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Hellos And Goodbyes
The art world's biggest highlight was, of course, the champagne-fueled spectacle of Art Basel 2024.....
Art Stuff 22 Jun 2024

June is sizzling with major events, and the art world’s biggest highlight was, of course, the champagne-fueled spectacle of Art Basel 2024. The fair kicked off with VIP previews and a flood of art lovers descending upon Switzerland. With a dazzling lineup of 285 galleries from 40 countries, including 22 first-timers like Almeida & Dale Galeria de Arte (São Paulo), Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou (Paris), and Galerie Le Minotaure (Paris), it was an art lover’s paradise. Collectors, curators, and art aficionados mingled and marveled at the masterpieces on display.

But Art Basel wasn’t the only game in town. Liste Art Fair ran in parallel, showcasing emerging artists in a more intimate setting and attracting the global art crowd. Fondation Beyeler, known for its fabulous events, continued to impress with stellar exhibitions. Museum Tinguely also made waves with its cutting-edge displays. Meanwhile, the latest gem from The ArtGorgeous is turning heads: the brand-new City Guide for Basel. Complete with stunning illustrations by Studiofritz and some secret sticker artist collaborations, it’s the chicest way to navigate the city’s art scene.

Also making waves this June is CAN Art Fair in Ibiza, where galleries blend work and relaxation, bringing a touch of avant-garde to this summer destination. Amidst all the glitz and glamour, let’s dive into this month’s roundup of “Hellos and Goodbyes” that you absolutely must know about:

1. Meyer Rigger to Open New Space in Seoul
Get ready, Seoul! Meyer Riegger is jet-setting to the Gangnam district this September 2024, marking its territory in Asia’s vibrant art scene. This gallery, already boasting spots in Berlin, Karlsruhe, and Basel, is taking over the chic premises of Galerie Efremidis, promising to dazzle the local crowd with its eclectic mix of contemporary art. And they’re not coming alone—director Tom Woo is on board, bringing a fresh batch of artists into the fold. First up? The legendary Horst Antes, whose post-war modernist works will inaugurate this cultural extravaganza. Swing by Frieze Seoul to catch a sneak peek!

2. David Zwirner Announced the Global Representation of Scott Kahn
David Zwirner has snagged a gem! The gallery is now the exclusive global rep for the enigmatic American artist Scott Kahn. Kahn’s dreamlike landscapes and portraits, a blend of real and surreal, are making waves. His solo exhibition hits Zwirner’s Hong Kong location in November 2024. “Scott’s work is like a time-traveling postcard,” says Zwirner. Expect poetic scenes that make you question your reality. His piece “Wolf Moon” will first charm the crowd at Art Basel before Hong Kong gets the full experience. Stay tuned for a surreal ride!

3. Axel Wieder to Become the New Director of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
Axel Wieder is trading the fjords of Bergen for Berlin’s urban sprawl as the new director of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Chosen unanimously by a selection committee chaired by Katharina Grosse, Wieder promises to bring his experimental flair to this iconic event. Known for turning Bergen Kunsthall into an interdisciplinary haven, Axel aims to weave Berlin’s rich cultural tapestry into the Biennale, promising innovative curatorial approaches and critical artistic positions. Berlin’s art scene, brace yourselves for a wave of creative disruption!

4. Sotheby’s Rainmaker Brooke Lampley Heads Gagosian
Hold onto your paddles, art aficionados! Brooke Lampley, the powerhouse behind Sotheby’s record-smashing sales, is moving to Gagosian Gallery as a senior director. Lampley, known for her impeccable knack for bagging marquee consignments (hello, Macklowe collection!), is set to invigorate Gagosian with her dynamic strategies. “After 20 years in the auction biz, I’m thrilled to dive into the gallery world,” she says. Watch out, Gagosian—Lampley’s rolodex and entrepreneurial spirit are about to shake things up in a big way.

5. Mennour Announces Exclusive Representation of Sidival Fila
Mennour Gallery is now the exclusive home for Sidival Fila, the monk-turned-artist who weaves magic with ancient textiles. Fila’s creations, born from centuries-old fabrics, are more than just tapestries—they’re meditative masterpieces. Expect a serene yet powerful solo exhibition in Paris this autumn, where Fila’s works will whisper stories of redemption and contemplation. “It’s about giving voice back to the materials,” says Fila. Prepare to be mesmerized by the silent yet eloquent language of fabric.

6. Photo London Announces a New Director for the Tenth Edition of the Fair
Sophie Parker is taking the reins at Photo London, just in time for the fair’s tenth edition. Known for her curatorial excellence, Parker promises to lead with innovation and flair. “I’m thrilled to steer Photo London into its next decade,” she says. With a rich background in fine art and photography, Parker aims to engage a global network of collectors and showcase the best galleries worldwide. Photo enthusiasts, get ready for a celebration of photography that truly reflects London’s vibrant diversity.

7. Mary Katrantzou Is Bulgari’s First Creative Director for Leather Goods
Fashion maven Mary Katrantzou is Bulgari’s first-ever Creative Director for Leather Goods and Accessories. Known for her bold prints and vibrant designs, Katrantzou’s appointment marks a new era for the luxury brand. “I’m honored to lead Bulgari’s creative vision into a new chapter,” she beams. Expect Katrantzou’s debut collection to hit stores this August 2024, blending luxury with her signature artistic flair. Bulgari’s leather goods are about to get a splash of high-fashion magic

8. Nikola Dietrich Tapped as the New Director of Liste Art Fair
Liste Basel has a new maestro—Nikola Dietrich. Known for her curatorial prowess, Dietrich takes over from Joanna Kamm, bringing a fresh perspective to the fair famed for spotlighting emerging artists. “I’m excited to amplify avant-garde voices,” she says. With a background at Kunstmuseum Basel and Kölnischer Kunstverein, Dietrich’s appointment promises to elevate Liste’s reputation as the launchpad for the next big thing in contemporary art. Basel, get ready for a surge of cutting-edge creativity!

