Brian Kish

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Brian Kish
Born Brian Anthony Kish
June 17
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Education American School in London B.A. (1978)
Courtauld Institute of Art M.A. (1982) Art & Architectural History
Occupation Art Historian
Art Collector
Antiques Dealer
Years active 1982–present
Notable credit(s) Giò Ponti

Brian Kish is an art historian, curator, and one of the world experts[according to whom?] in Italian twentieth century design. He organized the first exhibition on Gio Ponti in the United States, researches and advises on academic essays, and has worked with Sotheby's[1] and Phillips de Pury. He is specifically a historian on Milanese designers Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Ignazio Gardella, Ico & Luisa Parisi, Giò Ponti, Carlo Mollino,[2] Carlo Scarpa, and Giuseppe Terragni.

He is a member of the Gio Ponti Archive and collaborator with the Triennale di Milano.

Early life[edit]

The son of an American Diplomat,[3] Brian Kish grew up during the '60s in Manhattan, New York until age 14, when his family relocated to London, England. He spent his formative years there attending the American School in London and then the venerable Courtauld Institute of Art.[4] While still a teenager, he began working at DM Gallery which focused on "all the latest from Milan".[5] Involved in London's art world and New wave music scene in the '80s, Kish was friends with Christian Louboutin, Norman Rosenthal, Derek Jarman, F.P. Boue, and Robert Beavers.

Kish dealt privately in contemporary art in New York and London for two decades, before designing and opening his eponymous gallery in 1991 in SoHo, New York focusing on post-war Italian Design.

Italian Rationalist Design[edit]

In 2001, he curated the first U.S. exhibition on Giò Ponti titled "Gio Ponti: A Metaphysical World" at the Queens Museum of Art.[6]

In 1997 and for the next 16 years, Kish worked on sourcing, importing and popularizing Italian Rationalist design to the U.S. in a marketplace dominated by midcentury Scandinavian, French and American furniture with much greater distribution. Many limits to the supply of Italian Rationalist pieces drove the prices up in the '90s and throughout the 2000s. Kish stated in an October 2000 interview that access to Italian design remained limited to a few auction houses and estate sales as Italians still lived with their mid-century design and were not selling. Supply was further limited by U.S. and Italian import regulations.

In 2013, Italian design is having its momento and its sales now drive the bottom line of New York auction houses.[7]


  • Gio Ponti: A Metaphysical World, Queens Museum of Art, curated by Brian Kish, Feb. 15-May 20, 2001.


  1. ^ "Sotheby's & Brian Kish: Gio Ponti (Lot 379)". 
  2. ^ Kahn, Eve M. (December 25, 2008). "Design Auction Season That’s Fit for the Brave". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Greenberg, Cara (September–October 2001). "The New Tastemakers". Art+Auction: 108–109. 
  4. ^ Burrichter, Felix (May 15, 2008). "For the Moment | Felix Burrichter Plays House". New York Times: T Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Barraneche, Raul. "Rationalist Man". Food & Wine Magazine. 
  6. ^ Louie, Elaine (April 12, 2001). "CURRENTS: EXHIBITION; The Chair That Took Flight And Never Came Down". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Hamilton, William (April 2013). "Ecco! Take a Look at Italian Design" (PDF). Art+Auction: 106–113. 

External links[edit]