The bios and essays in Art+Auction’s guide to notable players in the art world will be rolled out on ARTINFO over the course of the next two weeks. Here, we present Part One. Click here for an introduction to the entire series. Click here for previously published installments. Check back daily for new articles.
Ali and Hicham Aboutaam * Dealers
These second-generation dealers in antiquities, who run Phoenix Ancient Art in New York and Geneva, are expanding their horizons, both physically and virtually. In March, they opened a second gallery space in Geneva geared toward younger collectors, with prices topping out at CHF20,000 ($21,000), and they continue to develop their e-Tiquities.com web portal, which offers a primer on ancient art along with well-provenanced works. The brothers are currently partnering with fellow New York gallerist Helly Nahmad to offer Classical works alongside classically inspired canvases by Giorgio de Chirico at Nahmad’s Madison Avenue digs, through December 23. // CROSS MARKETING // ONLINE SALES
Glenn Adamson * Museum Director
As the very public face of the Museum of Arts and Design since the fall of 2013, Adamson has turned an institution with an identity problem into a major player in the New York design world. More important, he’s brought the museum back to its craft-centric roots, making the case for handcrafting as anchor for the sometimes flighty fields of art and design. He’s staked out a broad but well-defined territory with shows on subjects as diverse as post-digital design, fashion mannequins, artist-craftsman Wendell Castle, and, coming next year, Dutch innovators Studio Job. // DESIGN
Craig Appelbaum * Dealer
A pioneer in 21st-century design, former attorney Appelbaum made waves when he launched the avant-garde Industry Gallery in conservative Washington, D.C., in 2010, and he has continued to make them on the West Coast, where he opened a branch in the Los Angeles Pacific Design Center in 2011. Although Industry remains that city’s only 21st-century design gallery, Appelbaum has built a strong client base, leading him to close the Washington space in 2013 and open a second L.A. location this past fall. In the burgeoning downtown arts district he’s showing work by cutting-edge designers like Elena Manferdini, Tejo Remy, Tom Price, Allie Pohl, and Antonio Pio Saracino. // DESIGN
John Auerbach * Auction Technology
Like many in online art sales, the international managing director of e-commerce at Christie’s didn’t have an art background before he joined the house in 2012. Auerbach came from the high-end shopping website Gilt Groupe and his hiring exemplifies the shift at Christie’s toward luxury goods in the online marketplace. From 2013 to 2014, Christie’s saw a 60 percent increase in sales on its e-commerce platform, which handles live bidding at all brick-and-mortar auctions (except Imp/mod and contemporary evening sales), online-only auctions, and buy-it-now shops for handbags and watches. // ONLINE SALES
Aurel Bacs * Auctioneer
The former head of vintage watches for Christie’s—the undisputed market leader in the category—formed an exclusive partnership with Phillips to conduct private sales and auctions under his Bacs & Russo brand (Livia Russo, another Christie’s veteran, is Bacs’s wife). Keeping that independent mantle while overseeing the launch of the Phillips watch department has created a sophisticated new model for the industry and, for now at least, a win-win for the enterprising consultant and the newly invigorated Phillips, which scored the largest market share with its debut watch event, held during the always competitive May sales in Geneva. // AUCTION STRATEGIES
Patricia Barbizet * Auction House CEO
The first woman to lead Christie’s and the first French national in that role, Barbizet was handpicked by François Pinault, owner of Christie’s and patriarch of Groupe Artémis, the privately held investment company of the Pinault family. Barbizet took over the reins of the market-leading house last December after the abrupt departure of Steven Murphy prompted rumors of profligacy. Recent staff shake-ups might be interpreted as putting the house in order, but one can only wonder if Barbizet, who also serves as CEO of Artémis, can devote enough time to manage the organization branded as “the Art People,” or if the appointment is simply a temporary one.
