Art-Market Dynamos Amy Cappellazzo, Yuki Terase, and Adam Chinn Are Betting on Asia With a New Advisory Venture
Auction house veterans Amy Cappellazzo, Yuki Terase, and Adam Chinn have banded together to open an art advisory focused on capturing the increasingly fruitful art market in Asia. The move from the Sotheby’s alumni is the latest sign of market insiders betting new models will be better suited for the industry’s current and future dynamic.
Called Art Intelligence Global (AIG), the international advisory will transact as well as offer market insights and advice to clients. Cappellazzo, who left her position as chair of the auction house’s fine art division in July, and Terase, its former head of contemporary art in Asia, will run the company launching in November. Meanwhile, Chinn, who joined Sotheby’s with the acquisition of Cappellazzo’s Art Agency, Partners in 2016 and served as the auction house’s chief operating officer until 2018, will oversee the company’s business and legal operations. (Chinn will continue to co-chair LiveArt, another art trading platform he founded in June).
The trio announced the move in an interview with the New York Times last night, on the first night of Frieze London’s buzzy return to life. Cappellazzo told the paper that the aim was “to build a business that can multitask,” reflecting a widely-felt lack of confidence in existing art-market structures.
They said the move was in part a response to the oversaturated competition for major collectors in the U.S., and that they will be looking to capitalize on demand for art in Asia. “Our aim is to bring top-tier Western art and exhibitions to Asia and vice versa, with the ultimate goal of ushering the market in Asia to its full potential,” said Terase in a statement. She will be based at AIG headquarters in Hong Kong, while Capellazzo and Chinn will work from New York, where they plan to take over the former space of Pace/MacGill Gallery at 32 East 57th Street.
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The move from the powerhouse trio is another sign of industry veterans seizing the moment for bold moves. In August, dealers Dominique Lévy, Brett Gorvy, Amalia Dayan, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn merged to form a new company, LGDR, that will represent artists and organize shows, as well as advising and brokering auction sales. They also pledged to only attend art fairs in Asia.
The market’s pivot to online sales during the pandemic forced many to become more comfortable spending large sums on works they had not seen in person, relying on condition reports, provenance, and high-resolution photographs to guide their decisions. Sources indicate that Asian collectors have proven to be particularly receptive to buying art online or sight unseen, and their appetite for Western art has also grown in recent years.
Asia now holds the second-biggest art market share after the U.S., powered by young, wealthy collectors who have minted millions in technology and entertainment. Sotheby’s auctions in Hong Kong last week brought in $185 million, with $114 million of that coming from sales of Western art. Sotheby’s has sold a record $330 million of Western art in Asia this year, almost triple the amount sold last year. Meanwhile, strong bidding from Asia continues to prop up the marquee sales in London and New York.
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