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Hellos and Goodbyes
February's Palette: Beginnings, Endings, and the Fragrance of Change.
Art x Style 27 Feb 2024

In the whimsical world of February, where calendars flirt with the concept of time, we’re granted a bonus day in this ordinarily brisk month of 28. It’s like finding an extra fry at the bottom of your takeout bag—a small, delightful surprise that promises more than expected. And, oh, the smorgasbord of happenings we’ve been treated to! From the fashion runways that transform New York, London, Milan, and Paris into veritable catwalks of creativity to the Berlinale, which parades as the “showcase of the free world” and an illustrious film festival. This year, the Golden Bear played coy, ultimately sidling up to “Dahomey” directed by Mati Diop. Meanwhile, Sharon Stone, in a plot twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan blush, dazzled Berlin with her European debut as an artist—yes, you read that right—showcasing her talents beyond the silver screen at Galerie Deschler. But that’s merely the appetizer. Let’s dive into the main course of hellos and goodbyes that have the art world buzzing, twirling, and sometimes, somberly waving farewell.

1. Essence Harden and Paulina Pobocha to Co-Curate Hammer Museum’s Next Made in L.A. Biennial 2025.

The art world, get ready: L.A.’s 2025 Made in L.A. biennial will be curated by the dynamic duo of Essence Harden and Paulina Pobocha. Harden, an L.A. art scene veteran, and Pobocha, an East Coast transplant with a MoMA resume, are joining forces to shake up the city’s art landscape. With Harden’s deep local insights and Pobocha’s fresh eyes, this pair is set to explore Los Angeles’s artistic riches without a map—or a predetermined theme. Their mission? To capture the city’s creative pulse by diving into its diverse art communities, all while keeping an open mind and possibly stopping for tacos. Expect a biennial that’s as eclectic and sprawling as L.A. itself, proving that when it comes to art, this city always surprises.

2. Mire Lee to Sculpt New Visions in Tate Modern’s Esteemed Turbine Hall Commission.

Tate Modern just spilled the beans: Mire Lee is set to take over the Turbine Hall with an electrifying, site-specific spectacle from 8 October 2024 to 16 March 2025. Making her UK debut, Lee plans to transform the cavernous space into an industrial jungle where steel, cement, silicone, oil, and clay come alive. Imagine sculptures that aren’t just seen but felt, as they ooze, drip, and pulsate, blurring the lines between the mechanical and the organic. Lee’s creations, part art, part science experiment gone rogue, are poised to provoke and mesmerize. This isn’t just an exhibition; it’s an invasion of the senses, challenging viewers to explore the raw edges of emotion and desire. Get ready to be unsettled, intrigued, and utterly captivated. Mire Lee, ladies and gentlemen, is not just breaking boundaries—she’s sculpting them.

3. Aaron Seeto Appointed as Hirshhorn Deputy Director.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has snagged Aaron Seeto, the visionary behind Jakarta’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN), as its new deputy director. With a track record of making waves in the art world—from Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery to transforming MACAN into a powerhouse of contemporary art—Seeto is now set to sprinkle his curatorial magic on the Smithsonian’s crown jewel. Under his eye, expect the Hirshhorn to embark on its next chapter of engaging art aficionados and newcomers alike.

4. MoMA’s Promotion: Michelle Kuo Ascends to Chief Curator at Large and Publisher.

New York’s Museum of Modern Art sets sail with Michelle Kuo’s promotion to Chief Curator at Large and Publisher, marking a bold stride into the world of artistic experimentation. Kuo’s vision? Think of it as adding a little extra spice to an already zesty art world, with a dash of global flair and interdisciplinary flavor. As she navigates MoMA through the twists and turns of societal and technological changes, get ready for a strategic move towards broader support of artistic experimentation.

