Powerhouse Gallery LGDR Finally Names Its Artists, a ‘Bachelor’ Star Shows Us His NFTs, and More Juicy Art-World Gossip
Plus, who was Hans Ulrich Obrist having lunch with in Venice? And curator Daisy Sanchez gives us a peek into her life.
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].
LGDR ANNOUNCES ITS NEW STABLE
It’s alive! The hotly watched—and heavily-memed—LGDR, the conglomerate gallery founded as a merger between art dealers Dominique Lévy, Brett Gorvy, Amalia Dayan, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, has finally published a full list of its artists online. And it’s a momentous occasion.
For weeks, insiders in the trade were wondering which artists from the dealers’ various (and now closed) ventures Lévy Gorvy, Luxembourg and Dayan, and Salon 94 would remain on with LGDR. Now we’re finally privy to some information.
The new gallery’s stable is broken down into two lists: artists the gallery is “working with” and those they’re “affiliated” with.
So what exactly do those terms mean?
“It’s not that easy to change jargon, I have to say,” Dayan told Wet Paint. “It’s really thinking about the artists and what they need, and they don’t always need the same things. We want to listen, to be flexible, and to be nuanced and open to different types of relationships.”
Dayan said the artists listed under the “working with” section aren’t necessarily represented by the gallery, although some (such as Pat Steir, Derrick Adams, Laurie Simmons, and Marilyn Minter) are. And those “affiliated” with the gallery may either work with the dealers on one-off projects, or their artworks may route through the business in secondary-market transactions.
“It was a thoughtful process and an interesting conversation among ourselves and with the artists,” she said.
The nomenclature, it seems, is new to everyone.
Adrian Piper, who carried over from Lévy Gorvy, told Wet Paint she was “completely stumped” as to what the terms really meant.
“It does not seem to sort easily into an exclusive/non-exclusive representation distinction, or a primary/secondary market distinction, or a live/dead distinction,” she added in an email. “All I can say is that my working relationship with Dominique has always been non-exclusive, mostly primary, and I’m still alive (I think ;D) – and that this arrangement works well for both of us.”
But not everyone from the old lists made it onto either of the new ones.
In fact, more than 20 artists and estates that once had some sort of agreement with one of the old galleries are not listed on the new LGDR website. And many of those come from Salon 94 in particular.
Among those dropped since its closure are Amy Bessone, Liu Chuang, Liz Cohen, Shawanda Corbett, David Benjamin Sherry, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Luis Flores, Katy Grannan, Takeshi Murata, Natalie Frank, Francesca Di Mattio, Jayson Musson, Yukultji Napangati, Carlos Rolón, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, and Timothy Washington.
Nor are the estates of Ruth Duckworth, Jimmy Desana, nor Josep Grau-Garriga, listed anywhere on the new gallery’s website. All previously worked with Rohatyn. (Huma Bhabha, who announced representation with David Zwirner last week, is listed under the “affiliated” section, as is César.)
LGDR did not respond to requests for comment on those artists or estates, except to say it was working on closing a deal with Lisa Brice, another former Salon 94er.
And not all the breakups were pretty.
One artist who formerly worked with Rohatyn said they only found out about the LDGR merger after reading about it in in Robin Pogrebin’s New York Times story in August 2021. What’s more, the person said, the artists who were dropped in the switch to LGDR were told last year that, even though they wouldn’t be carried over, their names would still appear on the Salon 94 website, ostensibly to help the artists find new representation, through January.
But that’s not what happened. In the fall, the artist’s name was scrubbed from the website (along with several others) and only reinserted after protests. Rohatyn declined to comment.
GET YOUR AKUTARS HERE!
Earlier this month, at the Public Art Fund’s annual gala, I had the pleasure to be seated across from Matt James, the former Bachelor contestant, NCAA football hero, and still consummate stud. As tends to happen with most celebrities I meet at art-world events, it wasn’t long before his NFT collection came up.
At the party, the reality TV star was pictured with Hugh Hayden and spotted jawing with Cynthia Rowley (whose daughter, Kit Keenan, was a contestant on James’s season). While I was seated with him, James made sure to ask several people at the table what they thought of NFTs, with what I took to be some sense of insecurity bubbling up in his tone.
