ARTnewsletter Archive

International Dealers Establish New London Branches

Several major art dealers are preparing to open new gallery spaces here this fall.

LONDON—Several major art dealers are preparing to open new gallery spaces here this fall.

On Oct. 16 Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York, will open a branch in a 7,000-square-foot former municipal building in Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, directly opposite Jay Jopling’s White Cube gallery. The building is owned by jet-¬setting young property speculator Alex Dellal, who has already used the space to show work by emerging artists. Lambert’s inaugural exhibition will be the first in the U.K. for the Mexican artist Carlos Amorales. Amorales has works in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Modern. The show will include paintings, video animations and installations, with prices ranging from £7,500 ($13,160) for collages to £75,000 ($131,600) for an installation.

Lambert launched his New York gallery space five years ago. Gallery partner Olivier Belot says that recession or not, it was also “an absolute given” to establish a presence in London, considering the quality of the arts institutions and the status of the curators who work here, as well as the collectors who either live in the capital or visit on a regular basis.

Daniele Pescali, a third-generation Italian dealer and collector, is to open the Imago Art Gallery in Mayfair on Oct. 18. Pescali’s grand¬father, also Daniele, worked in the transport business after World War II, but turned to art dealing after he bought and then unexpectedly sold a painting by Giorgio de Chirico for a huge profit in a matter of minutes while walking down a street in Milan. He subsequently befriended the avant-garde artist Lucio Fontana, with whom he exchanged watches for paintings.

The elder Daniele had three galleries in Milan in the 1980s but closed them all when his son, the father of the younger Daniele, died. Since then his family has built a huge collection of paintings—by artists ranging from Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall to Italian Futurists Gino Severini and Giacomo Balla to Giorgio Morandi, Piero Manzoni and Fontana—from which occasional discreet sales are made. The collection has never been shown publicly.

Young Daniele moved to London just a few years ago, where he backed fellow dealer Nick Sprovieri in a gallery showing contemporary Italian art and bought a house in St. James’s Square. Now Sprovieri is going his own way and Pescali has invested in a four-story property in Clifford Street that was previously owned by British collector Charles Asprey.

For his first exhibition, Pescali will show about 35 paintings and ceramics by Fontana, which he values at approximately £50 million ($87.7 million), though only a quarter of them will be for sale. Next up will be a show covering 100 years of Italian art from the Futurists to the present day.

Following him from Milan is the Massimo De Carlo gallery, which in the early ’90s presented the first exhibitions of Maurizio Cattelan. De Carlo was to have opened in London next month, but has had to delay until early next year after negotiations for a planned space fell through.

A date has, however, been firmly fixed for Sebastian + Barquet, a gallery from New York specializing in modern design, which opens in Bruton Place, Mayfair, on Oct. 8 with an exhibition of one-off productions by some of the most collectible American designers of the ’60s. The works on show by Paul Evans, George Nakashima and Wendell Castle will be priced at £25,000/50,000 ($49,000/99,000) each.

All of the galleries confirmed that their moves were not merely testing the waters, but long-term commitments. There was no question about opening in London, says Sebastian + Barquet director Helene Murphy. “We cannot afford not to be here.”