Venice Biennale artist Sonia Boyce and Simon Lee Gallery part ways after just two years

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Sonia Boyce, who won the Venice Biennale’s top Golden Lion prize for her exhibition in the British Pavilion last year, and London’s Simon Lee Gallery have parted ways after just two years.

The reasons for her leaving are not clear; Boyce declined to comment for this article. Simon Lee says in a statement: “Sonia Boyce and I have decided to part ways. I continue to be a strong supporter of her and her work and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”

Lee’s representation of Boyce came a year before her Venice Biennale presentation, which was sponsored by Christie’s, among others. At the time, Lee told The Art Newspaper that he and Boyce had known each other “since early in our careers”.

The gallery is also subject to a Companies House notice to be dissolved, though Lee says the dispute over tax “has now been resolved”. The first insolvency hearing took place in April, with a second due on 12 July. Lee expects the case to be dismissed on that date, or sooner.

According to Companies House records, Simon Lee Gallery Holdings received notice that it would be struck off the Companies House Register on 3 January, meaning the gallery would be dissolved within two months of that date. However, that action was suspended on 14 February after “an objection to the striking off” was received. The last accounts for that business are made up to 31 December 2018.

Accounts are also overdue for a separate business, Simon Lee Gallery, though this company is not currently subject to an active proposal to be struck off the Companies House register. Both entities have been subject to several compulsory strike-off petitions since 2019.

Lee says his gallery was in a corporation tax dispute “because of estimated tax forecasts made by HMRC”. He adds: “During the years of the pandemic, the gallery had similar petitions in 2020 and 2022 and these were also dismissed in a similar and timely manner. The dispute has now been resolved and the case will be dismissed at the next hearing on the 12th of July. We are currently in discussions to have the petition dismissed sooner than the scheduled date since the matter has now been finalised.”

The gallery is due to exhibit at Art Basel and will be presenting a number of secondary market works by heavyweight artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Isamu Noguchi and Cy Twombly. Gallery artists Serge Attukwei Clottey and Mai-Thu Perret are presenting large-scale installations in the Unlimited sector.

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