Maintaining Artistic Standards

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[caption id="attachment_2397" align="alignnone" width="577"]Above:Willem de Kooning, Untitled XVI, 1975. Image courtesy Sotheby’s.[/caption]


As I enter the premises of New York City’s L&M Arts, I quickly find that the gallery emits a presence that is as refined as it is welcoming. With its marble foyer and ornately designed doors, the townhouse on 78th Street that L&M calls home bespeaks a quiet elegance.

It is in this atmosphere that co-owners Dominique Levy and Robert Mnuchin display their gallery’s offered works. Mnuchin, retired Managing Partner at Goldman Sachs and inveterate

modern art collector, opened his gallery in 1993 as C&M Arts. In 2005, he merged with Levy, former International Director of Private Sales at Christie’s New York, and the gallery was re-named L&M Arts.

Together, these two purchased for clients the two most expensive paintings at Sotheby’s May Contemporary Art auction. Beating out Larry Gagosian and a phone bidder for Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XVI and placing the winning bid for Roy Lichtenstein’s Sinking Sun, Levy and Mnuchin spearheaded the purchase of the paintings sold for $15,696,000 each.

In speaking with this bright, articulate duo, it becomes appar- ent that excellence is of the utmost importance to these two— excellence in relationships, art, shows, advice, environment, service, and follow-up, in every facet of their daily activities. “Our clientele is concerned with outstanding quality; quality is what interests them,” says Mnuchin.

“Location is another asset that sets us apart.We are a living environment gallery,” says Levy, adding, “We bring a passion to our work.”

And this passion is evident in the way the two speak. Mnuchin reveals that his true satisfaction comes from “spending a lifetime enjoying the privilege of being surrounded by good art…working with collectors, discovering their passion for art and what stimulates them.”

“We refuse, in any shape or form, to think of art as a commodity,” he declares.

“We do the extra step on each project,” Levy adds.