The Mayor Gallery, Cork Street’s longest established art gallery has succumbed to pressure from The developers, Ten Acre (Mayfair)/ Native Land and given up the fight to stay in their current premises. Work by six abstract Women artists will be brought together for the Mayor’s final exhibition in its Cork Street location. The gallery will announce their new home shortly.
Most galleries in Cork street made objections to the proposed plan in order to enforce their rights under the Tenant Act. Over 15,000 signatures were gathered in a campaign to save the community. In response, among other things, Ten Acre (Mayfair)/ Native Land demanded specific disclosure (they were not satisfied with what was disclosed under standard disclosure) from Alpha Gallery, Mayor Gallery, Stoppenbach & Delestre Gallery, and the Embassy night club at 29 Old Burlington Street, in the process threatening to seek exorbitant costs from the galleries. Each gallery was forced to spend tens of thousands of pounds for solicitors’ and barristers’ fees in preparation for a court case. Most recently, Native Land attempted to force a confidentiality agreement and suppress the galleries from freedom of speech. Obviously an agreement with the Mayor Gallery was reached.
Fred Mayor was the first to open its doors on London’s famous Cork street in 1925. He inaugurated the gallery with a show of work by six male artists that included Picasso, Herbin and Dufy, shortly followed by Léger, Metzinger and Gris. it was the first gallery in Britain to exhibit, among others, Bacon, Calder, Klee, Miro and Paolozzi. Since the 70s, the gallery has shown the work of leading American artists such as Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg and Warhol and it remains London’s foremost gallery for Zero Art and Surrealism.
The final show in the gallery, “The Nature of Women,” 88 years on, seems a fitting response to close the circle.