Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: David Zwirner

The artist-centric philosophy at the David Zwirner Gallery with Veronique Ansorge and Greg Lulay

Dan Flavin
Interior view of the entrance at 537 West 20th Street, New York,
Photo: Jason Schmidt

IN 1993, WHEN DAVID ZWIRNER OPENED HIS FIRST GALLERY, A 1600 SQUARE FOOT SPACE ON GREENE STREET IN SOHO, HE LAUNCHED WITH RADICAL EXPERIMENTAL SHOWS BY THEN EMERGING ARTISTS SUCH AS STAN DOUGLAS, JASON RHOADES, AND DIANA THATER, ALL OF WHOM HAD SOLO EXHIBITIONS AT THE GALLERY IN ITS INAUGURAL YEAR, AND ARE STILL PART OF THE GALLERY ROSTER TODAY.

Randy Kennedy, March 21, 2013, New York Times Magazine

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/t-magazine/david-zwirner-the-art-of-the-dealer.html

“ZWIRNER’S PROGRAM WAS FAIRLY RADICAL AND RIGOROUS, WITH A ROSTER OF UNDER-RECOGNIZED EXPERIMENTAL ARTISTS…HIS GALLERY WAS A LEAN OPERATION, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON WORK FROM EUROPE AND THE WEST COAST.”

The New Yorker 

TEN YEARS LATER, THE GALLERY MOVED FROM SOHO TO CHELSEA. A DECADE LATER, DAVID ZWIRNER HAS EXPANDED ITS FOOTPRINT TO INCLUDE A SPACE ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN, A SPECTACULAR TOWNHOUSE DESIGNED BY ANNABELLE SELLDORF IN THE MAYFAIR DISTRICT IN LONDON, A GALLERY PRESENCE IN HONG KONG IN A VISIONARY BUILDING ON QUEEN’S ROAD , AND MOST RECENTLY, AN IMPECCABLE VENUE ON RUE VIEILLE DU TEMPLE IN PARIS.

WHAT REMAINS THE SAME IS THE ETHOS AND SPIRIT OF COMMITMENT TO THE ARTISTS AND TO THEIR ART. THAT GUIDING PRINCIPLE IS SHARED BY THE DIRECTORS AND PARTNERS OF THE GALLERY AND MANY OF THE FOUNDING TEAM HAVE CONTINUED WITH THE GALLERY TO THIS DAY.

John McCracken
Installation view 1997
David Zwirner Gallery, SoHo

THE LRFA BLOG IS PRIVILEGED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH THE HIGHLY INTELLIGENT AND ARTICULATE VERONIQUE ANSORGE, A DIRECTOR BASED AT 19th STREET IN CHELSEA, AND DEEPLY KNOWLEDGEABLE GREG LULAY, A PARTNER OF THE GALLERY, BASED AT THEIR 20TH LOCATION.

DOES DAVID ZWIRNER HIMSELF DECIDE ON THE ARTISTS THAT THE GALLERY ADDS ON OR DO EACH OF THE DIRECTORS HAVE INPUT ON THE AESTHETIC PROFILE OF THE GALLERY?

GL: Every single Director and Partner works in conversation with David about the stable of artists we represent. This is something we are constantly looking to build upon. Ultimately, it’s David’s name on the door, but he looks to us for our insight and opinions.

VA: Yes and I feel it’s important to know that it’s very much encouraged that we share what we see out there, what we like, and discuss it with the team. We can always bring ideas to the table. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF QUALITIES THAT YOU WOULD SAY CHARACTERIZE ALL OF THE ARTISTS THE GALLERY REPRESENTS, WHETHER THEIR PLATFORM IS PAINTING, SCULPTURE, VIDEO.

VA: We consider them to be incredible talents!

GL: Yes, and one of the key cornerstones of the gallery and a key philosophy of David’s is that our artists always come first. This has been and will continue to be a guiding principle for the gallery.

