Former Staff at Carpenters Workshop Gallery Allege Sexual Misconduct, Questionable Accounting

A report published in Air Mail features allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, questionable accounting, and more at Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

The weekly newsletter’s report, published on Friday, draws on “more than a dozen interviews” with former employees of the prestigious design firm cofounded by Julien Lombrail and Loïc Le Gaillard 18 years ago.

ARTnews’s attempts to reach Lombrail and Le Gaillard by phone were not successful. When ARTnews reached out to the gallery’s global marketing director Mary Agnew for an official comment, she wrote in an email, “We are of course deeply troubled by the content of the article. Right now, we are prioritising the welfare of our staff and artists and taking the time to consider our response with our internal teams.”

ARTnews sent further questions to Agnew by email in regards to the allegations about Carpenters Workshop Gallery, but did not receive a response by press time.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery works with high-profile artists and estates, including Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, the Dutch Atelier Van Lieshout, the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, and the American sculptor Wendell Castle, as well as fashion designers such as Rick Owens, Karl Lagerfeld, and Virgil Abloh.

The gallery reportedly has 120 employees across its four locations, in Paris, London, New York and London. Ladbroke Hall—a 43,000-square-foot, $37.5 million glitzy club and gallery space—was unveiled last April in the London neighborhood of North Kensington.

In 2022, the Art Newspaper called the enterprise the first design “mega-gallery”; the gallery was the subject of a New York Times profile published last month. It has attracted high-profile collectors such as actor Brad Pitt, designer Tom Ford, singer John Legend, model and television personality Chrissy Teigen, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, and art collector Dasha Zhukova.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery has also exhibited at several fairs, including Design Miami, Design Basel, the Armory Show, and TEFAF.

Workers interviewed by Air Mail claimed that artists received less than the standard 50 percent commission for selling works on consignment, and alleged that the gallery failed to reimburse expenses for the production and shipment of works. The report also featured claims the gallery had manipulated sales invoices sent to artists.

One section of the Air Mail report focused specifically on the gallery’s 83,000-square-foot production facility located in the suburban French town of Mitry-Mory, 15 miles from the center of Paris. The facility, Roissy, was profiled by Vanity Fair in 2023. Allegedly poor conditions may have contributed to the death of one of the workers, Zbigniew Sokol, a Polish bricklayer who reportedly collapsed while working at Roissy and was later found unconscious in 2015.

The Air Mail report also featured allegations of sexual misconduct by Le Gaillard. Workers interviewed by the newsletter claimed that he was involved with a gallery director, that he selected female interns based on physical appearances, and that he led affairs with staff members, including “an intern in her early 20s,” per the report.

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