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Sprüth and Magers
go their way

The gallery owners Philomene Magers and Monika Sprüth go unflinching
their way and succeed with their vision of a gallery.
After Cologne, Berlin and London you opened another
Gallery in Los Angeles. What distinguishes these two successful
Women in the gallery scene out?

64.1 billion US dollars in sales could be generated in the global art market in 2019 This represents a reduction of 5 percent from the year before(The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report). It’s a booming market where auction houses are fetching record sums for artworks and where, as in many industries, high hopes are pinned on the still relatively young art market of China.

The largest market share in the art market is still held by the United States of America, with 44 percent of sales, and the position of New York as the leader, the city where most top records are set at art auctions, is undisputed.

The numbers shine, but the market is a shark tank where financial strength, networks and internationalization count. Many galleries with excellent reputations and interesting artists have closed their doors forever in recent years.

Successful in the shark tank

Gallery owners Philomene Magers and Monika Sprüth are successful in this tough competition. Monika Sprüth opened her gallery in Cologne in 1983 and soon showed Rosemarie Trockel and Peter Fischli David Weiss. In 1992 Philomene Magers, also in Cologne, founded her gallery for contemporary art. In 1998 they decided to join forces and the joint gallery was named Sprüth Magers.

Their extensive work on behalf of the artists in the form of publications, close collaboration in the conception and production of artworks, and an extensive and well-maintained network with major museums and collectors is rewarded by the artists with loyalty.

Sprüth and Magers focus on working with and for the artists and, with feminist conviction, also represent a high proportion of female artists, including such established names as Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, and Rosemarie Trockel.

Sprüth Magers employs 60 people worldwide. Of these, only 8 work in sales, a ratio that is very unusual in the gallery business. With this focus on their work for artists, they succeeded in opening in London after Cologne in 2003, where they now reside in Mayfair. Another gallery opening followed in Berlin in 2008 and Los Angeles in 2016. A city whose attraction for artists reminds them of Berlin and where they opened with an exhibition of works by artist John Baldessari.

A perfect team, because the art market requires full commitment

High quality work for the artists they represent and a congenial partnership characterize the two gallery owners. To the Financial Times, they also emphasize the practical aspects of their collaboration. Successfully managing galleries at this international level requires an almost grueling amount of travel to establish and maintain contacts within the international art world. With young children, it was a balancing act that the two gallery owners were able to accomplish, as they had young children at different times and were thus able to divide their travels accordingly.

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Los Angeles, the future location for the arts

The Los Angeles gallery is housed in a turn-of-the-century building designed by West Coast architectural firm Pereira & Associates. The gallery’s furniture comes exclusively from turn-of-the-century American designers. Surrounded by water pools and palm trees, the home is quintessential LA and is adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which will open a new US$650 million exhibition hall by architect Peter Zumthor in 2024, around the time of the Los Angeles Olympics.

New York still records the highest turnover in the art market today. Future fortunes, however, will be earned less and less in finance, but in technology and genetic engineering. The West Coast, and with it Los Angeles, is becoming increasingly important for the arts, lifestyle and opening up to Asia. While New York has always been oriented towards London and Paris, Los Angeles is increasingly looking across the Pacific to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul. Not only quality and consistency, but also strategic foresight distinguish Sprüth Magers.

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