VA: I think it’s interesting to look at the development of our roster over time. There are these connections between many of our artists, so much so that it seems almost like an organic process where the artists themselves influenced which other artists might join our roster.

The Estate of Anni Albers David Zwirner Gallery

GL: If you look at the gallery’s program that has continued to build since the early 1990s, there are some specific focuses within the program. There is a strength in historical Conceptual and Minimalist artists who worked within that language and became leaders of that voice, but there’s also a very strong group of figurative and abstract painters, an incredible group of photographers, sculptors and filmmakers. One of the things that I think has been true since the very beginning is that each of these artists has a singular and radical voice. Their work is challenging. They challenge audiences to rethink the way they are looking. 

Estate of Josef Albers
David Zwirner Gallery

VA: I think it is interesting to point out, as an example, a natural connection within our program. Let’s look at Josef and Anni Albers. After taking them on we then added Ruth Asawa, a dear friend and also a student of Josef Albers, and then we also started showing Paul Klee, who was also an artist and teacher at the Bauhaus. So adding artists that obviously are standalone very strong voices, they also allow us to capture a certain moment in time and understand how they influence one another and certain art historical movements. This is also certainly the case for American Minimalism. I feel some of these networks are certainly an interesting part of the program, but as Greg said, I feel that all of them are very strong, unique voices that pushed whatever medium they have their focus  in a very specific and strong way.

Ruth Asawa
Installation view at David Zwirner Gallery

GL: Of course, and I think part of the strength of these individual artists and the place they have now in art history has to do also with the connections between them, but also how radical their work is. I mean, can you imagine walking into a gallery in the early 1960s and seeing a bunch of fluorescent lamps in various colors bolted to a wall? Think about how radical that was – that concept entering into the white cube of a gallery. Dan Flavin, completely radical in his thinking, was not alone in that thinking. You can compare him to someone like Richard Serra or Ad Reinhardt, or some younger artists that came after them – think about how radical Jason Rhoades’ work was.

Marlene Dumas
Installation view, 2018
David Zwirner Gallery, NY

Or a painter like Marlene Dumas, or Luc Tuymans – their approach to painting was radical and it changed the entire landscape of European painting. Whether there were specific historical connections and influences from one artist to the next, all of our artists bring a completely new process, and incredibly personal voice to the world.

Jason Rhoades
Installation View 2014
David Zwirner Gallery, NY

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, VERONIQUE AND GREG WILL SHARE THE EXTRAORDINARY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES THAT THE GALLERY HAS MADE, CERTAINLY STARTING SEVERAL YEARS AGO BUT PROPELLED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. DAVID ZWIRNER’S SHIFT TO A PREDOMINANTLY VIRTUAL, ONLINE WORLD, AND HIS SUPPORT OF SMALLER, STRUGGLING GALLERIES IS A LESSON FOR US ALL.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Matching talents and tasks at David Zwirner with the gallery partner Greg Lulay and director Veronique Ansorge

Installation view
Mamma Andersson: The Lost Paradise
David Zwirner, NY 2020
Courtesy David Zwirner


DAVID ZWIRNER IS AN INTERNATIONAL GALLERY ARTISTS ASPIRE TO SHOW WITH,  COLLECTORS FLOCK TO FOR WORKS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY BY BOTH ESTABLISHED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AND MODERN MASTERS, CURATORS DEPEND UPON AS A SOURCE FOR ARTISTS WORTHY OF ACQUIRING FOR THEIR MUSEUMS AND ART CAREER PROFESSIONALS VIE TO WORK AT SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS VENUE. THE GALLERY HAS ALWAYS BEEN ALWAYS ARTIST-CENTRIC AND OVER THE COURSE OF ITS TWENTY-SEVEN YEAR HISTORY, ITS PROGRAM  HAS DEVELOPED AND MATURED GLOBALLY, ESTABLISHING LOCATIONS IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND CITIES AND A PRESENCE WORLDWIDE. DAVID ZWIRNER OFFERS ITS ARTISTS AND ARTIST ESTATES AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF A GLOBAL NETWORK OF EXHIBITIONS, ART FAIRS, AND  BOTH INSTITUTIONAL AND PRIVATE ART COLLECTIONS.

