×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

UTA Fosters Culture of Creativity

Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer’s contemporary art collection frames the soul of the firm’s Beverly Hills digs

Lew Wasserman, the talent agent-turned-studio chief, was known to keep his art collection — which included such Impressionists as Degas and Matisse — largely under wraps in his Beverly Hills home. Beatrice and Philip Gersh, who, like Wasserman, started collecting in the ’50s, were among L.A.’s most avid art patrons.

But in the highly competitive world of top talent agencies, where presentation is just as key as deal points and digs are increasingly reliant on the wow factor, the art is winding up at the office. Michael Ovitz, whose family was listed among the top 200 art collectors last year by ARTnews, raised the bar during his go-go days at CAA, when the agency’s I. M. Pei-designed building in Beverly Hills boasted a 27-foot-high Lichtenstein.

CAA’s current Century City offices are known to have as many as 400 works on display, while Gersh’s sons Bob and David now oversee that agency’s archive.

Enter UTA co-founder Jeremy Zimmer, who chose to go public with the bulk of his art collection by making the agency’s headquarters a veritable museum. Of the nearly 200 works of contemporary art that adorn the offices and corridors of UTA’s modernistic space in Beverly Hills, the vast majority are owned by the agency CEO, many of them prized photographs by the likes of Gregory Crewdson and Sally Mann.

One of the two Ed Ruschas in the UTA collection, Slave/Master Complex, hangs in Zimmer’s office, along with a painting by Zimmer’s grandmother, Miriam Svet.

The works range from the gargantuan, a 9-foot-by-27-foot textile work by California multimedia artist Pae White in the main reception area, to the more intimate, such as the three untitled 24” X 20” Polaroid prints from David Levinthal that form a kind of cowboy triptych in one of the hallways.

Hiroshi Sugimoto, known for his moody photographs of old American movie palaces and drive-ins, might be the most prominently represented. His Lightning Fields 144 provides a starkly dramatic image facing the main stairwell, as does Andreas Gursky’s large-scale Kuwait Stock Exchange II.

Jon Rafman, who appropriates found images from Google Street Views, is featured with Jigokudani Monkey Park #2, perhaps the most painterly of the photos on display.

Art consultant Tiffiny Lendrum has worked with Zimmer for the past year to manage the collection and organize its placement. “What makes a space and a collection look really good is the marriage of the two,” she says.

She calls Zimmer a passionate connoisseur with a great eye for photography who “collects from his gut.”

“A lot of people could sit back and wait for images to be emailed to them or sent in a catalog,” she says. “Jeremy attends art fairs, he goes to galleries to see work that he’s interested in. He reads a lot.”

And as Lendrum will tell you, keeping abreast of up-and-coming artists is no mean feat. “I think music is a really good analogy,” she explains, “because as soon as you know 10 things, then there are five new ones, if not 20. There’s always new stuff.”

More Biz

  • Sony Recorded Music Revenues Dip in

    Sony Recorded Music Revenues Dip in 2018 Earnings Report

    As part of Sony’s earnings report for its 2018 fiscal year (which ended on March 31) the company’s music division showed mixed results, with recorded music revenues dropping around 4.5% to 426.9 billion yen ($3.82 billion) and overall revenue up just 1% to 795 billion yen ($7.2 billion). The company attributed the drop to lower [...]

  • Sony Pictures logo

    Sony Pictures Profits Rise to $489 Million but Music Profits Tumble

    Profits at Sony Pictures rose to $489 million for the financial year running to the end of March 2019. That compares with $376 million in the previous financial year. The pictures division result was achieved despite a fall in revenue. That dropped from $9.13 billion in the preceding financial year to $8.87 billion in the [...]

  • Los Angeles Ballet

    MovieCoin Startup Accused of Reneging on Ballet Gift

    Los Angeles Ballet filed suit against MovieCoin on Thursday, accusing the film finance startup of trying to pay a $200,000 pledge in worthless tokens. MovieCoin was founded in 2017 by producer Christopher Woodrow, the former CEO of Worldview Entertainment and Vendian Entertainment. The company offered the chance to invest in films using a blockchain-based token. [...]

  • CBS Viacom

    CBS and Viacom Move Closer to Merger Talks

    The CBS Corp. board of directors is moving closer to initiating acquisition discussions with Viacom, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The move has been expected for months, although there may still be obstacles on the road to a reunion for the two sides of the Redstone media empire. Price could still be [...]

  • Ken Basin Liz Miller

    Paramount TV Ups Ken Basin to Head Business Affairs, Hires Liz Miller as Production SVP

    Paramount Television announced that Ken Basin has been elevated to head of business affairs for the division, and Liz Miller has been hired as senior vice president of production. David Goldman, the previous head of business affairs, has left the company to pursue other opportunities. Basin will report to Nicole Clemens, the president of Paramount [...]

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content