Joe Bradley Changes Galleries (Again!), Drama Around Anish Kapoor’s Mini-Bean, and More Juicy Art World Gossip

Plus, what's the deal with O'Flaherty's announcement that they're closing? What artwork flopped at auction and now hangs on Larry Gagosian's wall?

Joe Bradley, No Good (2020). © Joe Bradley Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York

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].


It seems like there is a certain type of artist that really just pinballs themselves from gallery to gallery, no? As someone who watches art market moves from the stands, I  practically get whiplash from how quickly artists flit from one stable to the next, seemingly without looking back. I can’t think of a better example of this than Joe Bradley

The painter has been having solo shows in New York City since 2003, always remaining faithful to his first gallery in the city, Tribeca’s Canada, which still represents him today. Since then, however, he’s shared representation with a number of dealerships of varying size, leading me to believe that the painter, known for his deliciously messy abstractions, might have a bit of restless leg syndrome. Now, Wet Paint can exclusively reveal that he’s jumped ship from his most recent stable, Petzel, to become the latest hotshot to join team Zwirner. (Another coup from Lucas Zwirner, à la Elizabeth Peyton, perhaps? I’m not sure! But it could be.) 

Bradley has hopped around quite a bit over the past decade-ish, moving from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise to Gagosian in 2016, only to decamp from Gago after a string of shows (I heard the relationship between him and Larry had soured) to Petzel in 2021. 

“Our affair with Joe Bradley was brief but sweet,” a rep from Petzel told Wet Paint in a statement. The gallery only had one show with the painter, which was his first in five years and received a rave review from another person who recently turned heads by changing her mind, Roberta Smith. Petzel said that the show was a commercial success, so they don’t seem too depressed about losing him after taking a bite from his plate. They added, “While Bradley’s stint with the gallery was short-lived, we are glad to have served as a successful outlet for his purposes.” 

If it is true that Bradley is off to the haus of Zwirner, which remained mum on the subject, it could be a pretty serious cash cow for the gallery (not like they’re struggling anyhow). According to Artnet’s Price Database, Bradley’s current record was set by Tres Hombres, which achieved $3.1 million at Christie’s in 2015, followed by several other pieces that crossed the seven-figure finish line. Following the success of the Petzel show, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number keep climbing. Onwards and upwards, and upwards, and upwards.


I tried to confirm my gossip and all I got was this lousy selfie.

The unveiling of a star artist’s public art seems to follow a pretty standard playbook when it comes to the reaction of high-minded cultural snobs like ourselves. Recent examples that come to mind are Jeff Koons‘s Bouquet of Tulips in Paris, KAWS‘s Companion that floated in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor, and most recently, Anish Kapoor‘s “mini-bean,” which has ignited a fury among critics so intense I’m inclined to believe it created a poltergeist that lives within the hollow structure at the base of 56 Leonard (more commonly referred to as the Jenga building for its resemblance to the game).

Apparently the backstory of the mini-bean is as complexly stacked as a game of Jenga itself. Wet Paint has learned that Kapoor’s miniaturized version of Chicago’s famed Cloud Gate—the New York version of which reportedly cost $10 million to fabricate, and is still technically incomplete—was made in exchange for an apartment worth $13 million at 56 Leonard. And get this: according to my spies, Kapoor flipped the apartment before the glimmering mini-bauble ever even saw the light of day.

It’s pretty hilarious to me that not even the artist wants to live with his shiny legume, but it also makes sense. Since it was unveiled, the selfie-taking hordes have cramped the chichi address’s style, which I imagine is a pretty big nuisance to some of the celebs that live there, like Frank Ocean.

I asked intrepid art advisor Lisa Schiff, who lives in the building, what the experience has been like since it became public. She told me she got in trouble with management after runoff from her outdoor garden started dribbling on the sculpture, compromising its signature sheen. “It’s an outdoor fucking sculpture!” she laughed. “It’s really funny and really ostentatious. Ever since it got unveiled, there’s been hordes of people shooting Tiktoks and videos all day.” (Schiff, incidentally, also heard chatter about Kapoor’s apartment getting flipped.)

Kapoor wouldn’t confirm whether he still owns the apartment, and the building gave me a firm “no” when I asked if I could speak to anyone at the management office. So for now, we can think of this as a tall tale akin to Jack and the Beanstalk—only in New York City, where you can swap a bean for a $13 million apartment.


Off Paradise has picked up representation of Maximilian Schubert… Despite what was reported in a quickly deleted Instagram story, O’Flaherty’s is not closing for good, thank God… Arden Wohl is curating a summer group show at James Fuentes with work by Cecily Brown, Martine Syms, Danh Vo, and Nate Lowman, so suffice to say I will be very excited to see it… Theaster Gates, Edmund de Waal, and author Hanya Yanagihara are the winners of this year’s Isamu Noguchi Award… A photo by Tyler Mitchell has been acquired by the Brooklyn Museum (apparently this is the first New York museum to acquire a work by the artist? Which seems surprising)…  Apparently art world people love this kind of ugly backpack?… 




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*** Gala season rages on, and the party for MOCA LA was about as art star-studded as you can get, with Tim Disney, Mark Grotjahn, Jeffrey Soros, Paul McCarthy, Kim Gordon, Andrea Fraser, Jordan Wolfson, and Keanu Reeves among a few of the glitterati present in Little Tokyo to dance the night away (culminating in the above adorable story from Keith Mayerson) *** Back in New York, the New Museum had its gala, and Emily Bode, Cecilia Alemani, Ryan Trecartin, and Nicolas Party all converged at Cipriani to celebrate *** Martin Scorcese dining with his daughter Francesca at Bacaro (who said Dimes Square is dead?) *** Eartheater, Jeanette Hayes, Ethan James Green, Moses Sumney, and Chloe Wise at the launch of Mugler‘s new line for H&M *** The David Zwirner-backed literary publication The Drift hosted its annual gala at the gallery against a backdrop of Franz West sculptures, and Cat Marnell, Delia Cai, Rachel Rabbit White, and Raven Leilani were among some of the authors there mingling *** Chan Marshall, Mary Frey, Jeremy O’Harris, and Chrissie Miller at the final day of Lizzie Bougatsos’s show at Tramps *** Larry Gagosian hosted his birthday party at his house, and I can’t tell what I’m more surprised by, the Picasso piece in his house that was a notable flop at Christie’s back in 2011, or the fact that it appears he uses Chilewich placemats *** 


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? ⭐ CASTING CALL! ?️ ?

Last week, I asked my dear readers to cast a proposed movie idea based on the Watermill Benefit drama where Stacy Engman was accosted by a rabid NFT obsessive. Artist Nicole Nadeau wrote in and prompted me to imagine a world in which this movie is cast by those who work in art, which I think feels just experimental enough to work, and earned her a Wet Paint hat. She would cast Jamian Juliano-Villani to play Engman (actually not the only person to write in that JJV take on the role!), Monsieur Zohore to play a performance artist who antagonizes guests at the benefit (which is not so far off from his practice anyhow), and Ellie Rines as the stalker, which is just a hilarious mental image. Congratulations, Nicole, this might just be crazy enough to work. 

Up next: lets imagine a coming-of-age tale about three passionate and strong-visioned young artists who play harder than they work, and use pre-9/11, post-Giuliani New York City as their jungle-gym: Dan Colen, Dash Snow, and Ryan McGinley. Hit me with who you’d have play each of them (let’s keep it to Hollywood actors this time though) at [email protected].

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