Gagosian Director Suspended After Misconduct Allegations

Gagosian, one of the most powerful galleries in the art world, suspended a director after accusations of misconduct.

Sam Orlofsky, a high-ranking employee at the gallery in New York, was suspended without pay, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

“Recently two social media accounts have alleged that a Gallery employee has engaged in serious misconduct, and, following these posts, we have received complaints about this person from current and former employees,” according to a letter sent to the gallery’s staff by Larry Gagosian on Friday that was reviewed by Bloomberg News.

Gagosian Director Suspended After Misconduct Allegations

The letter didn’t specify whether former and current employees experienced the alleged behavior firsthand or observed it. The gallery has initiated an investigation with outside counsel and said it would protect the confidentiality of those who come forward if requested, the letter said.

”Gagosian is committed to fostering a workplace where employees can express concerns freely, and are empowered to do their best work,” said the letter.

“Mr. Orlofsky intends to fully cooperate in the company’s inquiry into these matters, and, to permit that process to appropriately proceed,” John J. Rosenberg, a lawyer representing Orlofsky, told Bloomberg. A Gagosian spokesperson declined further comment.

Gagosian is owned by Larry Gagosian, who for decades cultivated billionaire clients from finance, the film industry and publishing. He operates eighteen spaces across the globe, according to the firm’s website, and has also led the charge into online viewing rooms -- well before the pandemic restricted visits to galleries and auction houses.

Orlofsky joined Gagosian in 2001, rising to become one of its top sellers. He’s worked closely with artists including Dan Colen, Roe Ethridge, Mark Grotjahn, Jennifer Guidi, Alex Israel, Titus Kaphar, Shio Kusaka, Mary Weatherford, and Jonas Wood.

In recent years, he led efforts to innovate, including launching online viewing rooms in 2018 and a new live-streaming series, Gagosian Premieres, this month. Last week, Artnet News featured Orlofsky in its article “Meet the New Innovators: 8 Institutional Change Agents Pushing Their Organizations Into the Future.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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