St James's London - All Good for Goodman

Art & Theatre

All Good for Goodman

Art writer Sarah Hyde drops in for the lowdown on local newcomer Goodman Fine Art

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As I enter Ryder Street, one of the first things I see is a man in a suit crossing the road holding a gilded frame. The sense of tradition is palpable, a far cry from the white canvas walls of an art fair. It is lovely to see business going on, as it always has here, up and down the street, from dealer to dealer.

Mark Goodman has recently taken over the lease at 37 Duke Street, one of the smallest spaces in the area, from former resident, the much-loved Julian Hartnoll, Artmonger. I join newcomer Mark for tea, to discover how the neighbourhood’s newest gallerist is getting along.

“We may be a small space, but we pack a big punch,” he smiles broadly. It’s fair to say he seems to be thrilled to be the new kid on the block.

Mark did not begin life as an art dealer. He worked as a solicitor for Linklaters and Merrill Lynch and then as a fund manager before starting to deal art full time in 2009. He brings a ‘can do’ business approach into the art world.

“Goodman Fine Art is very open to business,” he states, simply. He is buying as well as selling, offering part exchange and credit to keep things moving and proactively collaborating with other dealers whenever he can.

Mark explains, “working with others and being in the deal flow is one of the best things about this new location” and confides that since arriving in the neighbourhood, his business mix is a healthy fifty-fifty between trade and private clients. This does not mean that Mark is avoiding doing any fairs, though. “Two a year is the absolute minimum I need to do to reach out to new clients, and I can meet over a thousand new contacts that way.”

He is also consciously making his gallery open and accessible, especially to the vibrant footfall that travels past on its way to Christie’s, another of the real advantages of his St James’s location.

To this end, he is very excited about his upcoming Patrick Heron and Paul Feiler exhibition in June and two more joint 19th and early 20th shows with Canon Gallery in July and October. Although Goodman Fine Art specialises in modern British art, he is keen to add further strings to his bow, now he’s settling in to his new home nicely.