Published  12/03/2002

Lefevre\'s last summer

The London Lefevre Gallery, a major player in the London Art scene since 1926, was announced in January to be closing its doors soon. Coming so quickly after D’Offay’s own withdrawal, a trend is well becoming apparent. The Museum world may be flourishing as never before as a result of Lottery funding, but the commercial galleries are feeling the Euro-pinch. As director Martin Summers admitted from their august premises in Bruton Street off Bond Street, ‘We feel that a big commercial gallery such as this with its high overheads is now a thing of the past’. This gallery, Alex Reid and Lefevre Ltd have played a historic part in the London art world of the 20th century, assisting in the building of numerous public gallery collections as well as those of private individuals. Godfrey Pilkington’s Piccadilly Gallery left Cork Street in 1998, and Fischer Fine Art left King Street in 1995. Summers says that the final blow was the recent application of VAT on all items entering Britain from outside Europe, as well as the implementation forthcoming of artist’s re-sale royalty which will be payable to European artists or their heirs on all sales over a period up to 75 years after the artist’s death. Which famous gallery will be the next to follow?

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