The job of an art adviser is like those of a curator and a detective rolled into one, according to Abigail Asher, who has been in the business for three decades. ‘You need to be quite relentless, an advocate for your client, and have great perseverance and imagination. I love the chase and the acquisition,’ she says.
With business partner Barbara Guggenheim, who founded the firm almost 40 years ago, Asher advises both connoisseurs and novices on European and US art from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. ‘We like to work with a select group of people who are the right fit for us and we for them,’ she explains.
The company is based in New York and LA, with a strong presence in London (Asher is from the UK). Its clients span the globe from Europe to Asia to the Middle East through to the Americas.
The pair have had another dynamic year, securing a few ‘very special paintings’ which they’d been after for years. ‘The market is in a very healthy place and it’s deeper than ever before in terms of the breadth and number of people buying compared to 15 years ago,’ says Asher.
If Asher could own a single painting it would be without doubt Picasso’s Guernica, ‘because it moves me and gives me goose bumps every time I see it’.