Ileana Sonnabend

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Ileana Sonnabend (née Schapira, born October 28, 1914, Bucharest, Romania, died October 2007, New York City) was a dealer of 20th century art. She ran a contemporary art gallery in Paris during the early 1960s. After leaving Paris, she opened a Sonnabend Gallery in New York City in 1971, at 420 West Broadway, in SoHo. In the late 1999s, the gallery moved to Chelsea and continued to be active until Sonnabend's death.

Life and work

Sonnabend was, for many years, married to Leo Castelli who she met in Bucharest in 1932 and married soon after. The couple had a daughter, Nina Sundell.Anthony Haden-Guest, ,, August 23, 1999. She and her husband left Europe during the 1940s and settled in New York City. During the 1940s her mother Marianne Schapira divorced her father and met and married the Russian born American painter John D. Graham (who was a mentor figure to artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Arshile Gorky). Graham also became a mentor to Ileana and his son-in-law Leo Castelli by introducing them to his artist friends in the New York art world. After divorcing Leo Castelli (with whom she remained lifelong friends) in 1959 she married Michael Sonnabend whom she had met during the 1940s.

In 1971, she opened a contemporary art gallery in New York, the Sonnabend Gallery. She exhibited Gilbert and George, Jeff Koons, Mario Merz and Jannis Kounellis, among...
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