Isabelle Bscher: CEO of Galerie Gmurzynska

Isabelle Bscher: CEO of Galerie Gmurzynska
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Isabelle Bscher’s Galerie Gmurzynska, who has locations in New York City, Zurich, and Zug,  stands as a tribute to the unwavering dedication and passion of a family spanning three generations. Led by the vibrant Isabelle Bscher, the gallery is a testament to their love for the art world. Currently, her New York gallery is showcasing the extraordinary work of Louise Nevelson.

The narrative of Galerie Gmurzynska commences with a tale of grit and survival. Antonina Gmurzynska, having lost her family to Nazi atrocities and later orphaned in Poland, found solace and purpose in art. Escaping to Germany in the 1960s, she channeled her discerning eye for art into founding the gallery in Cologne in 1965. Initially, Antonina focused on surrealism, international constructivism, and the Russian avant-garde. As she built relationships with prominent buyers, the gallery’s reputation solidified.

The gallery underwent a significant transformation under Isabelle’s mother, Krystyna Gmurzynska, who took charge in 1985. Notably, she navigated the shifting sands of the German art scene, relocating the flagship gallery to Switzerland in 2005, responding to the migration of the art world’s center from Cologne to cities like Bonn and Berlin.

For Isabelle, the Galerie was not just a family business but the backdrop of her life. Surrounded by iconic artworks and eminent personalities of the art world in the red-cubed gallery space in Cologne, she learned more than the nuances of art; she learned its very essence. She vividly notes her early exposure to art and recalls her days of shuffling around Art Basel with her mother.

Other family members have also occupied distinguished positions in various fields. Her godfather was Baron von Thyssen, the Swiss industrialist who amassed one of the world’s greatest private art collections – widely considered better than that of the British royal family. Bscher’s father, Dr. Thomas Bscher, a banker, is a racecar driving enthusiast who won a world championship with McLaren at the GTR Euroseries in 1998. He later became CEO of Bugatti, the exotic carmaker.

Under Isabelle’s stewardship, the Galerie now boasts four locations, including two in Zurich, one in Zug, and another in the cultural epicenter of New York City. These spaces house the works of luminaries such as Picasso, Kandinsky, James Turrell, and Robert Indiana. But the gallery’s vision is more comprehensive than classical artists. Contemporary talents, from Karl Lagerfeld’s photography to Zaha Hadid’s and Richard Meier’s architectural insights, find representation here.

Collaboration has also been a hallmark of Isabelle’s approach. She has consistently pushed boundaries, from her ingenious partnerships with film director Baz Luhrmann to her tribute to the late Germano Celant. These partnerships elevated the gallery’s offerings and showcased its commitment to cross-disciplinary artistry, like Zaha Hadid’s interior design project, celebrating Dadaist Kurt Schwitters.

Isabelle Bscher: CEO of Galerie Gmurzynska
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While the past and present of Galerie Gmurzynska are gilded with accomplishments, the future is just as luminous. A new 6,500-square-foot townhouse in New York is underway, fulfilling Antonina Gmurzynska’s dream of establishing a significant presence in the city of art lovers.

Beyond the realms of art, the Gmurzynska-Bscher lineage holds stories of moral strength. Isabelle’s great-grandfather, Robert Pferdmenges, played a pivotal role during the Nazi era, ensuring the Oppenheim Bank’s rightful return to its Jewish owners. His contributions extended into post-war German politics, aiding Konrad Adenauer’s rise and co-founding the Christian Democratic Union.

With a rich past and an aspiring future, Galerie Gmurzynska, accessible through its website and Instagram, continues its journey of art, guided by Isabelle Bscher’s passion. It is a beacon for world-class art and a tribute to the dreams and determination of the women who made it what it is today.


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