The York University Magazine

Fall 2015

The alumni magazine of York University

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tunity, and Pos completed her master's degree at Sotheby's Institute of Art before working at an online art magazine and then as a curator and writer. She published a book entitled Tea & Taste: The Visual Language of Tea in 2004. Still, Pos knew she hadn't quite found her calling. "I recog- nized there was an emerging role for art advisers that didn't exist a generation ago because art collectors were advised by dealers," she says. "I knew I wanted to consult, but I needed to take a few more steps first." She began a slow transition into advising with the launch of Arts & Management International (AMI) in 2003. By the time of the Christie's auction five years later, Pos was firmly entrenched in the art consulting world with what she describes as a "loyal client base of serious collectors." "My work is all about relationships – having a quick bite to eat and seeing a show," she explains. "I'm practically a psy- chologist. I need to get into the heads of my clients in order to understand their esthetic." Mining her contacts and certification by the prestigious Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Pos finds and purchases artwork by auction, through dealers or by private treaty sale between collectors. For all the attention she gained with the Monet purchase, though, it's the private negotiations that often give her the greatest satisfaction. She cites the sale of two Andy Warhol paintings between a British lord and a Chinese collector among her most rewarding moments, along with her work in the "emerging art markets" of China and the Middle East, where she is supporting the opening of a Dubai centre aimed at promoting cross-cultural under- standing through art. "Eighteen years later and London is still our home, but I still feel very Canadian," says Pos, who regularly travels to Toronto with her husband and seven- and nine-year-old sons. During a visit to York last year, she agreed to help the Univer- sity sell four Marc Chagall paintings it received from a donor. "It gives me great pride," she says. "York is an exceptional uni- versity and it's rewarding to give back in whatever way I can." T ANIA BUCKRELL POS (BFA '93) sounds awfully chipper for someone who just spent a whirlwind workday flying to and from Basel, Switzerland, and escorting a client on a private VIP showing of an international art fair. "You have to be the first through the door at an art fair," Pos insists. "I never stay for the public opening; by that time it's already old hat." So goes the high-stakes world of international art advising in which Pos is widely known as a heavyweight. Since graduat- ing from York University in 1993 and relocating to London, England, in 1997, the globetrotting art adviser has carved a niche as an expert who knows where, when and how to find the precise pieces her clients want. She credits York Professor Emeritus Eugenio Tellez in par- ticular with giving her what it takes to succeed. "Eugenio taught me how to look at art. In this business, we call it the 'golden eye.' You can know the whole history of art, but if you don't have the ability to look critically at a work of art, there is no sense being in the art world." At Christie's auction house in 2008, Pos proved to the world exactly why she has every right to be in this business. Working on behalf of an anonymous client, a relatively new collector who she says "was on a bit of a buying spree," Pos entered into a fast-paced bidding war for a rare, three-by- six foot Monet. When the gavel dropped, Pos's client was the proud owner of Le Bassin aux Nymphéas. The final ticket price? A cool US$80 million, making it the most expensive public art purchase ever made. That record has been smashed several times since – in May, a Pablo Picasso painting sold at auction for US$179.4 million – but Pos is still recognized as the person to call if you have a penchant for art, and money to spend. After graduating from York, Pos set her sights on London or New York, but it was her husband, Michael, who sealed the deal. Then a vice-president with RBC Royal Bank, he was offered a posting in London. They jumped at the oppor- 38 The York University Magazine Fall 2015

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