Lacey Contemporary Gallery is set to open this autumn in Notting Hill London. Placing its artists at the heart of the business, director Andrew Lacey intends to provide a positive environment for his practitioners to work in, allowing them to flourish and evolve over the years. Working with emerging and established artists, the gallery aims to offer those working with them a complete business service so they are able to focus solely on their art. We speak to Lacey about his favourite historic artists and his hopes for the new space.
A: You have worked in a variety of places, including Lloyds TSB; Barclays; Royal Sun Alliance; Home Office and the Ministry of Defence, what made you want to move into the art industry?
AL: My heart was always in the arts but because I was not an artist I followed a career in business. I don’t regret this as it has given me the skills needed to run a gallery and put me in situation where I can do something I really want to do. I have heard lots of stories from artists about bad experiences they have had with galleries and how they were run, so I decided to do something about it.
A: Lacey Gallery is due to open this autumn, what can audiences expect?
AL: A warm and welcoming space from the staff through to the chill out area where people are welcome to come in and read or have a chat with the gallery staff. We will also host live art events to inform and increase the appreciation of art to a wider demographic to prove art really is for everyone!
A: Can you tell me about one of your artists and why we should be excited about their work?
AL: All my artist are exciting! Some have already gained some impressive achievements. One artist I am excited about representing is Louis Savage, who is a talented abstract painter who was forced by his previous gallery to do representational portraits, which resulted in him stepping away from galleries for years, but not his practice. After years of perfecting his craft he is ready to show the work he is passionate about. These are the artists that excite me, the ones who have the talent but need a break and someone to believe in them.
A: What exhibitions can we expect to see at the gallery in the next few months?
AL: We will host an exciting programme that consists of a launch show on 9 October (Processed Space) with three outstanding painters who will all be present showing part of their process. We will also have a live celebrity sculpture with Frances Segelman (Sculptress to the Royal Family) and we are hosting the finalist of the Winter Pride competition. These are just a few of our events this year.
A: If you could purchase any piece of art for your home, what would it be and why?
AL: Any piece from Wassily Kandinsky who was one of the pioneers of abstraction. I think abstraction has given us a freedom of expression that changed our perceptions of art and ultimately the world that we live in today. We owe so much to these pioneers who challenged the status quo and made us think differently by pushing the boundaries.
A: Where would you like to see the gallery in 10 years time?
AL: Firstly, I hope Lacey Contemporary will be recognised by the arts industry as a visionary business that helped changed the face of commercial galleries. There is definitely scope for another Lacey Contemporary in Britain as each gallery will only ever represent a small selection of artists. I would then like to open a gallery in New York and make Lacey Contemporary into a global brand over time.
To find out more about Lacey Contemporary Gallery, visit www.laceycontemporarygallery.co.uk.
1. Ross M Brown Pavillion (interior) 122 x 122 cm – Oil, oil stick and spray paint on board – 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Lacey Contemporary Gallery.