David Galperin

  • SVP | Head of Contemporary Art
New York


David Galperin is the Head of Contemporary Art for the Americas and Co-Head of Marquee Sales. He is responsible for leading the Contemporary Art department in New York as well as overseeing strategy and driving business development for the Modern and Contemporary Marquee sales.

In addition to directing the company’s Marquee Sales, David has played a pivotal role in bringing major American collections to market, including the Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson Collection, The David M. Solinger Collection, The Macklowe Collection, The Emily Fisher Landau Collection, and the Collection of Chara Schreyer. David was instrumental in driving the exceptional outcome of The Macklowe Collection, a 100%-sold sale that achieved $922 million across 2021-2022, making it the most valuable collection ever sold at auction.

A result of his ability to forecast market trends and grow key markets, David has overseen important strategic developments at Sotheby’s. In 2021, he was central to piloting the launch of new thematic sale categories for 19th/20th/21st Century art, debuting the Modern, Contemporary, and The Now Evening Auctions. The new sale categories address the evolving concept of Contemporary art and the expanding and fortified presence of an entirely new generation of artists defining the 21st-century art world. This new tri-partite sale division became market-proven success when Sotheby’s achieved $1.33 billion in sales over five days in November 2021, the second highest Marquee week in Sotheby’s then 277-year history. This was immediately followed in May 2022, when the Marquee Sale week realized $1.09 billion in sales, the third highest in company history.

Throughout David’s tenure, he has continued to identify and champion important emerging markets. He has pioneered new price discoveries and achieved world records for both historical and previously underrepresented artists such as Norman Lewis, Charles White, Romare Bearden as well as young and mid-career artists like Jennifer Packer, Christina Quarles, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Matthew Wong, among others.

David joined Sotheby's in 2013, quickly becoming a principal contributor to the Contemporary department and then Head of Contemporary Art Evening Sales in 2017. In 2021, David assumed the role of Head of Contemporary Art for the Americas and Co-Head of Marquee Sales. David graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a joint Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History.

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