The gallerist Jeff Poe announced today that he is leaving Blum and Poe gallery, which has spaces in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. Tim Blum will continue to head the gallery with the help of Matt Bangser, a long time partner of the gallery in New York who will now step into the newly created role of managing partner.
The gallery founders met and became friends in the early 1990s when Blum was living in Tokyo but made visits home to see his girlfriend, who worked with Poe at Kim Light Gallery in Hollywood. At the time, the Los Angeles gallery scene was still small but Blum and Poe, which was founded in Santa Monica in 1994, played an outsize role in making the city a thriving global art hub.
The gallery currently represents more than 60 artists and estates from 16 countries, including Lonnie Holley, Lee Ufan, Thornton Dial, and Lynda Benglis, as well as many renowned Japanese artists, like Tomoo Gokita and Yoshimoto Nara. It also launched the meteoric career of Takashi Murakami, who left in 2019 and is now represented by Gagosian.
Poe said in a statement that he was “stepping back” from the gallery, but did not clarify what his role would be going forward. “I’ll be going down a simpler and more fluid path,” Poe said, adding that he is looking forward to having more time to continue work on “quieter aspects of the gallery” like developing real estate and working with architecture and design. He also plans to continue working with artists, although he did not indicate whether this would be for the gallery or independently.
“It’s been an extraordinary journey building this gallery with Jeff,” said Blum. “Starting out in Los Angeles in 1994 with a paltry sum of money and a 1,200-square-foot space and taking the gallery through this explosive global growth within the art world is nothing short of remarkable.”
His new managing partner, Bangser, joined the gallery as a director in 2009 and oversaw the gallery’s expansion to New York in 2014.
“Working with Tim and Jeff for nearly 15 years has been a constant inspiration,” he said in a statement. “We are entering this next chapter with tremendous forward momentum, and I am excited to build on our successes with Tim and the team.”
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