Kaufman Vardy Projects unites the diverse skills of its two partners Fran Kaufman and Ilana Vardy, offering clients unparalleled services—from creative curatorial projects, strategic thinking, event programming and production, to advising corporate and private collectors on sales and acquisitions of artworks. We work closely with our clients to ensure they achieve their goals.
A lifelong New Yorker, Fran Kaufman was a partner in Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art for 17 years, a contemporary gallery known for its commitment to an international roster of artists and a dedicated center for dialogue between visual art, literature, and music. After closing the gallery in 2006, she went on to run palmbeach3 contemporary art fair for three seasons while maintaining her active practice as an art advisor to private and corporate collections, and as a consultant to institutions such as Magnum Photo and The Open Society.
She has curated projects in the US, Italy and Germany, including Lucio Boschi: Una Argentina, the first solo photography exhibition at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires. In 2011 she launched the international premiere of the Houston Fine Art Fair, developing its vision, marketing strategy, and a full VIP program. Her former consultancy, Art + Banking, was geared to working with high net worth clients at private banks and insurance companies on art acquisitions. Fran is a frequent lecturer and panelist on contemporary art issues to university, art fair and institutional audiences, and writes about contemporary art and artists for catalogues and publications. Recent curatorial projects include To Photograph A Stranger (Pesaro, Italy 2019) and Dynamic Equilibrium which just opened at 1GAP Gallery in NYC.
Fran is also VP of the board of PROOF.org, whose mission is to promote human rights and peace building through visual storytelling. For the past 10 years year she has produced their annual benefit auction. Fran is also on the board of Creative Cities and was on the Leadership Council of the Bronx Museum of the Arts for several years.
Ilana Vardy’s 25-year career in art fairs began when she was tapped to direct the 1992 edition of The Chicago International Art Exposition, a time when only five international fairs dominated the market. She went on to be a founder and director of Art Chicago (1993–1999).
Vardy’s longtime interest in Latin American art--which began in the 1980s by writing about and curating several exhibitions in Chicago with contemporary artists from Colombia and Argentina--led her to take the helm of Art Miami in the year 2000, where her proficiency in Spanish and French proved even more essential than during her Chicago days. Through 2007 she was credited for revitalizing the long-running fair with a more diverse selection of galleries, provocative project spaces, educational panels and special events. Testing new concepts, from 2005 to 2007 Vardy and her team created two other fairs, the Chicago Contemporary & Classic and artDC.
She launched Ilana Vardy Consulting in 2008 to focus on exceptional management, writing and production skills, which she continues to enjoy in her partnership with KVP. In addition to her love of all things art + culture, Ilana now maintains a working avocado farm and event space near Miami, which is also home to one of world's largest banyan trees.
Ilana was the longtime Copy Editor for ArtNexus magazine and continues now for Artnexus.com. For many years she helped organize monthly panel discussions on behalf of ARTtuesdays/MIAMI, a monthly public forum that produced conversations intended to share information about the arts and culture community of South Florida.