Dealer Francois Ghebaly Is Opening a Second Space in L.A., Joining a Growing Throng of Galleries in Hollywood

Veteran Los Angeles dealer Francois Ghebaly is expanding into a new space in Hollywood.

Next week—not coincidentally just ahead of the latest edition of Frieze Los Angeles—he will open a his second gallery in a raw, un-renovated space, left “as we found it.”

“I was looking for spaces and I came across one that was perfect for us,” Ghebaly told Midnight Publishing Group News. The dealer previously operated galleries in L.A.’s Chinatown and then Culver City in the early aughts. For the past decade, Ghebaly has run a space in downtown L.A. “We’ve been downtown about 10 years. We have a wonderful space and community there and it’s been very successful. We love what we’ve done there.”

The facade of Francois Ghebaly's new space in Hollywood. Image courtesy Francois Ghebaly.

The facade of Francois Ghebaly’s new space in Hollywood. Image courtesy Francois Ghebaly.

“We’re not moving away, we’re expanding,” he said of the new Hollywood locale, which is situated off of Santa Monica Boulevard, on Poinsettia Drive.

“We are going to have a wonderful gallery that kind of keeps the spirit of our downtown gallery.” Both spaces are housed in 1940s-era buildings with brick facades.

Ghebaly said the new site is “basically the very beginning of West Hollywood, so my immediate neighbors are Karma and Nino Meier, and right down the street from Jeffrey Deitch and Matthew Brown.”

Sharif Farrag, Bodach, (2019). Image courtesy the artist and Francois Ghebaly.

Sharif Farrag, Bodach, (2019). Image courtesy the artist and Francois Ghebaly.

The gallery will open with a show of work by Patrick Jackson, and then will shut down for a while. Ghebaly is in conversation with several architects about the space, but hasn’t decided what route he will take.

When the gallery reopens, it will be with a solo show from Sharif Farrag, a young L.A.-based artist. Farrag’s fantastical ceramic sculptures feature a mashup of imagery including body parts, cigarettes, pop-culture cartoon references and imagery from graffiti and skater culture as well as his Syrian-Egyptian heritage. “He’s been building on an incredible body of work,” said Ghebaly.

Patrick Jackson, Heads, Hands and Feet, (2011). Installation view, "Made in L.A. 2020: A Version," The Huntington, Los Angeles, CA.

Patrick Jackson, Heads, Hands and Feet, (2011). Installation view, “Made in L.A. 2020: A Version,” The Huntington, Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is “such an ever-changing city and there is a very exciting group of galleries and a great community that is developing in Hollywood,” Ghebaly said. “L.A. is such a large, wide city that there are many cities within L.A. itself. In Hollywood, something very exciting is happening right now, and I felt like it would be interesting to be a part of it.”

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Art Basel Executive Noah Horowitz Is Joining Sotheby’s as a Gallery Whisperer, the Latest Sign of Collapsing Categories in the Industry

Ever since Noah Horowitz stepped down as Art Basel’s director of the Americas last month, the art world has been wondering where the intrepid executive would end up next.

The guessing game is over. Horowitz has jumped ship from the world of art fairs and landed at an auction house. He will join Sotheby’s on September 20 in the newly created role of worldwide head of gallery and private dealer services. He will report to Brooke Lampley, who was promoted earlier this year to become chairman and global head of sales for Sotheby’s fine art. 

Horowitz will focus on strategy and building Sotheby’s relationships with galleries and dealers, the company said. The news was first reported by Vanity Fair

The move comes during a moment of tectonic shifts in the art world as businesses try to figure out how to scale their operations and expand their client bases. Galleries such as David Zwirner and Johann König launched initiatives that aim to take market share from regional art fairs. Auction houses, which have been impinging into dealer territory for years with private sales, have more recently experimented with different models to inch their way into the primary market. 

During the beginning of the pandemic last spring, Sotheby’s launched a digital sales platform for galleries called Sotheby’s Gallery Network. As part of the deal, it received a flat commission based on sales, with all artworks available exclusively through the auction house’s website.

(Dealers have largely remained mum about their experience with the platform, though some admitted sales were minimal. Although the website currently lists 56 galleries as “participants,” it is unclear how many are actively involved. Only seven dealers had work listed at press time, none of which was part of the original blue-chip cohort when it first launched.)

