Marcelo Zimmler: Gallerist, Upsilon Gallery

by Bennett Marcus

March 2022 / Park Ave. Magazine, p.134-135


Upsilon Gallery is expanding in Manhattan, with a new 2,000 square-foot space at 23 East 67th Street that opened in February. Specializing in international postwar and contemporary art with a focus on rediscovering overlooked artists within a historical scope, Upsilon Gallery also has a gallery at 146 West 57th Street, which will remain open.


Osvaldo Mariscotti exhibition

The new UES space, launched with a solo exhibition of Osvaldo Mariscotti's paintings, sculptures and mixed media works. The show focuses on the artist's study of symbols and the development of language.


"Osvaldo is a proper artist's artist," Marcelo Zimmler says. "He likes to lock himself up in the studio and paint all day."


Mariscotti's prolific career as a printmaker, painter and sculptor has spanned over four decades. In 2015 the artist first participated in the 56th Venice Biennale with his now-iconic Book of Color I. His artwork has been exhibited around the world in prestigious venues including the MIIT Museum in Turin, the Malzfabrik in Berlin, the Officina delle Zattere in Venice, and the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona.


Circuitous Route to the Art World

Upsilon Gallery, which launched in 2014, also has representatives in Miami and London. Its founder, Marcelo Zimmler, had a somewhat unusual path to discovering his passion for art and becoming a gallerist.


While studying computer science at Pace University in New York, Zimmler's plan was a graduate program in applied math followed by a career in academia. A study-abroad program in London, where he met a lot of entrepreneurial characters and participated in competitions for business plans, upended those plans.


"Coming into London, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I was already preparing for the GREs," Zimmler says. "Then it all flipped upside down. I didn't like it anymore. I knew it wasn't my passion."


A museum buff, he'd always been interested in the arts, and once back in New York, he immersed himself in the world of fine arts, and found he loved it.


More kismet followed once he'd graduated: he met the artist Osvaldo Mariscotti, who he now represents, and whose show opened the gallery's new space. "I offered to help him" says Zimmler, "Because he needed exposure."


Zimmler designed a website, which received a good response, and built the business out from there, reaching out to art publications and initiating collaborations with several art groups within the US and Europe. "Eventually I put together an e-commerce site and a number of applications that combined Mariscotti's aesthetics with things like sound synthesis and augmented reality to take the experiential aspect of the artwork to a whole new level. The work we did 10 years ago was highly experimental which in turn made it very exciting."


London School of Economics

After a couple of years as an artist's manager, Zimmler began to think about starting a gallery, and enrolled in a master's business program at the London School of Economics. "I used my thesis to study the art market, doing a quantitative study on certain features of the English auction, which is by far the most popular type of auction and the one used in the sale of fine art."


After graduating, he returned to New York and started Upsilon Gallery.


Association of Print Scholars

Relatively young, in his early 30s, Zimmler has surrounded himself with a team of art world heavyweights with deep knowledge and connections in the industry. His director in New York is Andrew Horodysky, an authority on prints and printmaking, one of the gallery's strengths. He has a background in art history, previous gallery work, consulting and appraising, and is a member of the Association of Print Scholars.


British Artist Clyde Hopkins

In London, Upsilon's director is Greg Rook, an established art advisor, collections manager, university lecturer and artist. "He's super knowledgeable, especially when it comes to U.K. artists," says Zimmler.


Rook worked with the estate of British artist Clyde Hopkins to bring in the second show at Upsilon's new 67th Street space. Hopkins, who passed away in 2018, has exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery, Salisbury Art Centre and Francis Graham-Dixon in London, among many others, and his work is in the permanent collection of the Tate.


"This is the kind of caliber of work that we're dealing with," Zimmler says.


Miami Space

He opened an office in Miami as a response to the influx of New Yorkers during the pandemic. In Florida the gallery has participated in art fairs for the past five years, so being able to work directly with clients there makes sense. "We're building a good base in Miami; we get people from Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and other parts of Florida."


Upsilon has always had an online presence; it started out online even before having brick and mortar locations, which helped during the pandemic. "You can work around clients not being physically in the gallery by being fully transparent, namely by supplying high resolution photography and video, accurate artwork specifications, full provenance, condition reports, etc.," Zimmler notes. "As a result, our business ended up growing a lot. Last year we had our best year ever, and it was over 100% increase from the year before." P


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