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Prisoner of the Hamptons: Art Giant on Life in the Covid Age – Yahoo Canada Finance



Prisoner of the Hamptons: Art Giant on Life in the Covid Age

(Bloomberg) — Right about now, Larry Gagosian, septuagenarian bad boy of the art world, should be surrounded by the rich and beautiful, doing rich and beautiful things.

Like procuring a Picasso for a hedge fund titan and outbidding rivals at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Or regaling billionaires and celebrities on the soft banquettes at his Kappo Masa restaurant, beneath his Madison Avenue gallery, where, in good times, a single roll of sushi might run $240.

But Gagosian isn’t doing any of that — not during a pandemic. Like so many New Yorkers, he’s social distancing. Only in his case, he’s hunkered down in the Hamptons.

The term “social distancing” sounds out of place in the context of one of the most powerful and connected figures in the art scene’s social order. And yet here’s the picture he’s painting now: Alone on a cold beach, without a mask, dashing whenever he sees a passerby who might be shedding virus. His silver hair, normally an impeccably cropped helmet, hasn’t been cut. He slips back into his palatial house, a captive in Hamptons paradise.

It’s from this Charles Gwathmey-designed modernist fortress that Gagosian has been running his empire for the past two months while all 18 of his galleries, which dot the globe from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, remain closed. The man, who likes his art in the flesh and still uses a BlackBerry, is coming to grips with the market’s new reality: Most sales now happen electronically. Clients are distracted. Transaction volume has plunged.

“When things go down like this you say, ‘Jesus, Larry, do you really need all these galleries?”’ he said by phone from Amagansett.

‘Scrappy Businessman’

It’s a striking question coming from the man whose “mega gallery” business model has been at the forefront of the art market’s global expansion for the past two decades. The pandemic brought the $64 billion industry to its knees, with galleries and museums shuttered, auctions and art fairs postponed or canceled and countless exhibitions derailed. The jet-setting art world faces a reckoning: Who will survive, and what will the New Normal look like?

The stakes are especially high for Gagosian, who employs almost 300 full-time staffers and has more than 175,000 square feet of prime real estate.

There’s also fierce competition from rivals including David Zwirner, 55, whose early investment in online platforms is paying off during the lockdown, generating more than $10 million in sales. Pace gallery’s new eight-story emporium in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood dwarfs Gagosian’s flagship, once the largest space in the city’s art district.

In his telling, the dealer is wired for tough times. A grandson of Armenian immigrants, he rose from selling posters in a parking lot in Los Angeles in the 1970s to becoming one of the art world’s most powerful figures, with all the trappings of his clients: mansions, a private jet and an enviable personal art collection.

“My journey is different from some other major galleries because I started from scratch,” he said. “I didn’t have family in the business. I never worked for another gallery. I never worked for an auction house. So by nature, I’ve been a survivor and a scrappy businessman, which maybe in these times it suits me well.”

Clients Preoccupied

So far the gallery furloughed part-timers and paid interns, but Gagosian is aware that more tough choices may have to be made.

“You want to keep your business healthy,” he said. “You are stupid if you just pretend that nothing is going on.”

Gagosian, 75, understands that clients are preoccupied with more important things.

“Buying art is not a priority even for active collectors,” he said. “They have other concerns now.”

But the biggest challenge is not having access to the galleries, where customers can see a painting on the wall, fall in love with it and buy it on the spot.

“That’s really what it boils down to,” Gagosian said. “It’s very difficult to even move a painting, to get a truck, to get someone to do a condition report. All the things the art world takes for granted have become very problematic.”

The strength of online sales surprised him, he said, ringing up more than $14 million since the lockdown began in March. This week, as Frieze New York opened its virtual edition, the gallery found a buyer for a $5.5 million Cecily Brown painting featured in its online viewing room. Sellers, who feel under pressure and are motivated to offer discounts, have been another active part of business lately, he said.

Seeking Masterpieces

And then there are the major works.

“There is always a buyer somewhere for a masterpiece,” Gagosian said. “They say, ‘Maybe it’s not the greatest moment to buy something, but when will I get offered something like this again?’”

He recalled buying three significant works at auction in the wake of the financial crisis — by Gerhard Richter, Brice Marden and Christopher Wool. A large Marden painting from his “Cold Mountain” series had a low estimate of $10 million at Sotheby’s.

But Gagosian was concerned that if others took note of his interest in the work a bidding war would ensue, so he discreetly placed his bid with the auctioneer at the reserve price.

“He hammered it down,” Gagosian said. “Not one person bid.”

The final price, including fees, was $9.6 million. The same happened with two other works, and he still owns all three.

Still Optimistic

Some of Gagosian’s galleries are starting to reopen, including in Hong Kong and Paris later this month. Selling at art fairs will be trickier.

While Art Basel moved its June edition to September, Gagosian is skeptical.

“Is that the first thing people will want to do when they start traveling, go to an art fair?” he said. “I’ve committed to my booth and I’m hoping for the best. I just don’t know. September seems like a long way away.”

