Sotheby’s, today announced the appointment of Alexander Rotter and Cheyenne Westphal as Worldwide Heads of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department. The announcement was made by Bill Ruprecht, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the global auctioneers.
“Over the past several years, Sotheby’s global Contemporary team, under the leadership of Alex and Cheyenne and spanning from Mexico City to Hong Kong, had remarkable success across every aspect of the Contemporary art market,” commented Mr. Ruprecht. “With auction sales that have grown five-fold in the past decade and private sales that have quadrupled since 2010, as well as the development of the S|2 brand, the global gallery arm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department, Sotheby’s is uniquely qualified to best serve clients in the marketplace. Alex and Cheyenne boast nearly 40 years of experience between them and have strong relationships with virtually every major collector, dealer, advisor and artist in the field. The powerful combination of the next generation of deal-makers, together with arguably the most seasoned network of Chairmen and advisors in the field, positions Sotheby’s exceptionally well as the market for Contemporary art continues to grow exponentially.”
Alexander Rotter has been instrumental in many of the highest profile auctions in New York of recent years, including the Rockefeller Rothko ($72.8 million), Jeff Koons’ Hanging Heart ($23.6 million), and most recently the $104 million Silver Car Crash by Andy Warhol, while at the same time pioneering a number of key developments across the business. Along with Miety Heiden, he was behind the launch of Sotheby’s first S|2 gallery in New York in 2011, and more recently has been working with senior management on exploring investment opportunities in the field of Contemporary Art. Alexander played a critical role in the highly successful sale of Contemporary Art held by Sotheby’s in Doha, Qatar this past April, and presided over the evening as auctioneer. He is joined by Gabriela Palmieri, Grégoire Billault, and Miety Heiden, each of whom bring significant expertise and are responsible for high-value transactions each year. Their focus on business development, auction sales and private sales respectively is complemented by the support of senior executives including Chairman, Lisa Dennison, former Director of the Guggenheim Museum, who has played a key role in the sale of a number of major Abstract Expressionist masterworks in recent years; Vice Chairman, Anthony Grant, whose venerable expertise and counsel is sought by many of the most important collectors in the United States; Lulu Creel, who is at the forefront of the development of major collections in Latin America; and Andrea Fiuczynski, who recently joined the company as Chairman of Sotheby’s West Coast operations.
Cheyenne Westphal is one of the most experienced Contemporary art professionals in the market today and has been a leading force in Europe for decades. She was integral to the success of the Damien Hirst sale, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, which raised $200.75 million in 2008, the $92.2 million auction of the Duerckheim Collection in 2011, and the sale of the Gunther Sachs Collection in 2012 that totaled $65.5 million, as well as the record-breaking development of the market for both Gerhard Richter’s abstract and photorealist works. In the autumn of 2013, Cheyenne inaugurated Sotheby’s S|2 gallery in London with Joseph Beuys Revealed, and an exciting schedule of exhibitions is planned for 2014, including the recently opened show JUST NOW, curated by Bert Kreuk. In addition, Cheyenne has played a leading role over the last seven years in Sotheby’s annual support of The Tate Britain Commission. Cheyenne is joined by Oliver Barker, Deputy Chairman Europe and noted auctioneer; Alex Branczik, Head of the Contemporary Art Department in London; Isabelle Paagman, Head of Private Sales for Contemporary Art in London; Claudia Dwek, Deputy Chairman Europe, who directs Sotheby’s 20th Century Italian Art auctions; and Stefano Moreni, Head of the Contemporary Department in Paris, in addition to a seasoned team of more than international 30 colleagues.