Inside Gagosian Gallery’s Talent Factory: How Gogo Directors Go on to Rule the Art World
His former staffers have gone on to do great things on their own.
The sun never sets on art dealer Larry Gagosian’s empire, which includes no fewer than 15 galleries from New York to Hong Kong. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his Beverly Hills outpost, and if you’re in London, Paris, Athens or Rome, you won’t be far from one of his venues.
Besides being a major force in the art market, his business is also a veritable talent factory, with Gagosian veterans going on to start their own galleries and ventures from New York to London.
Below, we profile a few Gagosian graduates who have gone on to great things.
Andrea Crane, private dealer
Andrea Crane served as a director at Gagosian’s 980 Madison Avenue location for five years, focusing on modern and postwar art, starting in January 2008.
Her proudest moment there was placing a painting by Kazimir Malevich in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. The museum called the purchase of Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension (1915) one of the most significant acquisitions in its history. It was “possibly the most exciting experience of my career,” she told artnet News in a phone interview.
“Larry is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met,” she says. “He thinks ten steps ahead of anyone I know. He raised my game.”
Now a New York-based private dealer in Impressionist, modern and postwar art, Crane also works with English painter Cecily Brown on special projects and, with partner Caroline Schmidt, has started RambleOnProjects, which organizes traveling shows.
Amalia Dayan, New York dealer
Amalia Dayan founded Luxembourg & Dayan, with locations in Manhattan and London, in 2009 with fellow Israeli Daniela Luxembourg. There, they mount attention-grabbing exhibitions of historical European artists like Martial Raysse and César Baldaccini, often less known in the US, as well as contemporary artists like Alex Da Corte (artnet News’ critic Christian Viveros-Fauné dubbed his March 2014 show there “exceptionally strange.”)
Dayan was a director of sales at Gagosian from 2003-2005, and is also a former director of Deitch Projects. She is the granddaughter of Israeli general and statesman Moshe Dayan, and the daughter of actor and director Assi Dayan.
The gallerist lives with her husband, fellow dealer Adam Lindemann, and their young daughters in a poured-black concrete townhouse designed by David Adjaye on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. There, they display works by Maurizio Cattelan, Urs Fischer, Richard Prince, and Franz West. She’s committed to showing bold artworks, such as Jeff Koons’ photographs of himself and his wife performing sex acts, even when there’s a cost. After seeing those works, she told W magazine, “a few playdates did not come back.”
Andrew Fabricant, partner at Richard Gray Gallery, New York
A partner since 1996 at Richard Gray Gallery, which has showrooms in New York and Chicago, Andrew Fabricant was previously a director with Gagosian. Operating since 1963, Gray’s gallery offers works by artists from Magdalena Abakanowicz and David Hockney to Alex Katz and Jackson Pollock.
Fabricant is well-versed on the auction side of the art market since his wife is Laura Paulson, deputy chairman of Christie’s Americas. He weighed in this past May with CNBC about record-breaking auction prices that he conceded were “insane,” though he also maintained that the so-called art-market bubble is proving to be very sturdy over the last decade.
Pilar Ordovas, London dealer
London dealer Pilar Ordovas was director of Gagosian London from 2009-2011, and previously was director of postwar and contemporary art of Christie’s Europe, where she oversaw sales that set records for works by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. In 2011, she left Gagosian’s orbit to start her gallery, on Savile Row in the Mayfair neighborhood, where Hauser & Wirth is a neighbor.
“My time at Gagosian was very empowering,” she told artnet News by phone, “because he gave me total freedom, which allowed me to realize I was ready to go out on my own.”
Since opening her own gallery, she has focused on modern and historical exhibitions, following up on what she did while at Gagosian, where she organized shows like “Crossing the Channel,” which shed light on the friendship among Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and Alberto Giacometti. She describes it as her greatest achievement while working for Gagosian. (Her own collection includes contemporary artists like Chris Ofili and Cornelia Parker.)
She’s also been seen snapping up multimillion-dollar artworks for her clients at auction; artnet News spotted her winning a $56.2-million canvas by Freud at Christie’s New York this past May.
Christophe van de Weghe, New York dealer
After spending seven years as a salesman with Gagosian, from 1993 to 2000, Christophe van de Weghe has gone on to run a Madison Avenue gallery. Van de Weghe exhibits at top art fairs like Frieze Masters, Art Basel, TEFAF and FIAC. He deals in modern and contemporary artists from Carl Andre and Francis Bacon to Rudolf Stingel and Christopher Wool.
When asked what was the best thing he learned from the master dealer, Van de Weghe was unsentimental: “How to buy and sell artwork!”
One thing you probably didn’t know about the Belgian-born dealer is that from 1986 to 1989, he was an accomplished professional tennis player, ranked among the top 500 in his class worldwide by the Association of Tennis Professionals, he told artnet News.
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