Galleries

Dealer Francois Ghebaly Is Opening a Second Space in L.A., Joining a Growing Throng of Galleries in Hollywood


Veteran Los Angeles dealer Francois Ghebaly is expanding into a new space in Hollywood.

Next week—not coincidentally just ahead of the latest edition of Frieze Los Angeles—he will open a his second gallery in a raw, un-renovated space, left “as we found it.”

“I was looking for spaces and I came across one that was perfect for us,” Ghebaly told Midnight Publishing Group News. The dealer previously operated galleries in L.A.’s Chinatown and then Culver City in the early aughts. For the past decade, Ghebaly has run a space in downtown L.A. “We’ve been downtown about 10 years. We have a wonderful space and community there and it’s been very successful. We love what we’ve done there.”

The facade of Francois Ghebaly's new space in Hollywood. Image courtesy Francois Ghebaly.

The facade of Francois Ghebaly’s new space in Hollywood. Image courtesy Francois Ghebaly.

“We’re not moving away, we’re expanding,” he said of the new Hollywood locale, which is situated off of Santa Monica Boulevard, on Poinsettia Drive.

“We are going to have a wonderful gallery that kind of keeps the spirit of our downtown gallery.” Both spaces are housed in 1940s-era buildings with brick facades.

Ghebaly said the new site is “basically the very beginning of West Hollywood, so my immediate neighbors are Karma and Nino Meier, and right down the street from Jeffrey Deitch and Matthew Brown.”

Sharif Farrag, Bodach, (2019). Image courtesy the artist and Francois Ghebaly.

Sharif Farrag, Bodach, (2019). Image courtesy the artist and Francois Ghebaly.

The gallery will open with a show of work by Patrick Jackson, and then will shut down for a while. Ghebaly is in conversation with several architects about the space, but hasn’t decided what route he will take.

When the gallery reopens, it will be with a solo show from Sharif Farrag, a young L.A.-based artist. Farrag’s fantastical ceramic sculptures feature a mashup of imagery including body parts, cigarettes, pop-culture cartoon references and imagery from graffiti and skater culture as well as his Syrian-Egyptian heritage. “He’s been building on an incredible body of work,” said Ghebaly.

Patrick Jackson, Heads, Hands and Feet, (2011). Installation view, "Made in L.A. 2020: A Version," The Huntington, Los Angeles, CA.

Patrick Jackson, Heads, Hands and Feet, (2011). Installation view, “Made in L.A. 2020: A Version,” The Huntington, Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is “such an ever-changing city and there is a very exciting group of galleries and a great community that is developing in Hollywood,” Ghebaly said. “L.A. is such a large, wide city that there are many cities within L.A. itself. In Hollywood, something very exciting is happening right now, and I felt like it would be interesting to be a part of it.”

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Arne Glimcher, Artist? The Pace Patriarch Sold a Photograph He Took of His Dog, Max, at the Gallery’s Summer Staff Show


Ah, the summer staff show. It’s a beloved tradition. Every year, as all the VICs (very important collectors) scuttle away to the Hamptons, dealers across New York turn to their employees and say, “Hey, you guys are artists, right? Maybe we should do a group show?”

Some version of that conversation is what brought us “Atmospheres” (through August 20), Pace New York’s humble nod to its staffers’ many creative talents.

The exhibition presents works by nearly 90 Pace employees and contractors from around the world, including examples by Robert John Hodge (an archivist in London), Paul Paillet (an art handler in Geneva), and Natalja Kent (a freelance photographer in Los Angeles). Most of the artists, however, live and work in New York—including one who’s not quite an employee.

I’m speaking, you already know, of Arne Glimcher, the gallery’s founder who established the business way back in 1960 in Boston before relocating it to New York three years later.

Arne Glimcher's photograph of his dog sold for a cool $250 (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation)

Arne Glimcher’s photograph of his dog sold for a cool $250 (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation)

Arne’s contribution to the show is a sight to behold: a lovely little photographic portrait of his dog, Max, a gray schnauzer, covered in a gray blanket that makes him look like a canine Joseph Beuys.

