I have decided to close the gallery, after 18 years, so that I can focus on developing Funkisfabriken in Sweden as a centre for research in sustainability.
As a gallerist I have always sold art to make exhibitions, I never made exhibitions to sell art.
I opened David Risley Gallery 18 years ago in the East End of London and moved to Copenhagen 9 years ago. I have had the huge pleasure of working with artists who started as and remain friends and artists who started as heroes who I'm now lucky to count among my closest friends. I have just spent a very emotional day calling them all to tell them that the gallery will be closing. They reminded me once again why we did what we did. They were sad about the news but without fail, overwhelmingly kind, supportive and optimistic that we can make a bright future. We have grown up together and traveled the world together. We will continue to work and play together in new forms going forward. I am still working with them directly on upcoming museum shows, commissions, sales and other projects, so don't hesitate to get in touch now. The artists and their work have made the whole adventure a joy.
I recently had the misfortune to hear a thank you speech at an art fair which thanked everybody involved except the artists. We need to remember that without artists there would be no art fairs, no sponsors, no collectors, no consultants, no critics, no magazines, no museums, no transport companies, no gala dinners. No Art World. It has felt recently, with the ever increasing push toward the professionalisation of the art world that the least welcome person in the room is the artist. This is to forget that it is the professional duty of the artist to question, ridicule, provoke and cajole. It is unprofessional of an artist to be a corporate patsy. Especially when everybody in the room is getting paid except the artist.
My reason for closing the gallery now is to be able to dedicate my time and energy to Funkisfabriken, the huge old factory building I have in Sweden. Funkisbabriken is an audacious project to realign art, food, business and innovation with sustainability. Funkisfabriken will include a zero waste restaurant, exhibition spaces and sculpture gardens by the lake. We are preparing to build research kitchens and labs for cross disciplinary research into new materials, textiles, packaging, architecture, with an aim to change the way businesses work. The project aims to enable and develop research which can achieve high impact results. It is a place where ideas will be front and centre. Where researchers, designers, artists, chefs and other innovators come together to share ideas in a beautiful environment in the Swedish forest with great food. I am very excited about starting this new project with the inspiring team of people and partners joining me on this new adventure. I look forward to inviting you to join us there as a guest in the near future.
Museums in London and Copenhagen have recently invited me to curate exhibitions and write catalogue texts for them. I am looking forward to having the chance to spend more time on opportunities to work closer to art and artists again.
Thank you to all the staff I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I watch with love and pride as they have gone on to start their own galleries, recording studios, run art fairs, logistics companies, museum curators, academics, musicians and artists and to continue being brilliant, engaged, wonderful people. Thank you all.
Thank you to all the museums, collectors, critics, truck drivers, money lenders, wall painters, drinks sponsors, bar tenders, performers, cleaners, lawyers, accountants, chefs, musicians, etc. who made it all possible.
The biggest thank you to the gallery artists.
I love you.
Jake and Dinos Chapman
Alex Da Corte
And to all the artists who have exhibited at David Risley Gallery
(bold = solo show)
Agnete Krigh Vinkler
Ane Mette Hol
Anna Fro Vodder
(founded by Susan Stenger.
Original members: Stenger, Angela Bulloch,
Cerith Wyn Evans, Tom Gidley, J. Mitch Flacko)
Bob & Roberta Smith
Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet
Carl Fredrik Hill
Cathrine Raben Davidsen
David Raymond Conroy
Ebbe Stub Wittrup
J. F. Willumsen
James Cauty (KLF)
Jessica Breitholtz Björk
Klaus Thejl Jacobsen
Marie Søndergaard Lolk
Morten Skrøder Lund
Pernille Kapper Williams
Peter Fillingham & Charlotte Moth
Sofie Bird Møller
T S Høegh
Tobias R Kirstein
Toke Tietze Mortensen
Willis Earl Beal
My sincere apologies if I missed anybody.
See you all down the road,