lunes, 8 de abril de 2024


The firm is winding down its operations globally and will sell off an estimated $250m of art

After nearly 80 years, Marlborough Gallery—one of the world’s leading dealerships in post-war art—today announced that it will close its galleries in New York, London, Madrid and Barcelona following a period of leadership turmoil.

From June, the gallery will no longer present exhibitions or represent artists and estates in the primary art market. The firm currently employs 52 people globally; some of the team will stay on to ensure that consignments are returned and the inventory is sold, though most are facing redundancy.

The firm’s inventory, assembled over decades, is reportedly estimated at more than 15,000 works and rumoured to be valued at around $250m. It will be sold off over the coming months and years, with a portion of sales going to non-profit institutions that support artists, according to an official statement.

Marlborough Gallery was founded in London in 1946 by Frank Lloyd, a Jewish immigrant, in partnership with Harry Fischer, an expatriate Austrian rare books dealer whom Lloyd had met in the British military.

The pair were joined by David Somerset, who later became Duke of Beaufort. Through Lloyd’s contacts, the gallery quickly made a name representing many of the UK’s most important post-war artists, including Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Barbara Hepworth. In 1963, the gallery opened in New York, where it became a home for the work of Abstract Expressionists including Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Motherwell, David Smith and Clyfford Still, as well as the estates of Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Ad Reinhardt, among others.

Leadership issues and lawsuits

In recent years, the gallery has encountered leadership issues as well as some financial difficulties, though profitability appears not to be a major issue. In June 2020, it was reported that the gallery was shutting its New York operations over a family feud which pitted Gilbert Lloyd, the son of Frank Lloyd (who Anglicised his name from Levai), against Frank’s nephew, Pierre Levai, who ran the New York gallery for several decades, and his son, Max Levai, who took on his father’s role in 2019 but was ousted as president in 2020. Both parties filed lawsuits, which revealed that the business reportedly lost $18.7m between 2013 and 2019….

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