Gagosian Fires a Top Director Following an Investigation Into Allegations of ‘Unacceptable and Repugnant’ Behavior

The executive joined the gallery in 2001.

Sam Orlofsky, photo: Billy Farland © Patrick McMullan.

Just over a week after a top Gagosian director was suspended without pay following accusations of misconduct, he has been fired.

Late last month, after complaints about the longtime executive, Sam Orlofsky, surfaced online, founder Larry Gagosian informed staff that the gallery had “engaged outside counsel to investigate claims from current and former employees that a colleague engaged in serious misconduct, primarily targeted against women in the gallery.”

Six business days into the investigation, Gagosian informed staff on November 3rd that “based on the investigative findings thus far, the gallery today terminated that individual’s employment,” according to a copy of a letter that was shared with Artnet News.

Gagosian described the alleged behavior as “unacceptable and repugnant,” adding that the gallery expects all employees to adhere to values including mutual respect, dignity, collaboration, and honesty.

The investigation is continuing and Gagosian said the gallery wants to hear from anyone else with relevant information, “which will be kept confidential to the extent that the law allows.” He thanked those who came forward for their bravery and honesty.

“The gallery is committed to fostering a workplace where employees are safe, are empowered to do their best work, and can express concerns freely,” Gagosian wrote. “The gallery’s success comes from the extraordinary efforts of our employees and we will pursue this investigation vigorously to ensure that our team comes out of this stronger than before.”

One of the social media accounts that called out Orlofsky by name and encouraged followers to share their experiences with him posted earlier today that Orlofsky had been terminated. The person responsible for managing the account declined to comment further.

Orlofsky joined Gagosian in 2001. He worked closely with star artists including Dan Colen, Alex Israel, Mary Weatherford, and Jonas Wood. Over the past three years, he spearheaded the gallery’s digital expansion, developing its livestreamed programming, Artist Spotlight initiative, and online viewing rooms.

“Mr. Orlofsky declines to comment at this time,” his attorney John J. Rosenberg, told Artnet News.

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