5. Amanda de la Garza is the new Artistic Deputy of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.

From the bustling art scene of Mexico to the historic halls of Madrid, Amanda de la Garza steps in as the Reina Sofia Museum’s new deputy artistic director. Fresh from her transformative role at MUAC in UNAM, where she championed underrepresented artists and curated over 30 exhibitions, de la Garza brings a vision that’s as much about art as it is about advocacy. With a keen eye for the unseen and a heart set on diversifying the narrative, she’s poised to infuse the Reina Sofia with a fresh, inclusive energy.

6. Esther Schipper Gallery Welcomes Julius von Bismarck and Hyunsun Jeon to Its Diverse Roster.

Kicking off the year with a flourish, Esther Schipper Gallery first welcomed Annet Kelm into its fold in January. The momentum continued as the gallery announced the representation of Julius von Bismarck, in an exclusive collaboration with Alexander Levy, Berlin, and Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf. Von Bismarck, renowned for his explorations of societal interactions with nature, adds a provocative edge to the gallery’s diverse portfolio. Most recently, the gallery expanded its roster further by representing Korean artist Hyunsun Jeon, known for her emotionally charged, geometric abstractions. These strategic additions underscore Esther Schipper’s commitment to showcasing a broad spectrum of contemporary art, from its Berlin base to its spaces in Paris and Seoul.

7. Zac Posen Steps Up as GAP’s New Creative Director.

Fashion alert: Zac Posen, the wizard behind those jaw-dropping evening gowns, has been crowned GAP’s Creative Director. Raised in the artsy laps of SoHo and hailing from a family where creativity is the daily bread (thanks to his painter dad and lawyer mom with an eye for detail), Posen is on a mission to stitch his glamorous signature into GAP’s classic vibe. As GAP aims to dazzle us out of our fashion slumber, we’re all eyes and wallets. Will our everyday wardrobe get a sprinkle of Posen’s star-studded magic? Only time will tell, but GAP’s future sure looks stylishly promising.

8. Francois Ghebaly Gallery Elevates Belen Piсeiro to Partner.

Big news from the art world’s buzzing hive: The US-based Francois Ghebaly Gallery has just turned the spotlight on Belen Piñeiro, crowning her as the newest gallery Partner. Since stepping into the gallery scene in 2018, Piñeiro has been the secret sauce behind the gallery’s leap onto the global stage, juggling core artists and charming collectors. With a knack for adding a touch of flair to the international art scene, Piñeiro’s promotion is not just a nod to her past triumphs but a toast to the gallery’s glittering future. As Ghebaly puts it, getting Piñeiro on board is like hitting the jackpot, promising an artful blend of vision, class, and groundbreaking opportunities. The gallery, a crucible for the avant-garde and the home to a kaleidoscope of artists, is all set to paint the town red under Piñeiro’s partnership.

9. BLUM Gallery Unveils Representation of Aleksandra Waliszewska.

BLUM Gallery proudly announces its latest coup: representing Warsaw’s own Aleksandra Waliszewska, a virtuoso of the visceral and the dark. Steeped in symbolist tradition, Waliszewska’s oeuvre is a gateway to worlds where myth and reality blur, hosting a pantheon of empowered female figures, mythical creatures, and haunting Slavic motifs. Her art, a legacy of female creativity, now finds a new home at BLUM. The partnership kicks off with a spellbinding exhibition in Tokyo come March 2024, before taking New York by storm in early 2025.

10. Farewell to Alastair McKimm: i-D Magazine Pauses its Pages.

i-D Magazine bids adieu to its longtime Editor-in-Chief, Alastair McKimm, marking a significant transition for this iconic publication. McKimm’s departure sparks speculation about i-D’s future direction, particularly as reports emerge of the magazine’s print and digital platforms hitting pause. While the industry contemplates this strategic shift, i-D remains committed to its roots in youth culture and creativity. McKimm’s exit signifies a turning point in i-D’s narrative, signaling the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter in the magazine’s storied legacy.

