Wet Paint: New York Galleries Open Miami Outposts for Zombie Art Basel, a Shakeup at the Top of Frieze, & More Juicy Art-World Gossip

What gallery is leaving its Bowery space? What artist-curator duo took advantage of outdoor dining before lockdown? Read on for answers.

Ugo Rondinone, Miami Mountain (2016). Collection of The Bass, purchased with the John and Johanna Bass Acquisition Fund. Photo © Zachary Balber. Courtesy of The Bass, Miami Beach.

Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column of original scoops reported and written by Nate Freeman. If you have a tip, email Nate at [email protected].



There’s one last break from tradition during this norm-shattering 2020. That’s right, there will be no mass caravan to Miami this winter for Art Basel’s only stateside shindig. Art Basel Miami Beach is cancelled. I know you were looking forward to hearing about how Alec Monopoly danced to a Paris Hilton DJ set. We’ve all made sacrifices.

Over the past few weeks, however, a new mentality among dealers and collectors has taken hold. And that mentality is, to quote from the King James Bible: I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.

Miami Beach at dusk. Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Miami Beach at dusk. Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Welcome to Zombie Art Basel. There might not be a fair, but there is a beach and beaming sunlight and plenty of outdoor space to safely socialize in a distanced fashion. Many collectors have already made arrangements to go, and this week, fair organizers announced that, in addition to the local galleries and museums that are rolling out new programming, a handful of New York spots are opening outposts in Miami for the week or longer, hoping to sell IRL to collectors who are so over OVRs. 

Apart from when he was at LA’s MOCA, Jeffrey Deitch has staged shows during the Miami fair each year since its inception in 2002. This year, Deitch is taking over a storefront at 182 NE 39th Street in the Design District to present 101 face paintings by Kenny Scharf on November 27. It’s a bit of a homecoming for Scharf—he had a studio in the Design District in the 1990s—and the show will be up at least until December 31, if not longer. 

The future home of Jeffrey Deitch in Miami's Design District.

The future home of Jeffrey Deitch in Miami’s Design District.

Additionally, local dealer David Castillo is opening a show of works by in-demand painter Vaughn Spann in the gallery’s new space in the Design District’s funkily undulating Melin Building. Castillo has suite 201, and moving into suite 202 is the legendary Bushwick gallery Ramiken. Ramiken Miami is open from Black Friday until Christmas Eve. (One reason for the South Florida pop-up: “I need a tan,” Ramiken founder Mike Egan said.)

POPE.L, <em>Unca Levert</em> (1998). Photo courtesy Mitchell-Innes &amp; Nash.

POPE.L, Unca Levert (1998). Photo courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash.

Other sun-seeking carpetbaggers include Lévy Gorvy, which is opening a space with Salon 94, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which will host a month-long pop-up at 119 NE 41st starting November 27. In the downstairs storefront, there will be a group exhibition of nearly all new work by Gerasimos Floratos, Eddie Martinez, Pope.L, and Brent Wadden. Upstairs will be private viewing rooms, with choice works by artists such as… well, you might just have to check it out yourself! Not everything can just be put online. 

Plus, Design Miami will be taking over the Moore Building, the site of its first edition in 2005. In fact, it was Design Miami founder Craig Robins, the head honcho of the Design District, who personally recruited the galleries to take over spaces, with help from Art Basel and 305 allies such as ICA Miami Artistic Director Alex Gartenfeld. Pending, um, lockdowns and travel restriction snafus, it sounds buenísimo. We can taste the Joe’s Stone Crab already. 

Heaven. Photo courtesy Nate Freeman.

Heaven. Photo courtesy Nate Freeman.


Frieze Los Angeles 2020. Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh

Frieze Los Angeles 2020. Photograph by Casey Kelbaugh

For all the upheaval that’s hit the fair circuit this year, there have been few internal shakeups. The leadership of Art Basel, the Armory Show, and FIAC have remained basically intact, with longtime directors killing time by rolling out increasingly baroque cyberspace boondoggles for clients to click through. But as the lost year of 2020 flips to the hope of 2021, one expo behemoth is hoping that swapping out talent at the top will best prepare it for a world emerging from COVID come… next year? Maybe?

Rebecca Ann Siegel. Photo courtesy Frieze.

Rebecca Ann Siegel. Photo courtesy Frieze.

And so we got the news from Frieze brass that longtime global director of Frieze fairs, Victoria Siddall, will step down from that position to become the board chair, where she will “focus on representing Frieze externally” rather than developing the programming within the organization. On deck to step up is Rebecca Ann Siegel, currently the publisher of Frieze magazine. She’ll become director of Americas and content, keeping her media-side duties while also overseeing the fairs in New York, where she lives (and where Frieze New York artistic director Loring Randolph recently stepped aside), and Los Angeles, where she’s from. 

