Downtown’s Newest Art Star Has a 200-Person Waitlist, Peres Projects Is Branching Out to Seoul, and More Juicy Art-World Gossip
Plus, which mega-dealer just bought an $8.75 million Richard Neutra-designed home in L.A.? And which arts leader was hanging with Boris Johnson?
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]
YOU WANT A SHANNON CARTIER LUCY? FAT CHANCE
Amid a flurry of (fantastic) gallery openings these past two weeks in New York, one show has broken through the noise to grab the attention of the art-world elite: Shannon Cartier Lucy’s “The Loo Table” at Lubov Gallery in Chinatown. Saturday’s opening for the Nashville-based artist was a packed house, with patrons even spilling out onto the building’s roof. (It turns out that extremely crowded openings are, advisably or not, very much back. Take a COVID test, everyone!)
At a time when profit-hungry collectors are flocking to hip figurative paintings like adolescent boys to freshly cracked parental locks, demand for Cartier Lucy’s work is skyrocketing. According to Lubov’s founder, Francisco Correa Cordero, the artist’s prices have tripled since he last showed her work in the winter of 2020, and nearly quadrupled since he first offered a painting of hers in Miami in 2019 for $7,000. Less than two years later, Cartier-Lucy’s paintings never sell for under $30,000, he said.
At a dinner to celebrate the show, Cordero told Wet Paint that there are currently 196 names on the waitlist for the seven paintings at Lubov. (One of those paintings is actually on loan from actress-model Hailey Gates, so it isn’t even for sale.) As has become customary for dealers representing this new class of highly in-demand painters, Cordero hasn’t yet decided which of the lucky six contestants will get the privilege of forking over their cash.
Each of Cartier Lucy’s new paintings capture a distinctly unsettling, sometimes morbid scene. Girl at the Loo Table (2021) depicts an indignant-looking girl struggling with oversized utensils at the dinner table; Wasps and Bramble (2021) evokes the feeling of being stung through painted wasps, stingers erect, crawling over a thorny twig. The artist’s aesthetic has been described as “Norman Rockwell meets David Lynch,” which appears to be extremely desirable right now.
It hasn’t taken long for poachers to circle. Wet Paint can confirm that at least one prominent downtown New York gallery made overtures to the artist and was rebuffed. Sources also said that White Cube approached Cartier Lucy in the summer of 2020 to do a solo online viewing room that would have run concurrently with a show of Tracey Emin‘s work and the group show “About Time,” but was turned down. The artist had sold everything she had made and was clean out of stock at the time.
“Figuration is so hot right now,” Cordero explained. “There’s definitely pressure, because everything she makes has to be perfect. There’s no room to experiment or try new things. Which is a reason why she’s going to start slowing down a bit, in terms of shows.”
Indeed, Cartier Lucy has been on a tear, with two back-to-back shows at Lubov in successive years and upcoming solos at Night Gallery in Los Angeles and Massimo De Carlo in Hong Kong. Somewhat shockingly, her work has not yet shown up at auction—but with a waitlist like hers, don’t expect that to last.
The painter, who studied under Lisa Yuskavage at New York University and began pursuing art full time after shelving plans to become a psychotherapist, is keeping a healthy perspective. “When I’m back home in Nashville living in our house kind of in the country,” she told Wet Paint, “I’m so far away from all that that it’s easy to not pay attention.” Cartier Lucy got back into painting for the first time since college after 13 years of sobriety from a heroin addiction—prior to getting clean, the artist mainly worked in text-based silkscreens and sculpture.
Cartier Lucy already counts among her collectors Massimo De Carlo partner Alberto Chehebar, a former Playboy bunny, and a senior director of Hauser & Wirth. (The girl’s got range.) Cardero’s goal is to get one of her paintings into a major institution—and naturally, there’s already interest, specifically in her piece The Autopsy (2021), which portrays a Dalmatian with its innards made outards.
“[That piece] asks you to imagine that you love your dog so much that you do an autopsy when the dog dies,” Cordero explained. “It’s so macabre and dark. That’s what a lot of people like about her.”
PERES PROJECTS GOES SEOUL SEARCHING
Not long ago, a European gallery looking to expand would consider a few candidates before making the final call: New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris. Maybe Los Angeles. But the global order is changing—fast. Wet Paint can reveal that Peres Projects, the trend-spotting contemporary art gallery helmed by Javier Peres, is expanding for the first time outside of Berlin. And it has chosen the increasingly red-hot market center Seoul as its destination. The outpost is set to open early next year with Kacey Choi acting as the gallery’s director of Asia.
“We have amazing clients and friends in Korea,” Peres told Wet Paint. “We want to be closer to our clients there so they can engage our program throughout the year in addition to when we participate in Art Busan—we have done three editions and it’s wonderful—and this year we will also participate in KIAF [Korea International Art Fair] for the first time.” The fact that Frieze is launching its first Asian fair in the city in September 2022 probably doesn’t hurt, either.
Is Seoul on its way to taking the crown from an increasingly repressive Hong Kong as Asia’s premier art-market hub? New arrivals to the Korean city include Thaddeus Ropac and Pace Gallery, which is opening its second Seoul location in the Hannam-dong neighborhood. Gladstone Gallery is headed for the Gangnam District, where König Galerie has also set up shop.
TLDR: Dealers who are considering taking the plunge in Seoul would be wise to contact their realtors soon.
*** The playoffs for New York museums’ intramural softball league revived an age-old rivalry between the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, with MoMA’s team Starry Knights pummeling the Mets 10-2 (in my eyes they also get bonus points for a more creative name, shout out to the Whitney Houstons!) *** Dan Colen stopping on 78th Street to wave hello to fellow artist Jeanette Hayes while en route to go see his new painting at Gagosian’s uptown outpost *** Ben Hartley, executive director of New York’s National Arts Club, discussing “haircuts and Warhol” with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ***
*** Actress Hari Nef at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s production of Sun and Sea by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė, the opera-cum-performance piece that won the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale *** Frank Stella in the West Village giving a very friendly pat to a dog (artists really are just regular people) *** Food artist Laila Gohar with Ignacio Mattos, owner of art-world hang Altro Paradiso, at the Creative Time opening for Kamala Sankaram’s The Last Stand in Prospect Park with Waris Ahluwalia and the organization’s executive director Justine Ludwig picnicking nearby ***
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) September 22, 2021
Nina Chanel Abney designed new cover art for Meek Mill … Kat Parker has left her role as director at Salon 94 (which is merging with Dominique Lévy, Brett Gorvy, and Amalia Dayan to form the mega-gallery known as LGDR) to return to Petzel as a director … Iwan Wirth has purchased an $8.75 million historic home designed by Richard Neutra in Los Angeles, which will be restored to serve as a private residence for the family …
BREUER BUILDING TO BECOME SPIRIT HALLOWEEN STORE.
— richard chartier (@3particles) September 20, 2021
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