Phillips has hired former Sotheby’s head of Impressionist & Modern art David Norman as chairman of the Americas.
In a move aimed at expanding its focus on areas beyond its main speciality of contemporary art, the company said the appointment reflects “the increasing importance of the Modern Art category to the company’s global growth strategy”.
He will bring with him a long list of contacts with leading collectors and Phillips are no doubt hoping he will help them win consignments to increase its market share in the Impressionist & Modern sector.
Norman has been consulting for Phillips since leaving Sotheby’s and setting up his own independent advisory business in 2017. He will now join Phillips’ New York office and starts his position immediately.
“Global leadership team”
Phillips’ CEO Edward Dolman said: “David will be a key member of our global leadership team and partner with Phillips senior executives in Europe, the United States and Asia to develop the company’s global client relationship program and continue our expansion in the Modern art category.”
Norman spent more than 30 years at Sotheby’s, becoming director of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in 1999, worldwide chairman of the division in 2008 and then vice chairman of Sotheby’s North America.
Among the most notables sales during his tenure was Pablo Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe which sold in 2004 for a hammer price of $93m (£54.7m) – a record for any work of art at the time. Other highlights include the £58m sale of Alberto Giacometti's (1901-1966) L'Homme qui Marche I in 2010 which set a new benchmark for sculpture, and Edvard Munch’s The Scream which was knocked down at $107m (£69m) – the first $100m-plus work sold at auction.
Norman said: “While consulting for Phillips during the past few years, I realized that I love being part of a team – and this is the team I’d love to be a part of…. Phillips is a 220-year-old company with the spirit of a start-up, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the next chapter in the company’s growth story.”
Phillips has also hired Elizabeth Goldberg as a senior international specialist of American art and deputy chairman of the Americas. She joins in July from Sotheby’s, where she was most recently chairman of American art. Prior to Sotheby’s, she was vice president and head of American paintings, drawings and sculpture at Christie’s in Los Angeles.
Dolman added: “Attracting Elizabeth to Phillips is a major coup for us. As the foremost authority on American art in the auction world, she will help us expand our reach in American art, an increasingly important focus for our company as we expand our offerings further back in the 20th century.”
Meanwhile, Alexander Payne is leaving Phillips after 20 years at the firm. He was most recently worldwide head of design and deputy chairman in Europe.
Dolman said he “created a department that is world-renowned. He remains an internationally leading source of knowledge and expertise” in design.
Christie’s has promoted Adrien Meyer to a newly created role of chairman of global private sales which he will take on alongside his current roles of co-chairman of Impressionist and Modern art and auctioneer at the firm.
Christie’s said its private sales increased 7% to $653.3m in 2018 and it wants to grow this area further. Guillaume Cerutti, chief executive officer at Christie’s, said: “While Christie’s private sales have regularly increased since 2017, we wanted to appoint a well-respected and versatile specialist to spearhead our team’s efforts and improve our communication to our clients.”
Contemporary art dealership Lévy Gorvy has hired Victoria Gelfand-Magalhaes as president in Europe. She was previously a director at rival dealership Gagosian for the past 15 years. Dominique Lévy founded her gallery in 2003 and in 2017 former Christie’s specialist Brett Gorvy joined and they formed Lévy Gorvy. It runs galleries in Madison Avenue, New York; in Mayfair, London; and in Central, Hong Kong.