The Simon Lee Gallery, one of London’s top contemporary art galleries, entered court-ordered joint administration with business consultancy BDO LPP on July 11. The administration – which a limited liability company enters when it is insolvent and cannot pay its creditors – was ordered on the back of a petition from Barclays Bank. The arts journal in June reported that the gallery had run into financial difficulties over a tax dispute and was facing dissolution. At the time, gallery founder Simon Lee described the issue as “resolved” and said he was confident the insolvency hearing scheduled for July 12 – his second to date – would be thrown out. .
BDO Director Matthew Tait, who alongside colleagues Christine Francis and Danny Dartnall is one of three joint administrators appointed, said The arts journal that the trio were “working expeditiously to review the options available to the company with a view to achieving the best outcome for all creditors consistent with their duties. Our immediate concern is to safeguard company assets, including work held on consignment. We understand that represented artists, and creditors more generally, will have concerns and we are in the process of gathering and confirming relevant information. The goal of the administrators is to keep the gallery running. Among the measures available to them are restructuring, the sale of assets and the reduction of expenses. It is not known if the gallery will remain in operation during the procedure.
The Simon Lee Gallery was launched in London in 2002, opening a branch in Hong Kong in 2012 and an outpost in New York in 2017. The New York operation closed in 2020. Among the artists it represents include George Condo, Hans Hartung, Mai-Thu Perret and Christophe Laine. Golden Lion winner Sonia Boyce split from Simon Lee last month after just two years at the gallery.