Greg Lulay
Partner
David Zwirner Gallery

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO CONTINUE TO POST ITS CONVERSATION, HELD IN APRIL 2020, WITH GALLERY DIRECTOR VERONIQUE ANSORGE, AT THE 19th STREET GALLERY (525 WEST 19th STREET) IN CHELSEA, AND WITH GALLERY PARTNER GREG LULAY, AT THE TWENTIETH STREET GALLERY ( 538 WEST 20th STREET).

RUNNING AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TAKES AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF HARD WORK AND DEDICATION, NOT ONLY ON THE PART OF ITS FOUNDER BUT ALSO ON ITS EXTENSIVE STAFF, EVERYONE FROM PARTNERS TO DIRECTORS TO THE SUPPORT STAFF OF REGISTRARS, INSTALLERS, EXHIBITION CATALOGUERS, RESEARCHERS AND A  HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED TECH TEAM.

HERE WE HOPE TO SHED A LITTLE LIGHT ON SUCH AN ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING.

Interior view of library
537 West 20th Street Gallery, 2013

VERONIQUE AND GREG, WELCOME BACK AND THANK YOU BOTH!

DO YOU EACH HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES AS A LIAISON TO SPECIFIC ARTISTS AND ARTISTS’ ESTATES AND IF SO, WHO ARE THE ARTISTS THAT YOU CONCENTRATE ON IT?

Greg Lulay: The overarching gallery structure is one that was built so that it serves all of us together in all locations. There are members of our staff who are specialists in research, conservation, inventory management, finance, installation,  public relations, sales, and artist relations, like myself and Veronique. My artist management responsibilities are split between living Contemporary artists and Estates.

I work closely with Philip-Lorca diCorcia, an incredible photographer; and Lucas Arruda, a very talented young Brazilian painter. I also work with the Fred Sandback Estate, the Al Taylor Estate, the Gordon Matta-Clark Estate, and the Franz West Estate. I’m charged to help foster the careers of those artists, both within the gallery and outwardly in their exhibitions and programs around the globe. In addition to artist management I also have sales responsibilities and oversee all of our art fair participations around the world.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Heavenly Bodies
David Zwirner Gallery Viewing Room

Veronique Ansorge:  I think given the nature of how I started at the gallery, and given the fact that I’m from Germany, I was naturally working with David on a lot of his German clients and activities. I began working with German artists and Estates such as the Estate of Sigmar Polke, Thomas Ruff, and Isa Genzken. I also now work with the New York–based photographer James Welling, which I am very excited about. While I have cultivated client relationships across the globe, I feel my focus is within the German-speaking market.

GL: One of the strengths both of our sales team and of the larger gallery is that David has really paired our individual talents with the tasks which give the most benefit to our artists and thus to the gallery. This informs our specific duties and responsibilities.

VA: Yes, and I think it is fascinating that the gallery really allows for this talent to be expressed – to identify their strengths and nurture them.

Screen capture
David Zwirner Online
Harold Ancart: Pools

HOW DOES THE MANAGEMENT OF A LIVING ARTIST DIFFER FROM AN ESTATE?

VA: With a living artist, you are in constant dialogue and they are actively producing work. You manage exhibitions of new work, not only in the gallery but in institutional environments. Within this, you are working to cultivate their career. With an Estate, it’s not necessarily new work, but you try to do the same.

GL: Certainly there are some strong parallels between the two approaches. In both cases we operate somewhat like an agent; working collaboratively with artists or estates to promote their careers and strengthen their position within the history of art by presenting their artwork on various platforms to audiences around the world. In the early days of the gallery, David began representing our first estate – the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark.