Caroline Baumann * Museum Director
As director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York—and as associate, acting, and deputy director before that—Baumann deserves primary credit for the three-year, ground-up renovation that brought a sleepy institution into the 21st century. The once-awkward galleries in the circa-1903 Andrew Carnegie mansion now incorporate up-to-the-minute technology like touch-screen tables and a stylus that enables visitors to save information on specific holdings to create their own virtual collections to take home. The Cooper Hewitt is luring new members, and a younger generation of design fans. // DESIGN // VIRTUAL ART WORLD
Boonchai Bencharongkul * Patron
Chairman of DTAC, Thailand’s second-largest mobile operator, Bencharongkul has collected art for more than three decades and in 2012 opened the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok to showcase selections from his holdings of nearly 900 artworks. The 66,000-square-foot, five-story white cube is the largest private museum in the country. Although Bencharongkul takes the introduction of Western modernism as a starting point, his collecting focuses on the development of Thai art, especially from the 1970s onward, allowing him to support local artists through both purchases and prominent exposure in the museum. // PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN ASIA
Cristiano Bierrenbach * Auctioneer
The vice president of Heritage Auctions joined the firm in 2008 with a focus on numismatics and international sales. Based in Dallas and known for an early online platform that made it one of the world’s largest collectibles auctioneers, as well as a formidable competitor in art categories such as illustration and Western paintings, the firm made major strides on the international front under Bierrenbach’s leadership this year with the acquisition of Dutch house MPO auctions, giving Heritage a full-service brick-and-mortar operation in Europe. The house also opened a permanent office in Hong Kong under the direction of Kenneth Yung. // AUCTION STRATEGIES // ONLINE SALES
Leon Black * Collector, Entrepreneur
Head of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Black made headlines in 2012 when he purchased Edvard Munch’s 1895 version of The Scream for nearly $120 million (a record soon surpassed). Of potentially wider-ranging impact are Black’s acquisitions of art publisher Phaidon in 2012 and yet-to-be-profitable online art sales portal Artspace two years later. The two were subsequently linked to create a diversified art communications company. This year Black, a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was quietly elevated to the newly created position of cochairman of the Museum of Modern Art. // ONLINE SALES
Francis Briest, François Tajan, and Fabien Naudan * Auctioneers
Since 2012, French auction house Artcurial has expanded beyond its Paris headquarters to establish offices in Munich, Hong Kong, Brussels, Milan, Monte Carlo, and Vienna, enhancing its international profile and connections with sellers and buyers. To serve Artcurial’s growing and diversifying clientele, cochairmen Briest and Tajan and vice-chairman Naudan have strategically broadened offerings in design, contemporary art, automobiles, and jewelry. In the first half of 2015 the house pulled in more than $130 million and set 41 auction records. // AUCTION STRATEGIES
Eli and Edythe Broad * Patrons
In September, the Broads, who have put more than $800 million into Los Angeles–based cultural institutions over the past three decades, cut the ribbon on their most prominent project: The Broad, a museum of contemporary art on Grand Avenue downtown. The Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed three-story structure houses some 2,000 works by more than 200 artists, including Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cindy Sherman. Despite the new digs, the foundation that owns the works will continue its mission as a lending library for other institutions, say the Broads, so that nothing is hidden from view in storage. // ALLIANCES // PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN ASIA
Frederik Bruun Rasmussen * Auctioneer
Responsible for international sales strategy at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, the third-generation leader has greatly expanded participation of foreign clients, building the United States into a key market, even as the firm controls costs by holding live sales only at its Copenhagen headquarters. Since 2014, the auctioneer has focused on developing the house’s customer base and increasing international visibility by exhibiting top works in some of the largest art centers, including New York, London, and Paris. This sales strategy will continue into 2016, with a Vilhelm Hammershøi exhibition in London in February, an event tied to the Collective Design fair in New York in May, and a show featuring works by Asger Jorn and artists of the CoBrA movement at Hôtel Drouot in Paris in September. // AUCTION STRATEGIES
Matthew Carey-Williams * Auctioneer
Hired away from White Cube, where he ran the sales department, the recently appointed Phillips deputy chairman for Europe and Asia leverages considerable connections in the contemporary arena, formed first at Sotheby’s and then during stints at Gagosian Gallery in New York and Haunch of Venison in London, when it was a subsidiary of Christie’s. Carey-Williams’s global contacts have already paid off, as evidenced by the record-making Mark Bradford painting Constitution IV, 2013, which sold at Phillips London in October for £3.7 million ($5.7 million). Carey-Williams made the primary-market sale at White Cube.
