Larry Gagosian, the founder of one of the world’s largest galleries, revealed on Wednesday that he has formed a board of directors in late 2021, with the first of two annual meetings taking place in May. The board is made up of members from seemingly disparate industries, from real estate to technology to the film and television industry, who will provide “strategic vision and guidance for the show,” according to a press release.
The most publicized member, at least to those who regularly consume art media, is Delphine Arnault, executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, who also sits on LVMH’s board and executive committee. For much of this year, whispers circulated in the art world that LVMH was poised to buy the massive exhibition, which Gagosian vehemently dismissed as mere speculation.
A second theory was put forward in the Art Market Newsletter The canvasAnd the Floating the possibility of LVMH extending a $1 billion line of credit to the fair to boost its competitiveness for blue-chip works when they come to auction.
From the world of entertainment, the board will include director Sofia Coppola and William Bell Jr., president of Bell-Phillip Television Productions, which owns the vintage TV series. The Young and the Restless.
Francesco Bonami, curator of the 2003 Venice Biennale, and artist Jenny Saville, along with Larry Gagosian himself and seven gallery staff, will represent the art world on the board. (Saville is on the Gagosian List). Members from the tech and entrepreneurial sector include Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel and Monaco-based investor Laurent Asscher.
Other outside members include Valentino Carlotti, Matthew S. Dontzin, Glenn Foreman, J. Tomilson Hill, and Dasha Zhukova Niarchos. (Asscher, Bell, Fuhrman, Hill, and Zhukova Niarchos are all arranged in ARTnews List of top 200 collectors.)
“My goal in assembling the Board of Directors was to elevate the show’s strategic thinking and vision for the future,” said Larry Gagosian in a press release.
Gagosian is now 77 years old, and many are starting to speculate about the show’s succession plans. Wednesday’s announcement didn’t explicitly mention those plans, but the disclosure of board members will likely only lead to greater speculation.
In 2019, Andrew Fabricant, who was also a member of the board of directors, was appointed Chief Operating Officer, which many took as a sign that he would play a role in the show’s future.