Then in 2004 we began working with the Fred Sandback Estate, and today we represent 26 estates. It is in collaboration with these people that you  are charged to further the conversation about their work and encourage new discovery. One of the biggest challenges we face working with a living artist is to support and guide them without interfering with their creative process. This is completely different from working with an Estate. Their voice is more active.

VERONIQUE AND GREG WILL CONTINUE TO SHARE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WORKINGS OF DAVID ZWIRNER GALLERY IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FOLLOWING. PLEASE JOIN US!

 

A very warm welcome to David Zwirner Gallery’s Veronique Ansorge and Greg Lulay

David Zwirner and gallery partners by John McCracken’s FAIR (2011)
David Zwirner Gallery, West 20th St, NY

IN JANUARY 2018, DAVID ZWIRNER GALLERY CELEBRATED ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY. WITH AN IMPECCABLE ROSTER OF LIVING ARTISTS AND ARTISTS’ ESTATES AND A GLOBAL NETWORK OF GALLERIES IN NEW YORK, LONDON, PARIS, AND HONG KONG, DAVID ZWIRNER HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VISIONARY DEALER. INITIALLY, HE OPENED A RELATIVELY SMALL SPACE AT 43 GREENE STREET IN THE SOHO DISTRICT OF NEW YORK.  MANY LOCATIONS LATER, MUCH EXPANSION AND AN INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AS ONE OF THE VERY TOP LEADING GALLERIES WORLDWIDE, THE ONE CONSISTENT THREAD THROUGHOUT THE NOW TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS IS DAVID ZWIRNER’S COMMITMENT TO SHOWING CHALLENGING, THOUGHTFUL, MEANINGFUL WORKS OF ART WITHOUT COMPROMISE.

David Zwirner
First gallery in SoHo
43 Greene Street, New York

FROM GREENE STREET TO CHELSEA IN NEW YORK TO THE UPPER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN, FROM LONDON TO HONG KONG WITH A MUCH-ANTICIPATED EXPANSION IN CHELSEA UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF ARCHITECT EXTRAORDINAIRE, ANNABELLE SELLDORF, ZWIRNER HAS CREATED AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF DEDICATED STAFF, COMMITTED COLLECTORS, CURATORS AND SUPPORTERS. THE GALLERY’S COMMITMENT TO ITS ARTISTS AND TO THE INTEGRITY OF THEIR WORK SET A STANDARD WHEN THE GALLERY FIRST OPENED THAT HAS CONTINUED TO THIS DAY. MANY OF THE ARTISTS IN AN EXHIBITION, FIVE YEARS, 1993-1998, COMMEMORATING THE GALLERY’S FIRST FIVE YEARS ON GREENE STREET, CONTINUE TO BE REPRESENTED BY DAVID ZWIRNER GALLERY TODAY.

Veronique Ansorge
Director
David Zwirner Gallery, New York

THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO WELCOME VERONIQUE ANSORGE, DIRECTOR AT DAVID ZWIRNER, 525 WEST 19th STREET, IN CHELSEA, NEW YORK AND GREG LULAY, PARTNER AT DAVID ZWIRNER, 537 WEST 20th STREET, NEW YORK. COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS, THEY HAVE JOINED FORCES TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG. AFTER AN INITIAL INTRODUCTION TO BOTH OF THEM, WE WILL FOCUS ON THE RELEVANCE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND ITS IMPACT ON THE WAY IN WHICH ONE OF THE GREAT INTERNATIONAL GALLERIES HAS HAD THE FORESIGHT TO PREPARE FOR THIS UNSEEN CRISIS.

New York: 19th Street

https://www.davidzwirner.com/galleries

VERONIQUE AND GREG, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I KNOW YOU ARE BOTH AS BUSY AS EVER, WORKING FROM HOME, ONLINE AND JUST RECENTLY, BY APPOINTMENT AT THE NEW YORK GALLERIES, TO CONTACT CLIENTS AND CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE PRESENCE AND COMMERCE OF THE GALLERY DURING THE SHUTDOWN.

