Kelly Crow riffs on Sotheby’s big move to pull up the carpeting in its galleries and show off the polished and patched concrete floors often under florescent lights. The effect seems to be Long Island City on York Ave:
Sotheby’s is literally pulling the beige carpet out from visitors to its York Avenue headquarters by renovating several floors in an effort to make its once-fusty showrooms look bigger and more downtown-gallery sleek. Already, a few glassy, corner offices where wooden crates and old catalogs were stored have been transformed into concrete-floor spaces where experts now display pieces for sale by Cy Twombly and Francis Bacon.
“Why do we need six boxes of catalogs for a sale we held in 2004?” said Amy Cappellazzo, chairwoman of Sotheby’s new fine-art division and a former Christie’s specialist. She and her art-adviser colleague Allan Schwartzman helped oversee the renovations shortly after they were hired two months ago. “The issue is we need to look like an art business, not an old-fashioned auction house.”
To Crow, the story is how Cappellazzo and Schwartman are “cleaning house” which extends to the staff:
Grégoire Billault, a 16-year veteran of the house and Mr. Rotter’s successor in New York, said the younger generation of specialists is adjusting quickly. “Amy has no fear, and she pushes and pushes,” Mr. Billault said. “That’s not me, but we’re a great combination.”
Sotheby’s Cleans House (WSJ)