Artnews has a long story on Sotheby’s transition over the last year since the Taubman estate was announced. As always, the most interesting reading in the story is Amy Cappellazzo. Here are a selection of her quotes.
On the Taubman guarantee:
“It was a sort of a necessary—I’m not gonna say necessary evil—but it’s sort of something you have to do.” […]
“I think it was traumatic for this organization,” Cappellazzo told me this past June. “The fallout of what happened—well, I wasn’t here, I don’t know exactly, but I knew there was trauma. The good thing is, it’s over. And it’ll never happen again. It’s safe to say that, right?”
On becoming a full-service organization for art as an asset:
“Now we’re just a big transactional organization that has an advisory division, kind of like Goldman Sachs and UBS and all those guys,” Cappellazzo said. […]
“In the ’30s the stock market was like the Wild West, and that’s what the art market was—with Larry, with Acquavella,” she said, referring to Larry Gagosian and William Acquavella, two of the world’s most powerful and successful dealers. “But markets always become smarter over time. So now a lot of people make money on the information arbitrage. That’s been the nature of the business for so long, that it was opaque. But markets never stay inefficient.”
On the Spring sales:
“There was a lot of turbulence in the spring, and we went through a battle together,” she said. “We’re the new kids on the block, so there was probably a bit of animosity. . . . And I knew people would be uncertain about what the future would hold, that there would be this whole new way of working. I fully expected that.”
“You can never have a quiet revolution,” she added. […] “We’re not like ISIS or something,” Cappellazzo said. “You can say a lot of things about us, but not that we’re stupid.”
On the Warhol market:
“Warhol is like Apple stock—if you wanted one leading point in how the market is doing, Warhol is one you’d glance at,” Cappellazzo told me.