FIRST, A BIT ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUNDS.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BOTH BEEN AT THE GALLERY AND HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK AT ZWIRNER? WAS YOUR BACKGROUND IN THE ARTS, AS AN ACADEMIC, IN THE AUCTION WORLD OR IN ANOTHER GALLERY?

Greg Lulay:

I’ve been at the gallery for 17 years, starting at Zwirner & Wirth, which was the secondary market gallery David opened on the Upper East Side in 2000. Prior to that, I was at university in Seattle, where I studied business, fine arts, and art history, and worked in a gallery in Seattle upon graduation. I worked for a gallery there for a few years, which brought me to New York in 1999. 

Veronique Ansorge:

I’m originally from Germany, and I  started at the gallery in December 2007. I have an MBA, studied Economics in college, and previously worked in business consulting and marketing. I switched careers because of my interest in art. I started as David’s assistant and was lucky enough to grow within the company. I’m now a Director on the gallery’s Sales Team.

GL: That’s amazing. I remember when I started working at the gallery there were only three people at Zwirner & Wirth, including myself, and only a handful of people working at the Chelsea outpost. It’s changed quite a bit in the 17 years I’ve been here. I went from working the front desk and as a gallery manager for years to making my way into sales and artist management.

New York: 20th Street

HOW IS ZWIRNER STRUCTURED?  THE GALLERY HAS VENUES VIRTUALLY ALL OVER THE WORLD, NEW YORK, LONDON, HONG KONG, AND NOW A BEAUTIFUL NEW SPACE IN PARIS.  ARE EACH OF THE GALLERIES AUTONOMOUS IN TERMS OF EXHIBITION SCHEDULES AND CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS OR, IN THIS GLOBAL MARKET, IS THE PLANNING FOR ALL THE ZWIRNER GALLERIES WORLDWIDE HANDLED BY A SPECIAL TEAM?

VA: The way it’s structured, it’s still very much driven by David Zwirner as the owner and main strategist of the gallery. However, he has eight partners that have a lot of influence in making decisions on artist management and exhibition schedules. New York is the hub, but we all connect on a weekly basis. Our decisions are made as a team.

GL: Although each of our galleries around the world have distinct qualities unique to that physical location and city, the larger gallery operates collectively – as one company. For example, certain operational decisions are specific to doing business in London versus Hong Kong, and largely those decisions are made by our teams in those locations. However, the majority of decisions we make are coordinated across all locations, be that client outreach, exhibition planning, research, communications, inventory, shipping.  But, as Veronique noted, one aspect that adds to the success of the gallery is the fact that we operate in a team format. We make decisions as a team, and are stronger because of it.

IN NEW YORK, VERONIQUE AND GREG EXEMPLIFY THAT TEAM SPIRIT, TRAVELING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE 19th AND 20th STREET GALLERIES WITH CLIENTS AND MUSEUM CURATORS  BOTH OFTEN WORKING IN TANDEM TO SHARE THEIR LOVE OF THE ARTISTS’ WORK AND THEIR DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THEIR PROCESS AND AESTHETIC WITH THE VISITORS TO THE GALLERIES. SOCIAL DISTANCING OR NOT, THE LRFA BLOG PREDICTS LINES AROUND THE BLOCK FOR THE KUSAMA EXHIBITIONS ARE NOT A THING OF THE PAST!

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO ADDRESS THE WORKINGS OF THE GALLERIES WITHIN THE UMBRELLA OF DAVID ZWIRNER WORLDWIDE. PLEASE JOIN US!