As it turns out, James owns an NFT by former MLB second baseman Micah Johnson, who had a few cups of coffee for parts of three seasons for the White Sox, Dodgers, and my hometown Braves (he last played in 2017) before becoming an NFT artist. It was at Art Basel Miami Beach that Johnson announced his Akuverse, a crypto fantasy land full of Akutars, “a collection of unique, 3D avatars living on the Ethereum blockchain,” according to the Akuverse website. “Each Akutar grant you entry into the ever-expanding Akuverse, where lines are blurred between the digital and physical worlds.”
So James bought in, and now owns an avatar of a sprightly little thing, like a video game character, standing in a ghoulish, black-and-white tiled hallway wearing a space helmet. He said he was inspired to buy it because he felt empowered by the image of a Black man on the moon.
The collectible comes from an edition of 1402, according to the Akuverse website, and the brand has more in store: on Friday, April 22, it’ll have another release of up to 5,750 Akuverse NFTs, though other details remained scare late Thursday afternoon. For now, just know that on the Nifty Gateway secondary NFT market, you can get James’s NFT for as little as $7,999.
As James and I got to talking, he had his arm around Rachael Kirkconnell, the winner (is that the right term?) of his Bachelor season, and they seemed earnestly happy. That made me sad. I guess we won’t see James on Proof of Love, the dating show for the crypto community. Sigh.
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Simone Leigh and Simon Lee reportedly got their laundry switched while staying in the same hotel in Venice … Los Angeles gallery M+B will open a location in Milan … Artists Fiona Rae and James Siena are now represented by Miles McEnery Gallery … Sir Elton John may have donated seven racks of vintage Versace to Housing Works … Laurie Simmons will show with 56 Henry this fall … Shooting has wrapped on a reality show about Dimes Square … A textile piece by Qualeasha Wood has been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art—“speechless is an understatement,” the artist wrote in an emotional Instagram post … Forlini‘s is selling artworks that were on display at the now-shuttered restaurant, which is an amazing coincidence as it’s Wet Paint’s birthday next week …
Artist Arthur Jafa, former Met chief Tom Campbell, and art advisor Amy Cappelazzo at the opening of the Venice Biennale *** Hans Ulrich Obrist having lunch with Maja Hoffmann in La Serenissima *** Meanwhile, back in New York, KAWS, Adam Lindemann, Futura, Brooke Shields, Nicole Miller, Francesco Clemente, and Will Cotton were all at the Tribeca Ball at the New York Academy of Art, this year honoring Kenny Scharf *** Paul Rudd at the Public Art Fund gala, where he was spotted eyeballing a Martine Gutierrez work on silent auction*** Dan Colen surveying the new Charles Ray sculptures at the Whitney Biennial on a recent Saturday *** Nina Chanel Abney in her hometown Chicago releasing a line of women’s basketball shoes in a collaboration with Jordan *** Jack Siebert, Jonah Hill, Alex Rojas, and Isabel Yellin playing tennis at Siebert’s Malibu mansion *** Chloë Sevigny calling her marriage with Siniša Mačkovic the “indie version” of Jennifer Lawrence‘s with Cooke Maroney *** Chris Rock, slap-victim, traipsing carefree around SoHo ***
WET PAINT IN THE WILD
The first time I met curator Daisy Sanchez, she poked her head out of a lofted bed in the back room at 56 Henry, where she was living at the time, to say hello.
That was probably four or five years ago. Since that meet cute, Sanchez has regularly popped up at some of my favorite galleries in the city (most recently she’s been working at Tribeca’s Theta), and always impresses me with her steel-trap mind and sense of humor. She recently curated “Trivial Pursuit” at Entrance Gallery, which prompted me to wonder what a week in her shoes might look like.
WET PAINT QUESTIONNAIRE
Last week, I asked who it would surprise you to find out was a total nerd in high school. Personally, I’d be shocked to learn if Larry Gagosian was ever uncool, but Boston Art Review editor-in-chief Jameson Johnson thought first of Raymond Pettibon because “anybody who’s been in a band could never have been a nerd.” Especially when that band is an early iteration of Black Flag.
Dealer Max Werner suggested David Salle. “He presents so effortlessly smart, elegant, and engaging,” he said. “I would be shocked if he was ever perceived otherwise.” Agreed on that one.
My question this week is a new twist on an old classic: If you were stuck on a desert island with only one artwork, what would it be and why?
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