Gagosian, the world’s largest gallery empire, will shutter one of its three London locations after 19 years in operation. The space, sited on Britannia Street, near King’s Cross, will officially close this summer, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the news on Thursday.
Opened in 2004, the Britannia Street location was the second gallery that Gagosian ever opened in London, one of the world’s main art hubs. (Its first, on Heddon Street, closed in 2005.) Occupying more than 15,000 square feet, it is slightly smaller than at least one of the other two Gagosian spaces in London.
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Gagosian will continue to maintain its London galleries on Grosvenor Hill and Davies Street.
The Financial Times report did not state why Gagosian had chosen to shutter the Britannia Street gallery. It is, however, not the first blue-chip gallery to scale back its presence in London, a city whose market faced uncertainty following Brexit in 2020.
That year, Marian Goodman Gallery, a much smaller enterprise that also has significant clout in the market, shuttered its London gallery in order to “pursue a more nimble approach” there, according to its founder. It’s possible that Gagosian may have similar reasons for ending business on Britannia Street, as the Financial Times reported that the gallery has plans to launch Gagosian Open, which will situate artworks in public sites around London.
The Britannia Street gallery is not the first one that Gagosian, a business characterized by rapid expansion in the past couple decades, has shuttered recently. In 2021, the gallery closed its San Francisco space in order to better concentrate its efforts in Los Angeles, where it took over the Marciano Art Foundation’s building.
Still, Gagosian has not stopped growing. Since 2020 alone, the gallery has announced plans to open new spaces in Paris, Athens, and Gstaad, Switzerland. And in the past year, the gallery has added around ten artists to its roster, among them Nan Goldin, Cy Gavin, and Jadé Fadojutimi.
The Britannia Street gallery has mounted a number of big shows since its inception, including seven solo exhibitions by Damien Hirst, among them a 2022 survey of his sculptures involving formaldehyde. Cecily Brown had her second-ever London show there in 2006, and in 2010, the gallery staged “Picasso: The Mediterranean Years (1945–1962)” at the space. Also among the artists who had solo shows at Britannia Street are Richard Serra, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Rachel Whiteread, Meleko Mokgosi, and Zeng Fanzhi.
The most recent exhibition mounted there was “Rites of Passage,” a group show about artists dealing with migration that ended its run in April.
A Gagosian spokesperson confirmed that the landlord for the Britannia Street gallery was planning to redevelop the space, but declined to comment further.