Founder of Concept NV
After stints as a director at both Pace Gallery and Deitch Projects, Nicola Vassell struck out on her own to form Concept NV, a full-service business providing art advisory services and collection management and sales, as well as conceptualizing and delivering curatorial projects and exhibitions. In everything that Concept NV takes on, Vassell ensures that the presence of Black artists in often exclusionary spaces is being amplified. Vassell is perhaps best known for her work managing the Dean Collection belonging to renowned collectors Swizz Beatz and Alisha Keys, and it’s with them that she inaugurated a new type of art fair. Called No Commission, it runs (in normal times) in New York, Miami, London, Shanghai and Berlin, and aims to forge direct relationships between artists and collectors, giving the artists free space to exhibit and leaving them with 100 percent of the proceeds of any work sold.
With the reopening of the art world, Vassell has plans to open a new gallery in 2021 while working to rebuild New York’s vital art scene. “I am thinking about New York’s distress and resilience, its re-emerging skyline and how I’ll be a part of it. In early 2021, I will be opening a new gallery with an exhibition by the groundbreaking photographer Ming Smith,” she told Observer.