Artioli Findlay: A New Kind of Art Business
This post was published with permission from Artioli Findlay.
Pauline Findlay of Artioli Findlay has been quietly setting an example of running an art business in an increasingly post-brick-and-mortar world. Artioli Findlay’s core collection of French School of Paris painters were the primary artists of a fifth-generation Madison Avenue gallery and it now operates out of private rooms at UOVO:LIC, combining the inventory depth of a gallery backroom with the service and client experience of an art advisory.
Artioli Findlay’s rooms are neatly organized with racks of paintings; a giant shelf of art books is a testament to Pauline and director Rebecca Senior’s thorough knowledge of their artists. A large, mauvey Roger Muhl painting leans on styrofoam blocks against a specially-built viewing wall. UOVO’s project manager, Michelle Brick, helped design a customized racking plan that allows Pauline or Rebecca to pull paintings out easily (which, it may be noted, they did often during our visit: Artioli Findlay’s enthusiasm for their works is unmatched).
Rather than a physical storefront, Artioli Findlay wanted to be a part of the environment and viewing experience that UOVO offers. Pauline explained, “Being at UOVO gives us the flexibility and the experience of having an art gallery back room without having the same distractions of a retail space. It makes the experience more personal.” It has been effective, she has found, for focusing on the client’s needs and allowing them to peruse and consider more works while in the space.
Artioli Findlay’s bread and butter is a group of ten artists, most from the School of Paris influenced by Matisse, painted with thick swaths of color. Second and third generations of clients continue buying artworks by the artists that their parents and grandparents loved.
“We’re acting as designers as well as art dealers. We’re picking paintings for clients based on the colors of their walls, how the pieces need to visually carry, and where the collector wants to place them in relation to other artwork that we know they already own,” Rebecca said, pulling paintings out as she spoke.
UOVO’s space and physical location has been pivotal: “We’ve had lunches here and we’re planning on having a viewing on December 10th featuring works from the ateliers of two artists,” Pauline explained. Rebecca added, “When people come here, they want to come up to the space and look through the inventory; this set-up lets them browse.” Since many of their clients are from around the country and Europe, the easy access from the airport is crucial.
Pauline believes that for many artists, dealers and collectors, being at a facility like UOVO is the future of the business: “When the artwork had a storefront on Madison Avenue, there was a staff of thirteen people and huge overhead costs. At UOVO, it is possible to extend better savings to our clients, provide more personal service, and be more detailed about what someone is looking for. Our staff can easily bring paintings to the client to review in their apartment or hotel.” By cutting down on overall costs, the artwork becomes more accessible to collectors. “Having the space here, with the facility open six days a week and the UOVO art handlers on call, translates into more efficient business as artwork sold and acquired can be easily processed. The paintings are packed and shipped without us even having to be here. It’s a wonderfully fluid way of working.”
For Artioli Findlay, their rooms allow them to be close to the artwork they love to work with, and to love the way they work.