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Hellos and Goodbyes
From art to fashion trends: capturing the latest global developments.
Art Girls Jungle 29 Apr 2024

Here we go with another round of “Hellos and Goodbyes,” despite the packed art calendar. The first part of April has indeed been a rollercoaster for art and design aficionados. We’ve waved goodbye to Salone del Mobile in Milan and cheered the opening curtains at the Biennale di Venezia. Now, with Art Brussels and Berlin Gallery Weekend in full swing, the art world just doesn’t stand still. Here’s what I’ve prepared to keep you updated: the latest artist representations, gallery openings, or closings, and icons who have left us. And let’s not forget the boldest trends in fashion—but I won’t give away too much!

1. Richard Saltoun Gallery Now Represents Fathi Hassan.

Richard Saltoun Gallery proudly announces its representation of Fathi Hassan, the distinguished Nubian-Egyptian artist. Born in Cairo and forced to leave his Nubian homeland due to the Aswan High Dam’s construction, Hassan’s artistic journey spans from Italy to his current base in Edinburgh. His upcoming exhibition, “I Can See You Smiling Fatma,” from April 9 to May 25, 2024, at Richard Saltoun Gallery London, promises to explore his Nubian heritage and personal autobiography. Through paintings, drawings, and installations, Hassan invites viewers to delve into the complexities of identity and displacement, echoing lost languages and forgotten histories with his enigmatic calligraphic signs.

2. Fatima Hellberg Named General Director of mumok Vienna.

In a visionary move for the future of Vienna’s cultural landscape, Fatima Hellberg, the Swedish curator, has been named the new General Director of mumok – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, effective October 1, 2025. The announcement made by Andrea Mayer, State Secretary for Arts and Culture, highlights Hellberg’s forthcoming leadership poised to infuse mumok with global perspectives and innovative curatorial practices. Renowned for her roles at institutions such as Tate Modern, Malmö Konsthall, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Hellberg’s expertise is expected to propel mumok into a new era of inclusivity and creativity.


3. Curator Sylvain Amic Takes the Helm at Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie.

The Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris have a new captain at the helm: Sylvain Amic, aged 56, now leads these two artistic powerhouses. Taking over as Christophe Leribault sets sail to command the Château de Versailles, Amic is celebrated for his dynamic leadership and creative flair, previously showcased at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen. With a deep expertise in 19th-century art and a history of enhancing museum access across France, Amic’s appointment, effective April 24, signals a promise to maintain continuity while infusing both institutions with fresh vigor. His dual role ushers in an exciting new chapter, setting him to invigorate the Parisian art scene with innovative approaches while honoring timeless traditions.

4. Wentrup Gallery Sets Sail for Venice with a New Artistic Harbor.

Wentrup Gallery, a beacon of Berlin’s art scene, has dropped anchor in Venice, launching its first international location amidst the ongoing Venice Biennale. The new space, Wentrup Venezia, took over a historic former designer’s studio last Friday. Kicking off with the exhibition “Capriccio,” it features a blend of seasoned and emerging artists, including the notable Enzo Cucchi. Owners Tina and Jan Wentrup are making a splash in a city known more for its classic art by introducing a contemporary twist. This expansion into Venice reflects their ambition to craft unique creative environments, fostering artistic dialogues across geographical borders with a pinch of Berlin’s avant-garde spirit.

5. Almine Rech Gallery Welcomes Gwen O’Neil to Its Esteemed Lineup.

American artist Gwen O’Neil, a young talent renowned for her luminous abstract works, is the newest addition to the Almine Rech Gallery. O’Neil’s art, an intuitive yet methodical dabbing of fluctuating pigments on raw canvas, creates vibrant scenes that reflect the natural landscapes of California. Her paintings, rich in dynamic harmonies, evoke both the cosmic and the everyday—from the Los Angeles twilight to the intricate patterns of shells and the mesmerizing swirls of migrating starlings. Expect to see her compelling work at The Armory Show and Frieze London.

6. Munich Museum Technician Fired for Covert Art Display.

In a bold but misguided artistic maneuver, an unnamed 51-year-old artist working in the technical services division at Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne was let go after he decided to showcase his own painting. Seeking attention for his art, he surreptitiously placed it among renowned artworks, including those by Andy Warhol, temporarily transforming the museum into his personal gallery. Discovered mere hours after opening, his rogue installation was swiftly dismantled. Not only was he dismissed, but he was also banned from returning, with the museum filing a criminal complaint for the deliberate holes drilled into the esteemed gallery walls.

7. Court Orders Mona’s “Ladies Lounge” to Welcome All Genders.

Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) must open its “Ladies Lounge” to all visitors, not just women, following a court ruling. The installation, which offered a luxurious retreat for women only, including champagne served by male butlers, faced a legal challenge from Jason Lau, who argued his exclusion as a man was discriminatory. The court agreed, stating the exclusion didn’t actually promote opportunities for female artists as claimed. As supporters danced outside the courthouse, Mona now faces a decision: adapt the lounge or close it entirely. The outcome? Gender equality might just get a new lounge in Tasmania.

8. End of an Era: Marlborough Gallery to Close After 80 Years.

Marlborough Gallery, with prestigious outposts from New York to Barcelona, is closing its doors after nearly eight decades in the art world. Amidst family disputes, the financial impact of COVID-19, and the departure of key artists like Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego, the gallery has decided to cease representing artists and end its exhibition programming by June. The closure plan includes selling off a significant inventory of artworks, with proceeds partially benefiting contemporary art charities. Franz Plutschow from the gallery’s board stated, “After long and careful consideration, we made the decision that now is the time to sunset our nearly 80-year-old firm.” This marks the end of a gallery that has played a significant role in shaping the art scene to this day.