Adrian Cheng * Patron
Cheng’s K11 Art Space, located in the basement of his K11 Art Mall in downtown Shanghai, proclaims itself an “art playground, where culture, entertainment, shopping, and living revolve around art.” Currently on view is an ambitious exhibition undertaken with the Gala–Salvador Dalí Foundation that juxtaposes works by the legendary artist with contemporary Chinese artists inspired by Surrealism. This museum-mall model thrives in status-minded, shopping-crazy China. Cheng operates another outpost in Hong Kong and he has announced plans for more in up to a dozen cities, including Wuhan and Guiyang, where Cheng also runs what he calls “art villages,” in which emerging artists produce works on view—and for sale—in the malls. This sort of synergy may make one wonder if the term museum really applies, but it makes perfect sense for the grandson of the retail jewelry magnate Cheng Yu-tung. // PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN ASIA
Nicolas Chow * Auctioneer
Despite his double business mandate at Sotheby’s as deputy chairman Asia and international head of Chinese ceramics and works of art, Chow remains a connoisseur’s connoisseur, having absorbed knowledge early as a grandson of renowned collector and dealer Edward T. Chow of Shanghai and Geneva. During his 16 years with Sotheby’s, Chow has built the firm’s department of Chinese art, presiding over notable sales of imperial works including the October 2013 single-owner offering in Hong Kong of the Sakamoto Gorōo collection; the Hong Kong sale of the Ming Dynasty “chicken cup” for $HK281 million ($36 million) in April 2014; and this October’s $HK137 million ($17.6 million) sale of the only full-length portrait by Giuseppe Castiglione not held by Beijing’s Palace Museum, which set a world record for an imperial portrait.
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros * Patron
With a collection comprising some 2,000 works of modern, contemporary, Orinoco, colonial, and landscape art, Venezuelan–born Cisneros sponsors exhibitions around the world. By lending freely she enables more people to see the work than if she kept it together in one locale and she has contributed to the growing interest in Latin American art in the United States and Europe over the last two decades. Further philanthropic endeavors include sponsoring grants to artists, curators, and organizations, and serving as a trustee of MoMA, LACMA, the Hammer, and the Reina Sofía, among other institutions.
Carter Cleveland and Sebastian Cwilich * Entrepreneurs
Since launching in 2012, Artsy has clung to the somewhat vague mission of making the art world more democratic while continuously adjusting its business strategy. With founder and CEO Cleveland guiding tech and president and COO Cwilich overseeing partnerships, the firm is now building out its editorial platform; expanding its collaborations with galleries and museums (both up by more than 50 percent in the last year); making a renewed push in online auctions; and collecting massive amounts of data, incorporating prices from private sales as well as auction figures with the goal of building a reliable index for collectors. With $25 million in series C funding announced in March and new tech-industry hires, Artsy is well positioned to further its recent rapid growth. // ONLINE SALES
Joven Cuanang * Patron
A top neurologist in the Philippines, Cuanang founded the eclectic Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, about 90 minutes outside Manila, as a home for his collection of mostly contemporary Filipino art. Set in a verdant landscape, the museum was designed by Tony Leaño with an informal layout reminiscent of a private home. It also has some eccentric features, including an adults-only room with erotic works. Cuanang is an outspoken activist and promoter of public art in the province of Ilocos Norte, having formed the Silangan Foundation for the Arts, Culture, and Ecology with his Antipolo neighbors and working with the local government on arts outreach projects. // PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN ASIA // ALLIANCES
Charles and Thomas C. Danziger * Lawyers
The art specialists at New York firm Danziger, Danziger & Muro advise buyers and sellers of major works, banks, and borrowers on art lending, and have recently been helping clients avoid trouble with new sales tax regulations. While quietly handling hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions each year, the pair have raised their public profile and educated the art world about relevant legal developments through Art+Auction’s Brothers in Law column for a decade and a half, thereby helping to shape the industry during a period of growing regulatory complexity that has seen increasing reliance on the legal system to settle art world disputes.
