Skip to main content

GURR JOHNS: PERSPECTIVES – BEN CLARK AND MARK ADAMS

By Gurr Johns News

Gurr Johns: Perspectives sees our specialists share their views, opinions and insights about the art world.

In the latest in the series, Ben Clark (CEO) and Mark Adams (Senior Art Advisor, London) discuss the shifting dynamics in the global art market, reflect on new and emerging trends, as well as one or two which aren’t quite as transparent as they might seem..

 

*How has a day in the life of a Gurr Johns Art Advisor changed in the past 15 months?

Ben Clark (B.C.) Being grounded  in London and unable to visit clients and engage with them in real time and space has been a huge challenge for all of us.  The silver lining is that as a global team, we have really pulled together.  With offices in three key continents and access to an international network of over 50 specialists has meant we can genuinely be the eyes and ears on behalf of our clients and that has been a huge advantage.

As advisors, our role as ‘filter’ has become ever more critical over this period. With the benefit of objectivity, my current default position is to be highly selective and act with caution – whether at auction or private treaty sale.  However,  I have unearthed my passport and I can’t wait to jump on a plane.

Mark Adams (M.A.) Personal contact or the lack of it– I long to meet my clients face-to-face again and to look at art with them.  However business-like we have all become, I think that the majority of players in this industry joined because they love art.  I’ve really missed the experience of standing with a client in front of a great painting and watch as it does its work, enchanting them.  It’s the best experience in the world. 

Read More

SONIA FAZLALI-ZADEH FEATURED IN ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW

By Art Market Snapshot, Business, Gurr Johns News
Sonia Fazlali–Zadeh, jewellery and watches specialist at Gurr Johns, has written an article on the market for Watches for the current edition of Ecclesiastical Review Magazine.
In the article Sonia discusses the impact of COVID-19, trends in the market for both new and vintage watches, and what to look for if you’re thinking of making an acquisition.
Read the full article here.

GURR JOHNS APPOINTS LILLY DAI AS DIRECTOR, ASIA

By Business, Gurr Johns News

Gurr Johns is pleased to announce the appointment of Lilly Dai as Business Development Director, Asia. In this new role, Lilly will be responsible for promoting Gurr Johns across China and South East Asia, ensuring that both private art collectors and institutional clients have the greatest and most seamless possible access to the company’s full suite of art advisory services, including brokerage, valuations, collection management, and art finance.

A native Mandarin speaker, Lilly’s time will be split between London, Greater China and South East Asia. She will work closely with Ben Clark, CEO of Gurr Johns, who joined the firm in 2019 having previously been based in Hong Kong as Deputy Chairman of Christie’s Asia, and for whom promoting best-practice and enshrining impartial professional services in the Asian art market is a key strategic priority.

Read More

GURR JOHNS: PERSPECTIVES – CHARLIE MAXWELL AND JESSICA WESSEL

By Art Market Snapshot, Business, Gurr Johns News

Gurr Johns: Perspectives sees our specialists share their views, opinions and insights about the art advisory world.

In the latest in the series, Charlie Maxwell (Director Valuations, London) and Jessica Wessel (Senior Vice President Business Development, New York) reveal how Gurr Johns’ global valuations department has adapted to the challenges of the last year, the key triggers for an appraisal, and some of the more unusual objects which they have been asked to value…


How have the extraordinary events of 2020 impacted the world of Valuations and Appraisals?

Charlie Maxwell (C.M.) About 70% of our UK business is related to insurance valuations so demand has continued to be high, despite the limitations of not having physical access to people’s homes and collections. As a global team, we reacted quickly to the first lockdown and launched an online valuations platform which enabled us to offer our clients an (almost) business as usual approach.

Jessica Wessel (J.W.) Our appraisal team in the US undertakes a lot of fiduciary service-related work which continued regardless of Covid and the US election prompted a lot of estate planning activity in the last quarter of 2020. In fact, we completed a record number of gift tax and art lease appraisals and expect this trend to continue, particularly if proposed changes to the tax laws go ahead.

Read More

GURR JOHNS: PERSPECTIVES – SHEA GOLI

By Art Market Snapshot, Business, Gurr Johns News

Gurr Johns: Perspectives sees our specialists share their views, opinions and insights about the art world. In the first of the series, Shea Goli shares her thoughts on the contemporary market during COVID-19 including market trends, NFTs, and the artists on her radar.


What has surprised you most about the contemporary market’s response to the global pandemic? 

