Phillips Bulks Up Specialist Team as Auction House Shakeups Continue

It's a major win for the house.

Phillips announced a major expansion of its international team of art specialists with the addition of three seasoned specialists to its 20th century and contemporary art department, and one new addition to its Latin American art team.

The news comes amid a continued shake-up in the auction business, including major shifts at Christie’s and Sotheby’s $50 million acquisition of power dealers Art Agency Partners, and an extensive buyout plan that is seeing the departure of some of its most high profile, long-serving talent. In response, Phillips has been taking the opportunity to bulk up its contemporary department, particularly with the help of CEO Ed Dolman, the former CEO of Christie’s, who has been mining his relationships there to bring top talent to Phillips.

Blake Koh, a former Sotheby’s specialist who is well-known for his roster of high-profile California clients, has been named senior vice president and regional representative for the the West Coast. He will be based in Los Angeles.

Jonathan Horwich, who was formerly at Bonhams and prior to that, spent 30 years at Christie’s, will be senior director and specialist of 20th century and contemporary art, based in London.

Kevie Yang, who joins Horwich as his associate vice president specialist in the 20th century and contemporary art department at Phillips, was formerly a specialist at Christie’s in the the postwar and contemporary department and head of the afternoon sale.

Finally, Valentina Garcia is joining as a specialist of Latin American art, and will be based in Miami. Garcia was formerly at New York’s Elkon Gallery, where she was gallery manager and director for over a decade, serving as the gallery liason based in Miami. Garcia previously worked in Sotheby’s Latin American art department.

“This senior group of specialists will be at the forefront of initiatives in the coming year in pursuit of our resolve to serve our clients across multiple regions and collecting interests,” said Jean-Paul Engelen, worldwide head of contemporary art.

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