BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Entertainment: Arts
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
UK's art king retires
Art dealer Anthony D'Offay (right) with artist Ed Ruscha
The celebrated art dealer Anthony D'Offay has announced that he is retiring and closing his galleries in London.

Plinth
D'Offay funded Rachel Whiteread's Monument for Trafalgar Square
Mr D'Offay, 61, is seen as one of the leading figures in British art, representing key artists like Rachel Whiteread, Ron Mueck, Howard Hodgkin and Anselem Kiefer.

The retirement comes as the D'Offay Galleries are thriving and is a shock, even in art circles.

"D'Offay was crucial and this is going to leave a yawning gap in the London Gallery scene," said Louisa Buck, art critic and author of Moving Targets II, a guide to contemporary art in Britain.

D'Offay is famed for bringing star exhibitions to his relatively small gallery through his friendships with key artists from an early stage in their careers.

Howard Hodgkin
Acclaimed British painter Howard Hodgkin is a client
There is a great deal of speculation in London art circles as to why D'Offay has chosen to retire at this relatively early age and when his business is doing so well.

The Sheffield-born dealer has recently hosted an exhibition by Bill Viola that had 50,000 visitors and helped fund Rachel Whiteread's monument in Trafalgar Square.

Elsewhere he had 11 artists at the Venice Biennale and was behind acclaimed exhibitions by Jeff Koons and Ed Ruscha at the Edinburgh Festival.

The dealer himself says there is no reason other than wanting to step down while the going is good.

"There is never a good time to announce one's retirement but I would rather step down when the gallery is at its height and I feel that now is the right moment," he said.

Jeff Koons' Niagara
Jeff Koons' exhibition at Edinburgh was organised by D'Offay
It may be that the willingness on the part of a new breed of public galleries to take up new artists may have dented D'Offay's remit.

Artists he has been associated with in the past include Willem de Kooning, Lucien Freud, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Georg Baselitz and a host of other illustrious contemporary artists.

But D'Offay has said he will remain involved in the art world and says he will be offering a "support service" to artists.

"He is famous for being a distinct and quirky individual and his reasons will be his own," said Buck.

See also:

07 Jun 01 | Arts
In pictures: Venice Biennale
25 Oct 99 | e-cyclopedia
Art attacks: Don't handle with care
04 Feb 99 | e-cyclopedia
Neurotic realism: Come again?
20 Jun 01 | Arts
Artist's champion dies
09 May 00 | UK
Modern times for the Tate
14 Aug 01 | Reviews
Jeff Koons: King of kitsch
23 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Shock art hits London
23 Mar 00 | UK
Artists unveil Tate Britain
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Arts stories