By now, you likely know that Arne’s a filmmaker (he directed Mambo Kings in 1992 and Just Cause three years later), so it probably comes as no surprise that he’s comfortable behind the camera.

But did you also know that his current work revolves around gardening and writing, according to his bio on the website for “Atmospheres”? That was news to me.

All the works in the staff show are for sale, and range from just a few hundred dollars ($225 for Nancy Rattenbury’s black-and-white picture of a lampshade, which comes matted and framed) to five figures (Corey Escoto is selling a bronze sculpture of two hands for $12,000).

Arne’s print, which already found a buyer according to the gallery, is a steal: just $250. And if you’re wondering, the money doesn’t go straight into his wallet. According to the gallery, it went to a charity of the collector’s choice. All they had to do was provide receipt of their donation, and the print was theirs.

Glimcher could not be reached immediately for comment.

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Pace Gallery Jumps Headfirst Into the Crypto-Art Market With a Dedicated NFT Platform


Marc Glimcher, president and CEO of Pace Gallery, and among the most vocal proponents of the crypto-art market—at least among the mega-dealer set—has announced the gallery’s first dedicated platform for selling artists’ NFTs.

Due to open in September, the as-yet-unnamed platform will debut with a series of new NFTs by Lucas Samaras based on his archive of digital prints, making them the 84-year-old artist’s first foray into the medium.

The goal is not to compete with established crypto-art marketplaces such as Nifty Gateway or Rarible, Glimcher told Midnight Publishing Group News, and collaborations will be considered “on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Instead, the platform, which will live on the gallery’s website and be overseen by Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, Pace’s online sales director, is intended as an outlet for Pace artists to produce and sell digital artworks while the gallery controls the price point. 

“By offering artists’ work on our own platform, we can better support them in setting appropriate prices and by managing the sales process more seamlessly than through third parties,” Glimcher said.

The impetus, he said, came in part from the gallery’s artists.

“We work with a number of artists who want to make NFTs, so building a dedicated platform where they can show their work is an obvious solution,” he said.

In April, Pace partnered with Urs Fischer on the sale of his first NFT through the auction app Fair Warning, which reportedly caused a rift between the artist and his longtime dealer, Gagosian. The artwork, a digital animation of a lighter merging with an egg, sold for $97,700.

Pace will join forces with Fischer again this month when it hosts an online exhibition of the artist’s NFTs. The show is set to go on view July 21. Later this summer, Pace will showcase an NFT project from one of its newest roster artists, Glenn Kaino.

Pace is also now accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for all artworks, physical or digital.

“I’m a crypto person,” Glimcher told Bloomberg, which first reported the news of the NFT platform. “It’s really painless to accept crypto. It’s just: Why would you not?”

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Lévy Gorvy Is Dedicating All Four of Its Global Galleries to Mickalene Thomas, a Growing Art-Market Force, This Fall


Mickalene Thomas is going to be all over the world this fall. The artist’s gallery, Lévy Gorvy, is devoting all of its spaces—in New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong—to a four-part exhibition by the artist that will open on a rolling basis in September and October.

Thomas, who previously showed with Lehmman Maupin, specifically teamed up with Lévy Gorvy for the project.

“I’ve known Mickalene her entire career,” gallery co-founder Dominique Lévy told Midnight Publishing Group News. “I felt that if she had the time, the space, and the creative energy it would be extraordinary to have an exhibition that unfolded in four parts. Wherever you are in our four galleries you can see physical works, and you can still experience the full exhibition online. To me this is really the world of tomorrow.”

The show, titled “Beyond the Pleasure Principle,” will include paintings, installations, and videos that continue Thomas’s distinctive exploration of the Black female body “as a realm of power, eroticism, agency, and inspiration,” according to a statement from the gallery.

Thomas’s latest large-scale “Jet” paintings—in which she reclaims images from vintage Jet magazine pin-up calendars—will be shown in New York. Her “Jet Blue” series—which re-situates historical source material to offer a contemporary vision of beauty and identity, will be on view in London. The Paris gallery will feature “Tête de Femme,” Thomas’s reckoning with art-historical predecessors including Picasso, Leger, and Warhol, while Hong Kong will highlight large-scale “Resist” paintings, which focus on Black American civil-rights activism.

