Cheim & Read Gallery in New York to Permanently Close after 26 Years

Cheim & Read, a prominent gallery in New York, has announced its permanent closure, following 26 years in operation. The gallery's co-founder, John Cheim, recently sold pieces from his personal collection at auction. The closure was preceded by a temporary closure and a transition into private practice for the gallery.


Cheim & Read Gallery Announces Permanent Closure

Cheim & Read, a highly regarded gallery in New York, will be shutting its doors for good at the end of December. After operating for over 26 years, the gallery's final exhibition, featuring the works of artist Kathe Burkhart, will conclude on December 23rd.

The announcement of the closure was made through an Instagram post, where the gallery expressed gratitude to the artists who were a part of its history. The post also mentioned that longtime director and partner, Maria Bueno, will be opening a fine art dealership called Bueno & Co. in 2024. This new venture will continue to work with many artists associated with Cheim and Read.

Since its establishment in 1997, Cheim & Read has showcased the works of renowned Modern and contemporary artists such as Jenny Holzer, Louise Bourgeois, Diane Arbus, Lynda Benglis, and Joan Mitchell, among others. The gallery has played a significant role in promoting and supporting these influential artists.

Temporary Closure and Transition into Private Practice

In 2018, Cheim & Read made the decision to temporarily step away from their longtime location in Chelsea's 25th Street. During this period, the gallery focused on private practice, emphasizing the secondary market, sculpture commissions, and special projects. In September 2019, the gallery resumed its programming at the 25th Street location, which had hosted London gallery Blain Southern's New York outpost temporarily.

The decision to transition into private practice allowed Cheim & Read to explore new avenues and opportunities within the art world. It provided the gallery with the flexibility to engage in different artistic endeavors and collaborations, while still maintaining its commitment to showcasing exceptional art.

The recent series of exhibitions held at the gallery's 25th Street location demonstrated its ongoing dedication to presenting significant works of art and fostering artistic dialogue within the community.

John Cheim's Auction and Impact on Closure

Prior to the gallery's permanent closure announcement, co-founder John Cheim consigned a selection of artworks from his personal collection to Sotheby's November auctions in New York. This collection included pieces by esteemed artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Ron Gorchov, Alex Katz, and Joan Mitchell.

Among the artworks sold, Mitchell's "Sunflowers" (1990-91), which was a gift to Cheim from the artist herself, fetched a remarkable $27.9 million. In total, Cheim's collection brought in $34.7 million, including fees. This auction played a significant role in Cheim & Read's closure, as it signified a transition for Cheim and potentially impacted the future operations of the gallery.

The closure of Cheim & Read follows a trend of several younger galleries in New York, including JTT, Queer Thoughts, Denny Gallery, and Foxy Production, also shutting down. This pattern reflects the challenges faced by galleries in the competitive art market and the evolving landscape of the art world.