In a major move, New York–based Gladstone Gallery will now represent the estate of Robert Rauschenberg, alongside his other two galleries, São Paulo’s Galería Luisa Strina and Thaddaeus Ropac, which has locations in London, Paris, Salzburg, and Seoul. This means that the estate has ended its relationship with Pace Gallery. The news was first reported by the Financial Times.
In 2015, the Rauschenberg Foundation, which manages the late artist’s estate, left Gagosian, which has been its gallery since his death in 2008, for a trio of galleries consisting of Ropac, Strina, and Pace. Pace last mounted a Rauschenberg solo exhibition at its New York space in 2021, which focused on his work from the 1980s through the mid-2000s.
In a statement sent to ARTnews, Pace said it had stopped working with the estate “in a formal capacity” in 2020: “We were honored to represent Bob during his lifetime and to collaborate with him on the realization of several major institutional projects and commissions. We remain dedicated to preserving his legacy and will continue to stage projects related to the significant Rauschenberg works in our possession. We wish the Foundation team a very successful collaboration with Gladstone.”
Last year, Gladstone mounted a two-part exhibition of Rauschenberg’s work, featuring his “Venetians” (1972–73) and “Early Egyptians” (1973–74) series. In a press release, Gladstone said that following that show’s “success,” this new relationship marks Gladstone’s “continued commitment to preserving the legacy of Robert Rauschenberg’s remarkable life and work and expanding upon his impact on contemporary artists working today.”
Kathy Halbreich, the foundation’s executive director, said in a statement, “Working with Barbara Gladstone and Max Falkenstein last spring was an immense pleasure especially as many artists saw the sculptures and, in their elated comments, suggested just how prescient Bob remains today. I am so grateful that Bob’s work will be seen alongside the remarkable roster of artists Gladstone Gallery nurtures.”
For its part, Gladstone will bring one work by Rauschenberg to Art Basel Hong Kong next week, a 1991 black-and-white piece, Maybe Market (Night Shade), priced between $800,000 and $1 million, according to FT. And it will mount an exhibition of the artist’s “Spreads” (1975–83) and “Scales” (1977–81) series in May at its West 21st Street location in Chelsea.
Considered one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century, Rauschenberg is known for his “Combines” series, begun in the mid-1950s, which drastically departed from the Abstract Expressionists who were in vogue at the time in New York art world. Those works merged painting and sculpture, often with found, everyday objects, into something entirely its own. A relentless experimenter, Rauschenberg created numerous other kinds of art in the decades that followed.
In a statement, gallery founder Barbara Gladstone said, “We feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity to work alongside the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation leadership and staff to help realize their mission of supporting innovative artists, art organizations, and socially engaged institutions, as well as the continued research and contextualization of Rauschenberg’s impressive body of work. There is so much to be discovered and discussed about his radically inventive approach to artmaking, and we are honored to take on this significant responsibility alongside the Foundation.”
Update, March 17, 2023: This article has been updated to include a statement from Pace Gallery.