Alison Jacques has announced plans to expand the business’s presence in London with a new 6000 -sq-ft location at 22 Cork Street, Mayfair representing a significant next chapter for the gallery.
The new space will open on Thursday October 5 this year, following an extensive renovation by architect Mike Rundell & Associates who also designed the existing Alison Jacques Gallery at 16-18 Berners Street in Fitzrovia.
22 Cork Street was previously a vacant concrete shell for several years before Jacques and Rundell began creating a three-floor HQ comprising three exhibition spaces. Jacques’ vision to create galleries with no visual distractions such as staircases and pillars, and most importantly no one ‘watching’ the visitor when they are looking at the shows; as well as creating space with considerable height, has been the driving force for Rundell’s impressive transformation of 22 Cork Street.
Alison Jacques first opened in London on Clifford Street, Mayfair in 2004 before moving to its current home on Berners Street, Fitzrovia in 2007.
Alison Jacques comments: “In 1993, in my previous life as a journalist, I was lucky enough to interview legendary art dealer Leslie Waddington who offered me a job with his gallery at 11-12 Cork Street. I remember sitting at the reception desk and dreaming that one day, I would have my own gallery on Cork Street.
Serendipitously, our new space is opposite Waddington; my only regret being that Leslie is not alive to offer his sage advice. He is very much part of the history of Cork Street, along with pioneering dealers Victoria Miro, John Kasmin, James Mayor and Bernard Jacobson.
These are very big shoes to fill, particularly with neighbouring 21 Cork Street being the former home of ground-breaking gallerist Robert Fraser aka ‘Groovy Bob’. I believe this legacy of the dealer as a true connoisseur and the spirit of Cork Street as cultural hub of the London art world, can happen again”.
Jacques is convinced that London will remain a crucial centre for the international art market. “The opening of our new space anticipates the gallery’s 20th Anniversary next May and we look forward to showing our artists’ work in an outstanding space in the heart of historic Mayfair, which ultimately is the epicentre of the London art world.”
The gallery opens with “Infinite Potential“, a solo show of new work by legendary artist Sheila Hicks who was the subject of a recent major retrospective at The Hepworth Wakefield, UK. Alison Jacques comments: “I have been privileged to work with Sheila Hicks for more than a decade, her work inspires with a plethora of majestic colour and her groundbreaking practice continues to ensure she is one of the most important artists working today. I am excited to see how Sheila will inaugurate our space and honoured that she has agreed to do so.”
Jacques will conclude the year with an exhibition of iconic 20th century American artist Robert Mapplethorpe, including work never previously exhibited. “I have been lucky enough to represent Robert Mapplethorpe in the UK since 1999 and it is fitting that our second show on Cork Street should be dedicated to his work, ahead of next year marking 25 years of collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York”.
Alison Jacques represents some of the most influential Artists and Estates from the past century, including the Estates of Ana Mendieta, Roy Oxlade, Gordon Parks, Dorothea Tanning, Lenore Tawney and Hannah Wilke. Artists include Erika Verzutti, Fernanda Gomes, Ian Kiaer, Takuro Kuwata and Graham Little, both of whom recently exhibited at the Hayward Gallery.
Recent additions to the gallery programme include Hastings based artist Sophie Barber, Ljiljana Blažveska, who the gallery showcased with a solo presentation at Frieze Masters in 2022, Jane Dickson, who featured prominently in the 2022 Whitney Biennial, New York, and currently has her first solo exhibition with the gallery at Berners Street until July 1; and Veronica Ryan, winner of the 2022 Turner Prize.
Alison Jacques’ passion and commitment to her artists is focused on creating and delivering museum opportunities for exhibitions and acquisitions. In addition to Maria Bartuszová’s current retrospective at Tate Modern, on show until 25 June, and The Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers at the Royal Academy, on show until 18 June, forthcoming museum collaborations include the first European survey of artist provocateur Nicola L. at Camden Arts Centre in 2024, and a major European retrospective of Brazilian art icon Lygia Clark, which opens at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in 2025.