D.O.B.: March 15, 1959
D.O.D.: August 18, 1998 (Los Angeles, CA)
Cause of Death: non-hodgkins lymphoma
Location: Westwood Memorial; Section D
Son of New York powerhouse dealer Barbara Gladstone, Regen moved to L.A. in 1987, briefly becoming director of the Fred Hoffman Gallery. Opening Stuart Regen Gallery in West Hollywood in December 1989, slightly more than a month after being diagnosed, he built a top-notch roster by importing important yet locally under known artists from New York and Europe and mixing them with some of L.A.'s best like Larry Johnson and Liz Larner. He quickly transformed the local scene, so much so that it didn't matter at all in 1992 when he scaled back only the physical size of the gallery, aptly renamed it Regen Projects, and went on working even harder with even more of the best artists of our time, increasing the number of locals, adding Catherine Opie, Lari Pittman, and Charles Ray.
At a beautifully moving memorial at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles-one that reminded me that the art world is full of very substantial people-many of his friends spoke about his prodigious need to be informed about everything and have an opinion worth arguing, his unstinting ability to get things done (including one very successful run as an associate producer of 1995's Leaving Las Vegas, a film that would not have happened without him), and his complete lack of ability to give in to his situation. Surely he was steeled by Shaun Caley, business partner and wife, who completed one of the best dealer teams since Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend. As a man who achieved all of his success while being ill, it is an understatement to say that he is an inspiration. The best tributes, or course, will be the shows that are yet to come of the the artists Regen championed.
"Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) Movie
"Foxfire" (1996) Movie
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