Koenig & Clinton, a closely watched Brooklyn gallery that had become a nexus of the New York scene, has shuttered. In a statement emailed on Tuesday night, the gallery said that its founders, Leo Koenig and Margaret Liu Clinton, made the “joint decision” to close their enterprise in order to “pursue independent endeavors.”
Both dealers “remain grateful to the many: artists, collaborators, colleagues, critics, and patrons that enriched the gallery’s mission of organizing museum-quality exhibitions that were made accessible to so many publics,” the statement said.
Koenig & Clinton first opened in Chelsea in 2013 and later relocated to the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2017. (The gallery had grown out of an eponymous operation that was established by Koenig in 1999.) Over the years, Koenig & Clinton grew to be one of the more reliable New York galleries, with solo outings by many artists who are now widely celebrated, including American Artist, Maria Hassabi, Brandon Lattu, Olivier Mosset, and Javier Téllez.
The gallery is not the only major Brooklyn space to close in a couple years. Real Fine Arts, a Greenpoint space that promoted a crew of emerging artists who have since appeared in major biennials, and Signal, which was among the galleries that helped cement Bushwick’s reputation as an important arts district, both shuttered in 2018.
Koenig & Clinton is the latest midsize American gallery to close. Other recent casualties include Chicago’s Shane Campbell Gallery and Los Angeles’s Richard Telles Fine Art. Many dealers who have closed their mid-tier spaces have cited rising rents, declining foot traffic, and pressure to participate in art fairs as reasons for ending operations. Koenig & Clinton’s statement focused primarily on personal reasons, however, while saying that Koenig himself will continue to operate Century Pictures (a project space in Koenig & Clinton’s shared Bushwick building) while also focusing on secondary-market ventures.