Chicago’s Shane Campbell Gallery Has Closed, Claiming the Art Industry Has Been ‘Muddled by Unbridled Capital’

The gallery made the surprise announcement on Instagram this weekend.

Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago. Courtesy of Shane Campbell Gallery.
Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago. Courtesy of Shane Campbell Gallery.

Shane Campbell Gallery, a staple in the Chicago art scene for nearly two decades, has closed its doors for good. 

The gallery announced the news on Instagram on Saturday. “After 18 years as art dealers, we’re retiring,” the post read. “It’s voluntary and positive and we’re ready to take on fun and creative projects whatever they might be. I’ve never wanted to have a real job and the past few years, the gallery has become more of a job than a labor of love and so it’s time for something different.” 

Shane Campbell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shane Campbell and his wife, Julie Campbell, moved to Chicago in 2001 and launched the gallery together in their home that year, They gave shows to local artists and students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Shane taught. In 2003, they rented a larger room in another house, before settling in a more traditional brick-and-mortar space in 2006. The pair finally moved the business to its most recent home on Wabash Avenue in 2012.

Dealer Shane Campbell with an Adam Pendleton in his office. Image courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

Dealer Shane Campbell with a work by Adam Pendleton in his office. Image courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

The gallery supported numerous artists who went on to have blue-chip careers—and who often defected for blue-chip galleries—such as Mark Grotjahn, Mary Weatherford, Amy Sillman, and Jonas Wood. Today, the gallery’s roster includes 28 artists, including Adam Pendleton, Erin Shireff, and Amanda Ross-Ho. 

But as the gallery became more established, it grew increasingly disconnected from its owners’ roots, Shane Campbell said. “I got into art because of the freedom it offered and its radical ability to expand my concept of culture,” he wrote in the Instagram post. “Jules and I met through studying art at college and art has been at the core of how we raised our kids.”

 

“It’s the primary lens through which we experience most of the world, but it’s been increasingly muddled by the unbridled capital stoking an art world that can’t figure out the difference between its tastes and desires. As dealers, our relationship to art generates fewer experiences that unfold into new experiences and that needs to change.”


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