It hasn't even been three years, and the art-world experiment known as L&M Arts in Los Angeles is ending.
The gallery, which opened in September 2010 in an odd spot on Venice Boulevard not far from the beach, has announced that it is closing its doors at the end of August. The news is not shocking, considering that the gallery is owned by Dominique Lévy and Robert Mnuchin, who dissolved their partnership in their main New York gallery at the start of 2013.
Sarah Watson, director of the L.A. branch, said, "We're sad, of course. It's an amazing place and has been an amazing three years. But following the split in New York, this is only logical. Robert and Dominique were going their separate ways in New York and wanted to focus on their separate endeavors."
During its short life, the gallery organized rare -- or more precisely, rare to L.A. -- solo shows by heavy-hitters such as Paul McCarthy, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer, as well as group shows featuring emerging artists. The gallery's building was unusual in its location and its look, a pair of small brick buildings from Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture.
Watson said the property is owned by L&M, noting "we're in the process of figuring out the next step for it."
Does the gallery closing say anything about the viability of L.A. as an art market?
"Not at all -- just look at all the other galleries planning to open their door here as well," said Watson, mentioning Hauser & Wirth for starters. "We were really happy here. If it says anything, I have no intention of going anywhere else."
As for Lévy and Mnuchin, they remain committed to New York. Mnuchin has continued his program at 45 East 78th Street, while Lévy is preparing to open in a new space at 909 Madison Avenue later this year.