Thor Shannon has been one of the most universally well-liked people on the New York scene since starting
at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
in 2013 as an assistant. By 2015, he was an integral part of the transition from the gallery’s one hub in the West Village to two locations: a second-floor Chinatown space and a gigantic warehouse in Harlem, where it’s able to host multiple museum-scale shows at once. At the new space, Shannon has been an indefatigable organizer of shows, such as ’s
GBE debut, which hosted the New York premiere of his now-famous video work
, Love is the Message, The Message is Death
The 27-year-old Shannon also blessed the art world by organizing a 2015 party bus equipped with stripper poles and stocked with champagne to shuttle
dozens of crazy downtown kids to ’s
opening at the Brant Foundation
in Greenwich, Connecticut. The suburb has never been the same since.
Which artist’s market do you think is undervalued?
is the artist who immediately comes to mind. It astounds me that, for example, a highly significant, encompassing, complex, poetic multimedia installation of hers—what would be a pearl of any museum’s collection—could sell for less than an abstract painting made this year by someone in their twenties. That said, I am unendingly shocked (though at this point, I shouldn’t be) at how undervalued artworks by women are in relation to their male peers, Joan [Jonas] being a prime example.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Gavin [Brown] has created a gallery that is unique in the art world, I think, in the contradictions it embodies simultaneously. It is somehow, all at once, an enormous and intimate place, hyperglobal and hyperlocal in its focus, cool and uncool, cerebral and stupid, boisterous and restrained. It has this elastic ability to shapeshift with the times, continually evolving to stay ahead of the pack, while rigidly refusing to deviate from its original, radical, politically oriented, community-oriented, and artist-oriented point of view. In six years of working here, it has never stopped being interesting, challenging, and very, very fun.
What’s the biggest change you think we’ll see in the market in the next 10 years?
It’s 2028. There are literally infinite Infinity Rooms across the globe. Every city has its own Hauser & Wirth Hotel and respective art fair (#ArtChernobyl). Gagosian
opens a new exhibition in one of its 8,000 global locations every hour. A contemporary art evening sale is held at Christie’s every other night; every other other night, Sotheby’s holds theirs. Phillips only hosts day sales, but every day. Every television network has its own show set in the art world—deadpan mockumentary MoCA PS3
on NBC; prestige ’90s period dramedy Matthew’s Marks
with sultry intrigue on HBO; the talk show Listen at Lisson
on VH1, et al. Every museum has hosted, per a globally ratified agreement, at least one Beyoncé and/or Jay-Z video. Montreal is the new Auckland, which was the new Helsinki, which was the new Cairo, which was the new Berlin.
has turned permanently to stone. The Venice Biennale happens underwater.