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When the family business is a gallery


Kat Herriman for T Magazine writes about galleries whose operations have been passed down through generations, focusing on big names such as Lisson’s Logsdails, Pace’s Glimchers, and the Zwirners. Read Herriman in partial below, or the full version via T Magazine.

Last week, the Parisian gallerist Almine Rech announced that her son, Paul de Froment, will be the director of her forthcoming New York outpost. The news brought to mind another recent opening: Lisson’s New York gallery, where the second-generation dealer Alex Logsdail serves as the international director. His father, the British art dealer Nicholas Logsdail, co-founded Lisson in 1967, brought Alex into the business in 2009 and made him director in 2011. Logsdail and Rech are not alone: many major players, including David Zwirner, Arne Glimcher and Sean Kelly, have made room for their children in their businesses.

As the son of Arne Glimcher — the dealer who nurtured the careers of Robert Rauschenberg and Jean Dubuffet — Pace president Marc Glimcher now effectively runs his father’s international gallery. Schooled in molecular biology and immunology, Marc initially stayed away from the gallery at his father’s request, but found himself habitually returning. “At some point, if your parent is Arne Glimcher or Paula Cooper or Rudolf Zwirner, you have to confront two things. You have to come to peace with the idea that you’re going to do the same thing that your father did, and your father was pretty great at it,” Marc says. “You also have to come to grips with the fact that he started it from scratch and you are never going to do that. It’s an internal struggle that took me 20 years to untangle.”

Marc had to call in his longtime friend, Matthew Marks, to vouch for him, but eventually convinced Arne. “When my children were little, I said I’d support them with anything but coming into Pace,” Arne says. “If anything, Marc did this in spite of me. He has very much his own identity, and I feel at this point that I work for Marc more than he works for me. I’m very privileged.” Marc’s first assignment, a book on Picasso’s sketchbooks, eventually led him to start a publishing house of his own, called Second Sons.

*Image: The gallerist Paula Cooper, right, with her son Lucas when he was a child. Lucas now handles communications for his mother’s gallery — and is one of many art-world offspring who elected to join the family business. Credit Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York