NEW YORK—Contemporary Manhattan art gallery Gorney, Bravin + Lee is closing its Chelsea space on West 26th Street in February, after five years at that location.
News of the gallery’s closing came as a surprise to many in the art world, especially because of its stable of high-profile contemporary artists, including Justine Kurland, Fabian Marcaccio, Paul Noble, Alexis Rockman and Jessica Stockholder.
John Lee told ARTnewsletter he intends to reopen a gallery at some point in the future. Lee said his wife, Karin Bravin, will devote her time to public artworks.
Galleries showing the work of younger artists “are selling very well and generate a lot of press and excitement, but the actual financial bottom line of it doesn’t really support a big operation. It’s not that I’m not proud of the work the gallery has done” says Lee.
As for reopening, he adds, “I want to try to take those things I thought were effective and successful and make it a more profitable operation. As much as I thought the gallery looked good, it just wasn’t profitable enough.”
Cofounder Jay Gorney will join Mitchell-Innes & Nash, where he will become director of their contemporary program in Chelsea. Mitchell-Innes will be taking over the Gorney Bravin + Lee space, and is planning to open a contemporary gallery in fall 2005.
Gorney says he will work with Mitchell-Innes to “further develop their contemporary program,” adding that the Chelsea space will show the work of younger contemporary artists as well as modern masters such as Roy Lichtenstein and Anthony Caro, both of whom Mitchell-Innes now represents.
Two artists from Gorney, Bravin + Lee, Catherine Opie and James Welling, will be moving to the Mitchell-Innes stable, Gorney notes, and other artists may follow.