London-born Alex Logsdail began his career in art at the age of just 20, as an intern at Arforum, before moving to New York galleries Deitch Projects and Team. In 2009 he returned to London as associate director of Lisson, the blue chip gallery founded in 1967 by his father, Nicholas Logsdail.
Lisson’s stable includes legendary minimalists and postminimalists like Sol LeWitt and Anish Kapoor. More recently it’s taken on young conceptualists like Haroon Mirza and Ryan Gander. During his years at Lisson, Alex Logsdail has brought new artists to the gallery, among them Marina Abramovic. Logsdail spoke with A.i.A. about the future of the gallery world.—Tiffany Zabludowicz
What experience made you know you wanted to work in art?
Growing up around artists who saw the world in a very different way, who were visually able to articulate what others could not.
How do the different locations of Lisson—London, Milan and New York—differ? How does this international scope add to the gallery?
The different locations all serve very different purposes. Even the different spaces in London have incredibly varied qualities to them. The programming is entirely dependent on what space suits an artist and the show that they are putting together. Lisson has always been an international gallery in London rather than a London gallery showing international artists. The result of working with six or more generations of artists over 45 years makes for an incredibly rich history.
How does your experience of London and New York influence the way you perceive art? Is there anything particularly rewarding about being based in London?
Travel is tremendously important, cultural similarities and differences between countries and even cities are always fascinating and surprising. The most interesting places are generally the most remote. I recently spent some time in Brazil, which was fascinating: there are some incredible things happening and the ambition of the art world there is on a monumental scale. London is a great jumping off point for any destination. It’s geographically central and very open to the rest of the world.
Which artists do you work most closely with at the gallery? Any up-and-coming artists you’re particularly interested in?
I work closely with a lot of artists in the gallery over many generations, from Lawrence Weiner and Dan Graham to Ryan Gander, Allora & Calzadilla and Haroon Mirza.
Can you tell me about your upcoming show of Ryan Gander’s work in London? What work of Ryan’s that you’ve seen has blown you away?
Ryan Gander’s upcoming show at the gallery will focus on the seen and unseen, visibility and invisibility. It’s going to be funny, serious, epic and small all at the same time. Without being too ‘punny.’ Ryan’s wind installation at the Fridericianum in Documenta 13 quite literally blew me away.
What else were you taken with in Kassel?
I greatly enjoyed the Walid Raad installation as well as Lara Faveretto and Pedro Reyes.
What do you think is the future of art?
That’s for artists to decide; galleries can only really help facilitate their vision. My future plans are to grow the gallery and its artists, introducing them to an ever-larger global audience.