Art Business Leaders Will Gather for the Elite Talking Galleries Symposium in New York This April. Here’s What They Will Discuss

Barbara Merkley

Table of Contents

Have you ever wondered just what daunting concerns and bright ideas are on the minds of the world’s leading art professionals? 

This April, for the first time, the esteemed Barcelona-based nonprofit Talking Galleries will be hosting an edition of its renowned art-business symposium in New York, gathering nearly 50 industry insiders for two days of conversations about the most pressing issues facing the field. 

Talking Galleries New York (April 4–5) will be the first major in-person meeting of arts professionals in the city since the onset of the pandemic. Hosted in partnership with Schwartzman & Associates at Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum, the symposium will be divided into 15 discussions. 

“Originally founded to generate debate and develop knowledge in the art market and among galleries, this year’s slate of presentations and discussions provides an even more comprehensive and global examination of issues facing the art world, from the individual to the institutional to the geopolitical,” said Talking Galleries founder Llucià Homs

Conversations will focus on topics ranging from New York City’s changing position in the art world to climate change and the impact of digital art technologies. Expert voices will include museum directors, gallerists, journalists (including several Artnet News editors), art fair executives, and more.

As the media partner for Talking Galleries New York, Artnet will host an online livestream of the symposium exclusively for Artnet News Pro members, providing our community of collectors and market professionals with insights from some of the art industry’s leading lights. 

Talking Galleries is a not-for-profit event. Limited one- and two-day tickets are available for purchase starting at $275. Students are $65. Click here for more information and to register online.

Below, explore the Talking Galleries New York programming.

Monday, April 4

Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum

Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum. Courtesy of Talking Galleries.

Welcome and Opening Statement

Time: 9 a.m.–9:15 a.m.
Featuring: Llucià Homs, Founder and Director, Talking Galleries, and Allan Schwartzman, Founder and Principal, Schwartzman & Associates

Introduction to the program
Time: 9:15 a.m.
Featuring: Loring Randolph, programming director Talking Galleries New York

Reflections. How Did We Get Here? Where Are We Today?
Time: 9:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

In considering the current moment, noted for dramatic changes brought on by digital innovations, as well as urgent social, political, and economic forces, it’s worth taking a look backward. This personal tour focused on the evolving conditions of the global art market, comes from the perspective of a writer, editor, author, and all-around curious observer.  What are some of the memorable moments? What is worth forgetting? What has defined change, at the macro and micro level? And, why does it matter?

Featuring: Lindsay Pollock, Chief Communications and Content Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Galleries: The Next Generation
Time: 10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Maximilíano Durón speaks to a new generation of art market tastemakers broadly about their gallery practices. How does having a gallery now differ from a few years ago, let alone a few decades? Have major recent events—the pandemic, protests for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd, the insurgency at the U.S. Capitol building, and more—changed or affected their galleries or their practices? Are brick-and-mortar spaces still relevant? Are art fairs relevant to their business models? How do they think about and grow their artist rosters and community relations? How have their artist relationships evolved? Have their relationships with public institutions changed?  Have all sales moved online? Are they in the NFT space?
Featuring: Nicole Calderón, Calderón Gallery, New York; Kibum Kim, Co-Director, Commonwealth And Council, Los Angeles  Alex Logsdail, Ceo, Lisson Gallery;  Nicola Vassell, Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York
Moderator: Maximilíano Durón, Senior Editor, Artnews, New York

Public Institutions: A New Vision For The Future
Time: 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Museums have been under fire since pre-pandemic. Practices are being examined, relationships are being questioned and leaderships have faltered. If museums are the custodians of history, how do we redefine them in the 21st century? Institutional leaders discuss their audiences; the pros and cons of deacquisitioning; the necessity of finance and expansions; sustainability; changes in leadership, management, and collection; censoring exhibitions; repatriation, and more.
Featuring: Thelma Golden, director and chief curator, the Studio Museum In Harlem, New York; Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Sandra Jackson-Dumont, director and CEO, Lucas Museum Of Narrative  Art, Los Angeles
Moderator: Charlotte Burns, founder, Burns Studio, London

Leveling Up: Infrastructure In Africa
Time: 1:15 p.m. –2:30 p.m.
In big collections from across the US to Europe, African artists have increased visibility. How is Africa leveling up their infrastructure to provide what artists need to progress their careers in their homeland? What roles do artists,  collectors, and curators play in this great expansion? What does the future hold for the growing African Market, burgeoning collector class, and what are the lasting effects of decolonization?
Featuring: Daudi Karungi, founder, Afriart Gallery, Kampala; Ayana V. Jackson, artist and founder, STILL Artist Residency Program; Othman Lazraq, architect and president of the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden-MACAAL, Marrakech; Yto Barrada, artist and founder of The Mothership, Tangier
Moderator: Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, 1-54 Contemporary  African Art Fair

