Brigitte Mulholland Hangs Out a Shingle in Paris, The Most Confusing Gala of the Year, and More Juicy Art World Gossip

Plus, who delivered the buzziest Christmas party in the art world this year? Which art world bros have picked up the acoustic guitar?

Brigitte Mulholland in front of her new space in the Marais. Courtesy of Brigitte Mulholland.

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS – OR AT LEAST SHE WILL 

I think that 2023 may be the year that the art world fell madly in love with Paris. I get it! How could you not be enamored by the city of light, with all of its gorgeous architecture, rich food, and operatively, its even richer art collectors. If the energy surrounding Paris+ this year was any indicator, I’d say that gay Paree is now the happening spot. Wet Paint can confirm this, as the wheels are now in motion for many of New York’s most loyal stalwarts to make the move across the pond. 

Such is certainly the case for Anton Kern’s director Brigitte Mulholland. “I can’t count how many times someone has asked me when I was going to open a gallery in Paris,” she gushed to me over the phone from an uber-chic +33 country-code. After nearly two decades working in New York, she has officially moved and will be opening her own gallery in the Marais this April. “People just know how much I love Paris! Everyone saw this coming for me and it’s been in the back of my mind.” 

Mulholland said she’ll be rolling out her artist list slowly over the course of the year as she transitions out of her position with Kern. Wet Paint can confirm that among the artists she’s already got slated for solo shows next fall are Ryan Wilde and Sarah Dwyer, and that she’ll be kicking off her programming with two back-to-back group shows with some heavy-hitters in the mix including Julie Curtiss, Hamish Chapman, Liz Glaessner, Andrew Sim, Sean Fader, and Jessica Stoller. “It’s going to be well-rounded,” she said, of her approach to her roster. “I’m going to work with some emerging artists, some established artists.”

So does Mulholland’s choice come from excitement over Paris, or ennui back in New York? Seems like it’s a bit of both. In her own words, “I’ve been in New York for like 17 years, and I just feel like I’ve done everything I want there. Paris has always called to me. It was something I thought I never could do, then all the sudden I realized I can!”

Personally, I can absolutely relate to being a francophile, and I long for the day that I can pen my columne-de-gossipe Peinture Freîche from my pied-à-terre with a Serge Gainsbourg record playing softly in the background. Until then, I look forward to seeing the gallery scene heat up along with the global interest from collectors to reinvigorate the city as an arts destination. Mulholland’s space is on the Rue de Turenne, which is in a hub alongside other galleries such as David Zwirner,

I also admire Mulholland for her awareness that an American Girl in Paris needs to pay her dues before becoming a full-blown Parisian. “My impetus is that I want to give something back to Paris, I don’t want to take,” she said. “I love this place, I love the culture. I want to contribute, and contribute to the gallery scene here.” 

Formidable!

INTRODUCING THE WET PAINT WTF AWARD FOR STRANGEST PR BLAST

Behold: A Peak Inside The Academy of Contemporary Art Inaugural Gala and Awards Ceremony. Photo courtesy of BFA.

Last week, I presented my beloved readers with the year’s most photographed art world socialite, a totally official award that went to the lovely and frustratingly photogenic gallerist Hannah Traore. Computing who-went-where the most wasn’t the only research I was up to, though, and this week I’d like to inaugurate another official and important distinction: the Wet Paint WTF Award for most head-scratching PR blast I’ve received this year. 

For the record, I’d estimate that I receive between twenty to thirty art-related press releases per workday, which, if you do that math, means that I get around 8,000 of these things sent to my inbox this year (which actually seems kind of small? But I assure you, it doesn’t feel that way when I sit down to machete my way through the thicket). The one that stopped me in my tracks actually came this month: 

A Peak Inside The Academy of Contemporary Art Inaugural Gala and Awards Ceremony” the subject line read, which is the most remarkably vague name for a gala I’ve ever seen, with a blink-and-you-might-miss-it homonym typo to launch it off. I’d tell you what The Academy of Contemporary Art is, but their website is just a link to an info@ email address and nothing else. Anyhow, the esteemed academy hosted a party in Miami this year at the Paris Theatre, and judging by the BFA photos, it was a kind of Oscars-style event for some pretty random members of the art world. 

According to their release, the event’s founder and producer Gregoire Vogelsang gave the following remarks: “Tonight, we mark the formation of the Academy of Contemporary Art. We will honor artists. We will celebrate professionals working behind the scenes in contemporary art, including curators, artwork restorers, lighting, design, installation and more. All these professionals who contribute to the evolution of contemporary art.” 

I know that not everyone is a writer by trade, but I’d put some serious dough on that speech being AI-generated. Anyhow, according to the release, the awards will be annual, so I’ll get my speech prepared for next year. I’d like to thank the Academy! 

WE HEAR 

Hell Gate’s excellent deep dive into the sprawling and somewhat corrupted social web of Mayor Eric Adams is full of easter eggs, but my favorite has to be Zero Bond founder Scott Sartiano’s application to be appointed to the Met’s board… John Utterson has moved from Pilar Corrias to assume the role of director at CLEARING in New York… Apparently the appetite for NFTs hasn’t completely come to a screeching halt, as LACMA recently added one by Krista Kim to its collection… 

 

SPOTTED

The launch of Andrew Kuo and Pascal Spengemann’s new line of cheeky Shrits merch attracted a line that wrapped around the block in Tribeca last weekend *** Walter Robinson, Dana Schutz, and scholar Jason Rosenfeld taking a jaunt through Chelsea galleries together this week *** The art world Christmas party this year had to be Dean Kissick and Gavin Brown’s shindig at TJ Byrnes this week *** Did my eyes deceive me, or did two of the art world’s most indelible bros, Adam Lindemann and Nate Freeman, both give acoustic guitar performances this week? *** 

 


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