Galerie Perrotin, one of the top contemporary-art galleries in France, said it will open a New York branch in 2013, the latest of several expansions announced recently in the international art market.
The Paris-based gallery, which represents 35 artists including Takashi Murakami and Maurizio Cattelan, signed a 10-year lease to rent three floors in the former Bank of New York building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a 1932 landmark.
“New York remains the capital of the art market, and it is key that we are a part of it,” said Emmanuel Perrotin, who founded his Paris gallery in 1989.
The new space at the corner of 73rd Street and Madison Avenue will add 4,300 square feet to Perrotin’s network, which includes two venues in Paris and one in Hong Kong. (A Miami branch closed in 2010 after six years of operation.)
He will share the building with Dominique Levy, a founding partner of L&M Arts, who will open her own gallery next year specializing in the masterworks of postwar and contemporary art. Levy’s space will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of the 1932 building, Dominique Levy gallery said in a press release.
These moves follow other expansion plans. Larry Gagosian will open his 12th space this month, in a suburb of Paris. Last week, New York galleries David Zwirner and Pace unveiled new branches in London, preceded there by Michael Werner in late September. New York gallery Lehmann Maupin recently announced plans to open its first international exhibition space in Hong Kong next year.
“In the global market, it’s seen as more and more crucial to have an exhibition program in these major cultural capitals,” said Noah Horowitz, author of “Art of the Deal” and executive director of the Armory Show. The expansions are “signaling to the international community that they are among the most ambitious galleries operating today.”
Perrotin said the new location will allow him to engage important local collectors, museum directors and curators. Having given Damien Hirst his first commercial gallery show, in 1991, Perrotin also wants to discover young talent.
“My goal is to provide my artists with services they deserve and the right platforms to reach a truly global audience,” he said. “I am 44 years old, I still have to find new artists, to be active and creative.”
For a Paola Pivi project in 2007, Perrotin filled a gallery with more than 300 cups of cappuccino and a live leopard. He spent two years trying to persuade Sophie Calle, a prominent French artist, to join his stable; she acquiesced after he hired a private detective who had tailed the artist in a famous 1981 project -- and restaged the event in a “Twenty Years Later” piece.
“It’s very important to follow the dream of the artist,” Perrotin said. “Sometimes you have to produce a project which is hard or impossible to sell.”
Perrotin said there will be a total of 40 employees in all his galleries when the New York space opens. It will be near major players including Gagosian, Mnuchin Gallery, Mitchell-Innes and Nash, and Acquavella Galleries. The Whitney Museum of American Art is another neighbor.
“Madison Avenue in the corridor between East 72nd and East 79th Streets has the largest demand by international retailers and galleries in the city,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail group at Prudential Douglas Elliman.
The market price for ground-floor spaces in the area is about $700 a square foot annually, Consolo said; higher floors go on average for $100 a square foot.
“Over the last 10 years the neighborhood has seen a number of breakthrough exhibitions featuring younger artists, and I see this trend continuing,” Perrotin said.
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