For many established international artists, the first place to showcase their art in the U.S. is at Hasted Kraeutler—one of many prominent galleries along the strip in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, also widely known as the “Gold Coast” of the art world. Incidentally, introducing such groundbreaking artists is one of many passions for Sarah Hasted, the gallery’s founder who now co-owns it with business partner Joseph Kraeutler.
Opening a gallery, though terrifying and thrilling, is a dream come true and a journey that has allowed Hasted to cross paths with inspiring artists and designers from all over the globe. “You have to work hard and never stop,” she says. “The advice is to always do what you love.”
Hasted’s advice lies closely with the gallery’s overall guiding principle: Buy what you love, a reminder given to nearly everyone who visits the Chelsea gallery for artwork to take home. It held true for husband-and-wife designer duo Rob and Cortney Novogratz—whose latest projects include HGTV’s Home by Novogratz and a line of home designs for CB2—when they walked through the doors for the first time in 2005.
Rob and Cortney Novogratz discovered the gallery upon meeting Hasted at Art Basel Miami. “In all sincerity, not a lot of galleries are as nice,” says Rob, “and on a personal level, it means a lot. She’s a people-person, very nice and warm. Sarah’s just the type of New York woman who is smart, strong, and fun, and she carries some of the best photographers in the world.”
It was through the gallery that the Novogratzes found what would become one of the main artworks in their New York City house—the portrait of a woman in a yellow dress by Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf, one of the 25-30 artists on the gallery’s roster. After working with Hasted, the Novogratzes purchased and hauled the 48-inch-by-48-inch portrait by themselves from the gallery to their Manhattan home.
“I appreciated that so much,” Hasted recalls of watching the Novogratzes carry the portrait home. “They work so hard and they’re willing to get in the trenches…I had instant admiration for them.”
Now, seven years later, as the gallery has grown into one of the best among New York’s art world, so has Hasted and Krauetler’s personal and professional relationship with the Novogratzes.
“We like each other a lot and we respect each other. We’re both nice and honest with each other,” Hasted says. “They inspire me and we inspire them. We function very well as a team. When something’s working, it’s working. You can’t force it.”
Starting in the real estate business, the Novogratzes—whose family of seven children is familiar to many, thanks to the Bravo TV series 9 by Design—are known for mixing higher- and lower-end pieces in the homes they decorate. They are always encouraging their clients to have art in the home, and they have looked to Hasted Kraeutler for help more than a handful of times. “She’s got a great eye,” Rob says. “I love big art, big photography…and a lot of their art is great art, and it’s beautiful art.”
Hasted scours the market—both locally and globally—with Kraeutler to ensure the gallery represents engaging contemporary art, established and seasoned artists, and secondary market photography, plus vintage works that are hard to find. Hasted and Kraeutler have strengths in strategizing with artists and both have a keen eye for selecting artists who will be a hit among their clients. Kraeutler, the former head of the photographs department at world-renowned Phillips de Pury & Company, also brings knowledge of the auction world and secondary market.
Hasted and Kraeutler are adamant about sharing their wealth of knowledge with their clients and customers. “Our role is to be educators,” Hasted says. “Education comes in telling people about the artwork and the artist. I want people to feel comfortable enough to ask questions.”
But Hasted knows that the gallery may not have pieces to suit everyone. “You’re trying to assess people’s taste. I always tell people if it’s for their home, it’s imperative they buy something they love,” she says. “If they’re buying for investment, Joe and I make sure to do our research and ensure that no questions are left unanswered. We work hard to find the perfect piece, the perfect investment. Either way, though, if you’re a good art dealer and you don’t necessarily have the right piece, you will refer them to another colleague. That is the generous way.”
Along with educating people about the art world, Hasted Kraeutler puts great emphasis on customer service. “We want to make sure that when someone gets their artwork on the wall, the experience of buying it is a good one, the relationship they formed is a good one and then the relationship they have with the artwork is enjoyable.”
537 West 24th Street, 212-627-0006; hastedkraeutler.com