Elizabeth Dee * Dealer
The Manhattan gallery owner is a cofounder and CEO of Independent, the New York–based art fair. Next April, Dee and her colleagues are expanding the fair to Brussels, where they’ve established a permanent exhibition space meant to complement the fair by providing a fresh venue for galleries and institutions that are part of the Independent network. “Most of the [gallery owners] are as much curators as dealers,” Dee told Art+Auction in June, commenting on the dual nature of the gallerists she supports and revealing her own shape-shifting
tendencies. // ALLIANCES
James and Gregory Demirjian * Dealers
Since taking the helm in 2008 of Ariadne, the gallery established four decades ago by their father, Torkom, the brothers have spearheaded the expansion of the New York–based antiquities firm. In June 2014 they opened a space in London’s Mayfair district, sharing a town house with noted sculpture dealer Daniel Katz. Regular participants in Frieze Masters in London and the International Show in New York, the Demirjians cite the rise in London’s profile as a global capital—superseding New York and Paris for antiquities—and its relative proximity to collectors from Europe, the Gulf States, and Asia as key factors in choosing to invest there. // CROSS MARKETING
Lisa Dennison * Auctioneer
Few museum-trained professionals make a mark in the entirely distinct auction arena, yet Dennison, chairman of North and South America at Sotheby’s—and former director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she staged 35 exhibitions—has broken that barrier and contributed significant rainmaking deals since her entry in 2007. It makes sense, as relationships with powerful collectors are at the heart of both fields. Those connections are most visible in the evening sales of contemporary art, where Dennison frequently wages bidding battles for major works via telephone on behalf of clients.
Emmanuel Di Donna * Dealer
The former vice chairman of the Imp/mod department at Sotheby’s ended a five-year partnership with Harry Blain this year, but retained their space in the Carlyle Hotel and their focus on secondary-market dealing. Di Donna increasingly showcases Surrealism in a context of greater modernism and contemporary art through ambitious exhibitions. The rechristened gallery launched in April with “From Above,” featuring select works by artists including Lynda Benglis, Robert Delaunay, and Jean Dubuffet, while currently presenting “Fields of Dream: The Surrealist Landscape,” with more than six dozen pieces by Alexander Calder, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Yves Tanguy, and others.
Gina Diez Barroso de Franklin * Patron
Mexican collector, designer, entrepreneur, and international women’s rights advocate, Diez is one of Mexico’s most prominent figures. She is also the founder of Centro, Mexico City’s first private design school, which has grown to a student body of approximately 3,000 since it opened more than a decade ago. In September of this year, the school moved into a brand-new, state-of-the-art Enrique Norten–designed campus, with facilities for everything from textile design to filmmaking.
Philip Dodd * Association Director
After years observing the growth of private museums, especially in Asia, the former director of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts invited patrons from around the world to meet during Art HK in 2010. From the beginning, major names like Italy’s Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and Indonesia’s Oei Hong Djien recognized the value of networking with their peers. After years of expansion, the Global Private Museum Summit, most recently held in Shanghai last month, has spun off the Global Private Museum Network also under Dodd’s direction, a year-round resource for sharing ideas and even traveling shows among members of this select guild. // ALLIANCES
Sindika Dokolo * Patron
Congo-born and Angola-based Dokolo—who is married to Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos and reportedly the richest woman in Africa—began collecting contemporary art when he was 15 and now holds approximately 5,000 works. His presence in the international art world hasn’t been without controversy, with some raising concerns about the origin of his wealth, but his commitment to supporting art in Africa has remained steadfast. Dokolo sponsored the first-ever Angolan pavilion in Venice in 2013 and is now waging a campaign to return African art to the continent. His eponymous Luanda-based foundation is expanding to Porto, Portugal, and plans are being drawn up for a museum in Angola.
