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Financial Times: Galleries Pop Up in South Florida

Financial Times November 27, 2020

South Florida has turned into a bona fide 21st-century art destination.

“I say south Florida because you have to add the recent and impressive influx of blue chip galleries to Palm Beach: Pace, Lehmann Maupin, Acquavella. I suspect there will be more coming, similar to the expansion of major blue chip New York galleries to the Hamptons. I’m sure it hasn’t been lost on the big galleries that during the pandemic, many of the major northern [US] collectors, like Ken Griffin, have been spending more time in Palm Beach,” Austin says.

Acquavella is at pains to point out that its Palm Beach venue within the 1950s Royal Poinciana Plaza will be the gallery’s first physical space outside of New York City in its 99-year history (its group exhibition Masterworks: From Cézanne to Thiebaud runs until December 18). Pace Gallery and Sotheby’s have also opened seasonal spaces in the lush plaza. It is no coincidence that Paula Cooper is also opening a temporary hub in December at 243 Worth Avenue, her first gallery outside of Manhattan after more than 50 years in business.

“With the colder weather, Covid-19 unabated and European borders closed to Americans, US collectors have migrated en masse to their Palm Beach residences, and with them, the blue-chip art dealers that depend on them,” writes Jacoba Urist in The Art Newspaper. Jessica Kreps, a partner at Lehmann Maupin, stresses in an online statement that the gallery has strong ties to prominent collectors in the area, including Beth Rudin DeWoody who was a “strong advocate” for its Palm Beach satellite.

Moving out to Palm Beach is clearly the latest diversion for the high-end art world. Nilani Trent, a New York-based art adviser, says: “My clients are committing to seasonal rentals in Palm Beach over Miami. Palm Beach is a smaller, more manageable city. For New Yorkers, there is a familiarity. It’s comforting to make an appointment at Lehmann Maupin and see works by Angel Otero and Teresita Fernández in person.”

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