The Art World at Home: Carpenters Workshop Gallery Co-Founder Loïc Le Gaillard Is Signing New Artists and Watching ‘Succession’
We caught up with the gallerist about his business life, home life, and everything in between.
Loïc Le Gaillard, the co-founder of the Carpenters Workshop Gallery, started the business with his childhood friend, Julien Lombrail, in 2006 in London. Fifteen years later, the pair now also have locations in Paris, New York, and San Francisco, where they show the works by artists including Virgil Abloh and Atelier Van Lieshout.
We caught up with Gaillard to hear about how he’s spent time during the pandemic, what artists he’s looking forward to showing, and what he especially enjoys about the TV series Succession.
What are you working on right now?
As we now have longer lockdown restrictions [in London], we’re busy rescheduling our plans. I’m very excited about introducing our new “Next Gen” artists who recently joined the Carpenters Workshop family. One of them is Kostas Lambridis, who graduated from [DesignAcademy] Eindhoven and was mentored by our long-term artist, Nacho Carbonell. His practice responds to current consumption challenges, as he upcycles found objects and mixed materials into large-scale sculptures. At first they appear to be chaotically mismatched, but under closer inspection they are intelligently assembled.
Walk us through the when, where, and how of your approach to this project on a regular day.
We were planning to present Lambridis’s solo show in our Paris gallery in March, but are pre-empting a further lockdown in France and therefore are preparing to show his new body of work in his studio in Greece. We have already [filmed] the production process.
My day-to-day has changed a lot: from lunches with collectors and museums directors, to producing digital content. Apart from that, I’m also spending a lot of time on the phone with my team as we’re planning a couple of pop-ups and something really big for London.
What is bothering you right now?
Not knowing whether the worst is yet to come.
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
We were listening to Feliz Navidad over Christmas as a family, and I realized that my daughter knew all the words. I was mesmerised and started signing with her. It was a very funny moment we shared.
Are there any movies, music, podcasts, publications, or works of art that have made a big impact on you recently? If so, why?
Thanks to the pandemic, I have spent more time watching series on Netflix than going out for dinner with friends. My all-time favorite has been Succession. The characters in the series are phenomenally developed and have such a drive, which I admire.
In terms of art, Portrait of Pope Innocent X by Diego Velázquez really fascinates me and reminds me of how the great modern and contemporary artworks of today have all been inspired by the classics of yesterday.
What is your favorite part of your house and why?
Our living room, which overlooks the Thames. It’s so peaceful, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I feel very serene there, gazing at the river.
What’s your favorite work of art in the house and why?
My favourite work of art in our house is a lamp by Nacho Carbonell. It’s the epitome of what Carpenters Workshop Gallery is about: a sculptural, powerful, and emotional piece of art that is at the same time functional.
Are there any causes you support that you would like to share?
An issue close to my heart is climate change. It’s the biggest threat upon us and will have a direct impact on the world we live in.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is anchovies and butter on toasted bread. That brings sunshine into my life.
What’s going on in the kitchen these days? Any projects? And triumphs or tragedies?
Carpenters Workshop Gallery is always first on my mind before food. I’m probably spilling the beans here, but I’m very excited that we will soon launch a new body of work by David Adjaye. His approach and philosophy are very much like ours.
Which two fellow art-world people, living or dead, would you like to convene for dinner, and why?
Louise Bourgeois and Charlotte Perriand, both exceptionally powerful women and real inspirations to the design world. Their work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. I feel that we would have really understood one another, and could have joined forces.
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