Ed Dolman * Auction House CEO
No other auction house chief can rival Dolman’s depth of experience, from running Christie’s during its post-price-fixing recovery to garnering an outsider’s perspective as acting CEO of the Qatar Museums Authority. Since becoming chairman and CEO at Phillips in July 2014, Dolman has quickly deepened the talent pool there, hiring specialists and rainmakers, primarily from Christie’s. Dolman’s single-minded mission to capture 10 percent of the contemporary art market for Phillips over the long run would, if successful, recoup the many millions that the Mercury Group has poured into the firm since gaining control in 2013. // AUCTION STRATEGIES
Kaleta A. Doolin * Patron
An artist, philanthropist, educator, and writer, Doolin cofounded the Texas African American Photography Archive, and in August she gifted the Nasher Sculpture Center $750,000 through her namesake foundation to help fund acquisitions of art by women. A work by Phyllida Barlow is the first purchase. Continuing her advocacy on behalf of female artists, she recently joined the Modern Women’s Fund at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. // WOMEN ARTISTS
Claudia Dwek * Auctioneer
After breaking the glass ceiling early on as the youngest female auctioneer in Italy, Dwek, now deputy chairman Europe and senior contemporary specialist at Sotheby’s, moved to London to champion the postwar art of her native country. When Dwek and Cheyenne Westphal developed the first Italian Sale in London in October 1999, it made a then startling £5.2 million ($8.6 million); this past October the same-themed sale fetched £40.4 million ($62.5 million).
Maryam Homayoun Eisler * Collector
The Tehran-born, London-based collector began with Chinese contemporary art before diversifying her trove. Among other museum engagements, she is cochair of the Tate Middle East and North Africa Acquisitions Committee and a trustee of London’s Whitechapel Gallery. And Eisler’s commitment is more than financial: The Wellesley graduate with an MBA from Columbia University acted as curatorial director for the book Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art and executive editor of Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey and London Burning, a 2015 tome that honors the titular city as today’s capital of culture.
Lance and Roberta Entwistle * Dealers
Purveyors of tribal art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas for more than four decades, the Entwistles, who have galleries in London and Paris, are known for the extraordinary quality of the works they buy and sell. In recent years, they have placed important pieces in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The last is currently featuring a 19th-century Mangaaka power figure from Central Africa, purchased from the Entwistles in 2008, in their critically lauded landmark exhibition “Kongo: Power and Majesty,” which runs through January 3, 2016.
Michael Findlay and Ken Yeh * Dealers
Two years ago, the nearly 100-year-old, family-run Acquavella Galleries welcomed Yeh, former chairman of Christie’s Asia, as co-director to lead business and client development in Asia. He and the gallery’s longtime co-director (and former Christie’s colleague) Findlay continue to expand Acquavella’s geographic reach while maintaining the gallery’s historic reputation and mounting an ambitious exhibition schedule, showcasing artworks by Wayne Thiebaud, Jacob El Hanani, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others.
Soichiro Fukutake * Patron
The billionaire founder of Benesse Corporation, an educational publishing and cram-study company, Fukutake began work on the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, a remote haven for contemplating art in nature, some 20 years ago. Today a cluster of islands in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, once home to remote fishing villages with dwindling, aging populations, have been transformed into novel destinations for contemporary art. Naoshima, the main island, is the site of the Chichu Art Museum, designed by Tadao Ando and opened in 2004—which displays works by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria—as well as the Lee Ufan Museum, completed in 2010, devoted to the contemplative work of the Mono-ha master. There are also various old dwellings converted into permanent art-house projects by such artists as Tatsuo Miyajima and SHINRO OHTAKE. Naoshima and its neighboring islands also host the Setouchi Triennale. // PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN ASIA
Larry Gagosian * Dealer
In October the reigning global dealer launched his new Grosvenor Hill gallery in Mayfair—his 3rd and largest in London and 15th worldwide—with a show of Cy Twombly paintings never previously exhibited. His other venues in London, Paris, Rome, and Athens had been thus inaugurated over the past decade. This “tradition,” as Gagosian calls it, exemplifies much of what sets him apart, not only the sheer scope of his operation and available resources, but also the often overlooked commitment he makes to working over the long term with certain artists, generally those of the blue-chip variety. His empire may feel domineering to some, but it remains innovative—and unrivaled.
