Jay Jopling

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The Honourable
Jay Jopling
BornJeremy Michael Jopling
June 1963 (age 55)
Thirsk, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Alma materEton College
University of Edinburgh
OccupationArt dealer, gallerist
Sam Taylor-Wood
(m. 1997; div. 2008)
Parent(s)Michael Jopling, Baron Jopling

Jeremy Michael "Jay" Jopling (born June 1963) is an English art dealer and gallerist.[1] He is the founder of White Cube and an investor in Paddle8.

Early life[edit]

Jay Jopling is the son of Michael Jopling, Baron Jopling, a Conservative politician who served for some time as Minister for Agriculture in the Conservative Government led by Margaret Thatcher.[2] Jopling was brought up in Yorkshire and educated at Eton and the University of Edinburgh, where he studied English Literature and History of Art and his first job was selling fire extinguishers door-to-door.[3] As a university student, Jopling visited Manhattan, where he forged links with post-war American artists, encouraging them to donate works for the charity auction "New Art: New World." In the late 1980s, he formed a friendship with the artist Damien Hirst. Hirst had already sold a number of works to the influential collector Charles Saatchi, but Jopling enabled the artist to realise more ambitious projects, including the sculpture The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living and more recently the diamond skull For the Love of God. After completing his M.A. in 1984, he moved to London and began working with artists of his generation.


In May 1993 Jopling opened the original White Cube on the first floor of 44 Duke Street, St James, in West End. Located on the most traditional art-dealing street in London, the gallery was surrounded by Old Master galleries, antique dealers and specialist art bookshops. Its exhibition policy was to provide a one-off showcase for both British and international artists.

Since then White Cube has presented solo shows of such British artists as Darren Almond, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Runa Islam, Harland Miller, Marc Quinn, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gavin Turk, and Cerith Wyn Evans.[4][5]

In 2000 Joplin opened the larger White Cube Hoxton Square in London's East End, occupying a converted 1920s light industrial building. Its programme of exhibitions expanded to include international artists such as Franz Ackermann, Miroslaw Balka, Ashley Bickerton, Candice Breitz, Chuck Close, Gregory Crewdson, Carroll Dunham, Katharina Fritsch, Sarah Morris, Damián Ortega, Richard Phillips, Robin Rhode, Doris Salcedo, and Fred Tomaselli. The gallery space closed in December 2012.[6]

White Cube Mason's Yard, situated off Duke Street, St James's—home of the original White Cube—opened in 2006. Previously the site of an electrical substation, the gallery was the first freestanding structure to have been built in historic St James in more than thirty years. The inaugural exhibition presented Gabriel Orozco, while the exhibition has gone on to include internationally renowned artists Georg Baselitz, Andreas Gursky, Robert Irwin, Anselm Kiefer and Jeff Wall.

White Cube Bermondsey opened in October 2012 and is the largest of the gallery's three sites. The building dates from the 1970s and was primarily used as a warehouse before the current refurbishment. The gallery includes three exhibition spaces, substantial warehousing, an auditorium, and a bookshop

White Cube Hong Kong, located in the heart of Hong Kong’s central district, opened with an exhibition of Gilbert & George in March 2012.

Jopling’s most recent venture was a three-year programme of exhibitions in Brazil. White Cube São Paulo opened in December 2012 with a solo show by Tracey Emin, and went on to show artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst and Julie Mehretu. White Cube São Paulo closed in 2015.

He was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.[7]


Joplin invested heavily in an online auction platform called Paddle8. Paddle8 merged with competitor online auction house Auctionata in early 2016.[8] By February 2017, Auctionata declared insolvency and Paddle8 became an independent company once again.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Jopling was married to artist Sam Taylor-Wood,[11] together they have two daughters, Angelica (born June 1997)[11] and Jessie Phoenix (born November 2005).[11] In September 2008, the couple announced that they were separating amicably after 11 years of marriage.[12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ "Brit art's square dealer moves on" guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  2. ^ Jay Jopling: the man who became a pain in the arts Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  3. ^ Rose Aidin (22 September 2002). "Brit art's square dealer moves on | From the Observer | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  4. ^ Whitecube.com Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  5. ^ "About | White Cube". hitecube.com. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  6. ^ Battersby, Matilda (5 October 2012). "Hoxton to suffer cultural blow as White Cube gallery closes". The Independent. London.
  7. ^ "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015.
  8. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/business/dealbook/2-online-art-auctioneers-to-merge-and-go-global.html?_r=0
  9. ^ http://observer.com/2017/01/auctionata-files-for-insolvency-investor-will-spin-off-paddle8-top-brass/
  10. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/e4d3ab4e-f9ac-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71
  11. ^ a b c Kate Summerscale (15 December 2007). "Sam Taylor-Johnson: the bigger picture". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  12. ^ Noah, Sherna (20 September 2008). "Art couple Taylor-Wood and Jopling to separate after 11 years' marriage". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008.
  13. ^ Daily Mail Reporter (20 September 2008). "Art's golden couple Sam Taylor-Wood and Jay Jopling split after 11 years of marriage". Daily Mail.
  14. ^ "The rise and rise of Jay Jopling - Profiles - People". London: The Independent. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  15. ^ "Entertainment | Powerful art-world marriage ends". BBC News. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2011.

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