Powerhouse Advisor Lisa Schiff Announces Ambitious New Art Consulting Firm

It's another sign of LA's fast-growing market.

Art adviser Lisa Schiff

New York art advisor Lisa Schiff, who counts Los Angeles collectors including Leonardo DiCaprio among her clients, is expanding her operation. She has partnered up with curator Lauri Firstenberg, previously with the West Hollywood non-profit LAXART, as well as another former LAXART curator, Marika Kielland, who will run the philanthropic arm in London.

The name of the firm is “there-there,” a humorous use of writer Gertrude Stein’s oft-quoted line about her childhood hometown of Oakland: “There’s no there there.” The agency will operate out of New York, London, and Los Angeles.

“It will manifest in a variety of ways,” Schiff, who founded her advisory firm Schiff Fine Art in 2002, explained in a phone interview with artnet News. “We will advise our clients on ways to maximize their philanthropic interests through collaboration with visual culture; we will contribute a certain amount of our company’s money annually to support female artists; and we will collaborate with others to create artistic projects from which a percentage will go towards social good.”

Of the new model, Schiff added: “I really feel like this is the future of the art world and that having this as incorporated into a larger company that does art advisory, collection management, foundation building, and that also works on production, is really necessary.”

Lauri Firstenberg

Lauri Firstenberg. Photo by Sharon Suh.

Schiff’s venture is the latest sign of a fast-growing art scene on the West Coast, alongside news of Joshua Roth’s United Talent Agency initiative for artists and William Morris Entertainment’s recent large investment in the Frieze Art Fair. And further north in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is poised to reopen after a major re-design, as mega-dealer Larry Gagosian and John Berggruen have announced new gallery outposts in the area.

The “advising and the production compliment each other,” Schiff notes. “There are collectors who want to consume experiences just as much as objects and their are larger production projects that might lead us to place related discrete objects.”

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