“gallery owner”

Galerie Dumonteil, a global ambassador for French creation: interview with Pierre Dumonteil

Paris, 8 August 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Of all the French galleries to open abroad, the Dumonteil gallery has been onof the most successful. The gallery was opened by Pierre and Dothi Dumonteil, who died this summer following a long battle with illness. The couple’s passion, love of adventure, and intuitive approach to art, led to Galerie Dumonteil achieving global access, promoting French artists in both Shanghai and New York. Art Media Agency spoke to Pierre Dumonteil, who shared the secrets of his success. Could you explain how your gallery has developed over the years? We opened our Parisian gallery in 1982, and opened our first Chinese gallery in 2005. We opened another gallery in New York in November 2012, having already solidly established ourselves in the city, having participated in around four New York fairs each year over a twenty-year period. In fact, we had already begun to exhibit our works at the Art & Antiques fair in Armory. Nowadays, apart from our gallery activities, we attend only two fairs, a year: in November, we participate in an event organised in partnership with the National Union of Antique Dealers, as well as the Armory Contemporary in Piers, which takes place at the end of March. What motivated you to open your gallery in China? The opening of our Shanghai gallery comes after several years of participating in art fairs. Our presence allowed us to establish a client network pretty much everywhere in the world, including the Middle-East and the United States, as well as Russia and the rest of Europe. The first time we participated in a fair in Shanghai – which was about nine years ago – we noticed that continental China was not an ideal place to develop international fairs, although it is a country’s whose art we are deeply passionate about. For Chinese clientele, fairs...

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2012 top 5 gallery owners

New York, 11 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Year beginnings are always favourable to all kinds of rankings… Forbes magazine released its yearly ranking of the most influential personalities, and among them great art dealers. It is no surprise Larry Gagosian still ranks first with a $925m turnover, realised by his 11 galleries throughout the world, in all strength spots of the art market. Who could have predicted he would become the unchallenged world leader these last years? Indeed, Larry Gagosian started his career selling kitsch posters in Los Angeles. His artistic team is highly prestigious, and famous billionaires like S.I. Newhouse and Eli Broad are among his clients. But in the end of 2012, Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst announced their departure. And Jeff Koons is being unfaithful, working with David Zwirner. Is this the end of the Gagosian reign? However, it cannot be denied struggle is now open with David Zwirner. The art dealer, of German origins, represents young talents (such as Adel Abdemessed) as well as contemporary art icons (Dan Flavin, Donald Judd) and a steady secondary market. With a $225m turnover, he is equal to yound art dealer Iwan Wirth, 42, with a network of 4 galleries based in Zurich. David Zwirner is still far behind Gagosian, who reaches stratospheric highs. But his turnover comes out of three galleries only. If he wins the battle of 2013, he could well become top of the list someday… In terms of wealth, after Larry Gagosian comes Arne Glimcher, with a $450m turnover. With 6 galleries, he made of Pace a real empire, by representing alone more top-selling artists than many of his highest competitors together. His son Marc, 48, is expected to take the helm. Eventually, in the very competitive world of major art dealers, still...

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Claude Fain, art collector and president-founder of Happy Art Collectors

Paris, 1 August 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). As a happy art collector, Claude Fain is proud of his career in the art world. He is also the founder of Happy Art Collectors, a group that organises luxury trips to discover the art world and its artists. Happy Art Collectors can be contacted by phone, +33 (0) 6 38 84 02 38, or by mail, contact@happyartcollectors.com. Art Media Agency met with the group’s founder to learn more about his ties to the art world, his collections, and his experience as an avant-garde gallery owner. Art Media Agency (AMA): To begin, could you just explain your connection to art?  Claude Fain (CF): Living with artists has been an essential philosophical and intellectual part of my life. They enlighten me and allow me to comprehend certain facets and values of life that were eager to emerge from inside myself. Being in contact with artists is beneficial, but it should also be said that it is a selfish pleasure. I believe that a true collector has a radical approach, one that is extreme and therefore makes no concessions for the choice in works, which will inevitably be part of his own environment and a reflection of his personality. Such encounters and acquaintances have sometimes been a detriment to my personal life. AMA: Where does your interest in art come from? CF : My father was also a collector. He collected works by contemporary post-war artists, second-generation abstract painters such as Poliakoff and Lanskoy, among others. Although his friends were completely bewildered by these works, he introduced me to them. I went with him from gallery to gallery, from museums to studios, and became familiar with the art world at a very young age. AMA: What has been the course of your professional career?...

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When galleries face financial difficulties

Paris, 31 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Art today has become an economic issue in a world marked by extreme economic disturbance and depression. Due to cash flow problems, many art galleries no longer have the means to survive. Their financial struggle is thus a harsh reality that not only affects the art market, but also a country’s financial stability on the international level. Nowadays, galleries face a number of challenges that either leave them stagnant, or cause them to close permanently. Firstly, a gallery’s primary role demands a greater deal of work for a smaller management team over the long-term, compared to that of auction houses. In many ways, galleries are micro-enterprises, and their capital base is a decisive factor in the management and promotion of artists. Sales make up roughly 10% of a gallery owner’s work load, which also includes maintaining an artist’s exhibition records, promotion and travel expenses, as well as day-to-day advising. Therefore, gallery participation in large-scale international contemporary art events tends to be weaker. Secondly, the smallest galleries remain somewhat fragmented in a domain that resists unification. These smaller galleries not only lack information on their sector, but also the financial stability required to support and promote the work of their artists. Moreover, galleries are likely to be left out of public commissions negotiations because the State generally prefers to deal directly with artists. In addition, the staggering increase in the price of works sold at auction and the emergence of celebrity collectors have changed the public’s tastes in art – and in such a way that the public is gradually moving away from galleries altogether. In France, the economic activities of the gallery world remain highly unknown. Although, 41% of galleries dealing exclusively in contemporary French artists, specifically those who have limited international...

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Death of Denise René, queen of abstraction

Paris, 10 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). On 9 July 2012, famous gallery owner Denise René died aged 99. Denise René contributed, during her seventy-year career, to the promotion of several post-war artists such as Jacobsen, Dewasne, and Vasarely whom she met in a café on boulevard Saint Germain in 1939. Her Denise René Gallery was inaugurated with an exhibition of Vasarely in 1944. By opening several galleries, two in Paris, one in New York, and one in Germany, she focused on the promotion of artists and pioneers of the 20th century geometric abstraction and kinetic art. The Centre Pompidou had organised in 2001 a moving homage to her career through an exhibition entitled “Denise René, une galerie dans l’aventure de l’art abstrait, 1944-1978” (Denise René, a gallery in the abstract art adventure, 1944-1978). Denise René (1913-2012), the queen of abstraction is dead and signals the end of an era. It now time for legend to establish...

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