White Cube Poaches Warhol Expert Eric Shiner From Sotheby’s to Lead Its American Operations

Despite the high-profile appointment, the British gallery insists it has no plans to open a gallery in New York.

Erich Shiner. Photo: courtesy of White Cube.

The British gallery White Cube has appointed Eric Shiner as its New York-based artistic director, bolstering its presence in the US. 

Shiner joins the gallery from Sotheby’s, where he has served as senior vice president of contemporary art since 2016. Before that, he was director of Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum. A prominent expert on both Warhol and contemporary Asian art, Shiner will take up his new role this fall.

In a statement, the gallery said that Shiner would focus “on enhancing the gallery’s global network through outreach with institutions and artists.” The gallery, which represents artists including Tracey Emin, Darren Almond, and Ibrahim Mahama, currently operates three exhibition spaces: two in London and one in Hong Kong. It opened an office and viewing room on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in May. (The gallery also ran an outpost in São Paulo for three years before closing it in 2015.)

Susan May, White Cube’s global artistic director, said that Shiner’s “extensive experience with artists, collectors, and museums over several decades made him the ideal candidate to lead in the development of White Cube’s activities in the US. With his knowledge of the cultural landscape, his profound passion for art, and the great respect he has garnered from many of the world’s leading artists, we feel confident in his ability to help take White Cube’s artistic agenda to even greater heights.”

The high-profile appointment immediately provoked speculation that White Cube is plotting to open a space in New York, but a spokeswoman for the gallery insisted that there are no plans to further expand its presence in the city. “We are prioritizing building the right team to deliver our strategy and vision for the region,” the spokeswoman said. “So we’re not in a position to comment on future capital projects at this stage.”

In a statement, Shiner explained that he left Sotheby’s to join White Cube because he longed to work with artists again. “In the end, working with artists is my true passion,” he said. “This new role allows me to return to making sure the most relevant voices of our age are heard and celebrated.”

This is the second high-profile departure from Sotheby’s in recent weeks. News broke at the beginning of the month that Christy Maclear, the former head of the Rauschenberg Foundation, had exited her post as the head of Art Agency, Partners’ artist estate division.

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