Commercial galleries USA

Shifting interests in art market blamed for closure of veteran LA gallery

After 40 years in the business, the respected Los Angeles dealer Margo Leavin is shutting up shop

The decline of the traditional gallery model has claimed another victim, with Los Angeles dealer Margo Leavin announcing that she will be closing her gallery at the end of September after more than 40 years in the art business. The internationally respected gallery, which opened in 1970, represented artists such as John Baldessari, William Leavitt, Claes Oldenburg and Lynda Benglis.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Leavin and her business partner Wendy Brandow attributed the decision to shut down to shifting attitudes in the art market. “People are approaching art differently today. They’re not seeking out the thoughtful, complete statement that artists make when they create gallery exhibitions,” Brandow says. “The exhibitions have been such an important part of what we do, and they are no longer valued as much by the public.” Leavin also blamed the growing importance of art fairs: “It’s not the way we like to do business. To produce works for an art fair is just not what our artists do.”

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Comments

4 Sep 12
21:26 CET

JON R WHITE, MILWAUKEE

Possibly due to having her closing statement at the end of the item magnifies my reaction, but Ms. Leavin (immediately following an excuse by Ms. Brandow) comes across as haughty and a bit "better read" than us in her support of her non-selling artists.

30 Aug 12
14:57 CET

WINNIE SZE, LONDON / CAPE TOWN

To the person who said "unable to understand exact reason", I think the gallery is saying that they make exhibitions for their artists at the gallery and the costs are high. Yet, fewer people are buying during the exhibitions from the galleries today. The reduced sales and remaining high costs is not a sustainable model, even for such a respected gallery with such respected artists. One may ask why can't a gallery show "thoughtful, complete statements " by 1 artist at art fairs? One reason is the cost of participating at art fairs on top of normal gallery running costs. Most galleries show more than 1 or few artists and it is almost impossible to show more than 1 or few works by each. Hope that helps.

17 Aug 12
18:59 CET

JESS WILSWORTH, SOMERSET WEST CAPE TOWN 7129

As a traditionalist and now 90 and still loving and working at my art try to convert but find I am still and so are my buyers and admirers loving my work. My heart goes out to you - in some ways traditionalism is on the way back. Good luck in whatever else you do.

17 Aug 12
19:1 CET

MAL, PHILADELPHIA

If artists & agents/galleries gathered support for reinstating the income tax write off -(difference between purchase & resale $ rec'd) for the art purchased by corporations/offices WE WOULD HAVE FOOD IN LIVING ARTISTS' MOUTHS!

16 Aug 12
21:7 CET

ROY PRINZ, SANTA BARBARA

The world has been in a growth phase transitioning the expression of immediacy of the consumer. Styles and trends are exploding so fast that the benefit of perspective has yet to be realized. Thus behavior that at one time may have been identified as traditional is being challenged. The subjectivity of art, its value and the impact that it has on the human psyche is fracturing.

16 Aug 12
17:2 CET

RICKEY JONES, VAIL

Thanks for the information but I am unable to understand the exact reason

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