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Following Claims of Broken Contracts and Bounced Checks, Los Angeles’s CB1 Gallery Will Close

Installation view of Merion Estes, “Dystopia” at CB1 in Los Angeles, May 2015.

COURTESY CB1

Los Angeles’s CB1 Gallery will shutter next month, the Los Angeles Times reports. Its two current exhibitions—a Junghwa Hong solo outing and the group show “Tomorrowland”—will be the gallery’s last ones; they both close on May 19.

Earlier this week, nine artists released an open letter about CB1’s practices, claiming that the gallery had broken contracts with them, written them checks that bounced, and sold their work without notifying them. Clyde Beswick, who runs the gallery with Jason Chang, said at the time that the gallery was “working hard to resolve any and all issues with the artists whose work we have shown.”

In an email today, Beswick told ARTnews, “We are grateful for the support we have received from the arts community during our 8 1/2 years of operation.” The gallery had originally opened in a storefront space in Downtown L.A. in 2015, then moved in 2015 to a larger space in the city’s Arts District.

“Unfortunately,” Beswick continued, “expanding into the current space, along with the slow sales that followed, created cash flow issues. Given our cash flow and slow sales, in late March we made the difficult decision to close the gallery.”

Several artists bore the brunt of CB1’s financial issues, including Michael Mancari, who told ARTnews that he is suing the gallery for $100,000 in damages. Beswick has not yet addressed Mancari’s claims.

Update, 5:40 p.m. This post has been updated to clarify that artists have alleged that checks sent by the gallery bounced. There have not been allegations of fraudulent checks.

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