Winston Wachter Fine Art: New York/Seattle , an excellent source for new talent

by leslierankowfinearts

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WHENEVER I RECEIVE A REQUEST FROM A CLIENT OR A DESIGNER FOR WORKS BY TALENTED, EMERGING ARTISTS , I CONTACT CHRISTINE WACHTER-CAMPBELL, PARTNER AT WINSTON WACHTER FINE ART, A GALLERY WITH TWO LOCATIONS, A MARVELOUS STREET LEVEL SPACE DESIGNED BY  HAYNES ROBERTS ,  IN CHELSEA AT 530 West 25th STREET, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER IN SEATTLE, HEADED BY STACEY WINSTON, http://www.winstonwachter.com/

CHRISTINE HAS THE HIGHEST PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS, SWISS EFFICIENCY AND A GREAT EYE FOR PAINTINGS, SCULPTURE, PHOTOGRAPHY AND WORKS ON PAPER BY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS WHO ARE ESTABLISHING THEIR CAREERS, ARTISTIC DIRECTION  AND PROFESSIONAL REPUTATION.  I RESPECT CHRISTINE’S ABILITY TO NURTURE AND DEVELOP  AN ARTIST’S CAREER WITH EXCELLENT PRESS, EXHIBITION EXPOSURE IN OTHER GALLERIES AS WELL AS HER OWN  AND THE PLACEMENT OF THE WORKS IN BOTH PRIVATE AND CORPORATE COLLECTIONS. SHE IS ALSO A WONDERFUL FRIEND.

IT IS A PLEASURE TO DOCUMENT OUR LONG-STANDING FRIENDSHIP BY SHARING THE HISTORY OF WINSTON WACHTER, HOW IT EVOLVED INTO A BI-COASTAL BUSINESS AND THE NUANCES OF GALLERY MANAGEMENT WHEN EXPLORING NEWER ARTISTS AND ESTABLISHING THEIR CAREERS.

CHRISTINE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH ME.

WHEN WAS WINSTON WACHTER FIRST ESTABLISHED AND HOW DID YOU AND STACEY WINSTON DECIDE TO OPEN A GALLERY IN NEW YORK?  I REMEMBER VISITING THE FIRST VENUE, A WONDERFUL HIGH-CEILINGED ROOM IN A TOWNHOUSE ON 65thAND MY DELIGHT IN YOUR EXPANSION FIRST TO MADISON AVENUE, AND THEN TO YOUR SPECTACULAR STREET-LEVEL SPACE IN CHELSEA.

Stacey Winston-Levitan and I had been working with galleries for over nine years before we began our partnership in 1995. At the time Stacey approached me about opening a space together, she had become a private dealer and I was working with Blum Helman Gallery.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN THE ART WORLD AND WHAT IS STACEY’S?

We both have a longstanding background in the art world. Stacey went to graduate school and worked for Mary Boone Gallery. After learning the ropes, she decided to go off on her own and became a private dealer. At the same time she also led art tours and published a newsletter. Stacey was one of the first people giving tours of art galleries and her newsletter, “Eye on Art,” was one of less than a dozen.

My background is European.  I studied Art History at the University of Zurich and then interned at the Guggenheim in Venice. Before coming to New York I worked for Christo wrapping the Pont- Neuf in Paris. It was shortly after this that I came to New York and began to work at Blum Helman Gallery. The art world was very word of mouth at the time and without internet, as an art collector, you relied heavily on information given to you by art dealer or artist or art historian.

When we started Winston Wächter Fine Art our business was very much based on acquired knowledge from books and conversations with artists, historians, and dealers. The art community was much more physically connected than it is today because that type of interconnectivity was relied upon.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO OPEN A GALLERY RATHER THAN FUNCTION AS AN ART ADVISOR OR PRIVATE DEALER?

Starting Winston Wächter Fine Art allowed us to represent artists and give them a venue. We were able to take the aspects of art dealing and advisory that we enjoyed and discover new talent. Having a public platform allowed us to be art advisors and to promote both young and more established talent.

WHAT DID EACH OF YOU BRING INTO THE BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP AND HOW HAS IT EVOLVED?  WHEN DID THE GALLERY OPEN IN SEATTLE AND WHAT PROMPTED THAT DECISION?

Our selection process is very much rooted in our backgrounds within the art world. Stacey is a New Yorker and is very well-connected amongst clients, she brought a certain business savvy to our partnership. I am European and was connected in Europe as well as with artists I had established a history with through my work at Blum Helman Gallery.

The gallery in Seattle opened purely by circumstance. Stacey married a gentleman who relocated to Seattle from New York and that allowed us to open a space there. Our Seattle location opened new doors for both clients and artists on the west coast. In our selection process all of the above, we tend to try to agree on the artists we are interested in pursuing.

Sometimes we will offer shows after a first time visit to a studio and sometimes we will track an artist for a while.  Certainly always having our ears to the ground and staying current with new shows and exhibitions helps.

IN THE NEXT BLOG, CHRISTINE HAS GENEROUSLY AGREED TO EXPLORE THE SELECTION PROCESS THAT A GALLERY UNDERTAKES IN THE REPRESENTATION OF NEW ARTISTS.  I WELCOME ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS AND I KNOW WE WILL ALL BENEFIT FROM CHRISTINE’S ASTUTE PERSPECTIVE.

UNTIL THEN…