Emmanuel Di Donna Splits From Sister Gallery Blain|Southern
There’s about to be another change to the ever-evolving New York gallery scene: after five years of partnering with Harry Blain as director of New York’s Blain|Di Donna gallery, former Sotheby’s worldwide vice-chairman Emmanuel Di Donna is branching out on his own.
Effective April 23, the Upper East Side gallery, located in the Carlyle Hotel, will be known as Di Donna. The inaugural exhibition, “From Above,” will explore the elevated vantage point known as the bird’s eye view, first popularized by Pieter Brueghel the Elder in the 16th century, as seen in modern works by artists such as Man Ray, Edward Hopper, Rene Magritte, Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, Ed Ruscha, and Gerhard Richter.
According to an e-mail received by artnet News, “the separation is amicable and in the interest of exploring each of the former partners quite different areas of expertise.” Di Donna, a 17-year Sotheby’s vet who served as head of sales for modern and Impressionist Art, is known for his historic exhibitions, focusing on such subjects as Dada, Surrealism, and classic Pop art. Blain|Di Donna’s sister gallery, Blain|Southern, which has locations in Berlin and London, tends toward contemporary work, representing Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Mat Collishaw, and other artists.
The Blain galleries were founded in 2010, when Harry Blain and Graham Southern left Haunch of Venison, the gallery they founded in 2002 and sold to Christie’s in 2007. Haunch of Venison closed in 2013.
Among the artists represented by Blain|Southern are the estates of British sculptor Lynn Chadwick, acquired in 2013 (see Is Lynn Chadwick Set to Storm the Art Market?), and painter Lucian Freud, who died in 2011 (see Lucian Freud’s Willed Millions Stay Secret).
The new Di Donna outfit won’t be formerly representing any artists or estates from the start, but a representative from the gallery assured artnet News that “because of the ongoing strong friendship with Emmanuel and Harry, there will probably be collaborations on exhibitions here.” Blain|Southern does not currently have plans to open a New York location of its own.
Gallery partnerships are often quite malleable on the New York scene—Mitchell Algus, a founding partner of Algus Greenspon Gallery recently announced plans to branch out on his own (see Mitchell Algus to Open New Space, Solo), while former L&M Arts partners Dominique Lévy and Mnuchin unexpectedly found themselves mounting simultaneous Kazuo Shiraga exhibitions this year (see Are Lévy and Mnuchin Together Again? Both Have Upcoming Shiraga Shows).
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