As you wander around Mayfair, you see the same thing that you will find in High Streets up and down the country. Empty retail/gallery spaces caused by a perfect storm of Government policies on business rates, high rentals, Brexit and general uncertainty in the economy.
While many smaller galleries have been closing and moving to less expensive locations, Timothy Taylor has bucked the trend with a positive show of confidence in his new gallery in the late 18th century brick terraced house in Bolton Street, a street where almost all of the west side is undergoing complete redevelopment in the ubiquitous modern classical style favoured in Westminster, while the east side retains its historic buildings, one of which is now Timothy Taylor’s new gallery.
Redeveloped by Rolfe Judd, the building now has a discrete glass lift at the rear providing access to all floors and modern gallery environmental conditions, though the unit installed in the first floor fireplace is a little incongruous (ie ugly). I have to admit that I am surprised that Westminster City Council and English Heritage allowed it, knowing how carefully they are generally about such alterations.
For the first exhibition which opened today, work by three artists born within a few years of each other and who grew up in the shadow of the First World War – Simon Hantai (near Budapest 1922), Pierre Soulages (Aveyron 1922) and Antoni Tapies (Barcelona 1923) – have been installed through the spaces, playing off each other and the architecture.