Knoedler Gallery Closes Abruptly


The venerable Knoedler & Company gallery in New York has closed. As reported by the New York Times, the news, announced on Nov. 30, was sudden and the shuttering immediate.

This notice now appears on the gallery’s website:

“It is with profound regret that the owners of Knoedler Gallery announce its closing, effective November 30, 2011. This was a business decision made after careful consideration over the course of an extended period of time. Gallery staff are assisting with an orderly winding down of Knoedler Gallery.”

A call to the gallery, which was not immediately returned, revealed a similar voicemail message.

Located at 19 E. 70th St., in a tony town house on the Upper East Side that was the gallery’s eighth home, Knoedler has recently represented such artists and estates as James Castle, Maria Elena González, Frank Stella and Conrad Marca-Relli. In 2004, it began expanding its programming, mounting shows of contemporary artists-including John Gerrard and Richard Fleishner-in a basement-level space.

An exhibition review of a show of new works by Charles Simonds, which was to have remained on view through Jan. 14, will appear in the February issue of A.i.A.

Like many galleries, the blue chip Knoedler was hit hard by the recession. In late 2009, the gallery put its town house up for sale, claiming that it was expanding its modern and contemporary program and needed a more versatile space than the landmark 1909 town house allowed. It sold earlier this year for $31 million, about half the asking price of $59.9 million.

Adding to Knoedler’s troubles, longtime gallery president Ann Freedman resigned in October 2009. She was involved in a lawsuit filed by Robert Motherwell’s Dedalus Foundation accusing her of selling forged Motherwell paintings. She denies the charges.

Founded by Michael Knoedler in 1846 as a representative of French engravers Goupil & Company, the gallery has over the years shown work by Frederic Edwin Church, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, John Singer Sargent, Jackson Pollock, Milton Avery and Helen Frankenthaler. According the Times, its illustrious clients have included Andrew Mellon, J. P. Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, and the Tate Galleries. Armand Hammer bought the gallery in 1971, and the Hammer Foundation still has a controlling interesting. Michael Hammer, grandson of Armand, serves as chairman.