Brett Gorvy Leaves Christie’s to Partner With Dominique Lévy

The pair will form a 'formidable' new art dealing duo.

Brett Gorvy at Christie's press preview of works from the collection of Michael Crichton at Christie's on March 4, 2010 in Beverly Hills. Courtesy of Jesse Grant/Getty Images.

In what will undoubtedly contribute to the formation of one of the newest and most prominent power art dealer duos, news is out this morning that Brett Gorvy, Christie’s longtime chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art, is leaving the auction house after 23 years to partner with Dominique Lévy, one of the top contemporary art dealers in the world. The new partnership will be called Lévy Gorvy.

Gorvy is the latest in a string of senior auction house executives who departed major houses—a development that has affected Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips—in order to venture out on their own as private dealers. This list includes Guy Bennett; Nicholas Maclean and Christopher Eykyn; Stephane Cosman Connery; and Thomas Seydoux, to name just a few.

The news caps a year of huge turnover at the major auction houses, with Sotheby’s having seen an exodus of talent amid a management shakeup, alongside the $50 million acquisition of Art Agency Partners, that latter of which was co-founded by Gorvy’s former worldwide co-head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, Amy Cappellazzo.

One source we spoke to this morning called the duo “formidable.” For years, Gorvy has been at the forefront of Christie’s dominance in the contemporary art world, overseeing major auctions that reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars, including a sale that made upwards of $600 million.

In a release issued by Christie’s London office, the auction house emphasized that it will continue to work with Gorvy going forward. It acknowledged Gorvy’s role in having successfully established a deep bench of specialist expertise in the postwar and contemporary art category at Christie’s.

At the international level, the department will continue to be led globally by Laura Paulson, Francis Outred, Mariolina Bassetti, and Loic Gouzer, along with Barrett White, Sara Friedlander, Andy Massad, and Koji Inoue in New York, Xin Li and Eric Chang in Asia, and Edmond Francey in London. As previously announced, Alex Rotter will join the department in the Americas in 2017, having left Sotheby’s in early 2016.

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