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Cheim & Read, mainstay of the New York gallery scene, will close permanently next month


The New York gallery Cheim & Read will close at the end of December, after more than 26 years in business. The gallery’s current exhibition, a solo show of Kathe Burkhart paintings, will be its last, closing 23 December.

The gallery announced its closure in an Instagram post, thanking artists involved in its programming throughout its history. Regarding key gallery staff’s future, the post noted: “In 2024, longtime gallery director and partner Maria Bueno will open a fine art dealership, Bueno & Co.”, working with many of the same artists associated with Cheim and Read.

Since its inaugural 1997 exhibition featuring Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois, Cheim & Read has shown the work of many influential Modern and contemporary artists, including Diane Arbus, Lynda Benglis, William Eggleston, Ron Gorchov, Robert Mapplethorpe, Alice Neel and Joan Mitchell.

In 2018, the gallery announced it would take time away from its longtime Chelsea space at 547 West 25th Street, transitioning into a period it said would focus on “private practice, concentrating on the secondary market, ​sculpture​ commissions​ and special projects”. The gallery resumed programming in September of 2019 at its 25th Street location—which, in the interim, had hosted London gallery Blain Southern’s short-lived New York outpost—and has held exhibitions there since.

News of the gallery’s permanent closure was preceded by co-founder John Cheim consigning some of the treasures of his personal collection to Sotheby’s November auctions in New York. The collection—which included pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Benglis, Bourgeois, Gorchov, Alex Katz, Holzer, Mapplethorpe, Neel and Cy Twombly—brought in a total of $34.7m (including fees). The majority of that sum came from Mitchell’s Sunflowers (1990-91), a gift to Cheim from the artist before her death, which brought $27.9m (including fees).

Cheim & Read’s closure follows a string of younger New York galleries’ recent shutterings, including JTT, Queer Thoughts, Denny Gallery and Foxy Production.

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