David Roberts. Photo: Billie Scheepers.

David Roberts to Close London Gallery and Open Sculpture Park in Somerset

The David Roberts Art Foundation in London, founded in 2007, will be closing after “(X) A Fantasy,” which opens September 8 and runs until October 7, according to Gareth Harris of the Art Newspaper. David Roberts, the gallery’s founder, will then open a twenty-acre sculpture park in Somerset, West England. The gallery’s final exhibition will feature works from Danh Vo and Theaster Gates.

In 2015 the foundation added a “live projects” space for performances, with support by Arts Council England. The performances will continue at different venues throughout London. Commissioned pieces by artists such as DJ Nkisi and Laure Prouvost will be presented at the Camden music theater Koko, via DRAF, on October 3. “We’ll still continue to do things in London, like the Koko event. And we are looking to do more regionally; I’m a big admirer of the Artist Rooms initiative. The sale of the London venue, which is funded mainly by me, means we can take on more projects,” said Roberts.

The sculpture garden is scheduled to open in 2019 on Somerlea Farm in Charlton Musgrove, once it is approved by the local council. Roberts’s new project will be free to the public and will showcase works from various artists in his collection, including Ai Weiwei, Mark Wallinger, and Anthony Caro. “The property in Somerset will be noncommercial. We will show things from the collection there, and start new projects. We hope to attract a wider audience in Somerset; we think we’ll have more visitors there than in London. We don’t get huge numbers of people through the door in Camden,” Roberts says.