Lévy Gorvy Gallery Plans Shanghai Office in Ongoing Push to Capture the Asian Market

The gallery has poached former Christie's specialist Danqing Li to lead its expansion.

Danqing Li, appointed Senior Director of Lévy Gorvy Asia. Photograph courtesy of Lévy Gorvy.

Lévy Gorvy, the powerhouse gallery created at the start of the year when Dominique Lévy joined forces with longtime Christie’s contemporary executive Brett Gorvy, will open an office and private viewing space in Shanghai. Danqing Li, a former specialist in postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, has been appointed the gallery’s senior director of Asia and will lead the new office.

Lévy Gorvy is the latest in a long line of Western galleries to venture into Asia, including Pace, White Cube, David Zwirner, and Simon Lee. However, in opening an office as opposed to a full-blown gallery, Lévy Gorvy seems to be pursuing a lower risk strategy in the region—at least to start.

The gallery’s office will be located at CITIC Square on Nanjing Road West in the city’s prominent business district. The gallery plans to organize shows in the region, according to a spokeswoman, but they will be held in off-site locations.

Gorvy mentioned plans for a Shanghai office in a recent interview with artnet News’s editor-in-chief Andrew Goldstein, adding that the gallery would open an office in Hong Kong as well.

The expansion is a “natural outgrowth” of the gallery’s already active engagement in the region, according to a statement. The new space will allow Lévy Gorvy to “deepen its relationships with collectors and artists in Asia; work more closely with museums and cultural institutions; and extend its critically acclaimed exhibition program to reach new audiences.”

Gorvy, who worked with Li for many years at Christie’s, praised the “depth of her knowledge and her unique sensitivity not only to art but to the cross-cultural connections it creates.” Li received art history degrees in both China and the UK and contributed to the significant growth of Christie’s business in China, according to the gallery’s statement.

In its previous incarnation as Dominique Lévy Gallery and more recently as Lévy Gorvy, the gallery has demonstrated a clear emphasis on Asian Modern and contemporary art. It has organized exhibitions of work by artists including the Gutai leaders Kazuo Shiraga and Tsuyoshi Maekawa, the Chinese-French painter Zao Wou-Ki, and the Korean artists Chung Sang-Hwa and Seung-taek Lee.

Despite recent data showing that the Chinese art market has been struggling and is still well off its 2011 peak, Gorvy is upbeat about the gallery’s prospects in the region. He says the move is a response to client demand and “our long-term commitment to Asia as a whole. Working closely with our international directors, Lévy Gorvy’s team in Shanghai will be strongly positioned to develop our business in mainland China and throughout Asia, providing advisory services and facilitating secondary market sales.”

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