Per Skarstedt has long been an art world visionary and keen at spotting talent: he helped advance the careers of Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Barbara Kruger in the mid-1990s. He opened his first gallery in 1994 on New York's Upper East Side selling the works of European and American contemporary artists and now also operates a gallery in London. He represents some of the biggest names in contemporary art, including George Condo, KAWS, Georg Baselitz and Christopher Wool, and has hosted retrospectives on Willem de Kooning, Richard Prince, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.

19 East 64th Street, the second location of Skarskedt's gallery, which sold for $90 million in 2018. Photo: Zillow 19 East 64th Street, the second location of Skarskedt's gallery, which sold for $90 million in 2018. Photo: Zillow

In March, Skarskedt will open his third and newest space at 19 East 64th Street in a townhouse once owned by the legendary Wildenstein art dealer family for 85 years. It was built as a gallery-cum-home for the family in 1932, and in 2018, the building was sold for $90 million, the city's most expensive townhouse sale. The buyer was the Russian-born philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, who is Britain's richest man with a net worth of over $21 billion.

Inside the lavish townhouse that will house the Skarstedt Gallery. Photo: Zillow Inside the lavish townhouse that will house the Skarstedt Gallery. Photo: Zillow

The billionaire, who owns Warner Bros., has accumulated an impressive art collection in recent years with artworks by Damien Hirst and Amedeo Modigliani. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II after donating £50 million to Tate Modern.

Leonardo Blavatnik and Leonardo DiCaprio attend a charity auction in Cap d'Antibes during the 2015 film festival. Photo: Kevin Tachman / amfAR15 / WireImage Leonardo Blavatnik and Leonardo DiCaprio attend a charity auction in Cap d'Antibes during the 2015 film festival. Photo: Kevin Tachman / amfAR15 / WireImage

The townhouse, designed in 1932 in the Beaux Arts style by architect Horace Trumbauer, is spread over almost 27,000 square feet, where Skarstedt will show art for international art collectors. Trumbauer was frequently hired by American society during the Gilded Age and also designed grand residences and commercial buildings in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, DC and Newport, RI.

A de Kooning retrospective at Skarstedt with Untitled VII to the right wall. Photo: John Berens for Brooklyn Rail A de Kooning retrospective at Skarstedt with Untitled VII to the right wall. Photo: John Berens for Brooklyn Rail

Per Skarskedt is a frequent exhibitor on the art fair circuit and an avid bidder at auction. One of his major acquisitions was Willem de Kooning's Untitled VII (1986) for $5.94 million at Christie's in May 2018, but he was outbid for Francis Bacon's Figure in Movement (1972) in October 2018, which achieved $25.9 million.

A KAWS exhibit at the Skarskedt Gallery in New York A KAWS exhibit at the Skarskedt Gallery in New York

During the opening show in the new gallery, a group exhibition will feature the works of artist Per has represented in the last 20 years, such as Eric Fischl, KAWS, David Salle, Sue Williams, and Martin Kippenberger.

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