epoch defining artists has expanded the discursive parameters of contemporary art, for instance, Rauschenberg’s formal bricolage that mixes abstract expressionism and everyday objects such as in the seminal Overdrive (1963); Serra’s redefinition of sculpture with his monumental dynamics in Malmo Roll (1984); and Warhol’s iconic Pop works, such as Brillo Soap Pads Box (1960) and Mao (1972) that form the single most influential deconstruction of mass media culture. These masterpieces – painting, sculptures, drawings, and photography – have never before been exhibited together. They arrive at a time when Abu Dhabi is making huge strides in the development of its cultural platform at Saadiyat Island; a unique space for the examination and experimentation of arts and culture. Anne Baldassari, Curator and Chairman of the National Picasso Museum, Paris, was invited to interpret Gagosian’s collection, as the exhibition’s curator.[…] RSTW is a major step in the realisation of TDIC Cultural Department’s aim to provide a platform for an experiential explorationof art and culture. RSTW – as an exhibition that dares to challenge and generate new conceptions of art – is emblematic of Abu Dhabi’s overall cultural strategy. The variety of forms and techniques of the works on show highlights TDIC’s holistic method of developing the Abu Dhabi arts scne, in both instigating aesthetic discourses, while building a platform for audience engagement. TDIC is displaying some of the world’s indubitable masterpieces to an older generation who might never have experienced such wrks, and to the younger generation who are in the process of defining their own artistic and cultural impressions.