In a statement, Lampley described “the importance of a healthy art market ecosystem in which auction houses, galleries, fairs, collectors and institutions all benefit from working together. With Noah’s arrival, we can serve the market at an even greater scale, by bringing together all the capabilities that Sotheby’s has to offer to foster creative and rewarding collaborations.”

Horowitz has worked closely with international galleries for at least a decade. Since 2015, he led Art Basel Miami Beach, the major contemporary art fair in the U.S. Prior to that, he turned around the struggling Armory Show during a four-year tenure as its executive director. In the process, he has gained the trust of many art dealers—a major asset considering that galleries typically regard auction houses with suspicion, if not outright disdain.

“I am thrilled for him,” said Tim Blum, co-owner of Blum & Poe gallery. “He’s somebody, who at the very least cares about artists and galleries. He’s not posturing. He spent a lot of time and energy traveling the world. He brings more authentic, grounded approach for Sotheby’s.”

Horowitz will also bring some firepower to Sotheby’s senior ranks, which have seen considerable turnover in the past year. “I’m enormously excited to be joining Sotheby’s at this decisive moment for our industry and look forward to leveraging the unique combination of talent, expertise, resources and digital know-how at hand towards creating a successful new offering for today’s international gallery and private dealer community,” Horowitz said in a statement.

Sotheby’s has tried to blur the lines between auctions and other services before. It launched, and then quietly shuttered in 2018, a division designed to advise artists’ estates, which some saw as an effort to impinge on galleries’ turf and creep into the primary market.

“If galleries are going to collaborate with anyone at the auction houses, it will be Noah bc of the quality of relationships he built during his time at Art Basel,” said Miami collector Dennis Scholl. “But it remains a competitive industry.”

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Artist Robert Longo Is Joining Pace Gallery After Four Decades at the Soon-to-Shutter Metro Pictures

Two months after his gallery of four decades, Metro Pictures, announced its closure, artist Robert Longo has found a new home. 

Today, Pace Gallery announced that the influential Pictures Generation artist has joined its star-studded roster. The new partnership will be christened with a solo show of Longo’s recent work this September at Pace’s flagship space on 25th Street in New York.

“The decision of where to go after showing with Metro Pictures for 40 years was a difficult one,” Longo said in a statement. “After my initial meeting with Arne and Marc [Glimcher, Pace’s founder and CEO, respectively], I immediately felt comfortable. Marc’s enthusiasm and insight into my work is inspiring.”

Marc Glimcher, in his own statement, copped to being a “Longo superfan” since 1985. The artist’s “ability to capture our generation’s worldview on paper, the way our bands captured it on vinyl, was and is unique,” he said. “Robert speaks in the language of memory, marked down in velvet in sheets of charcoal and iconographically reconstituted in brilliant black and white.” 

Longo’s work has “never been more relevant and more pressing than it is today,” Glimcher added. 

A view of Longo's studio, with <i>Untitled (Raft at Sea)</i> (2017) on view. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

A view of Longo’s studio, with Untitled (Raft at Sea) (2017) on view. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

Longo will continue to show with Thaddaeus Ropac, his longtime European gallery. A spokesperson from Pace said that, outside of Europe, the two galleries will “work collaboratively” to represent the artist. Already Pace and Ropac share representation of several other artists, including Adrian Ghenie, Irving Penn, and Raqib Shaw. 

In a move that surprised many, Metro Pictures co-founders Helene Winer and Janelle Reiring declared in March that they would shutter their influential gallery by the end of this year. “We have decided to announce this difficult decision far in advance of our closing in order to give the artists we represent and our staff time to pursue other options and to allow us to participate in their transitions,” the dealers said at the time.

Since then, there has been much speculation as to where the gallery’s high-profile artists—many of whom, like Longo, have shown with the gallery for decades—would relocate. Cindy Sherman joined Hauser and Wirth, as did Gary Simmons. Meanwhile, other notable names, such as Louise Lawler and John Miller, have yet to announce new representation. 

Joining Longo at Pace is Karine Haimo, a sales director at Metro Pictures who has worked closely with the artist for a number of years. Haimo will take on a senior director role in London, according to ARTnews.

Longo’s September exhibition will comprise pieces from his newest body of work, a series of large-scale charcoal drawings titled “A History of the Present.”

“What I’m doing now is the strongest work I’ve done in my life and I bring its relevance to Pace,” Longo said. “I feel a moral imperative to be an artist, especially at this time, and I am confident that Pace Gallery will support the scope of my practice. With Pace it feels like it’s going to be a whole new ballgame that I’ve been training for my entire life.” 

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