The daughter of a Swiss financier, Lévy started off her career in the late '80s at Christie's, worked at various galleries in Geneva and London, and ran the contemporary paintings department at Sotheby's Geneva office. In 2000, she was tapped by François Pinault, the French billionaire who owns Christie's, to move to New York to head up the private sales division, a new unit designed to broker deals outside of the usual auction circuit. She built the division into a powerhouse before starting her own art advisory service, Dominique Lévy Fine Arts, in 2003. Two years later, she merged her business with gallerist/dealer Robert Mnuchin's, creating L&M Arts. Today their Upper East Side gallery space shows off work by Willem de Kooning, Julian Schnabel, and Cy Twombley. But Lévy and Mnuchin are better known as high-powered art advisors for exceedingly wealthy collectors of contemporary art.
L&M has established itself as one of the most formable dealers on the contemporary art circuit and Lévy and Mnuchin are fixtures at every major auction—she the stylish, more youthful brunette, he the rumpled professorial type with deep connections on Wall Street. Their financier client list, which includes the likes of billionaire hedge funder Steve Cohen, has enabled them to become the most aggressive players on the scene. In 2006, Lévy and Mnuchin dropped $34.9 million on five pieces at a Sotheby's auction, including Roy Lichtenstein's Sinking Sun for $15.7 million and Christopher Wool's Untitled (P80) Helter Skelter for $1.4 million, the most anyone had ever paid for Wool's work. Their acquisition of the Lichtenstein wasn't without a bit of drama: The price had fallen below auctioneer Tobias Meyer's expectations, and it was rumored that Lévy and Mnuchin stepped in to purchase the work as a favor to the Meyer and arranged to sell it to a third-party at a later date.
Lévy's partner is film producer Dorothy Berwin, who put together the financing for The Safety of Objects in 2001 with Christine Vachon. The couple met in 1998 at the London premiere of one of Berwin's films and moved in together in 2001. Berwin has a son, Caleb, from a previous marriage, and Lévy gave birth to a son in 2003.
Lévy and Berwin live in a Yorkville duplex, which they purchased for $12 million in 2008, and have a house in Bridgehampton. Their homes feature their collection of art, including works by Franz Ackermann, Takashi Murakami, Tom Sachs, Cindy Sherman, and Tim Noble and Sue Webster. They also collect designer furniture by Marc Newson, Oscar Niemeyer, Charlotte Perriand, and Jean Prouvé.