Art Market

KAWS has left Perrotin, the gallery that has represented him for over a decade.

Nate Freeman
Jul 3, 2019 5:01PM, via ARTnews

Perrotin, the globe-spanning gallery with outposts in Europe, Asia, and the United States, no longer represents KAWS, the scorching-hot artist whose auction prices have skyrocketed in the last year.

Last week, Emmanuel Perrotin came close to confirming the uncoupling in an interview with artnet News, saying:

I am very proud of the work that my team did for KAWS over these 11 years of our collaboration. Unfortunately, that might be not enough to be able to keep him in my roster, considering all the pressure. I doubt he will continue with us for long.

Not a week later, KAWS was off the artist roster on the Perrotin website, and Wednesday the gallery owner confirmed to ARTnews that his departure was official. In a statement, Perrotin said:

This collaboration has come to an end. In any case, we will be satisfied if his career continues to develop in a good way and we wish him all the very best moving forward.

KAWS—real name Brian Donnelly—began showing with Perrotin in 2008, and had nine solo shows with the gallery (including one, in 2013, in cooperation with Mary Boone Gallery), most recently at the Hong Kong and Tokyo spaces in March of 2018.

In January of 2018, his work was included in a group show at Skarstedt, the tony Upper East Side gallery founded by Per Skarstedt that operates a secondary market art-dealing business while hosting primary market shows in a former townhouse. In November of last year, Skarstedt gave him a solo show. Some indicated that an official representation was afoot, and the two were seemingly attached at the hip during soirées throughout Art Basel Hong Kong in 2018. At that point, his auction record was $430,000, set at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale in March 2016. In April of this year, a painting by KAWS sold for $14.8 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Over the years, KAWS has also had multiple solo shows at Honor Fraser in Los Angeles, and Galeria Javier López in Madrid.

Further Reading: KAWS Continues Market Rise at Phillips and $50-Million Rothko Sells at Sotheby’s

Further Reading: These 10 Artists Broke into the Art Market Big Leagues in 2018

Nate Freeman