Jasmin Tsou’s Post-JTT Plans, Candace Bushnell Reflects on Her May-December Romance with Gordon Parks, and More Juicy Art World Gossip
Plus, what did Jacolby Satterwhite have to say to the moms who don't like his installation at the Met? Who showed up for the National Arts Club gala?
Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column of original scoops. If you have a tip, email Annie Armstrong at [email protected].
LISSON UP, FOLKS
Here’s something from the department of good news. The gallery closures of the past few weeks have put a serious pall over the state of things, with JTT, Foxy Production, and most recently, Denny Gallery closing their doors. These are big losses among New York’s small galleries, and the news hasn’t done much to calm nerves among an already anxious art market that has been struggling with slow sales—a knock-on effect of rising inflation pressures.
But I’m pleased to report that it’s true what they say: every end is also a new beginning. Jasmin Tsou, the beloved owner of JTT, has started a new gig working as a director at Lisson Gallery in New York. I know its not the same as having the gallery back, but hey, at least Tsou is still in the mix.
“Taking some time after my own gallery closed, I thought Lisson would be an ideal place for me to grow and learn,” she told Wet Paint over email, while en route to London for Frieze. “Lisson Gallery is a unique place that has maintained a real core and integrity over a very long period of time, which I think is very difficult to do… I’m looking forward to working with their talented team, as I know they share the same ‘artist-first’ approach.”
That “artist-first” approach she mentioned is what made Tsou an important and respected figure in the gallery system, and made JTT such an invaluable space. As her former artist Borna Sammak Tweeted (er, X’ed?) just this week, “I miss working with Jasmin she was an unbelievably powerful bitch, in the face of billionaires, on my behalf, all the time, it was so fun and, you know, suited me well.”
Tsou began working with Lisson last month, where she’s been “critical to our entire sales and exhibitions team,” according to a representative from the gallery.
When asked whether she had any rearview mirror thoughts on the current state of the small gallery ecosystem, Tsou balked at the suggestion JTT’s closure had anything to do with its size.
“I know that there is an urge to talk about the meaning of a gallery’s closure, and if the size of the gallery resulted in its closing. We are a community that cares a lot about meaning, so I understand and admire the impulse,” she said. “But I don’t think of galleries and their contribution to culture only on a scale basis.”
As I reported a few weeks ago, many other gallerists are feeling antsy amid the closures (three makes a pattern, after all). However, Tsou held firm that her place in a larger gallery is also paramount in maintaining a healthy gallery system.
“Large and small galleries alike make meaningful contributions and, similarly, galleries of all sizes need to be held accountable to support their artists responsibly,” she said. “I’m excited to be able to try to contribute meaningfully in a place that understands their responsibilities to the larger community and approaches them very thoughtfully.”
THE GOSSIP COLUMNIST AND THE LADIES MAN
Like a good gossip columnist, this week I went to pay my respects to one of the best to ever do it: the author Candace Bushnell, whose column “Sex and the City” for the New York Observer became, well, you know. Bushnell has opened her one-woman show, “True Tales of Sex, Success, and Sex and the City” in midtown, and I was an eager, cosmo-sipping attendee at its debut.
I couldn’t have predicted what happened next. Like a glowing, golden baton, Bushnell passed me a fabulous tidbit of art world gossip within the first few minutes of the show. I had known that she briefly dated the esteemed photographer Gordon Parks during the late 1970s in New York – but I didn’t know much of the salacious details!
“I was young and I came to New York and I guess I was pretty wild!” Bushnell told me over the phone. It was around 1977 or ’78, per her recollections, and she was 18 years old when she met and quickly began dating the Pulitzer-winning photographer. At the time, Parks told her that he was 54 when he was in fact 64. (“It’s funny, because I’m 64 now!” she mused in the show.) In this moment, Bushnell learned one of the nine lessons that the show was centered around: “MEN TELL LIES.”
According to Bushnell, the two dated for between a year and a year and a half—a fact that Parks only halfway acknowledged to the New York Times in 2001: “‘I guess you could say we dated,’ he says reluctantly,” wrote Ken Gross. According to Bushnell’s show, he really was quite the ladies man, and organized a threesome with Bushnell and someone he would later reveal was a sex worker.
The behavior sounds pretty scummy from my vantage point, but Bushnell chalked it up to living in New York in a different era and cultural climate. “It was one of those things that happens when you’re young,” she said. “It was just the time. People were wild. We had a ton of fun together.”
Moreover, she credits Parks for motivating her to dream bigger with her own writing. This led to her next lesson, which was “BEING WITH A PULITZER PRIZE WINNER WILL NOT MAKE YOU ONE YOURSELF.”
Balthazar had about 200 reservation cancellations after Keith McNally posted insensitive and ill-timed remarks about the terrorist strikes in Israel, which have since been deleted… Silke Lindner has picked up representation of Lyric Shen… The Gramercy Hotel is currently undergoing a sweeping renovation by mega hotelier Tyler Morse… Sanford Biggers is currently taking applications to become the fabrication manager of his studio, which sounds like a pretty fun job to me…
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Jacolby Satterwhite clapping back at the legion of mothers who are scandalized by his Great Hall installation at The Met *** Zoe Buckman and Jasmine Wahi chatting with Amy Schumer at Baxter Street’s gala at The Box *** Hank Azaria performing a suite of his most popular voices on The Simpsons for the crowd at the National Arts Club‘s 125th anniversary gala ***
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