January 19 | New Paddle8 investors to lead buy back of the company
Paddle8 partners with a new investor to attempt a buy back from Auctionata. Meanwhile new curators at Expo Chicago are appointed, and Marianne Boesky expands her reach to Aspen.
Paddle8 has announced that it is now partnered with a new investor group that will lead a buy back of the online auction house from its parent company Auctionata | Paddle8 AG.
Paddle8 became part of Auctionata Inc. last May, and has since continued to see business grow successfully through both its for-profit auctions and its charity businesses. The investor group will support Paddle8's founding team to accelerate the company’s growth and further expand its market position. Paddle8’s management team spoke enthusiastically of the prospects ahead: “The next chapter for an independent Paddle8 will be an exciting one, and we look forward to working closely with our new partners to grow our key categories, as well as to execute on expansion and new opportunities.” The agreement is still subject to full legal review. Art Daily has more.
In related news, Auctionata has filed a request to open insolvency proceedings on January 16.
Several reports had suggested that the company was struggling with financial difficulties, but this has now been verified by CEO Thomas Hesse, who confirmed the insolvency filing to German online news outlet Gründerszene today, saying, “this was necessary, because a required financing could not be secured quickly enough.” According to a number of independent sources, the extent of Auctionata’s problems is severe, with an alleged multi-million dollar figure being cited. Sources are suggesting that Auctionata was unable to address these dire financial straits by increasing its number of auctions, because there were simply not enough high-quality goods to sustain daily auctions. The company’s financial problems could have impacted the pay of the employees, who allegedly received no salary last month. Auctionata confirmed that founder Georg Untersalmberger would leave the company at the end of February to devote himself to "new projects." The auction house has said it does not wish to comment on "the current rumors and speculation." artnet News has the full story.
Gallerist and art historian Bernard Zürcher has passed away.
Zürcher died from a cardiac arrest in the early morning of January 16, at the age of 63. He and his wife Gwénolée ran two exhibition spaces, one in Paris and one in New York. Prior to this, Zürcher had a long career in the public museums of Paris, working first at the Orangerie and later at the Palais de Tokyo. He opened his first gallery in 1988 on Rue de l’Abbé-Grégoire in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.
New curator at Swiss Institute
Laura McLean-Ferris has been appointed as curator at the Swiss institute in New York.
Ferris began at the institute in 2015 as an adjunct curator, and organized a number of exhibitions during her time there, including: “Nina Beier: Anti-Ageing,” (2015) “Nancy Lupo: Parent and Parroting,” (2016); “Alex Baczynski-Jenkins: Us Swerve,” (2016) and “Olga Balema: Early Man” (2016). Before joining the Swiss Institute, McLean-Ferris was an independent curator working with a variety of art spaces including London’s David Roberts Art Foundation, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, S1 in Sheffield and Chapter NY. Simon Castets, director of the Swiss Institute, said of the appointment: “Her wealth of knowledge, rigorous approach, and extraordinary relationships with artists internationally are a tremendous contribution, furthering Swiss Institute’s commitment to today’s most forward-looking artistic practices.” More via Artforum.
Boesky West. COURTESY MARIANNE BOESKY GALLERY
Boesky comes to Aspen
New York gallerist Marianne Boesky has announced she will open an offshoot of her flagship New York space in Aspen, Colorado.
Slated to open on March 8 2017, “Boesky West” will be located in a 3,000-square-foot, 19th-century cabin that is being redesigned by Selldorf Architects, who are collaborating on the project with local architecture firm David Johnston Architects. The building was once owned by early American photographer James “Horsethief” Kelly. “I see Boesky West as a space to present the work of our artists in a completely different context and environment than New York,” said Boesky. “At the same time, Boesky West offers the gallery more opportunity to experiment and collaborate with not only artists, but with curators, art historians, critics, and other members of the community.” Read further details on Artforum.
Details of Expo Chicago announced
Expo Chicago announced today that it has selected the curators for the In/Situ, Expo Video, and Exposure sections that will feature in this year’s edition of the fair, which is set to run from September 13-17.
The In/Situ section – which is devoted to large-scale and site-specific works – will be organized by Florence Derieux, a curator of American art at the Centre Pompidou Foundation and curator at the Centre Pompidou. Ali Subotnick, adjunct curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, will oversee the Expo Video section, which showcases moving-image works, while Justine Ludwig, the director of exhibitions and senior curator at Dallas Contemporary, will direct the fair’s first-ever curated Exposure section, which is designed to give a platform to young galleries that were founded eight years ago or less. ARTnews has more.