9. Fortnight Institute Closes: New York Loses a Dash of Artistic Flair.

After eight vibrant years, the Fortnight Institute in New York’s East Village has decided to close its doors. Known for cheeky exhibits like “Dicks” and “Only Small Paintings,” the gallery has been a springboard for fresh talents such as Somaya Critchlow and Chris Oh. Founders Fabiola Alondra and Jane Harmon announced the closure on Instagram, musing over shifting to a more commercial model but ultimately choosing to uphold their mission of fostering creativity. This quirky art haven’s shutdown reflects a growing trend of smaller galleries in downtown New York winding down, leaving the city’s art scene a little less colorful.


10. Bruce Museum Says Bye to Robert Wolterstorff.

After five whirlwind years and a whopping $68 million revamp, Robert Wolterstorff is hanging up his hat as the head honcho of the Bruce Museum. Under his watch, the museum not only expanded its footprint by 43,000 square feet but also landed a cool $5 million donation from Steven and Alexandra Cohen. With “The New Bruce” up and thriving and fresh fiscal leadership in place, he feels his mission is accomplished and it’s time to pass the torch. Stepping into the financial fray is Jonathan Rohner, a seasoned pro from Yale’s cultural corners. As Wolterstorff bids adieu, he leaves behind a legacy that includes the museum’s biggest art haul yet—a nifty $50 million collection featuring names like Hopper and Picasso. Talk about going out with a bang.

11. Polish Pavilion Drama: Rejected Artists Find a Voice in Venice.

Ignacy Czwartos, initially chosen to represent Poland at the Venice Biennale, was dropped following a change in government. His spot was quickly filled by the Ukrainian collective, Open Group, with their exhibit “Repeat After Me.” Unfazed, Czwartos opened “Polonia Uncensored” independently, not too far from the official Polish Pavilion, in a Venetian home provided by a supportive retired doctor. His display, featuring provocative pieces like a painting of Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin next to a swastika-like shape, critiques political alliances and historical narratives. Meanwhile, Open Group’s installation uses war sounds to immerse visitors in the experiences of Ukrainian civilians.
Czwartos’s shift from the main pavilion to an independent venue transforms his farewell into a bold new hello, bringing vital discussions on history, censorship, and resilience into the heart of Venice.

12. Digital Basel Bust: NFT Imposter Folds Amid Artful Controversy.

Digital Basel, the audacious NFT platform masquerading as Art Basel’s “digital twin,” has collapsed under the weight of a hefty cease-and-desist order. Billing itself as a “digital dimension” of the famed art fair, it audaciously offered NFTs of more than 7,000 artworks without any real backing from artists or galleries. The debacle peaked with a notorious listing: an NFT of Georg Baselitz’s “The Abgar Head” for $90,500, a mere fraction of its original’s auction value. This bold venture into digital art ended not with a brush stroke, but with a website crash, serving as a stark reminder of the fine line between innovation and infringement.

13. Roberto Cavalli, Icon of Fashion, Passes at 83.

Renowned for his love of glamour and excess, Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has died at the age of 83. Celebrated for his bold and extravagant designs, Cavalli carved out a niche in the fashion world with his signature animal prints and flamboyant aesthetics that captivated celebrities like Lenny Kravitz and Cindy Crawford. His pioneering use of sandblasted and stretch jeans redefined luxury denim in the 1990s, marking him as a major force in fashion with a wide-reaching influence that spanned decades. Cavalli’s designs were not just clothing but statements of maximalism, embracing the vibrancy and energy of fashion at its most theatrical. His legacy lives on in the dazzling outfits that graced runways and red carpets, embodying a life lived at full speed and in full color.

14.  Distinguished Gallerist and Curator Daniel Marzona Passes Away at 55.

Berlin mourns the loss of esteemed gallerist and curator Daniel Marzona, who passed away unexpectedly from a stroke at age 55. Renowned for his tenure at MoMA PS1, Marzona founded his own gallery in 2014, which became a pivotal part of the Berlin art scene. Celebrated for its focus on conceptual and minimal art, the gallery showcased significant artists and was a fixture at major art fairs like Art Basel. A champion of emerging talent, Marzona’s personal warmth and professional courage shaped the contemporary art landscape. His passing is a profound loss not only to those who knew him personally but also to the global art community. His dedication and visionary spirit will be deeply missed.

15. Leopard Print: The Trend That Just Won’t Quit.

2024 proves that leopard print remains the undisputed champion of the fashion jungle. Beloved by the chic and the daring alike, this timeless pattern is staging a roaring comeback this season. While some fashion trends might ask for subtlety, leopard print demands attention. This year, it’s not just an accessory; it’s the showstopper, gracing everything from luxurious coats to sweeping floor-length dresses. With designers pushing boundaries more than ever, why settle for just one leopard print item when you can layer up? Taking inspiration from the likes of Dior and Celine, why not pair a leopard print skirt with a matching sweater vest and cardigan, or strut in a head-to-toe ensemble? Remember: either you love it or you hate it, but leopard print never really goes out of style—it just takes new leaps each season.

Text by Maria Nitulescu

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