Peter Coffin, Installation view Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris, Miami

A view of the garden, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami

Text: Andrea Marie Thompson

 “New York doesn’t need me,” insists gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin when asked why he chose Miami over New York to open his first gallery in the United States. “New York has fantastic galleries but Miami is growing so much and there are not enough good galleries here.” Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin has certainly added to the expanding universe of “good galleries” in Miami with a level of sophistication, vision and talent that Miami has not seen outside of the annual Art Basel Miami main fair each December. And it was precisely Art Basel Miami that first put the city on Perrotin’s radar five years ago. Invited to participate in the fair since its inception in Miami in 2002, Perrotin – who has subsequently been invited to exhibit each year since – saw the city’s potential and knew this was where he wanted to open his first stateside gallery. He also operates two galleries in Paris.

From the exhibition "Pistils" by Lionel Esteve. Photograph by Richard Patterson. Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris, Miami

 “We expect a movement here,” says Perrotin, “with new museums and hopefully an art school as Craig Robins has suggested. Miami needs to attract more artists who have had a long-standing career to live here. An art school would encourage that.” It’s just a few of the definitive ambitions Perrotin would like to see realized now that he is a part of Miami’s increasingly relevant and respected art community. Identified as one of Miami’s “actors” as he puts it, Perrotin wants to use his influence to expand the landscape and language of art in Miami, “I would love to organize a show of artists from Berlin [for instance] to come here for the summers. We need to provide artists with studios and cheap places to live. If there is a mass center of artists here then we will attract curators and critics too. We have to organize this.”

Recent work by Klara Kristalova Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris, Miami

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami

 Collectors and businesspeople like Robins are taking note and are onboard with Perrotin’s vision. Lauded in the art world for his support of, and shows with, now globally recognized artists like Takashi Murakami, Mauricio Cattalan, Peter Coffin – whose current show closes on January 26 - Elmgreen & Dragset, Sophie Calle and others, when Perrotin speaks, the art world listens.
 His enthusiasm for Miami and the significant place it can have in the global art network in the next five years is sincere and earnest. Perrotin says creating an established, germaine art colony in Miami has to be a priority for anyone here who is serious about art, “If we don’t do it now, artists who are here will leave and go to New York or Berlin.” The bi-continental gallerist also feels it is imperative to create a second major art fair here, comparable to Basel-Miami, sometime during the year, “a big group show that can possibly attract an international audience.” Perrotin, whose gallery participates in up to seven art fairs each year, dreams of a committee of influencers who would help him organize a second Miami fair and the requisite ancillary events linked to it.

Recent work by Klara Kristalova Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris, Miami

 “Sometimes I am very tired,” he shares, “so I would love to hire someone who can organize all my ideas and maybe get a sponsor to pay for these things.” 2007 was a hectic year for Perrotin; recently married, he had a knee operation and also opened a second gallery in Paris. No matter how complicated his schedule becomes, however, Perrotin’s expectations for Miami and his expatiated role in the growing gallery community never wavers: With the right support and continued involvement of collectors and artists, Perrotin believes his success will be parallel to Miami’s, “We hope to have the Sarkozy effect.”

Installation view, work by Guy Limone, Photograph by Mariano C. Peuser. Courtesy
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris, Miami

Showroom: Photography by Richard Patterson. Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris, Miami

Andrea Thompson

Thompson is Miami-based writer and art collector who has been published in USA Today.

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