This month’s Marguerite Mover & Shaker is the Deputy Director of Sotheby’s Preferred across Europe and the Middle East, Kaitlin Lechich. Working with Sotheby’s most active and influential clients, Lechich creates the events programme for her members, based on key exhibitions or moments that she feels will appeal most to her clientele. On top of this, Lechich manages art fairs and all other applicable luxury partner relationships as well as creating content for Sotheby’s communication channels. Unsurprisingly, Lechich’s role requires her to be constantly on the move, travelling all over to work on events that vary from private museum tours during FIAC to taking automobile collectors to a historic grand prix. Having moved from New York to London, Lechich enjoys London’s contemporary art scene for its inclusion of old masters within many of the museum and gallery’s big collections but misses the freshness and edge of New York’s scene. Below; Lechich explains why it is important in life to say yes without thinking too much, why her run in with a blue monochrome Yves Klein helped her on her career path and why she enjoys burning the candle at both ends.
Can you tell me more about your role as Deputy Director of Sotheby’s Preferred across Europe and the Middle East?
To add a bit more context about Preferred, it is a programme tailored for Sotheby’s most active and influential clients. As a member of the group our clients are offered a selection of benefits internally and externally ranging from Members’ Room spaces in our key selling locations, to complimentary and expedited access to 350+ top museums, and a series of events that cater to our members’ different collecting habits.
In my role I create the events programme based off of selecting key exhibitions or moments in the ‘collectors’ circuit’ that would appeal to our network of clients. This can range from a programme of private museum tours during FIAC week, to bringing automobile collectors to a historic grand prix. Alongside this, I manage art fair and other applicable luxury partner relationships and create content for our communication channels.
Most recently I have had the pleasure to work on the launch of our new membership card.
How did you end up in your current role? Were you always destined to have a career in the arts?
I entered my current role very quickly! I was the programme manager for Preferred Americas, and had a meeting in New York about the identical role for Europe and MENA. During the meeting I mentioned offhand that I would be interested in moving to London, and two days later I had an offer. I had to make a quick decision to move ahead, and so went on a run the following day and said yes from the trail! Sometimes in life I think you have to just say yes without overthinking – it leads to far more interesting places.
As for destiny, I fell in love with art during a visit to MoMA when I stumbled upon a Blue Monochrome Yves Klein work. After that I decided to fully commit to building a life around my passion which resulted in a journey of severely underpaid internships, working terrible hours, but ultimately finding a home within Sotheby’s. The idea of bringing collectors closer to the art they are most passionate about has never seemed like a job but a privilege.
Does your role require you to travel a lot?
Yes, my role requires quite a lot of travel but I think that’s the best part of it. I have been able to experience so many different cities, meet incredible collectors, build friendships with locals and of course visit the most incredible museums in the world.
How do you balance work and social life?
I love a challenge at work, but I also love a great party. I tend to burn the candle from both ends so something is always happening between the two, but I wouldn’t want it any other way! (Although I need more sleep!! or at least more hours in a day!
You previously lived in New York. What would you say are the biggest differences and similarities between the two contemporary art worlds? Do you prefer one?
Living on this side of the world I like how the old masters are woven into the fabric of the contemporary art scene; this is less present in the way that museums and galleries present their collections in New York.
However, there is such a freshness and edge to the New York contemporary scene that doesn’t exist in the same way in Europe. I miss going to underground shows, and warehouse parties filled with art (paired with a great old school hip-hop track!).
Can you name an art institution and or gallery whose exhibition programme you respect most and why?
I am always incredibly impressed by the Royal Academy of Arts, their exhibitions are thoughtful and beautifully curated – and where else could I feel like home when they bring the momentous Clifford Still works to this part of the world, or being alone with a Jasper Johns flag. They are attuned to an international audience of collectors and also focus on niche shows that appeal to every collecting category.
If you had one piece of advice for a young female starting out in the arts, what would it be?
My advice is to not be daunted by a big goal, but let it focus and drive you. Anything is achievable when there is passion behind it. Surrounding yourself with a great support system like the lovely ladies of Marguerite is also a huge platform to grow, learn, and connect.
Now that Marguerite has released its new programme are there any events that you are most looking forward to attending?
I am particularly looking forward to the Venice Biennale 2019 Warm up with Dr Zoe Whitley. The Biennale is of course like the Olympics for the art world, and having a glimpse into what is to come in May is really special.
What would you say are the three most beneficial attributes to being a member of Marguerite?
For the first and second, Marguerite is truly an incredible platform for likeminded women to connect and support each other. When I moved to London with less than a handful of close friends, Marguerite connected me with a network of some of the most wonderful, intelligent, and interesting ladies that I will have the privilege to get to know in my life. Third, the programme of events is smart and playful if I wasn’t traveling so much I would try to make it to everything!
If you could have four artists to dinner (dead or alive) who would you choose and why?
Yves Klein so he could teach me the formula to create his blue pigment, Agnes Martin so we could discuss minimalism at length, Cy Twombly so he could tell me about his favourite season, and Donald Judd so we could talk about living and working in NYC when SoHo was not the place it is today.