It might strike some as a surprise that a publishing person would be brought in to run the fairs. But Siegel is widely acknowledged to be the best in that game and any other, a media savant who’s bolstered the classic British art mag since coming on board and a connector capable of keeping her far-reaching network of art-world egos content in wartime and peacetime alike. She’s been at Frieze since 2018, and before that served as the founding publisher of Even, which had a crushing run from 2015 to 2018, featuring a murderer’s row of contributors and edited to perfection by New York Times critic Jason Farago

An issue of Even Magazine. Photo courtesy Even.

An issue of Even magazine. Photo courtesy Even.

Frieze has a ton on its plate on the moment. The fair group announced that the Shed will be its new venue for its May 2021 New York fair, and its website says Frieze Los Angeles will still happen in the City of Angels in February… but does not name Paramount Pictures Studios as the venue. Perhaps there’s an even more glitter-speckled Tinseltown spot for the fair’s La La Land edition yet to be announced.



Many of you guessed correctly that the painting in last week’s quiz was by George Condo, who has a show of quarantine-made paintings on view at the mammoth Hauser & Wirth building in Chelsea. But that only gets you halfway there—you had to guess the owner, too.

There were some pretty inspired names thrown around. Many ventured the possibility that it was owned by Kanye West, who asked Condo to make artwork for his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but no, this Condo is not owned by any of the failed presidential candidates. Other guesses included Glenn O’BrienJulian Schnabel, Rick Rubin, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Lady Gaga, and Jay-Z. Mighty collectors all. But not, in this case, the correct answer.

This particular Condo is owned by Danny Elfman—the former Oingo Boingo frontman who’s found fame for his quirky scores to films by directors such as Tim Burton and Gus Van Sant—and his wife, the actress Bridget Fonda

Here are the winners: Grimm Gallery founder Jorg Grimm; Willow Fine Arts founder Corin Blust; Jeff Gleich, founder of Paris gallery g-module; Annie Burrows, director of Los Angeles-based Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art; and Danny Bowman, the proprietor of Los Angeles gallery Bozo Mag. Congrats to the winners!

Here is this week’s clue. Name the artist who made the work in the background, and the television show that it appears in.

Winners will receive eternal glory and a hat that will arrive sometime during the inevitable upcoming lockdown. Send all guesses to [email protected]



Installation view of Laurie Simmons, “The Love Doll: Days 1-30” at Salon 94 Bowery. February 15, 2011–March 26, 2011. Photo courtesy Salon 94.

Salon 94 has closed its gallery on the Bowery next to the New Museum, ending a decade-long run of shows, as it prepares to open its much bigger new space in a building on 89th Street in the start of 2021 … Andy Hall purchased a new painting by Ana Benaroya from West 27th Street spot Ross + Kramer, which opened a show of work by the artist Thursday … The second edition of the mysterious Dimes Square print newspaper the Drunken Canal drops today, so look for it wedged underneath a Clandestino cheese plate … Friend of the column Dua Lipa has apparently separated from her boyfriend, Anwar Hadid, according a burner DM sent to our extremely worthy gossip-spreading adversary Deux Moi … LA gallery Seasons will host a show of sketches that LeRoy Neiman made while on the set of Rocky at Gleason’s, the world-famous boxing gym in Brooklyn … Conceptual art pioneer Lawrence Weiner is very much alive, despite at least one top curator’s Instagram post to the contrary …

LeRoy Neiman on the set of Rocky II. Courtesy the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation.

LeRoy Neiman on the set of Rocky II. Courtesy the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation.


Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Doherty, Jordan Alexander and Savannah Lee Smith filming <em>Gossip Girl</em> outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Gotham/GC Images.

Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Doherty, Jordan Alexander and Savannah Lee Smith filming Gossip Girl outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Gotham/GC Images.

*** The glorious new cast members of the Gossip Girl reboot reclaiming their rightful place on planet earth by lounging on the steps of the Met—you know you love me, xoxo *** Glenn Ligon and Whitney curator Scott Rothkopf sharing pizza at il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, the Great Jones boîte where David Zwirner is a partner *** Indochine welcoming regulars back on its first night open in months—among those present were Paul de Froment, a director at Almine Rech, which opens a Vivian Springford show today in its uptown New York space *** A number of artists and collectors at Thursday’s opening at Bushwick gallery Clearing, which unveiled new work by Korakrit Arunanondchai and Loïc Raguénès *** An alert on Citizen that doesn’t appear to just be a metaphor ***

“Unconfirmed.” Photo courtesy Citizen.



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