Growing

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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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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Closely Watched Chicago Dealer Mariane Ibrahim Joins the Growing Ranks of Gallerists Opening New Spaces in Paris


Art dealer Mariane Ibrahim, who recently moved her influential gallery to Chicago from Seattle, has joined a growing number of gallerists expanding to Paris. As Midnight Publishing Group News reported recently, a combination of real-estate opportunities, Brexit fallout, and a renewed sense of vibrancy is turning the City of Lights into a veritable art-market hub.

The new space is on Paris’s famous Avenue Matignon and the first exhibition, a group show of artists on the gallery’s roster, will open in September. In recent years, Ibrahim has offered an influential platform for artists of the African diaspora, including Ghanaian market star Amoako Boafo and British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor. Ayana V. Jackson, who she also represents, will have a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in 2022.

“The 8th arrondissement reminds us of our initial initiative to move to Chicago, where we felt like there was something new happening,” Ibrahim told Midnight Publishing Group News. “We are very lucky to be present for the beginning of a new resurrection of certain areas in Paris.”

Mariane Ibrahim is opening a new gallery in Paris on Avenue Matignon. Image courtesy Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.

Mariane Ibrahim is opening a new gallery in Paris on Avenue Matignon. Image courtesy Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.

Paris has remained a point of departure and a point of return for the dealer, who lived in France before moving to the US in 2010. Given the ongoing travel restrictions, it was her French citizenship that made it possible to move forward with the space. 

Ibrahim said she had been considering the move “unconsciously for quite some time,” but began seriously pursuing it over the past six months. 

The pandemic “almost facilitated the need to be in two places at one time,” she added. “Paris is becoming a city that is going to compete in the major art market, and we are eager to be a part of that.”

In recent years, French collectors have grown increasingly interested in artists of the African diaspora as the country has engaged in deeper conversations about restitution of art stolen during the colonial era.

Asked how the Paris and Chicago spaces will work together, Ibrahim said they are opposites in many ways: the Chicago gallery is all on one level and spread out, while the Paris space spans three floors in a Haussmann building. 

At a time when “the global is local and vice versa,” she said, “being in two cultural spaces will enrich the work and practice of our artists.”

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