Gimpel Fils is a London art gallery previously located at 30 Davies Street in Westminster just off Grosvenor Square and has since moved. The gallery was founded by Charles and Peter Gimpel, sons of the celebrated Parisian art dealer, René Gimpel, author of the Diary of an Art Dealer. Throughout its history it has maintained a commitment to contemporary British and International art.
Gimpel Fils was founded in November 1946. The first exhibition, Five Centuries of French Painting, was based on the small part of René Gimpel's collection that had been sent to London before the Second World War. The bulk of his stock was lost in Paris.
During the 1950s and 60s Gimpel Fils was highly influential in its association with the avant-garde. It supported modern British artists, including those of the St Ives School, as well as rising American artists and French abstract painters of the School of Paris. Gimpel Fils represented many of the major artists of the time, including Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Nicholson moved to Gimpel Fils from the Lefevre Gallery and stayed until the early 1960s. In supporting the next generation of artists emerging in this period it gave first exhibitions to Lynn Chadwick, Anthony Caro, Peter Lanyon and Alan Davie, while also being associated with a number of other British artists, including Louis le Brocquy, Ivon Hitchens, Gillian Ayres, Bernard Meadows, Kenneth Armitage and Robert Adams. From France Gimpel Fils represented the likes of Marie Laurencin, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Serge Poliakoff and Yves Klein, as well as working with American artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Sam Francis and Larry Rivers, who had his first London exhibition at the gallery in 1962. An obituary of Peter Gimpel in The Independent newspaper suggested that: "Despite the rise of Marlborough Fine Art and stiff competition from the likes of the Redfern, Waddington and Hanover galleries, Gimpel Fils was for a time unrivaled in the range and quality of its artists."
The gallery continues to promote the work of that generation of artists, supporting the work of senior British painters such as Alan Davie and Albert Irvin, while also presenting retrospectives of 20th-century modern art. The contemporary programme has widened the range of work shown by the gallery and has developed to include artists such as Corinne Day, Andres Serrano, Callum Morton and Hannah Maybank.
Gimpel Fils was initially based, briefly, at 86 Duke Street, London, before moving to 50 South Molton Street, where the artist Louis Le Brocquy laid a mosaic in the entrance. It relocated to its present premises at 30 Davies Street in 1972. The gallery was refurbished in 2000. The refurbishment was inaugurated with an installation by Richard Wilson.
The Gimpel family retained a strong interest in the running of the gallery. The current co-director is René Gimpel, son of Charles and a fourth generation of the Gimpel family to become an art dealer.
- Gimpel Fils: About, Gimpel Fils. Retrieved 2016-2-25.
- Kostyrko, Diana J., 'René Gimpel's Diary of an Art Dealer ', The Burlington Magazine, Sept. 2015, no. 1350, vol. 157, pp. 615-619.
- "Artslant: Gimpel Fils", Artslant.com. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- "Obituary: Peter Gimpel", The Independent, 18 June 2005. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Obituary: Peter Gimpel, The Times, 2 July 2005. Link to InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (requires login). Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- Gimpel Fils website
- Sue Hubbard, Outlines, Gimpel Fils, London, The Independent, 26 March 2008
- Alex Frost: 60th Anniversary Show, Gimpel Fils, London, 28 July–2 September 2006