Spotlight on dealer Elena Ulansky on the fun of helping potential collectors connect with art
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What would you like to know: As a child, Swedish-born art dealer Elena Ulansky wanted to become an artist. As an adult, she actually pursued a successful career in finance, but remained passionate about art and found herself engaging artists and curators in every way possible. Then, a few years ago, she returned to her first passion and obtained a master’s degree in painting from the New York Academy of Art. Now Ulanksy has moved on again, this time in the role of dealer.
Together with his business partner, Nitin Gambhir, Ulanksy founded Tethys Art earlier this year. The gallery, which has so far hosted three pop-up exhibitions in the Hamptons, features emerging artists alongside internationally recognized names including Keith Haring, Richard Prince, Jonas Wood, Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger. One of Tethys’ core principles is to create a learning environment that brings together artists, art lovers, collectors and curators. Currently, Tethys Art is pursuing its next exhibition opportunities in Aspen and Miami this winter, as well as Cannes and Venice for next year.
Why we love it: For each of Tethys Art’s first three exhibitions, Ulansky worked with a curator to create exhibitions that facilitate discussion and introduce new perspectives: his latest exhibition, “The women, A group exhibition curated by Indira Cesarine, which ended in September, explored the contemporary narrative of the female gaze, including works by Cindy Sherman, social media sensation Leah Schrager, pioneering feminists Robin Tewes and Grace Graupe-Pillard, alongside a crop of emerging women artists. Right now, Ulansky is exploring NFT-related projects, which she says are here to stay.
In his own words: “I would like my role to be the conduit that allows people to see art as a means of connecting human consciousness. Art is a way to start a more nuanced conversation than the typical “I’m a Republican and I’m a Democrat,” this or that. Right now I’m working on putting together group shows that I help spark curiosity in people who have never collected before. In one of our shows this summer, a doctorate. student in the history of the feminist movement, buys a work that speaks to her, her very first art purchase. This is the start of his art collection. For me, one of the most inspiring things a person can do is engage with people who haven’t been exposed to art, who maybe don’t understand why someone should be there. ‘buy, and help them find a personal connection.
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