The end! Sell out! Or: how a gallerist breaks an artist’s heart

GALLERY SELL OUT LOHAUS. And: the END. It wasn’t until I was closely looking at Erik Van Lieshout’s drawings in that Antwerp gallery, that I noticed the words. Or: an artist’s response on the news of his gallery closing down. And: how the gallery owner allows his (her) artists to say what they want to until the end. ‘At first we were a bit shocked when we saw those drawings’, the gallery manager at Stella Lohaus (Antwerp) explains about Van Lieshout’s works in that new, diverse and fine group show Accrochage (through March 12). ‘Because we thought we had built a good relationship with each and every one of our artists over the last few years. But than Van Lieshout explained that these drawings were more about the emptiness he felt. Because closing down a gallery and severing the ties with your artists, indeed feels like lovers breaking up.’

So yes: gallery owner Stella Lohaus will close down her Antwerp gallery after 14 years, as she announced last week. In her opinion a gallery is first and foremost a place for experiment, but somehow she’s losing faith, in an art world where communication, networking and the internet (e.g.: the VIP Art Fair) have taken over.

For now Lohaus will concentrate on inventorying and archiving that body of work left behind by her recently deceased father, Bernd Lohaus. But she will still be present at Art Rotterdam and The Armory Show (New York, with a Leon Vranken solo presentation). The last show at Stella Lohaus will open on March 17.

In the meanwhile: do drop by at Lohaus for that fine Accrochage, with works by Kati Heck, Leon Vranken, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Sven ‘t Jolle, Angel Vergara (representing Belgium at the Venice Biennale 2011), Leon Vranken and Erik Van Lieshout. Info here.

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