A New Look: Art Galleries Without Fixed Spaces

The Art Newspaper:  In the wake of a wave of closures, galleries are adapting to survive

For dealer Anthony Reynolds, the turning point came when the lease on his London gallery ran out and his landlord announced he was tripling the rent. “I thought to myself, I can either find another space or I can find a different way to do this,” the gallerist says.
Reynolds chose the alternative route and, after 32 years in three successive premises, closed his permanent venue in 2015. “Essentially I abandoned the tyranny of the single space,” he explains. “You have to keep funding it and filling it, and artists have to think about how to use it. What was more interesting was to think about operating a gallery as normal, but without a fixed space.”

Representing the same 20 artists as he did before he closed, for the past two years Reynolds has been staging exhibitions in other commercial galleries, including London’s Annely Juda Fine Art, Independent Régence in Brussels, and Àngels in Barcelona. There are further plans to show in Tehran and Tokyo. The aim is to develop “collaboration between galleries rather than an alternative to galleries”, Reynolds says, noting that costs and proceeds are usually split down the middle with the hosting gallery.

Reynolds’s story is an increasingly familiar one. Spiralling rents, buyers’ desire for investment-grade trophy works, an exhausting cycle of art fairs and a growth in online platforms mean that more and more dealers in the lower and middle echelons of the art market are eschewing bricks and mortar in favour of leaner, less permanent models.

 

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