Lorraine O’Grady, Carol Bove, Sonia Boyce Switch Galleries

Within days of the unofficial end of summer, marked in the US by Labor Day and in the UK by the passing of the August bank holiday, three closely watched artists affiliated with major galleries in these countries announced that they were switching allegiances. In the United States, conceptual artist Lorraine O’Grady revealed that she would be leaving her longtime New York gallery, Alexander Gray Associates, for Chicago’s Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, while sculptor Carol Bove departed David Zwirner for Gagosian. Across the pond, Golden Lion winner Sonia Boyce, who earlier severed ties with London’s Simon Lee Gallery, signed on with Hauser & Wirth.

Whether the announced changes in representation, coming so close together, are indicative of a broader trend remains to be seen. O’Grady, who only recently began achieving the recognition she deserves thanks to a retrospective that opened at the Brooklyn Museum in 2021, had been with Alexander Gray for fifteen years. Artnews notes that she will be by far the highest-profile artist on Mariane Ibrahim’s roster, and the oldest by a span of a few decades. In snapping up Bove, who had been with Zwirner for twelve years, Gagosian seems to be continuing its efforts to expand and diversify its already very starry stable: The gallery earlier this year picked up visual and performance artist Derrick Adams and photographer Nan Goldin, luring the latter over from Marian Goodman Gallery. Boyce joined Simon Lee in 2021, a year before she won the Golden Lion at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale; though she and Lee had known each other since early in their careers, their familiarity was apparently not enough to sustain the professional relationship, and she exited in early 2023. Months later, the gallery went into receivership.


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