Focus: Art Finance Debunked
Time: 2:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.
Borrowing money against an art collection, how you do it and why? Are there opportunities for lending against the inventory of mid-level galleries? How do we expand innovative applications of art lending?
Featuring: Suzanne Gyorgy, managing director and head of CitiBank Private Art Advisory & Finance, New York; Noah Horowitz, worldwide head of gallery & private dealer services,  Sotheby’s, New York; Jan Prasens, deputy chairman, the Fine Art Group, New York
Moderator: Melanie Gerlis, art market columnist and contributor, Financial Times

Is the 21st Century the Asian Century?
Time: 3:50 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Art fairs, galleries, and the new market frontier. What will happen with multiple new fairs in Asia?
Featuring: Emi Eu, Executive Director, STPI Singapore and Project Director, S.E.A. Focus, Singapore; Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder, ART SG, and Taipei Dangdai

Moderator: Andrew Goldstein, editor in chief, Artnet News

A Conversation on Ukraine
Time: 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Can the arts have an impact in times of crisis?
Featuring: Maria Lanko, curator and culture producer, co-founder of The Naked Room, Kyiv, and co-curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion, 59th Venice Biennale; Sarah Douglas, editor in chief, ARTnews

Welcome Reception
Time: 6:30–8:30 p.m. 


Tuesday, April 5

Courtesy of Talking Galleries.

Courtesy of Talking Galleries.

Introduction to the Program and the First Speaker
Time: 9:00–9:10 a.m.
Featuring: Loring Randolph, programming director

Looking Forward: The Future of the Art World
Time: 9:10 a.m.–9:40 a.m.
Where are we going? What does the future hold?
Featuring: Jason Farago, critic at large, New York Times

The New New York
Time: 9:45 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
New York has always been at the forefront of innovation, collaboration, and expanding boundaries. Here New Yorkers discuss new collaborations and new models. How new can New York be?
Featuring: Lonti Ebers, founder and CEO, Amant, New York; Ebony Haynes, director, 52 Walker, New York; Diya Vij, associate curator, Creative Time, New York
Moderator: Julia Halperin, executive editor, Artnet News, New York

The Invisible Market
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Ninety percent of the transactions of the art market are private. Recently, the art market has become more heavily data-driven. Why? Is it due to short-term volatility, as seen in recent years? Is the market hungry for validation? How is this affecting galleries and their sales strategies, if at all? What is the impact of social media? Are there ethical concerns? What explains the increase in private sales over the last 5 years? How do we make the invisible, visible – and should we?
Featuring: Marek Classen, co-founder, ArtFacts and Limna; Berlin; Elizabeth Dee, co-founder and CEO, Independent Art Fair
Moderator: Farah Nayeri, author and New York Times culture writer, London

Climate Change Responsibility in the Visual Arts
Time: 1:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Panelists discuss action on climate change within arts programming. From navigating the distinct impacts of climate change and environmental exploitation in the US South to discussing the potential for a new future built on the principles of sustainability and justice. How do we deepen our understanding and build solutions?
Featuring: Allison Janae Hamilton, artist, New York; Ellen Langan, founder, Art To Zero, New York; Filipa Ramos, Ph.D., writer and curator, director of the contemporary art department of the City of Porto; Luise Faurschou, founder and director, Art 2030
Moderator: Evan Moffitt, writer and host of the podcast “Precious Cargo”

Models of Our Time: The Caribbean
Time: 2:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.
Within the current climate, what can the continental art world learn from the challenges, new models and progressivism that the Caribbean has been actively engaged with for years? What does the Caribbean teach us about urgency, agency, perseverance, and positive change through its art and diaspora?
Featuring: Christopher Cozier, artist, writer, and curator; Sarah Hermann, art historian, chief curator at Centro León and founder of Curando Caribe; Tavares Strachan, artist
Moderator: Carla Acevedo-Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The Digital Future: How Can New Technology Move Art Forward?
Time: 3:50 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
While NFTs and online viewing rooms have inspired widespread interest in the digital space since March 2020, they are just two of the technologies opening up new possibilities for artists, galleries, and institutions. From augmented and virtual reality to crypto and A.I., how can the next generation of advances solve old problems and create fresh opportunities? What can we learn from art-tech pioneers and their early experiences in these areas? And who gets to decide the answers in the changing landscape of art’s digital future?
Featuring: Daniel Birnbaum, director, and curator, Acute Art; Victoria Gandit Lelandais, head of institutional relations, Lito; Marc Glimcher, CEO and president, Pace Gallery; Sara Ludy, artist
Moderator: Tim Schneider, art business editor, Artnet News, and founder, The Gray Market

Paying It Forward: The Importance of Innovative Forms of Patronage Today
Time: 5:00 p.m.–6:15 p.m.
Patrons fulfill a serious need for artists, and most pride themselves on being rooted in what artists think is meaningful. Here, speakers discuss their beginnings, nimbleness, relationship with artists, galleries, and the public, artist residencies, and the impact they have had and newly would like to have their relations with public museums and their own institutions, and more.
Featuring: Marguerite Hoffman, art collector, philanthropist, and civic volunteer; Bernard Lumpkin, art collector, patron, educator, and organizer of “Young, Gifted and Black”; Amar Singh, art patron and activist, London
Moderator: Kathy Halbriech, director, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Closing Remarks
Time: 6:15 p.m.

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