Ingrid Cincala Gilbert is based in New York and is the founder of Cincala Art Advisory, a practice focused on providing professional services in contemporary and post-war art to individual collectors and corporations. She has more than 15 years of professional experience, including prior experience with Gagosian Gallery and the former L&M Arts. Ingrid holds an M.A. degree in Modern Art, Connoisseurship and the History of the Art Market from Christie’s Education in New York, as well as M. Arch and B.A. degrees from the University of Calgary, Canada. She is a member of the National Council of Artadia, a member of the Artemis Council of the New Museum, and a member of the Art Council of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Hi Ingrid! We are so excited to chat with you. First thing’s first, we want to know more about your upbringing. Where are you both from and what are the arts communities like there?
I grew up in Calgary, Canada, which is a really beautiful city near the Rocky Mountains in the Western part of the country. While economically focused on the oil-and-gas industry, the city had a special spirit and a bit of an independent streak that I think encouraged artistic pursuits. Growing up, I focused mainly on music, classical and modern dance, and architecture. My deep exploration of visual arts was sort of an extension of these three disciplines, and was sharpened a bit later, when I moved to New York.
Please tell us a little more about yourself, when did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in this industry?
I’d say my entrance into the world of contemporary art was more of an evolution rather than the result of a single realization. The common thread to my educational and work experience was a sort of fascination with the creative process–the whole idea of how one moves from concept, which can tend to be more personal, to a finished work able to be shared with a wider audience. Fine art offers one of the purest manifestations of the creative process, and I love that there is no one “right” way to do anything, so it is always exciting. But in addition to this focus on creativity, I really love working with people, and really enjoy helping build collections. So the art world, whether within galleries or now within my own advisory practice, was a really good fit for what I wanted to do.
What was your first job in the art world? What is an important lesson from it that has carried with you?
My first job after completing my MA at Christie’s New York was with Gagosian Gallery, where I worked under one of the senior directors there as an artist liaison to Robert Therrien and Ed Ruscha. I could go on a long time about how gracious, generous and talented each of these artists were. That certainly has stuck with me. But maybe the biggest lesson I learned from my time at Gagosian was the importance of really trying to understand the place of any work of art within the arc of art history as well as within the context of a collection.
You are the founder of your Art Consultancy and Advisory practice, Cincala Art. We would love to know more about Cincala Art and how it started!
I had worked in a few of the big galleries, focused mostly on artist liaison and exhibition management roles. I also had tangential involvement in the sales function, to institutions but also to individuals. I really enjoyed each of these different aspects. And from what I saw, I felt I could put my experience, my eye, my understanding of how art can resonate with architectural space, and my love of working with people all together. So I launched my advisory. This year will mark my 10th year working independently.
What does the day-to-day look like for you? What does a great work day look like?
I’m up early, generally reviewing my inbox over coffee for previews of the latest shows, and thinking about whether anything might be a fit for my clients. There are so many shows happening all the time. These reviews are time consuming but a really important way for me to stay connected with the market. Typically then I will connect with clients or follow up on work we’ve been trying to get or that might be in various stages of negotiation. A few days a week I’ll strap on my walking shoes and visit a few galleries in person to see exhibitions that my clients were interested in or that I wanted to see. Occasionally later in the day it might be coffee or a drink with a client before coming home, although phone and text seem to be the preferred weapon these days!
Who are some emerging artists that you are excited about right now? Who should people keep an eye on?
Diana Dal Pra, Danielle McKinney, Georg Rouy, Pam Evelyn, Anna Weyant, Francesca Mollett, Shannon Carter Lucy, Poppy Jones, Sarah Cunningham, and Lenz Geerk
What’s been your most interesting art experience?
I was lucky to have the chance to spend a few days on Naoshima Island in Japan before the pandemic. Japan is for me one of the most interesting countries in the world, and Naoshima Island, which combines amazing natural landscape, architecture and contemporary art, is sort of a perfect combination of my interests and values.
What are you most excited for this year at Cincala Art or in the art world as a whole?
Mexico City is experiencing a real resurgence and I’m excited to be visiting Zona Maco in February. I’m looking forward to the art and design, and also the food! Apart from that I’m really just interested to see how resilient art is in the coming year or so, especially if we enter a recession like some are predicting. While I never recommend people buy art purely for investment, I think historically it has demonstrated that it has offered the chance to add value to an overall portfolio when the rest of the market is having troubles–a true “alternative investment.”
As you know, Art Frankly is a community that cares about job transparency and supporting fellow art professionals. What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
Take a broad perspective. It is a pretty vast ecosystem and there are so many ways for individuals to contribute and to have impact. And don’t forget that it all stems from the creative process and the idea of asking questions and trying to find answers. I think if participants in the space can see their role as part of something bigger, we all benefit.
How do you think the art world can become more transparent?
My view is that transparency is something that has to start with individual relationships, and just being honest with what everyone is looking to accomplish. I think we should start every conversation this way, and with the idea that every interaction can be win-win.
Ingrid, thank you for participating in Frank Talks, it has been our pleasure! To finish off, we’re curious: If you could own work by select artists/craftspeople, who would be in your collection?
Jenny Saville, Elizabeth Peyton, Jennifer Packer, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Flora Yukhovonich, Louise Giovanelli, Claire Tabouret, Marlene Dumas, Cy Twombly and Ingrid Donat.