Ron Feldman Biography

Ronald Feldman (1938 – December 22, 2022) was an American art dealer and advocate for the arts, especially contemporary performance and conceptual art. Ronald Feldman Fine Arts was founded in 1971 with the intention of being private dealers rather than a public gallery and was located in an Upper East Side townhouse on East 74th Street near the Whitney Museum.


Portrait of Ronald Feldman, photographed by Peggy Jarrell Kaplan.

Ron Feldman was an art dealer and gallery owner who was known for his close relationship with the iconic artist Andy Warhol. He was born in New York City in 1945 and grew up in the Bronx. After studying at City College of New York, he went on to work as a stockbroker for a few years before transitioning into the art world.

Feldman met Warhol in the early 1970s when the artist was looking for a new dealer to represent him after his previous gallery closed. Feldman, who had recently opened his own gallery in SoHo, was introduced to Warhol by art critic David Bourdon. The two hit it off immediately and soon began working together.

Their working relationship was based on mutual respect and admiration. Feldman was known for his business acumen and savvy marketing skills, while Warhol was a master at creating provocative and highly sought-after art. Together, they were able to navigate the often complex and competitive art world of New York City.

Ronald Feldman, April 2018, hosting at his gallery the 25th anniversary celebration of the VLC Fellowships. Photos by Phillip Van Nostrand. Courtesy Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Feldman's gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, became the primary venue for Warhol's work in the 1970s and 1980s. The gallery hosted numerous solo exhibitions of Warhol's art, including his famous "Death and Disaster" series and his portraits of celebrities like Mick Jagger and Muhammad Ali. Feldman also helped Warhol produce a number of prints and portfolios, which became highly sought-after by collectors.

In addition to selling Warhol's art, Feldman also became a close friend and confidant of the artist. He was known for his wit and humor, which often endeared him to Warhol. The two would frequently socialize together, attending parties and events in New York City's art scene.

However, their relationship was not without its challenges. Warhol was notoriously difficult to work with at times, and his unpredictable behavior could be frustrating for Feldman. In particular, Warhol's decision to move his business to a different dealer in the early 1980s caused some tension between the two men. Despite this, they remained close friends until Warhol's death in 1987.

After Warhol's death, Feldman continued to represent the artist's estate, managing his archive and overseeing the production of new prints and editions. He also continued to run his gallery, showcasing the work of other notable artists such as Cindy Sherman and Kiki Smith.

Overall, Ron Feldman played a significant role in the career of Andy Warhol. Through their working relationship, the two men were able to create some of the most iconic and influential art of the 20th century. And while their relationship had its challenges, their mutual admiration and respect for each other helped to cement their place in the history of contemporary art.