View of “Jonathan Monk: Perfectly Concocted Context,” 2017.

Los Angeles’s Cherry and Martin Gallery Closes

Cherry and Martin’s co-owner Mary Leigh Cherry announced over the weekend that the gallery, which she ran for twelve years with Philip Martin, will close at the end of this month. Founded in 2006, the gallery first opened on Venice Boulevard before moving in 2009 to La Cienega Boulevard in Culver City. A second location was opened in 2013 at another venue on La Cienega. During the first edition of Pacific Standard Time, organized by the Getty Foundation and Getty Research Institute, in 2011, the gallery restaged Peter Bunnell’s landmark 1970 exhibition “Photography into Sculpture,” which won the International Art Critics award for best show in a commercial gallery nationally. Cherry and Martin represented the estates of Robert Heinecken and Robert Overby, in addition to their stable of emerging and midcareer artists such as Katy Cowan and Ericka Beckman.

The last review of a Cherry and Martin exhibition was Travis Diehl’s Critics’ Pick of Jonathan Monk’s show in August 2017. A full letter from Mary Leigh Cherry regarding the decision to cease operations follows in full below.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After twelve extremely successful years working in close partnership with Philip in building our gallery—Cherry and Martin—and following considerable thought about the next phase of my life and my passions, I have decided that the time has come for me to move on from Cherry and Martin. With the conclusion of our longtime partnership also comes the end of the gallery, which will close its doors for the last time and end operations at the end of this month.

Upon reflection, the art landscape in 2018 presents more ways than ever to work with artists, institutions, collections and collectors, which has brought into focus for me the many exciting possibilities and numerous new paradigms there are to explore. While the platforms for experiencing and engaging with art have evolved dramatically since I started my first gallery in a one-car garage in Venice, California in 1999, I still believe in the unique, breathtaking power of witnessing an exhibition in person, and I continue to believe that mounting exhibitions is its own art form. With such a long-standing love for art and artists, I of course will remain engaged in the art world and I look forward to forging something new.

In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and sincerely thank the artists whom I have had the tremendous honor of working with at Cherry and Martin. Their immeasurable creativity and talent have enriched my life, tested and enlightened me, and forever made me their advocate for the irreplaceable role of artists in our world. I also want to thank our many clients, from private collectors to museums, who took our program to heart and expanded the vision that I undertook so many years ago.

Since January of 2006, Cherry and Martin has launched artist careers out of graduate programs, discovered overlooked careers and brought them to their rightful positions in art history, mounted award-winning exhibitions, and traveled the world for art fairs, museum exhibitions and important installations of our artists’ work. It has been an incredible adventure, and I couldn’t be more proud of what the gallery has accomplished.

While it is bittersweet to say goodbye to Cherry and Martin, as we dissolve our fruitful partnership and close this iteration of the gallery, I am tremendously proud of the successful business we have created and grateful for the many experiences I have had, for the artists with whom we have worked, and for all of the incredible relationships we have built. I look forward to staying in touch with each of you, and, in the coming months, sharing with you more details about the ways in which I plan to continue contributing to the cultural landscape.

As I close the chapter on a wonderful twelve years at Cherry and Martin and embark on a new beginning, I leave you with a few highlights from the gallery’s history and my history.


Mary Leigh