Wet Paint: Inside Jennifer Lawrence’s Art-Boy Wedding, Warren Kanders Comes Down on Decolonize, & More Juicy Art-World Gossip
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Every Thursday afternoon, 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].
WED BY ART
Only 140 lucky souls were invited to Jennifer Lawrence’s wedding to Gladstone director Cooke Maroney at the Belcourt Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, including a boldface clutch of entertainment royalty: Emma Stone, Amy Schumer, Bradley Cooper, Adele, Cameron Diaz, etc. But were there art people there, too? You bet there were. In fact, the ceremony was officiated by no less an art-dealing eminence than David Nash, the co-founder of the Chelsea gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash, who worked with Maroney’s father, James, at Sotheby’s in the 1970s, and is actually Cooke’s godfather.
That’s not all. Other art-adjacent attendees included Lucas Zwirner, who runs the editorial operations at the gallery founded by his father, David. The web-savvy scion was there with his girlfriend, actress Sienna Miller, while the artist Louis Eisner performed art-candy duty as well, accompanying his girlfriend, Ashley Olsen. Brendan Lynch—an artist who, like Eisner, was a leading member of that edgy bygone art collective the Still House Group—was present at the snazzy nuptials, as was PC Valmorbida, who made a splash in the early 2010s with a gallery on Sunset Strip known for attracting a paparazzi-ready crowd during openings.
Now that the festivities have ended, it’s back to work. This Saturday, a show of new work by Matthew Barney opens at Gladstone 64, the Upper East Side outpost of Maroney’s gallery. Too bad he wasn’t at the wedding—he could have been Cremaster of ceremonies.
HEDGIE BIDS ON BA$EL
In what sounds like a subplot on “Billions,” we’ve learned that hedge-fund kingpin Steve Cohen once had a meeting with Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler in which he tried to come up with an offer to buy the fair conglomerate, top to bottom. While the meeting is said to have taken place more than five years ago—and it’s a bit, er, insane to shell out hundreds of millions to buy an entire fair operation—the offer might be more welcome these days. Basel parent company MCH Group has been hemorrhaging money due to the implosion of the global watch market and other factors, and some shareholders are advocating for a full or partial sale of its fair businesses. In the end, sources say the discussion with Cohen failed to proceed after the billionaire balked at dealing with the Swiss cantons that own nearly 50 percent of the company.
DECOLONIZE THESE DOCUMENTS
Warren Kanders may have caved to pressure to step down from the board of the Whitney Museum after artists in its biennial rose up to protest his ownership of a weapons company that makes tear gas used on immigrants at the southern US border—but the billionaire hasn’t given up on the fight. Attorneys for Kanders have reached out to lawyers for New York University to place a legal hold on all documents held by professor Amin Husain—the activist scholar and a leader of Decolonize This Place, the group that pushed hardest for Kanders’s ouster.
The hold will prevent Husain and the university from deleting documents or emails in case Kanders and his company, Safariland, want to take legal action against Decolonize. Kanders—a mega-collector who was defended by Whitney director Adam Weinberg up until his defection from the board—has been spotted recently dining with friends at the Madison Avenue outpost of art boîte Sant Ambroeus, but otherwise has kept a low profile since capitulating to protesters in July.
Once a ubiquitous presence, Loïc Gouzer has been off the radar since Christie’s announced that its then-ascendant head of postwar and contemporary art was abruptly leaving in December. But Gouzer did reemerge onto the scene in Paris during FIAC, showing up at Galerie Patrick Seguin, where the eponymous mega-collector and dealer was hosting a pop-up staged by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. While snacking on paella cooked up as part of a performative work by Rirkrit Tiravanija—with Rirkrit and his dealer Gavin Brown personally handling the giant pans of seafood-studded rice—Gouzer said he was doing well but declined to shed any light on where he’s going next.
SKIP TOWN FOR SAUDIS
BlackRock chairman Larry Fink is at the center of an outrage hurricane at MoMA, where protesters have been marching on the reopened museum to fight the board member’s involvement in funding for-profit prisons. But it’s unclear if Fink himself was present at the splashy opening parties, since he’s shuttled off from one hotbed of controversy to another by heading to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to attend the conference known as “Davos in the Desert.” (Many others boycotted the event in 2018 following the dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the alleged direction of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.) Fink announced that he would attend this year’s conference—which is held at the Ritz, the same location where MBS and his cronies imprisoned and tortured family members in order to consolidate their sway over the kingdom—on his LinkedIn page.
… that Henry Taylor is being hotly pursued by the global mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth—but that Nicole EIsenman, rumored to be flipping to Hauser, will stay with Anton Kern, at least for the next year… that James Michael Shaeffer has left Simon Lee Gallery and will now be a director at Greene Naftali… and that curators at MoMA removed Van Gogh’s Starry Night under the cover of darkness and gave it an emergency conservation sweep to clean it up an inconvenient hair some pesky journalist found on the canvas.
**** Art advisor Lisa Schiff buying a work by Paul Pfeiffer at Monday’s Independent Curators International gala for $35,000 as the annual Leo award was presented to collector Patrizia Sandretto re Rebaudengo, who got up on stage and implored everyone to visit her foundation in Turin—if not for the art, then for the wine and truffles. **** Delphine Arnault at Larry Gagosian’s apartment above his Paris gallery after openings for new shows by Spencer Sweeney and Urs Fischer, darting contemptuous glares at younger patrons who had switched quite ostentatiously from champagne to shots of Patron. **** Jay Jopling showing up to the David Zwirner party at Loulou’s, the restaurant in the Louvre in Paris, since his gallery White Cube had no FIAC party of its own this year.
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