Kirsten Andersons Roq La Rue has been a Seattle stalwart.
Kirsten Anderson's Roq La Rue has been a Seattle stalwart. Courtesy of Roq La Rue

Wow. Kirsten Anderson announced yesterday on her Facebook page that she's closing her gallery, Roq La Rue, Seattle's flagship for the art that was coined—in part by Anderson herself—"Pop Surrealism."

Her announcement is only the latest in a series of Seattle art gallery closings, including Platform and PUNCH. All three will be gone by summer's end, Platform after 12 years in operation and PUNCH after 10. (Martyr Sauce will be closing in its current location but opening in a new, larger one. Yay!)

Why? Art galleries are not ever going to be super-popular places, probably, but are they becoming unpopular even to the people who run them? What's the fate of the brick-and-mortar gallery? I'll be writing more for this summer's A&P magazine. Stay tuned.

Anderson didn't say the gallery wasn't financially viable. Quite the opposite. She wrote that Roq is at its "pinnacle" but with nowhere to go; she's decided to turn her energy to another cause.

Anderson is a kickass art dealer. Ask anyone. This is a loss for the field.

Her full FB statement is on the jump.

After 18 years, I have decided to shut down Roq La Rue's gallery space this coming September. There are multiple reasons why, between a big shift in how things operate in the art world, to wanting a new challenge in my life. The gallery is going out on it's A game, with a stellar roster this year that includes a nearly sold out show up currently by Peter Ferguson, and upcoming shows with Meghan Howland, Amanda Manitach, Femke Hiemstra, and a big celebratory closing group show!

Roq La Rue has been the most pivotal thing in my life, without doubt the coolest, most awesome thing I've created and the best part is it worked because of the breathtakingly spectacular artist roster we worked with. I'm in awe of the talent and personalities of pretty much everyone I worked with and I made some incredibly dear friends, both artists and collectors, as well as fellow art world compatriots. The gallery was a feat of will and magic these eighteen years, with situations and people coming to us in our darker hours to catch us and keep us going. It has provided an incredible life for me. It's been mostly the height of awesome.

That said, there is no where for Roq La Rue to go. We've reached our pinnacle where we are and I have no interest in moving the gallery to a bigger city and becoming what I'd have to in order to ratch up notches in the fine art world.

In a move that will surprise no one who knows me, I have decided to turn my attention to wildlife protection and conservation. The art world is great and needed, but the world is in a state of emergency and I'd like to be part of humanity that battles for the life and beauty that still exists. This move feel invigorating and makes me happy- so I know it's the correct choice for me. I hope you'll still feel you can join me on these new adventures. It's my greatest joy to share the great things of the world with people.

I'm only actually making this announcement now, as I know there are rumblings and questioning looks being thrown my way as news travels. Until September- it’s business as usual and I hope you celebrate the twilight of the grand old dame Roq La Rue, and the fantastic artists we have coming up, alongside me.