Online Rebellion: Dealer Tries to Liberate Art From the Elite
German art dealer Hans Neuendorf has been a pioneering maverick in his field since the 1950s. For the last 20 years, he has been trying to use the Internet to liberate the art trade from the cult of connoisseurship surrounding dealers, gallery owners and auction houses. It’s been a rough road, but he refuses to be deterred.
Hans Neuendorf, wearing a white, open-collared shirt and dark suspenders, is standing at the window of his New York office, 23 floors above the construction site at Ground Zero. Neuendorf was there when everything collapsed, and he’s there once again as everything is being rebuilt.
Neuendorf bites into a slice of quiche, his lunch. He is using white plastic utensils. He talks about that September day, 11 years ago.
He had come to the office early that day, in a building just a few minutes’ walk from the Twin Towers. Everyone was told to clear the building, and people were shouting: “The towers are collapsing.” But Neuendorf refused to leave his glass table. “No, the World Trade Center won’t fall this far,” he said.
It wasn’t until the towers had collapsed, it became dark outside and the dust began coming in through the slanted windows that Neuendorf stood up — to close the windows.
He ignored the announcement on the public-address system urging anyone left in the building to “get out now.” Instead, he wrote in emails: “We haven’t been affected.”