London’s Wave of Gallery Closures Continues as Rokeby Gallery Shutters After 13 Years

The gallery owner previously curated David Bowie’s art collection.

Rokeby Gallery's farewell post, courtesy Rokeby.

London’s Rokeby Gallery has closed its doors after 13 years, the gallery announced today. 

After 13 years of exhibitions, art fairs and 440 litres of white paint, Rokeby Gallery operations have now closed,” Greenacre wrote in a post published on the gallery’s homepage and Instagram account today. 

Rokeby was founded by Beth Greenacre—who previously curated David Bowie’s art collection—and her husband Ed in April 2005. Initially located on Store Street in Fitzrovia, it later moved to two locations in Clerkenwell and was an early success. During its lifespan, the gallery showed the work of 77 artists, including Liam Gillick, Doug Fishbone, and Graham Hudson. The gallery did not immediately respond to an inquiry from artnet News about the reasons for its closure.

“We will continue to engage with the collectors, curators, writers and collaborators and friends who have supported us over the years in our new roles within the art community,” Greenacre wrote in her goodbye post. “We look forward to updating you soon about our new endeavors as we move into 2018.”

It is not yet clear exactly what these new roles will mean for the gallery, but Greenacre already has another gig lined up: She will be curating the art collection of a new women-only private member’s club in Bloomsbury called The Allbright.

Rokeby participated in this past year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, where it presented work by Abigail Reynolds and Conrad Ventur, and had previously shown at Art Basel, Art Cologne, and the Armory Show. The final exhibition in the London space featured works by Sam Dargan in December.

Although Rokeby is the first London gallery to close its doors in 2018, it follows a wave of closures last year. More than half of London’s galleries are reportedly struggling to stay afloat due to costly real estate and the challenge of keeping up with the global art fair cycle. Vilma Gold closed in March last year, while Ibid Gallery relocated to LA, followed by the shuttering of Laura Bartlett Gallery and Carol/Fletcher. Elsewhere, Swiss dealer Freymond-Guth abruptly ceased operations, as did Berlin dealer Mickey Schubert.

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