Sebastien is the founding partner of Montabonel & Partners, a strategy agency with offices in London, Berlin and Beijing that consults to governments, public and private institutions and large collections.
Montabonel’s many years of experience as European Senior Specialist in Contemporary Photography at Phillips de Pury led him to collaborate with important private collections. In 2011, he advised Tate Modern in the acquisition of the Jacobson/Hashimoto Collection. In partnership with the Saatchi Gallery, London, he started The Private Collector Project, organised the first public display of the Franks-Suss Collection (2010) and the exhibition of the Juan Yarur Contemporary Art Collection (2010). His recent projects include Media in the Expanded Field (2015), Going Public: International Art Collectors in Sheffield (2015) and the European Summit: How can public art institutions unlock the potential of philanthropy? (2015), as well as Lewis Baltz with works by Carl Andre and Charlotte Posenenske (2016). He was on the curatorial committee of Photo London in 2015 and 2017 and is also a nominator for the Prix Pictet and the Kyoto Prize of the Inamori Foundation.
In 2006, he established Alaska Editions, a bespoke imprint focusing on artists’ editions and specialist documents including publications such as Dominique Lambert (2010), Lost and Found (2011), Pictures of Hell (2014), Transmission: New Remote Earth Views.
Sébastien Montabonel is also the Chair of Trustees of the Foundation Art Institutions of the 21st Century, which focuses on the importance of stable art institutions in a changing and challenging political, economic, and aesthetic climate; the foundation researches critical themes to assist art professionals in facing current challenges – such as the shortage of public funding, the impact of new technologies on display, and effective audience engagement – and foster a sustainable art ecosystem that harnesses the best practices from both public and private sectors.