Museums may also have a hard time getting back.

“They are in the business of selling tickets and attendance,” he said. “I can sell a painting on the telephone if I am lucky. Museums are participatory venues. That means you have crowds. And I don’t think people are going to be comfortable in crowds for a while.”

But Gagosian takes a longer view — and remains an optimist.

“It’s going to be tough for a while,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money or create a great painting.”

The other day, Gagosian was flipping through the sports section of the newspaper — which is rather depressing these days, he said, because there are no sports — and he spotted a photograph from the 1918 World Series, during the last pandemic.

“The photograph shows the batter, the catcher and the umpire all wearing masks,” he said. “It’s a fantastic image. And it made me think that this, too, will pass.”

(Updates with sales figure in 18th paragraph)

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Arthur “Art” Dorion – paNOW




Posted 11 hours ago

Arthur “Art” Louie Dorion was born on Tuesday, April 25, 1961, Pelican Narrows, SK and passed away on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Saskatoon, SK, at the age of 59 years. Art is survived by his loving family, his wife, Gertie (Nee Linklater) Dorion, and all his children; his brothers, Roy Dorion, Steven Dorion, Gilbert Dorion, Alphonse Dorion, Hank Dorion, Leon Dorion, Courtney Dorion, Curtis Michel; his sisters, Leona Halcrow, Margaret Ballantyne, Ann Michel, Louise Dorion, Alice McKenzie, Sophie Dorion, Marriette McCallum, Margaret Gardner, Marlene Custer; his aunties, Caroline Beattie, Margaret Ballantyne Beatty, Joyce Ballantyne Beatty; his uncles, Allan Ballantyne, Cornelius Ballantyne. He was predeceased by
his parents, Henry Charles Dorion, Jane Mary (Nee Ballantyne) Dorion; his siblings, Irene (infant), Viola (infant), Eva Rita (Verna); his grandparents, John Dorion, Marie (Nee Michel) Dorion, Simeon Ballantyne, Elizabeth Ballantyne; his uncles, Alphonse Dorion, Peter Dorion, Magloire Dorion, Henry Ballantyne, Benjamin Ballantyne, Ralph Beatty; his brother-in-law, Ivan Charles Halcrow. A private Wake and Funeral Service will be held in Pelican Narrows, SK with Steve Watkins officiating. Online condolences may be left at .  Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of River Park Funeral Home, (306) 764-2727, Don Moriarty, Funeral Director.

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Leon Draisaitl, Alphonso Davies compare notes after Oilers star wins Art Ross –



Leon Draisaitl had just wrapped up a phone call with Alphonso Davies.

The German hockey star and the Canadian soccer sensation have a lot in common.

A dominant centre for the Edmonton Oilers, Draisaitl became the first athlete in his country’s history to lead a North American sports league in scoring when he was awarded the Art Ross Trophy earlier this week after the NHL called time on its novel coronavirus-hit 2019-20 regular season.

German basketball great Dirk Nowitzki was a 14-time NBA all-star and won MVP honours in 2007, but never accomplished Draisaitl’s most recent feat.

Davies, meanwhile, the Canadian refugee-turned-soccer-phenom, is turning more heads each week for Bayern Munich in the Germany’s Bundesliga, with his matches becoming must-see-TV for many fans back home.

The pair — elite talents from non-traditional countries in their sports — have stayed in touch since the 19-year-old, Edmonton-raised Davies dropped the ceremonial puck at an Oilers game in December.

“I kind of know what he’s going through right now with soccer being so big back home and hockey being big in Canada,” Draisaitl said on a video conference call with reporters Thursday. “Coming over and trying to adjust and find your rhythm, find your game, find your life a little bit.

“He’s becoming a very, very good player. It’s very fun to watch, fun to see.”

WATCH | Draisaitl humbled by Art Ross win:

The Edmonton Oilers all-star spoke to reporters via Zoom after the NHL announced the regular season has ended, making Draisaitl the NHL scoring leader for the 2019-20 season. 0:36

After a stuttering start to his NHL career, Oilers fans feel the same way about Draisaitl.

The 24-year-old finished the regular season with 43 goals and 110 points in 71 games, 13 clear of teammate and fellow star Connor McDavid.

Draisaitl was on pace for 127 points — one short of Nikita Kucherov’s mark last season — a total that came on the heels of the 105 he put up in 2018-19.

“I’m proud of it,” he said of the Art Ross. “It’s a cool story for myself personally, no question.”

That story, however, had a somewhat rocky beginning.

The No. 3 pick at the 2014 draft got a 37-game audition with Edmonton as a teenager before getting sent back to junior. Draisaitl arrived at training camp the following September looking to stick, but was shipped to the minors for six games.

While it might not have seemed like it in the moment, that extra seasoning was important.

“I don’t think I was ready at the time,” Draisaitl said of playing in the NHL as a teenager. “It’s OK to maybe take a step down. That was the case with me. In the long run, that was probably the best thing for me, to go back down to junior and start the next year in the AHL.

“Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to take a step back and go at your own pace.”

