With Online Sales Gathering Momentum, Gagosian Deepens Its Investment in Tech by Hiring Startup Veteran Sebastian Cwilich
The move follows last year's hire of Gareth O'Loughlin of the mattress startup Casper.
Gagosian Gallery has hired Sebastian Cwilich, formerly the president of Artsy, the company he co-founded with Carter Cleveland in 2010, as a part-time senior advisor as the mega-gallery continues to expand its technology team.
Cwilich stepped down from Artsy in April after nine years, ARTnews has reported. Gagosian’s technology department is a relatively recent addition to the gallery, but it has been staffing up quickly. Last year the gallery hired Gareth O’Loughlin, formerly vice president of technology at mattress startup Casper, as its chief technology officer.
“Gareth and Sebastian are both leaders in the field, with a broad range of skill sets and unique perspectives on technology, business strategy, and operations. They will be great additions to the gallery, enhancing and expanding our innovative work,” Larry Gagosian said in a statement.
Gagosian was an early backer of Artsy, along with top Russian collector Dasha Zhukova. “The gallery has a clear track record of innovation that sets the pace for the rest of the industry: from international expansion, to museum-quality non-selling exhibitions, to publications and online viewing rooms, to more recent moves like hiring a CTO and expanding into the advisory business,” Cwilich said in a statement. “As art industry change accelerates, I’m confident Gagosian is well-positioned to build on this track record and continue innovating and leading the industry. I’m looking forward to supporting Larry and the team in those efforts.”
In April, it was revealed that Gagosian has been making significant changes at the highest levels of the gallery’s management structure, giving insight into the business’s future directions and potential succession plans. Andrew Fabricant, an industry veteran who was the longtime director of Richard Gray Gallery‘s New York operation, was named Gagosian’s chief operating officer last summer. The newly created role seemingly positioned Fabricant as Gagosian’s natural heir in the organizational structur. (Fabricant had a previous 15-year stint with Gagosian in the 1980s.)
Meanwhile, Fabricant’s wife, Laura Paulson, an auction veteran, is overseeing a new, separate division, Gagosian Art Advisory LLC. The advisory business will manage, conserve, and appraise collections and estates, creating an end-to-end suite of services to steward art after it leaves the gallery. Gagosian Art Advisory is an independent group distinct and separate from the gallery. Paulson has her own office, a staff of six, and a separate database.
Also new at Gagosian, is the establishment of a 24-member global advisory board to the gallery, comprised of senior directors who will oversee strategy, business development, artist relationships, and exhibitions. O’Loughlin is reportedly part of the advisory board.
“Gagosian’s global footprint presents unique complexities and opportunities. We have had outstanding results embracing and investing in new business strategies and technology through initiatives like our online viewing room, and we look forward to remaining at the forefront of innovation in the art world,” a gallery spokesperson said in a statement.
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