Hoping to Lure Big-Ticket Consignments, David Zwirner’s New Online Tool Connects Gallery Experts With Art Owners Looking to Sell
Continuing its expansion in the secondary market, David Zwirner has unveiled a new online tool that connects gallery experts with art owners looking to sell.
Consignments, as the free portal is called, went live today. A simple form, it asks users to submit information about an artwork they’re looking to sell—the piece’s provenance, say, or its measurements. Then a member of Zwirner’s newly established secondary marketing team will reach out with a valuation and sales proposal.
The idea, explained Kristine Bell, a senior partner at the gallery and head of its secondary market department, is to lure high-level consignments with a “more personalized and discreet service where discussions around artwork values, sales opportunities, and marketing strategies are tailored to each client’s individual needs.”
“Our clients are constantly asking us to find specific artworks to fill holes in their collection,” she told Artnet News in an email, adding that “demand for high-quality inventory on the secondary market has increased significantly” in recent years. “This consignment portal will help us expand our business-getting opportunities to meet the demands.”
Bell, who has been with the blue-chip gallery for more than two decades, was tapped to lead the secondary market division when it was founded last year. Other members of the department include Meghan Hill, the gallery’s senior director of sales; Katherine Lukacher, director of secondary-market online sales; Alexandra Whitney, head of the global research; Kelly Reynolds, senior director of operations, exhibitions, and registration; and Cy Amundson, director of art handling.
Lukacher, who previously headed online sales at Phillips, called the portal an “immediate priority” upon joining Zwirner in 2021.
The urgency makes sense. Secondary-market sales make up a surprisingly high proportion of the gallery’s business: 40 percent, according to Bell, who said that primary sales from Zwirner’s stacked roster account for the rest.
Secondary market sales have been integral to business since the gallery’s founding in 1993, David Zwirner pointed out in a statement. To him, the new Consignments platform owes equally to the gallery’s ongoing investment in the digital space, which he called an “exciting growth engine for the gallery in the last three years.”
The portal follows the gallery’s Exceptional Works online viewing room, which it launched in May 2020 to showcase prized pieces from the secondary market. “I see this as a moment to change people’s thinking about the online space,” Zwirner told Artnet News at the time.
A year ago, the gallery also launched Platform, a click-to-buy online marketplace that provides a resource for other galleries to sell their wares.
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