Home Arts Venice Biennale artist Sonia Boyce and the Simon Lee Gallery are parting ways after just two years

Venice Biennale artist Sonia Boyce and the Simon Lee Gallery are parting ways after just two years

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Sonia Boyce, who won the prize at the Venice Biennale Golden Lion Award for his exhibition at the British Pavilion last year, and the Simon Lee Gallery in London have gone their separate ways after only two years.

The reasons for his departure are unclear; Boyce declined to comment for this article. Simon Lee said in a statement: “Sonia Boyce and I have decided to go our separate ways. I continue to be a strong supporter of her and her work and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

Lee’s portrayal of Boyce came a year before his presentation at the Venice Biennale, sponsored by Christie’s, among others. At the time, Lee said The arts journal that he and Boyce had known each other “from the start of our careers.”

The gallery is also the subject of a notice of dissolution from Companies House, although Lee says the tax dispute “is now resolved”. The first insolvency hearing took place in April, with the second scheduled for July 12. Lee expects the case to be closed on that date, or sooner.

According to Companies House records, Simon Lee Gallery Holdings was notified that it would be deregistered from Companies House on January 3, meaning the gallery would be dissolved within two months of that date. However, this action was suspended on February 14 after an “objection to expungement” was received. The last accounts of this company are closed on December 31, 2018.

Accounts are also overdue for a separate company, Simon Lee Gallery, although that company is not currently the subject of an active proposal for delisting from the Companies House register. Both entities have been the subject of several mandatory debarment petitions since 2019.

Lee says his gallery was in a corporate tax dispute “due to estimated tax forecasts made by HMRC”. He adds: “During the years of the pandemic, the gallery had similar petitions in 2020 and 2022 and these too were similarly and timely dismissed. The dispute is now resolved and the case will be dismissed at the next hearing on July 12. We are currently in talks to have the petition dismissed earlier than expected since the case is now finalized.

The gallery is due to exhibit at Art Basel and will feature a number of secondary market works by heavyweight artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Isamu Noguchi and Cy Twombly. Gallery artists Serge Attukwei Clottey and Mai-Thu Perret present large-scale installations in the Unlimited sector.

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