Former Top Christie’s Executive Rebecca Wei Is Crossing Over Into the Gallery World, Joining Lévy Gorvy Asia as a Partner
The hire comes as the Asian art market struggles to rebound from the paralyzing effects of the lockdown.
Rebecca Wei, a former high-level auction-house executive who abruptly departed Christie’s Asia last year, has signed on as a partner and investor in Lévy Gorvy Asia. She will begin her new role on October 1.
The news comes at a tumultuous time for the art market in general, and the Asian art market in particular. The continent’s art sales have been hit harder than any other by the lockdown, plummeting 85 percent at auction in the first six months of the year compared to the equivalent period last year, according the Fall 2020 Artnet Intelligence Report.
The gallery’s founders, Dominique Lévy and Brett Gorvy, are nevertheless doubling down on the region. The gallery has operated a Shanghai office since 2017 and debuted a swank, ground-floor space in Hong Kong last year.
“Our work in Asia began with our participation in the very first Art Basel Hong Kong fair in 2013,” Lévy said in a statement. “Since then, and in spite of the dramatic and challenging times we are all living in, our commitment and belief in the region has only grown. We may be the only Western gallery in Hong Kong to have remained open throughout the past year, determined to stand for the power of art to unite and heal.”
Asked about the state of the market in Asia, Gorvy told Artnet News that “Asian buyers remain very active at the highest level. We are excited to be nurturing a younger generation of emerging collectors which are very open to both Eastern and Western artists.”
Lévy lauded Wei’s “singular combination of financial experience, expertise in art, and strong relationships in Asia,” while Gorvy, himself a former Christie’s executive who overlapped with Wei at the auction house, praised the new partner’s “incredible energy, dedication, and her global understanding of the market.”
In August 2019, just eight months after being promoted to president chairwoman of Christie’s Asia, Wei left the role “to take up a new professional challenge in 2020.” By that point, the former management consultant was widely regarded as one of Asia’s most prominent auction executives.
A rising star, Wei first joined the house in 2012 as the Asia general manager. She was promoted to president in 2016 before being promoted again in late 2018.
Wei’s ascension in the company coincided with the rise of a new class of billionaire Asian collectors such as Liu Yiqian and Robert Chang, with whom she was sitting when he won a rare 18th-century Chinese vase for $14.5 million at Christie’s Hong Kong in 2018.
At Lévy Gorvy, Wei will work closely with Danqing Li, who has led the gallery’s Asian branch since 2017 and will now serve as President, Asia.
“I feel honored and excited to be joining forces with Dominique and Brett who are legendary figures in the global art market,” Wei said in a statement. “I believe together, we can be more innovative and create more excitement in the region.”
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