Theaster Gates * Artist
With substantial backing from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago-based sculptor and installation artist has embarked on a campaign to bring about a cultural renaissance on the South Side of the Windy City, converting a suite of vacant, run-down buildings into spaces suitable for all manner of artistic endeavor. In October the first of his renovation projects was unveiled: a 17,000-square-foot neoclassical bank building designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923, which Gates purchased from the city three years ago for $1. It is now the Stony Island Arts Bank, a platform for site-specific commissions, exhibitions, and artists’ residencies. // ALLIANCES
Vincent Geerling * Dealer
As head of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art, the Dutchman has found himself in the spotlight amid rising concerns over the looting of sites in the war-torn Middle East. Geerling, also the owner of Archea Ancient Art in Amsterdam, has been vigilant in looking out for the interests of dealers in the antiquities trade, but more important, he and the association have maintained strict standards to protect against illegally exported objects entering the market. Few collectors these days, he says, have an appetite for guilt by association. Beyond speaking for the trade on the crisis in the Fertile Crescent, Geerling has actively lobbied against the proposed export ban on artworks more than 50 years old and/or valued over $150,000 that is under consideration in Germany.
// PILLAGING OF THE MIDDLE EAST // ALLIANCES
Alexander Gilkes, Aditya Julka, and Osman Khan * Entrepreneurs
The men who founded the burgeoning online auction platform Paddle8 bring different skills to the operation: Gilkes is the charming protégé of auctioneer Simon de Pury, while Julka and Khan are both Harvard grads with formidable experience in business and technology. Together, the three have quickly built the go-to online auction site for nonprofits and are now building out for-profit sales in categories including luxury items and highly curated collectibles as well as art. In October, the company announced it has raised $34 million in series C funding and that megadealer David Zwirner now sits on the Paddle8 board. The company’s first non-digital, for-profit auction is planned for early 2016. // ONLINE SALES
Thelma Golden * Museum Director
Golden stepped into the position of director of the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2005, following several years as chief curator at the museum and a 10-year run at the Whitney. Since she assumed her current post, the museum’s attendance has increased by 27 percent, and in July the institution announced plans for a $122 million expansion, with a David Adjaye–designed building to replace its current home in Harlem. Last April the Ford Foundation named Golden a fellow in the “Art of Change” program, an initiative dedicated to enhancing the ties between art and social justice.
David Goodman * Auction Technologist
Just two months after relaunching its partnership with eBay earlier this year, Sotheby’s announced the hiring of Goodman—whose previous experience includes positions at CBS and Madison Square Garden—to oversee digital initiatives. Since Goodman joined the house as executive vice president of digital development and marketing, Sotheby’s has announced partnerships with Invaluable and Artsy—furthering its digital reach at all levels of the market and cementing a collaborative strategy distinct from that of its archrival, Christie’s. Held at the end of October, the first Sotheby’s online sale cobranded with Artsy played up the plat-form as much as the art with a panel discussion and party in San Francisco for the Silicon Valley crowd, and the catchy title “Input/Output.” // ONLINE SALES
Brett Gorvy * Auctioneer
Arguably the most powerful figure in the contemporary art auction arena, the chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s has carved out a pole position by dint of unrelenting labor and a missionary zeal for promoting the cumulative genius of postwar art and artists. His glowing Instagram odes to any number of contemporary masters, posted on their birthdays or death anniversaries, echo his unwavering belief that the art market bubble, which some pundits predict is soon to pop, has barely begun to inflate.
