Enfilade

Jonny Yarker Joins Lowell Libson

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 17, 2018

Press release (January 2017) from Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd:

Lowell Libson Ltd is delighted to announce that from January 2018 it will be trading as Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd. Lowell Libson is one of the great names in the world of London dealing: for the last seventeen years his gallery has been synonymous with British paintings, drawings, and sculpture of the highest quality. It is unusual for a gallery owner, with over forty years’ experience and his name above the door to embrace such a radical transformation, and it signals an important change for the future.

“Jonny joined the business five years ago and during that time we have worked very happily and successfully together. Jonny has made a huge impact on the gallery, and he has played an extremely significant role in developing the business with me; now is the right time to recognize this working partnership in a tangible way,” Lowell Libson commented. “I am very excited about the future, Jonny is a talented dealer, a leading scholar and a good friend and I look forward to our new venture together.”

Jonny Yarker had recently finished his PhD when Lowell approached him to come and work at the gallery. “I admired Lowell long before I met him. He had this amazing reputation for supporting scholarship and exhibitions of British art; I remember when I was a student seeing his name everywhere,” says Yarker, “Little did I think I would end up working with him.” Libson has a reputation for supporting innovative scholarship in British art and the gallery has sponsored major exhibitions at the Royal Academy, British Museum, Courtauld, Ashmolean, and Morgan Library and Museum in New York.

With Jonny on board, the company’s outlook became more routed in research and their projects were able to become more ambitious. For example, in 2014 they mounted the largest selling exhibition of drawings by Gainsborough for a century. Lowell and Jonny have also recently made a number of notable discoveries including newly identified works by Samuel Palmer, John Constable, Johan Zoffany as well uncovering a previously unknown cache of drawings by Sir Peter Lely.

Each brings complimentary talents to the business (as Libson says, “It’s not particularly constructive working with a clone of oneself”). They see their great strength as a willingness to embrace change and think laterally. “We operate in an apparently narrow field, but Lowell has an amazing ability to reinvent what we do, at the same time preserving a continuity of taste,” Yarker observes.

In March, the gallery will be exhibiting at the Salon du dessin in Paris for the first time and in July they will mount a major exhibition of drawings made in Britain before 1730. Libson has been collecting for the exhibition for over a decade but observes: “Jonny has really made the project his own, he has brought an academic rigour and flair to my initial idea; it is going to be a truly groundbreaking exhibition, I can’t wait!”

This is the essence of what Libson and Yarker do: bring high levels of scholarship and their own personal taste to British art. It is a formula that has won them an international group of clients, both institutional and private.

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