Which is easier to navigate: the market or museums? Joining us to discuss this—and much more—are Jeffrey Deitch and Lisa Dennison. Jeffrey has worn many hats in the art world—gallerist, advisor, collector, director of LA Moca and even artist—and will be opening a new gallery in Los Angeles this autumn. Lisa is the former director of the Guggenheim Museum who joined Sotheby’s in 2007, focusing on international business development.
“In Other Words” is a presentation of AAP and Sotheby’s, produced by Audiation.fm.
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Charlotte Burns: Hello and welcome to “In Other Words”. I'm your host Charlotte Burns, the senior editor at Art Agency, Partners. Joining us today the art world impresario, Jeffrey Deitch, and Lisa Dennison, who worked at the Guggenheim for 29 years starting as an intern and eventually becoming the museum's…
Jeffrey Deitch has been involved with modern and contemporary art for more than forty years as an artist, writer, curator, dealer, and advisor. A 1974 graduate of Wesleyan University, Deitch went on to receive an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1978. Before opening his own art advisory firm in 1988, Mr. Deitch was a Vice President of Citibank where he developed and managed the bank’s art advisory and art finance businesses. In the 1970s, Deitch served as Assistant Director of the John Weber Gallery in New York and as Curator of the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Best known for his vanguard commercial gallery, Deitch Projects, Deitch produced more than two hundred and fifty projects by contemporary artists during the gallery’s existence from 1996 through 2010. There, he championed artists such as Tauba Auerbach, Vanessa Beecroft, Barry McGee, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley. In 2014, Rizzoli published Live the Art, a major monograph detailing the history of Deitch Projects.
Deitch has been active as a critic and curator since the mid-1970s. Deitch’s first important curatorial project was “Lives”, a 1975 exhibition about artists who used their own lives as an art medium. He co-authored a monograph on Keith Haring, published by Rizzoli in 2008, and wrote the introduction to “Jean Michel Basquiat, 1981: The Studio of the Street,” published by Charta in 2007. From 2010 to 2013, Deitch served as Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, where he organized major solo exhibitions of work by Urs Fischer, Weegee, and Kenneth Anger and curated seminal group shows including “The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol” and “Art in the Streets”, which had the highest attendance in the museum’s history.
After a distinguished 29 year career at the Guggenheim, where she served as director from 2005, Lisa Dennison joined Sotheby’s in September 2007, focusing on international business development—a role that draws on her considerable strengths as an internationally recognized figure in the fields of Modern and Contemporary Art. Over the years, Dennison has developed outstanding relationships with important collectors, artists and experts worldwide. During her tenure as director and chief curator of the Guggenheim, she strengthened the visibility and reputation of the museum while helping it realize its institutional goals as a flagship of its premier global network. She was “one of the Guggenheim’s greatest assets,” noted Thomas Krens, who preceded her as the Foundation’s director. In addition to being responsible for the permanent collection, Dennison organized over 35 shows for the Guggenheim museums worldwide, including retrospectives, site-specific installations and commissions by artists including Ross Bleckner, Daniel Buren, Francesco Clemente, Dan Flavin, Jeff Koons, James Rosenquist, Lawrence Weiner and Rachel Whiteread. Dennison earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College in Art History and French in 1975, and received a Master of Arts degree in Art History from Brown University in 1978.
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.