Simon de Pury: Has interest in contemporary Asian art changed your share of the market?
One of the art world's leading figures, Simon de Pury is renowned for his deep and long-standing knowledge of the global marketplace and his legendary auctioneering style. He generates excitement in the saleroom with a display of great wit and can conduct sales in four languages-English, French, German and Italian.
Born in Basel in 1951, Simon de Pury studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo in the 1970s. After working at the auctioneers, Kornfeld & Klipstein in Bern and subsequently studying at Sotheby's Institute, Simon de Pury joined Sotheby's working in London, Geneva and Monte Carlo.
In 1997, Simon de Pury co-founded with Daniella Luxembourg, de Pury & Luxembourg Art, a Geneva-based art advisory firm. In 2001, this firm merged with Phillips Auctioneers to become Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg which specialized in the sale of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art, Jewelry, Photography, and 20th and 21st Century Decorative Arts. In 2004, Simon de Pury became the majority shareholder and Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company.
Simon de Pury: Well we’re very keen to show the best of the global art. So not only do we show, of course, the best artists from America, from Europe, the ‘80s and ‘90s; but you’ve mentioned China which has gone through an incredible development in the art market over the last two or three years. We are the best at showing contemporary art from Russia. This is a market that has a long way to go still compared to where the Chinese market is now. I view it as two to three years behind the Chinese market. Indian contemporary art has become a major phenomenon. Art from the Gulf countries is going to become more and more important; Latin America in general. So there is an enormous wealth of good art that is being made. At the same time you have to be aware that only a few artists really stick out and will make it in the long term. So you have to follow what’s being made, and then really concentrate on the artists that have the best long term potential. Recorded on: 2/7/08
The market has yet to understand the scale of the contemporary Asian art scene, de Pury says.
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