In a move that is not at all unexpected, Sotheby’s has announced that Tobias Meyer will no longer head Contemporary art:
“Tobias Meyer is a respected figure and has been at the center of signature moments in Sotheby’s history for more than 20 years and we are grateful for all of his contributions,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ruprecht. “With Tobias’ contract soon expiring, we all agreed it was time to part ways. We wish Tobias nothing but good fortune.”
Although the move leaves the company without a “principal auctioneer,” the firm’s performance in Contemporary art has become a larger issue than the competitive landscape with Christie’s and a number of observers have commented that Meyer’s heart no longer seemed to be in the game.
Where Sotheby’s will turn next for this central category will be a topic of much conversation.
Carol Vogel got in touch with Meyer this afternoon:
In a telephone interview Mr. Meyer explained that his decision to leave Sotheby’s was “about lifestyle,” adding that after turning 50 in February, which he called “a big benchmark,” he began assessing his life, especially given the global explosion of the contemporary art world now. “It’s all become so international and so mobile that a buyer might be in Dubai or Moscow or Paris and by taking advantage of technology you can do business everywhere,” he said.
Mr. Meyer added that he intends to continue working with the same collectors he has advised for more than a decade, but as a private dealer.