9. Sabine Longin Named New Chief Executive of La Biennale de Lyon
La Biennale de Lyon is welcoming Sabine Longin as its new chief executive. Longin’s seasoned expertise in arts and culture is set to bring fresh curatorial visions and expanded international outreach to this prestigious event. “I’m committed to making La Biennale de Lyon a hub for innovative and cross-disciplinary work,” she says. Under her leadership, expect a blend of contemporary art and dance that bridges local roots with global impact. Lyon, brace yourselves for a cultural renaissance

10. Hoor Al Qasimi Is the New Artistic Director of Sydney Biennale
Hoor Al Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation, has been named the Artistic Director of the Sydney Biennale. Known for her cross-cultural curatorial approach, Al Qasimi promises to infuse the biennial with diverse global narratives. “I’m excited to highlight underrepresented voices and explore rich, cross-cultural dialogues,” she says. Sydney’s art lovers can look forward to a biennial that bridges continents and brings fresh, vibrant perspectives to the forefront

11. Barbara Gladstone, Legendary Art Dealer, Dies Aged 89
The art world bids farewell to Barbara Gladstone, a titan whose vision shaped contemporary art. Gladstone, who started her gallery in 1980, championed avant-garde artists like Matthew Barney and Shirin Neshat. Known for her tenacity and eye for talent, Gladstone’s passing at 89 leaves a legacy that will inspire generations. “Barbara valued her relationships with artists above all else,” her partners said. Her gallery continues under the leadership of her trusted team, honoring her groundbreaking spirit.

12. Marlborough Gallery Ends Historic Run with Martin Eder
Marlborough Gallery’s grand finale is a wild ride with Martin Eder’s DETOX, a provocative exhibition that perfectly encapsulates the gallery’s bold spirit. After nearly 80 years of pushing artistic boundaries, Marlborough is closing its doors. Eder’s controversial nudes, cats, and surreal scenes promise a fittingly unhinged send-off. “Should art challenge taste?” Marlborough asks in its farewell note. It’s up to you, dear art lovers, to decide as we toast to a storied past and an enigmatic future

13. New York Gallery David Lewis Is Closing After 11 Years
David Lewis Gallery is saying goodbye after 11 illustrious years of championing avant-garde artists. “I’m closing this chapter to celebrate the innovative ideas we nurtured,” Lewis shared on Instagram. From feminist printmaker Mary Beth Edelson to realist painter Claire Lehmann, the gallery has been a beacon for underappreciated talent. The final show, “Everyone Loves Picabia,” pays homage to Lewis’s academic roots and leaves a lasting impression on New York’s art landscape. Here’s to new beginnings

14. Gagosian Chief Operating Officer Andrew Fabricant Is Out After Five Years
Shake-up at Gagosian! Andrew Fabricant, the gallery’s COO, and his wife, Laura Paulson, are stepping down. Fabricant, a market dynamo known for his blue-chip art expertise, joined Gagosian in 2018, sparking rumors of succession plans. “We’ve decided it’s time to part ways,” said Larry Gagosian. With Fabricant out, the spotlight now turns to Brooke Lampley, set to join as a senior director. Gagosian’s advisory arm continues with new changes. The art world is watching closely—what’s next for this mega-gallery?

15. Former Vatican Employee Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Sell Bernini Manuscript
In a plot twist straight out of a thriller, a former Vatican employee has been nabbed for allegedly trying to sell a priceless Bernini manuscript. The suspect, caught in a sting operation involving a Vatican bigwig and a €120,000 check, claims the manuscript was a gift. The manuscript, detailing designs for St. Peter’s Basilica’s iconic canopy, mysteriously surfaced in a book edited by the suspect. Vatican gendarmes are now piecing together this art heist puzzle. Stay tuned for the courtroom drama!

16. New York’s Center for Italian Modern Art to Close Permanently
Ciao, bella! The Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York is closing its doors on June 22. Founded by Laura Mattioli, CIMA has been a hub for Italian modern art since 2013. “Mission accomplished,” says Executive Director Nicola Lucchi, citing prohibitive post-pandemic costs. The final exhibition, “Nanni Balestrini: Art as Political Action,” wraps up a decade of cultural exchange and scholarly research. As they bid farewell, CIMA plans to preserve its rich archives for future generations. Grazie for the memories!

17. Aterraterra Lab in Palermo Has to Close Due to Gentrification
Gentrification strikes again! Palermo’s Aterraterra Lab, a unique blend of art, agriculture, and activism, is being forced out. Founders Fabio and Luca, whose work includes a seed bank and art residencies, lament the city’s transformation. “This city might be for sale, but we are not,” they declare. They’re on the hunt for a new space to continue their mission of sustainable living and artistic innovation. Palermo’s loss will hopefully be another community’s gain as Aterraterra Lab rises again.

18. Efremidis Endeavors New Challenge
Berlin’s Efremidis Gallery can’t seem to stay still! From Magic Beans to Efremidis, and now transforming into the Stavros Efremidis Foundation in Athens by 2025, this gallery is all about reinvention. Meyer Riegger will take over its commercial space, spreading its wings to Seoul. “We’re grateful for all the support over the past six years,” says Stavros Efremidis. Catch the final show in Berlin this July and stay tuned for the foundation’s new chapter in Athens. The art world loves a good comeback story!

Text by Maria Nitulescu

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