The Low-Profile, Fast-Expanding Art Dealer Headed to Paris—and More Juicy Art World Gossip

Plus, a mysterious show of Cady Noland work is coming to New York.

A dinner party at Micki Meng's space in New York. Courtesy of Micki Meng.


With a demoralizing U.S. presidential election on the horizon, one can certainly understand why an American art dealer might want to head abroad—to Paris, for instance.

As I’ve previously reported, after almost two decades working in New York galleries, Brigitte Mulholland recently became an expat, opening an eponymous gallery in the French capital earlier this month. Now the fast-rising, and somewhat enigmatic, San Franciscobased dealer Micki Meng is following suit.

“We’re kind of under the radar on purpose,” Meng, who is 38, told me over the phone. “It’s more oblique, and I like it better that way.” (She was—I am not joking—en route to a French lesson taught by a granddaughter of the French New Wave legend François Truffaut.)

Since opening her business in S.F. in 2018, Meng has kept a low profile while quietly expanding. What started out as an online arts publication is now a fully fledged art-dealing enterprise with two spaces in San Fran, one in a Manhattan apartment building, and as of next month, another across from the Centre Pompidou in an 1,100-square-foot space, which is ten times the size of the first gallery she first started (in a vitrine) in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

“It’s not meant to be this, like, empire move,” Meng said. “It’s just like… this is where we want to spend time.” 

Can’t argue with that.

A woman eating an ice cream cone.

Micki Meng in Venice. Courtesy of Micki Meng.

Meng’s laidback approach is what has attracted many of the artists on her roster. She is often credited with discovering the Los the Angeles artist Lauren Quin, who began working with her four years ago. Since then, Quin’s star has soared, and she will open her first New York solo show during Frieze Week (next week) at Pace founder Arne Glimcher’s project space in Tribeca, 125 Newbury.

“I think she’s always been thinking about what she wants for us both in five years time,” said Quin, who is also represented by the powerhouse Blum gallery. “She doesn’t let stress get the better of her. My first show with her, she made eight museum placements. That took time to pan out, but it was a calm, calculated approach.”

Other artists who have benefitted from Meng’s launchpad include Francesca Mollett, who won representation with Grimm two years ago; Omari Douglin, who was added to Matthew Brown’s roster; and artist-environmentalist Haley Mellin. (Meng’s website says that the gallery “dedicates a portion of its annual profit, time, and activity towards land conservation.”)

Meng, who got her start doing museum fundraising in L.A., said that she has focused, from the very beginning, on getting work that she shows into institutional collections. “We often make an artist’s first museum acquisition,” she said. “I truly believe in supporting museums and that ecosystem.”

Setting up a fourth space in one of Europe’s leading art hubs goes a bit against her chilled-out credo, Meng admitted. “I came to San Francisco to drop out of the art world,” she said, laughing. She had abandoned her museum career path, thinking she would never return to art. “I was completely burnt out,” she said. “But then I realized that the real world was much scarier than the art world, so I came back to it.”


Are we dreaming, or is the once-reclusive Cady Noland fully back in action?

After declining to participate in exhibitions for many years, Noland had an MMK Frankfurt retrospective in 2018, a project with Galerie Buchholz in New York in 2021, and then a display of brand-new art at, of all places, Gagosian last fall.

And, you’ll recall that earlier this year, during Frieze Los Angeles, her fans were angling to visit Theo Niarchos’s Hollywood gallery Maison d’Art to put eyes on a show of old work by Noland (though she was not involved with that one). The exhibition was by appointment only and booked out completely during the week that it opened. Many missed out. If you were in that camp, I have wonderful news for you: another Noland show will soon arrive in New York. As usual, it’s all a bit mysterious.

Here’s what I know: The show is titled “Power!: How to get it, how to use it.” and it will be on view at the office of the art advisory Front Desk Apparatus, right by the Morgan Library and Museum. An opening date has not been announced—and will not be. Once the show is open, public notice will go out. (Kind of like a Supreme drop?)

For the uninitiated: Front Desk Apparatus, is run by Michael Capio and Rob Teeters, who also acts as the artistic director for the Power Station, the buzzy Dallas nonprofit space that hosted notable shows by artists like Robert Grosvenor, Eric N. Mack, and most recently, Vojtěch Kovařík. Front Desk Apparatus’s East Midtown headquarters doubles as a project space and has hosted a reading of Gustav Flaubert by artist Amy Sillman, as well as presentations of single works, by the likes of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Sherrie Levine, and Patricia L. Boyd.

Now Noland’s name is joining them—in some fashion, at some point.


The court-side crowd at a New York Knicks game.

Courtesy a tipster.

Dealer Larry Gagosian watched the Knicks secure a playoff win over the Sixers on Monday at Madison Square Garden (perhaps in collector Steve Cohen’s seats? I’ve reported that he’s borrowed them before)… This weekend, I will be pouring one out for dealer Tina Kim, who had her Hermès “Kelly” bag nicked while hosting a dinner in Venice… Dealer Almine Rech announced that she’s opening a gallery in Monaco… Painter, failed assassin, and convicted felon John Hinckley Jr. has canceled his upcoming art show in New York, much to my dismay… Artist Tom Sachs has brought back his gallery concept Bodega 245 on Centre Street (or, the block known as Little Paris, depending on whom you ask); it opened last night with a show by skateboard legend Mark Gonzales… Speaking of grand returns, Mission Chinese is finally back in Chinatown, and hungry gallery hoppers will once again be able to enjoy chef Danny Bowien’s kung pao pastrami after a run through Henry Street spaces… Pack your bags, we’re going to Florida for what I believe to be the coolest artist collab I can possibly imagine: Lonnie Holley and Lizzi Bougatsos will open a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg next month…

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