The importance of the new technology in the art market as analyzed in the Bank of America Private Bank survey

THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION HAS DRASTICALLY AFFECTED MANY INDUSTRIES, CHANGING THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE, ACQUIRE AND SELL PRODUCT. ONE OF THE INDUSTRIES THAT HAS, SURPRISINGLY, BEEN IMPACTED LESS THAN ONE WOULD THINK, GIVEN ITS BASICALLY VISUAl NATURE, IS THE ART MARKET AS SEEN IN THE RECENT PIERCINGLY INFORMATIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK REPORT.

  • ART AND TECHNOLOGY
  • The art market remains one of the few industries still largely undisrupted by technology. We’re seeing innovation, but it’s still at the fringes. While online transactions are increasing, the growth of online sales has slowed, growing at 9.8% in 2018 versus 12% in 2017.
  • Internet-native art companies are trying to help. In June, private equity firm Cove Hill made an investment in online marketplace LiveAuctioneers, aiming to accelerate online sales growth for their auction house partners, while Invaluable has made it easier to source and buy lower value items. Major galleries like Gagosian and David Zwirner launched digital sales channels, but the digital revolution still eludes the art world.
  • On the transparency front, Christie’s became the first major auction house to record sales via Blockchain with the sale of the Ebsworth collection in November. At the request of the seller, Christie’s partnered with Blockchain-secured registry Artory to record its transactions. It’s an interesting development, but we’re a long way from Blockchain becoming industry standard.
  • The most significant art world technology has been the rise of Instagram. Artists market themselves, museums announce exhibits, dealers initiate sales, and collectors tout their purchases through the platform. In 2017, when the “Untitled” Basquiat sold at Sotheby’s for over $110 million, Yusaku Maezawa posted his photo on Instagram to let the world know of his acquisition. Younger collectors, artists, dealers and auction specialists are increasingly using Instagram to enhance their personal and professional brands. Expect the new status loop to fuel a herd mentality for some artists and more price volatility. So collector beware.

 

  • AS AN ASIDE, ARTISTS ARE CREATING WORKS THAT REPRODUCE EFFECTIVELY ON INSTAGRAM IN TERMS OF COLOR, DIMENSIONALITY AND SURFACE WITH THEIR AESTHETIC PRESENCE IN PERSON SOMETIMES TAKING A BACK SEAT.

 

  • ART LENDING

    Our art lending business grew by 20% year-over-year, as you all continue to unlock capital from your art to build hotels, buy sports franchises, expand companies and even buy more art, just to name a few. The four most common situations we’re seeing are:

    1. The balance sheet arbitrage: With historically low interest rates, more of you are unlocking capital from your art to redeploy into higher-return areas of your financial life, like private equity.

    2. Working capital line: During the current economic expansion, more of you are using art loans to fund the growth of your privately held companies.

    3. Monetizing a collection: The passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange, making it more expensive to sell art. Instead of selling art and dealing with paying the 28% federal tax + 3% health care surtax + state taxes + sales commission, many of you have chosen to leverage your art via an art line to generate liquidity.

    4. Guarantees: We’re seeing more of you using art facilities to back guarantees at auction (but we advise caution).

    We estimate that total U.S. art loan commitments stand at $16 billion. We’re proud to have a significant portion of those loans, and we remain staunchly committed to the space. Given our forecast of continued low interest rates, stratified wealth creation, and expansion of the collector base, we expect continued growth in the space.

    Top five artists we lend against, by value:

    1. Willem de Kooning

    2. Andy Warhol
    3. Constantin Brancusi

    4. Paul Cezanne

    5. Roy Lichtenstein

    AT THE CLOSE OF THE SURVEY, BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK TARGETS THE OPPORTUNITY ZONES AND THE EFFECT OF CAPITAL GAINS TAX INCREASES AND THE REPEAL OF THE SECTION 1031 LIKE-KIND EXCHANGES PROVISION. THIS IS INVALUABLE INFORMATION FOR ANY ONE INTERESTED IN THE ART MARKET: DEALERS, GALLERISTS, AUCTION SPECIALISTS, AND MOST OF ALL COLLECTORS.

    PLEASE JOIN US!