Prices for the primary market works range from about $350,000 to $550,000, according to Lévy.

Mickalene Thomas, Resist #2 (2021). © Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Mickalene Thomas, Resist #2 (2021). © Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Last month, Thomas’s painting Racquel Reclining Wearing Purple Jumpsuit (2016), soared to $1.8 million at a Christie’s evening sale, roughly triple its high $600,000 estimate, and setting a new record for the artist. Several months earlier, in December 2020, another painting, I’ve Been Good to Me (2013), sold at a Phillips New York evening sale for $901,200, also a price that was triple its high $300,000 estimate.

“Auctions will do what auctions do,” Lévy said. “We want to keep the market attractive for collectors, for patrons, for museums, and we want to expand the market,” which means being careful about where and who the gallery sells to.

In addition to strong demand in the U.S., Thomas also has a growing base of fans in Europe, particularly in Paris. In Asia, there is interest, but not yet a following, Lévy said. “We’re hoping to create the same kind of response to her work in Asia.”

The fall show also coincides with the global release of the first monograph devoted to Thomas’s work. It will be published by Phaidon in November.

“Beyond the Pleasure Principle” opens September 9 in New York, September 30 in London, October 7 in Paris, and October 14 in Hong Kong.

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See Images From a New David Hammons Show That Will Make You Second Guess What You Think You’re Seeing


David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid
On view at Nahmad Contemporary
through June 25, 2021

 

What the gallery says: “Invoking the material concerns of Arte Povera and the conceptual investigations of Marcel Duchamp, David Hammons appropriates the ephemera of daily life to explore the cultural and societal subtexts inherent to materials, images, objects, and language. A consistent thread throughout his multifaceted oeuvre, which spans over 50 years, is an investigation of racial stereotypes, prejudices, and identities in the United States. As such, the ‘Basketball’ (1995–2012) and ‘Kool-Aid’ (2003–07) works explore constructions of race and the clichéd associations bound to black American experience and culture.”

Why it’s worth a look: David Hammons is having a moment. The inimitable and enigmatic artist, a recluse by the standards of today’s demand that everyone be perfectly self-branded, is the subject of three concurrent displays of work, with his seminal “Body Prints” (among other works) on view at the Drawing Center in Tribeca; his long-awaited homage to Gordon Matta-Clark, Day’s End, practically done on the Hudson River; and another exhibition at Nahmad Contemporary, where hs is showing two rarely exhibited series.

Hammons has used his own body as a tool to create works, leaving a mark that is both highly personal and which points to the broader subject of Black bodies being commodified, manipulated, and deified. For his basketball drawings, Hammons bounced balls coated in charcoal onto pristine white paper, making subtle gradations. The element of chance inherent in bouncing a ball is a nod to the one-in-a-million chance afforded to the exceptional athletes who escape dire circumstances and rise to the ranks of professional play.

The Kool-Aid works, meanwhile, are made by applying the colored powder to paper in watercolor-like swirls and bursts. To add an element of concealment, silk curtains are draped over the works, partially covering them, refusing the viewer complete understanding or access.

What it looks like:

David Hammons, <i>Untitled (Basketball Drawing)</i> (2006-7). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

David Hammons, Untitled (Basketball Drawing) (2006-7). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

David Hammons, <i>Untitled (Kool-Aid)</i> (2004). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

David Hammons, Untitled (Kool-Aid) (2004). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

Installation view, "David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid" at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

Installation view, “David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid” at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

Installation view, "David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid" at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

Installation view, “David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid” at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

David Hammons, Untitled (Kool-Aid) (2003). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

David Hammons, <i>Untitled (Kool-Aid) </i> (2006). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

David Hammons, Untitled (Kool-Aid) (2006). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

Installation view, "David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid" at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

Installation view, “David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid” at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

Installation view, “David Hammons: Basketball & Kool-Aid” at Nahmad Contemporary. Photo: Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. © David Hammons.

David Hammons, <i>Time Out (Basketball Drawing) </i> (2004/10). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

David Hammons, Time Out (Basketball Drawing) (2004/10). ©️ David Hammons / Courtesy Nahmad Contemporary.

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