Carpenters Workshop Gallery faces allegations of questionable business ethics and sexual misconduct [Updated]

Carpenters Workshop, New York, 2022. Courtesy Carpenters Workshop

Prestigious design gallery Carpenters Workshop Gallery has been the subject of allegations over sexual misconduct and questionable business ethics, according to the newsletter Air Mail.

The report is based on ‘more than a dozen’ anonymous interviews with former employees and artists, who claimed that the gallery’s artists received less than the standard 50 percent commission for consigned works and that the gallery failed to reimburse expenses for the production and shipment of works. The gallery is also allegeded to have manipulated sales invoices and sold multiple editions of pieces as unique works.

Founded by Loïc Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail in 2006, Carpenters Workshop Gallery was coined the first ‘mega-gallery’ in design by the Art Newspaper in 2022. It operates with over 120 employees across galleries in Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles and is also known for celebrity clients including Brad Pitt, Tom Ford and John Legend. Last year, a $37.5 million club gallery space was launched in London’s Pembroke Hall in North Kensington.

Air Mail also reports allegations of sexual misconduct by Le Gaillard, who reportedly selected female interns based on their appearances, squeezed a woman’s backside upon a greeting, slept with at least eight employees and kept a cabinet filled with sex toys in his office.

‘We are of course deeply troubled by the content of the article,’ the gallery’s global marketing director Mary Agnew told ARTnews in an email. ‘Right now, we are prioritising the welfare of our staff and artists and taking the time to consider our response with our internal teams.’

14 June: Carpenters Workshop Gallery has denied the allegations over business ethics and sexual impropriety reported in Art Mail.

‘We do not accept the allegations, which are largely linked to a commercial dispute on which we are not able to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings,’ a spokesperson tells The Art Newspaper. ‘We are enormously proud of the business, the community of artists and valued team members that we have established and developed over the past two decades. We are committed to continuing to grow and support each other in the years ahead.’

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