11. Art Patron Rosa de la Cruz Passes Away.

Miami mourns the loss of Rosa de la Cruz, a pivotal figure in its art scene and co-founder of the De La Cruz Collection, who has died at 81 after a battle with an autoimmune disorder. Her visionary efforts, alongside her husband Carlos, enriched Miami’s cultural landscape, fostering a vibrant community of artists and art lovers. Rosa’s legacy, marked by her passion for contemporary art and her generous spirit, will continue to inspire.

12. Scott Lorinsky Steps Down from CCS Bard and Visual AIDS Boards.

Art collector Scott Lorinsky, previously serving on the boards of CCS Bard and Visual AIDS, has stepped down amid swirling allegations related to a pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York. This recent turn of events casts a spotlight on the intricate dance between art, activism, and personal conduct within the art community. As the facts continue to unfold, Lorinsky’s departure underscores a moment of reckoning and reflection for the involved organizations. The art world watches on, reminded of the ever-present dialogue between ethics and expression.

13. Perrotin Ends Collaboration with Paris Dealers.

Surprisingly, Emmanuel Perrotin exits his partnership with Paris dealers Bastok and Lessel, leaving behind shares in both Paris and Dubai galleries. Perrotin’s departure, akin to a seasoned character exiting stage left, coincides with the gallery’s expansion plans, including the impending debut of a new space in Los Angeles. While Bastok and Lessel take the reins, Perrotin sets sail for new artistic horizons, perhaps in search of his next big cameo.

14. Farewell to Karl Horst Hцdicke.

The art world bids goodbye to Karl Horst Hödicke, the esteemed painter who passed away at 85 in Berlin. Renowned for his expressive urban landscapes, Hödicke’s legacy stretches from Documenta to the halls of the Berlinische Galerie, leaving an indelible mark on both the canvas and the heart of the art community.

15. Italian Culture Official Resigns Amidst Artwork Laundering Scandal.

In a scandal straight out of an Italian opera, the saga surrounding Italy’s undersecretary for culture, Vittorio Sgarbi, unfolds like a Renaissance drama. Amidst accusations of art laundering and a stolen 17th-century masterpiece, Sgarbi exits the stage, denying all charges. The canvas of controversy reveals a tale of intrigue, as investigators untangle the web of mysteries surrounding “The Capture of Saint Peter” by Rutilio di Lorenzo Manetti. As the art world holds its breath, one thing’s for certain: this operatic spectacle is far from its final act.

16. Betty Cuningham Gallery Closes Doors and Ventures into Virtual Realm.

After two decades of creativity, the Betty Cuningham Gallery in New York says its fond goodbyes to its physical space. “The Last Picture Show” exhibition, running from February 10 to April 27, marks its final chapter. From June 1, 2024, the gallery transitions to the digital realm. But fear not, art enthusiasts! Keep those virtual goggles polished for upcoming online showcases.

17. Marc Pachter, Visionary of the National Portrait Gallery, Passes at 80.

Marc Pachter, who redefined the National Portrait Gallery with a dynamic vision that embraced diversity and contemporary culture, has passed away at 80 in Bangkok. His tenure breathed new life into the museum, securing its place as a beacon of American identity and history. Pachter’s legacy as a visionary and storyteller endures, leaving a lasting impact on the Smithsonian Institution and beyond.

18. Exploring Scents: Find Your Invisible Crown with Discovery Sets.

Ending on a fragrant note, The Perfume Collective unveils its Multibrand Discovery Sets. Curated by scent visionaries Thorsten Biehl and Geza Schön, these sets are your invitation to explore a world of exquisite fragrances. Among the gems to be discovered is “Tears on Asphalt,” a unique collaboration between artist Michael Sailstorfer and master perfumer Geza Schön. This collaboration captures the essence of transformation, embodying the beauty of sadness evolving into scent. Each spritz is a step towards defining your personal scent story. Say farewell to the dilemma of choice and welcome a journey of discovery. It’s about more than fragrance; it’s about finding the invisible crown that truly represents you, one sniff at a time.

Text by Maria Nitulescu

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