A New Frontier for Art Advisors? Veteran Art Advisor Lisa Schiff Will Open an Experimental Showroom in Tribeca
The advisor just signed a 10-year lease on a storefront space in downtown Manhattan.
A number of galleries may be closing their storefronts, but art advisors are…opening new ones. At least, Lisa Schiff is. The veteran art advisor has signed a 10-year lease on a two-floor, 1,300-square-foot storefront in Tribeca.
The advisor, who has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London, was clear that she has no intentions of opening a traditional art gallery. Instead, she envisions the space as a combination between an office, a showroom for clients, and a community meeting point. (She first announced the news on Instagram.)
“I don’t want to be a gallery—it’s not what I do,” Schiff told artnet News, “but I thought what if I recreate my living room on the ground floor?” Plus, she added, “There’s enough space for me to have a back room and show things to collectors.”
The vibe she’s aiming for, she said, is more reminiscent of a members club than a traditional art space. She pictures an unconventional, semi-public room decorated with a selection of works from her personal collection and her firm’s inventory, a large library, a communal table, rugs, and plenty of comfy couches and armchairs. “It’s not going to be modern with white walls,” Schiff promised, adding, “there will be no desks, I hate desks.”
After 20 years in the business, Schiff says she’s spent a lot of time thinking about how to reinvent the advisory side of the art business, a role that hasn’t changed much since it first emerged. “There’s only so much expansion an art advisor can do,” she pointed out.
The new set-up will allow her company to engage with the surrounding Tribeca community and foster relationships through collaborations with galleries, artists, collectors, and the art world more broadly. She mentions talks with artists, screenings, and parties as examples of possible initiatives.
For now, the project is still in flux. “I’m not quite sure about how it will develop,” Schiff admitted. “I usually jump before I walk, there’s no common sense, and it might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.”
Despite the risk, the potential upside is substantial. She says the rent doesn’t add much to her overhead and it increases her company’s visibility. “I used to be all about disruption. Now I’m all about helping each other,” she told artnet News. “And if I can enrich the community somehow by adding something completely different, then why not?”
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