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Chairman Brett Gorvy Departs Christie’s to Partner with Dominique Lévy

New York’s Christie’s auction house announced today that Brett Gorvy, the chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art, is leaving after twenty-three years to partner with gallery founder Dominique Lévy. The flagship Madison Avenue gallery will now be known as Lévy Gorvy.

The auction house issued a statement that said: “Brett will continue to work closely with Christie’s on special projects and consignments across the twentieth-century field, while operating independently as an art advisor and dealer within the global art market.”

Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie’s global president, told Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times that he was sorry to see Gorvy leave. “It’s a loss for us,” he said. “He’s deeply respected both by collectors and the people who have worked with him.”

Gorvy commented: “To those who know me well, you will be fully aware of my profound love for Christie’s and the deep respect and pride that I have for the international team and the shared passion that we have for the extraordinary art that we are fortunate to work with.”

He added, “I am confident in the knowledge that Christie’s has an exceptionally talented team that has proven itself each season to be the best in the industry…It is the right time in my professional life to take advantage of new opportunities, knowing that I will still have close synergy with Christie’s.”

Under Gorvy’s leadership, Christie’s established a substantial amount of specialist expertise in the postwar and contemporary art category. Since he joined the auction house it has netted its highest prices for contemporary works at auction, including the sale $179.4 million sale of Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) in 2015.

“It’s quite a coup,” Mary Zlot, an art adviser in San Francisco, told Pogrebin. The pair “will add that much more firepower” to the marketplace.

Several other auction house executives have recently left to become dealers or run their own businesses, including Amy Cappellazzo, who left Christie’s after thirteen years to launch an art advisory business in 2014, and Sotheby’s auctioneer Tobias Meyer, who resigned to work as a private art adviser in 2013.

At the international level, the department will continue to be led globally by Laura Paulson, Francis Outred, Mariolina Bassetti, and Loic Gouzer, along with Barrett White, Sara Friedlander, Andy Massad, and Koji Inoue in New York; Xin Li and Eric Chang in Asia, and Edmond Francey in London. As previously announced, Alex Rotter will join the department in the Americas in 2017, having left Sotheby’s in early 2016. The global department will continue to be overseen by Jennifer Zatorski, president of specialist art departments.