WATCH | Will the 2020 Stanley Cup come with an asterisk?:

Longtime sportscaster John Shannon argues against the dreaded asterisk, saying a win this season should count just the same as any other. 1:06

Draisaitl’s pace has certainly ramped up drastically since those difficult first few seasons.

Along with McDavid, he’s been at the forefront of the Oilers’ resurgence that saw the team sitting second in the Pacific Division with 83 points when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to pause play March 12.

McDavid is the face of the franchise and one of the faces of the league — but it’s their team.

“It’s been great to stick around the same group of guys for so many years now and see them grow and watch the team grow, watch the organization grow,” Draisaitl said. “It’s definitely a lot of fun to be a part of. We still have a lot of upside.”

He’s also keenly aware he’s become the face of German hockey, which continues to produce high-end talent, including projected top-5 draft pick Tim Stutzle.

“We’re heading in the right spot as a country,” Draisaitl said. “Germany just isn’t a big hockey country. That’s just how it is, but we can still become a very solid hockey country.”

Praise from McDavid

The NHL unveiled its return-to-play plan earlier this week — there’s still lots of hurdles to overcome for the games to actually resume this summer — but the Oilers know if that happens, they’ll face the Chicago Blackhawks in one of eight best-of-five qualifying round series for a right to make the playoffs.

Draisaitl and McDavid started the season on the same line, as they had in the past, but were split up in December to give the team a different look. Draisaitl then carried the load himself when McDavid went down with an injury in February.

“What he’s done for our group has been great,” said McDavid, who along with Draisaitl are in the running for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. “He’s helped both our team and me personally out a ton.”

Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse said Draisaitl’s breakout the last two seasons after 50-, 77- and 70-point campaigns was part of a natural progression.

“He’s always been very confident, he’s always been an unbelievable hockey player, and he just continues to work,” Nurse said. “He didn’t change much. He just kept playing.”

Never one keen to talk about himself, Draisaitl was more than happy to share the credit for his Art Ross.

“There’s always people that help you get there,” he said. “You dream of these things.

“But until you do it, it always seems so far away.”

A certain Canadian soccer star probably feels the same way.

WATCH | Latest on sports’ return:

Sports around the world are formulating plans to get back to action, Rob Pizzo rounds up the latest news from each.  3:20

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Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl proud to win Art Ross, eager to keep building his game –



The Art Ross Trophy belongs to Leon Draisaitl as the NHL’s leading scorer. What about the Hart as the league’s most valuable player?

“I don’t pay too much attention to Hart Trophy race, to be honest with you,” Draisaitl said on a conference call on Friday. “Of course, it would be a big honour to win it or even come close to being in the race.”

Draisaitl, 24, officially claimed the scoring title on Tuesday when the NHL declared the regular season over. He wound up with 110 points in 71 games, leading the league with 67 assists. While he came into the league with a reputation as a play-maker, he’s also become an elite goal scorer: 50 goals last season; 43 this year.

NHL players face imperfections but excitement in league’s return-to-play plan

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“I think I’ve always kind of been more of the pass-first type of guy, but I knew early on in my career in the NHL that I have to be a threat to shoot once in a while, too, otherwise I’m too predictable,” said Draisaitl.

“It’s something I’ve worked on constantly during the summer, in season.”

“He just continues to work,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse. “He worked all summer to put himself in a position to come in and have success.”

Draisaitl finished 13 points ahead of teammate Connor McDavid in the scoring race. He joins McDavid and Wayne Gretzky as the only Oilers to win the Art Ross.

“He gives me nice passes, so that definitely helps me out,” chuckled McDavid. “What he’s done for our group has been great. A lot was made of us playing together or not playing together. He just gives us that kind of different look.”

Oilers GM waiting for details from NHL, looking forward to showdown with Chicago

McDavid and Draisaitl were linemates for the first half of the season, but after New Year’s Eve, Draisaitl played mostly with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto. The success of that trio further thrust Draisaitl into the spotlight.

“Every year he’s taken a big jump,” said Oilers defenceman Matt Benning. “I think this year he really embraced a leadership role and wanted to be the go-to guy.

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“His confidence — it wasn’t cockiness — it was confidence. He had a swagger about himself. That really helps. He made players around him better.”

Draisaitl agrees that he’s become more of a leader over the last two seasons.

“When you’re young, there’s not much for you to say. Your play on the ice doesn’t play as a big of a role, have as big of an impact, as it does now, being 24 years old, being in the league for a while,” Draisaitl explained.

“You change as a player, you change as a person a bit. It’s been great to stick around the same group of guys for so many years.”

Draisaitl and the Oilers now look ahead to their qualifying round series against Chicago, which is at least a couple of months away as part of the NHL’s return-to-play plan.

The Oilers and their fans dream of a long playoff run. Draisaitl will be a spark for any success the team has.

“You dream of these things, but until you do it, it seems so far away. I’m proud, in a way, of course, but I know I still have lots of things to work on,” he said.

“I know I have lots of things to improve and I’m looking to do that every year.”

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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