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The Castelli Method A model for every gallerist

Leo Castelli is recognised as the most avant-garde art dealer of the twentieth century and his method has become a model still viable today for the art market.

Successful gallerists and collectors share a key element: the ability to look further and anticipate market trends, shaping it into new directions, riding the wave with dexterity and not being overwhelmed by its impetuous race.

Leo Castelli (Trieste 1907 – New York 1999) opens his gallery in New York in 1957, becoming over time leading model, for his ability to bring together a group of new artists, or rather innovative, taking care of their path with attention, presence and consistency, three words that we could define as illustrative of his practice as gallerist:

  • Attention: Castelli has had the ability to detect artistic poetics out of the market and understand them deeply, in order to communicate them to a wide and diverse audience.
  • Presence: the artist needs to feel the presence of his gallerist, who is more than a guide, a comparison, a professional. Castelli never escaped his artists, indeed, he supported them even when they were not producing.
  • Consistency: Castelli built a real relationship of trust with the artists, which gave rise to a mutual loyalty and, therefore, a long lasting working relationship.

These simple but fundamental measures have allowed the Trieste-New Yorker gallerist to be able to boast the merit of having given voice to artists such as Jasper Johns or Robert Rauschenberg, his true discoveries.

Not simply a business partner – historically the art gallery took care of the simple sale of the work, sharing fifty-fifty profit with the artist – but a  very proactive collaboration, which started from providing an atelier up to the production materials.

We therefore speak of a real Castelli Method:

  1. A consistent artistic vision that was accompanied by a long-term relationship with the artists
  2. A 360 ° support: from technical needs like a space to work or production material, to the care of public relations with a press office service to launch the artist as a brand
  3. International network, a network of contacts with galleries, art dealers and collectors not only in the United States, but also in Europe.
  4. Brand Image, which was expressed with the attention to detail in its gallery, to the weaving of a set of relationships that nourished the “legend” of the magic circle of Leo Castelli and, consequently, his celebrity and the one of the artists he selected 

Castelli has opened the way for a new type of gallerist, becoming a model for future ones and sought by all artists, thanks to his being mentor of figures such as Mary Boone or Larry Gagosian (who in 1996 dedicated a celebratory retrospective to him at its headquarters in Los Angeles), today leading players in the market.

And you, what gallerist do you want to become?

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