Loic Gouzer * Auctioneer
This rising star at Christie’s—judging by his recent promotion to deputy chairman of postwar and contemporary art—is largely credited with the house’s passionate embrace of “curated” cross-category modern and contemporary art sales, such as the $134.6 million If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday auction in May 2014 and the $705.8 million Looking Forward to the Past in May 2015. The specialist, now 35, was chucked out of the contemporary department at Sotheby’s in late 2010 during the imperial reign of Tobias Meyer, and Christie’s got lucky, garnering rewards after letting some of Gouzer’s unconventional ideas about drama-infused, one-off auctions run free. // CROSS MARKETING
Michael Govan * Museum Director
It’s too early to tell if Govan’s much-discussed Peter Zumthor–designed structure for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be a success—or even built. Still, he deserves kudos for his refreshingly transparent approach to the process of refining designs and wrangling support, where museums more typically reveal plans only after most funds have been raised and stakeholders have been won over. The tactic may be motivated by the fact that the art campus is government-owned, but it exemplifies Govan’s ability to turn challenging circumstances—from gaps in the encyclopedic collection to donor agendas—into creative opportunities.
Guerrilla Girls * Artists and Activists
Obscuring their faces behind gorilla masks and identifying themselves only by the monikers of late, pioneering female icons such as Käthe Kollwitz and Alice Neel, the Guerrilla Girls in 2015 marked 30 years of biting wit that calls attention to art world inequities. Known for posters bearing bold proclamations like “Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?” the collective is now being courted by the very museums it critiqued. Come next month, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will stage a show of the complete collection of Guerrilla Girls’ fiercely feminist posters. While their commentary on gender imbalance remains regrettably current, their latest campaign branches out to draw attention to growing income inequality in the art trade. // WOMEN ARTISTS
Anna and Brian Haughton * Fair Directors
As the antiques-fair dance card continues to fill, few events have maintained as steady a course while freshening their appeal as the recently rebranded International Show, held in New York each October. Launched by the Haughtons in 1989, the vetted fair boasts a modicum of dealer overlap with the venerable TEFAF, yet offers more affordable entry points for collectors. This year the International Show expanded its roster to include more dealers in 20th-century design and tempted market newcomers with the launch of a young patrons circle, which hosted a black-and-white–themed party in a tip of the hat to the late Truman Capote. // CROSS MARKETING
Maja Hoffmann * Patron
With the 2004 establishment of her Luma Foundation based in Switzerland, the pharmaceutical heiress—whose family founded Hoffmann–La Roche—emerged from behind the scenes as a globally influential arts patron and philanthropist. In 2013 she launched Pool, a nonprofit fostering curatorial mentorship that grants participants access to the holdings of several private collections. Demonstrating an entrepreneurial willingness to use a for-profit brand and platform to amplify the reach of the foundation’s philanthropic funds, Luma lent its support this year to the Frieze Artist Award, which was given to Rachel Rose. Meanwhile, the development of a 20-acre art center proceeds in Arles, France—where Hoffmann grew up and currently serves as president of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles. // ALLIANCES
Hong Qi * Patron
The Beijing Minsheng Museum of Art, opened this summer just north of the capital’s 798 Art District, is just the latest in a string of museums—including two in Shanghai—funded by China Minsheng Bank, which counts several major collectors among its board members along with chair Hong. Built over three years at a cost of more than RMB200 million ($32 million), the massive facility sits within the shell of a decommissioned electronics factory from the 1980s. It was designed by the award-winning firm Studio Pei–Zhu, which is responsible for a long list of museums around China over the last decade. Unlike many private museums that focus on a single collector’s holdings, Beijing Minsheng debuted with the ambitious group show “The Civil Power,” based in part on an open call for submissions—signaling, perhaps, greater opportunities for curators and artists alike. // PRIVATE MUSEUMS IN ASIA // ALLIANCES
Heather Hubbs * Association Director
Since joining the nonprofit New Art Dealers Alliance as director in 2004, Hubbs has ushered the organization through steady expansion while helping its signature fairs—first in Miami, and more recently in New York City, Cologne, and Hudson, New York—retain their upstart vibe. Rather than adding ever-more special sections to the fairs, Hubbs has instituted variations with each iteration, such as the arena for performances in New York this past spring. Collaboration was a driving force when NADA was founded by emerging gallerists Zach Feuer and John Connelly, and in an unusual move, Hubbs launched the European edition in partnership with the establishment Art Cologne show as a fair-within-a-fair. Look for more changes this month as the organization moves to the Fontainebleau Hotel for its fair’s 13th outing in Miami. // ALLIANCES