Fifteen years ago, the pandemic would have been disastrous for the art market so thankfully advances in digital technology have enabled the art world to adapt quickly and move completely online.  While Zoom, social media and Clubhouse chats have been helpful, and no doubt long overdue in our industry, they can’t begin to replicate the in real life experience of standing in front of a work of art or chance meetings at an art fair or gallery opening.  Even the most impressive online viewing rooms have simply reinforced to our advisory team at Gurr Johns the importance of the non-digital space as a channel for discovering new art and engaging in personal relationships.  There is a certain momentum and energy to selling art that cannot be captured digitally.

As a contemporary art advisor, it’s really tricky to work in this context and with so many obstacles; our business is based on relationships and you can’t underestimate the value that clients place on our specialist insights and access.  That said, while restrictions have been challenging, they have also highlighted the need for change. The push to digital in a mostly antiquated business has provided new and exciting opportunities for artists and new collectors, as well as showing us that we can all afford to slow down when it comes to travel and art fairs!

Read More

GURR JOHNS AND ESA BUSINESS SCHOOL CELEBRATE FIVE YEARS OF PARTNERSHIP

By Business, Gurr Johns News

This year, Gurr Johns and ESA Business School are pleased to celebrate the fifth anniversary of a successful partnership offering the leading art business course in the Middle East.

This enterprising initiative was launched in 2016 when Diane Abela, Gurr Johns’s Director for the Middle East, was approached by two Lebanese art experts who proposed a partnership with the Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA Business School) in Beirut to create a highly specialised Art Business Course. In the past five years, more than seventy alumni have completed the six-month course; participants have included professionals and collectors, all of whom have been given the opportunity to gain specialised knowledge and insight into the most important relevant aspects of the art business from valuations, marketing and market trends to art law and finance.  The course culminates in a four-day trip to London organised by Diane which includes exclusive access to museums, galleries, auction houses and artist studios.

Diane Abela, Director for the Middle East, Gurr Johns: “Having launched this initiative only five years ago, it’s amazing to think that our partnership with ESA has already seen more than seventy particpants in the Middle East graduate from the Arts Management course, and it’s really encouraging that demand continues to grow. The alumni community is a diverse group; from collectors and enthusiasts to finance and law professionals who had sought expert insight into the art world, as well as post-graduates now employed at galleries across Europe and the Middle East. Gurr Johns is extremely grateful to ESA for being such professional partners and we look forward to welcoming more participants and to growing the alumni community internationally in years to come.”

Maxence Duault, General Director of the ESA Business School: “We’re very pleased to have partnered with Gurr Johns and to now offer the leading art business course in the region. Their expertise and values complement our dedication to academic excellence, and we look forward to this partnership continuing to thrive for many years to come.”

SONIA FAZLALI–ZADEH QUOTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

By Business, Gurr Johns News

On 29 January 2021 Sonia Fazlali–Zadeh, jewellery and watches specialist at Gurr Johns, was quoted in an article in The New York Times exploring developments in the business of high end jewellery.

“Some collectors will always prefer auction over private sales, and vice versa,” said Sonia Fazlali-Zadeh, jewelry and watches specialist at Gurr Johns, a global appraisal and advisory business. “For the most important stones and large diamonds, most collectors will buy wherever it is being offered, as long as the price is right.”

Read the full article here.

BEN CLARK QUOTED IN THE ART NEWSPAPER

By Business, Gurr Johns News

On 17 December 2020 Ben Clark, CEO of Gurr Johns, was quoted in an article in The Art Newspaper exploring the growth of the art market in Asia.

“None of this surprises me,” says Ben Clark of the art advisors Gurr Johns. Between 2017 and 2019 Clark was based in Hong Kong as deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia. “I have been seeing the continual strengthening of the Asian market for at least three years,” he says: “But there has been a definite shift in the past six months. We are seeing far more new young buyers, who have often come into the market through luxury goods or jewellery. For instance, Christie’s previewed part of its sale in the upscale Joyce department store in Hong Kong.”

“There hasn’t been a shift in the number of top-end buyers in Hong Kong, which remains small,” Clark says; “And some top lots in the sales return to the West. The real change is the blossoming of new younger buyers at a lower level.”

Read the full article here.

BEN CLARK QUOTED IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

By Business, Gurr Johns News

On 9 December 2020 Ben Clark, CEO of Gurr Johns, was quoted in The Financial Times discussing the energy of the art market in Asia.

“Having a sense of occasion means so much in China and Hong Kong,” says Ben Clark of the art adviser Gurr Johns, who was previously responsible for expanding Christie’s business in Asia.

“I’ve long said that Asian collectors will write the future narrative of the global art market,” Clark says.

You can read the full article here.