Category Archives: Dealer Galleries

Sherman on Franco

Detail from James Franco's New Untitled Film Still 21 (2013); detail from Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still 21 (1978)

Detail from James Franco’s ‘New Untitled Film Still 21′ 2013 (left) and detail from Cindy Sherman’s ‘Untitled Film Still 21′ 1978 (right)

Art world darling (and certified creep) James Franco recently launched a new and appallingly bad photo series at Pace Gallery, New York, that riffs on Cindy Sherman’s iconic film stills. “Cindy is an artist who used cinema as a source for her work; she ‘played’ at being an actress” says Franco. “I am an actor who inserts himself into his work. I am fully embedded in Hollywood, but these photos allow me to take a step to the side, look back, and refashion the work I do in Hollywood. I am at the same time actor, critic, artist, and character.” Hmm. When asked about Franco’s appropriations last week, Sherman said: “I was flattered, I can only be flattered. I don’t know that I can say it’s art, but I think it’s weirder that Pace would show them than that he would make them.” Not exactly a glowing endorsement then…


Looking Forward – Martin Thompson


Picasso, Baby.

Jay Z faces off with Marina at Pace Gallery

Jay Z faces off with Marina at Pace Gallery

Jay Z’s taken his art wank to the next level this week with a 6-hour ‘endurance performance’ at Pace Gallery in New York.  The rapper performed his new single ‘Picasso Baby’ over and over to an audience filled with fans and art-world heavyweights alike.  Attendants included Girls producer Judd Apatow, art critic Jerry Saltz (who had this to say about the performance) and artists including Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, Marina Abramovic and Laurence Weiner.  According to crowd member and artist Adam Pendleton however “It was a little unclear when Lawrence Weiner came out if Jay-Z had any idea who he was.”  Awkward.

Footage gleaned from the performance will eventually be edited into a music video to accompany the single.  While photographs and tweets were allegedly not permitted within the space, this hasn’t stopped them cropping up all over social media and Gothamist has some good snippets of pirated footage.  The whole thing’s created quite a buzz, but LOL wonders if the result is anything more than a cleverly crafted situation where name dropping artists becomes another hollow signifier of status…

Haunch of Venison set to close

Haunch of Venison's New York space

Haunch of Venison’s New York space

Haunch of Venison, the commercial gallery established by Harry Blain and Graham Southern in 2002 and controversially acquired by Christies in 2007 is shutting its doors.  The New York space will close at the end of its current exhibition ‘How to Tell the Future from the Past’ and the London branch will be converted into a Christies sales and exhibition space.  The auction house is streamlining the business to focus on secondary sales exclusively, meaning that they’ll also no longer be working with the 40 artists in the Haunch of Venison stable.  Ouch.

Artists Ditch Gagosian

Larry Gagosian and Damien Hirst have parted company

Larry Gagosian & Damien Hirst have parted ways

Larry Gagosian is facing the loss of two of his most well known artists.  Last week Damien Hirst’s company Science Limited announced; “Larry Gagosian and Damien have reached an amicable decision to part company.”  It was only in January that Gagosian committed to showing the artist’s complete suite of spot paintings at all Gagosian galleries worldwide.  The dealer has represented Hirst for 17 years.

Hirst’s departure was followed a day later by that of Yayoi Kusama, who has shown with Gagosian since 2009.  (Another Gagosian artist – Jeff Koons – is still ostensibly in the stable, but has lined up a solo show at rival gallery David Zwirner in the New Year).  In the mean time, Hirst and Kusama continue to be represented by White Cube and Victoria Miro/Ota Fine Arts respectively.

Murakami, Boesky & the Cosmos

Murakami in front of his psychedelic wallpaper, ‘Cosmos’

Takashi Murakami is suing New York dealer Marianne Boesky over her allegedly unauthorised loan of the artist’s limited edition wallpaper, ‘Cosmos’ to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Murakami claims that Boesky reproduced the wallpaper without his permission and supplied it to The Met for inclusion in their current Andy Warhol exhibition, ‘Regarding Warhol’.  Defending her position, Boesky’s lawyers claim that Murakami agreed to the arrangement ‘verbally’.

In 2003 Murakami gave Boesky permission to sell limited edition sets (each containing 20 sheets) of ‘Cosmos’ to fifteen collectors.  Artist control of the product was so stringent that collectors who wanted to move the wallpaper could only buy new rolls if the originals were returned to Boesky to be destroyed.  Surprising then that Boesky thought she could, according to court papers, create unlimited rolls of paper, ‘apparently forever’ and that she had kept the digital file to do just that, even after she stopped representing Murakami over six years ago.

The artist is seeking compensation and the immediate return of the digital file.

Peter McLeavey, NZOM

Peter McLeavey (image courtesy of Street and City Photos)

Wellington dealer Peter McLeavey was today made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the arts.  McLeavey started out selling work by the likes of Toss Woolaston, Colin McCahon and Gordon Walters from the bedroom of his flat in Wellington and has now run his influential Cuba Street Gallery for over 40 years.  In 2009 McLeavey was the subject of ‘The Man in the Hat’, a documentary directed Luit Bieringa that you can watch online here thanks to New Zealand on Screen.

Now Hiring

Australia’s top dealer gallery Roslyn Oxley9 is looking for a new Gallery Manager. The position has been held by curator and writer Amanda Rowell for over a decade, so her departure marks the end of an era for RO9G.  During her tenure, Rowell curated stand out group exhibitions including Everything’s Alright (2010) and Oblivion Pavilion (2008) that focused on emerging practice.  Rowell’s interest in early to mid career artists feeds directly into her new rumoured venture – a dealer gallery located in the Sydney suburb of Redfern.

Galerie pompom

Ron and George Adams (the duo behind Sydney-based artist run initiative MOP projects) are about to launch a new commercial venture in Chippendale.  Concentrating on contemporary Australian practice, Galerie pompom opens on the 6th of March with a group exhibition featuring work by each of their represented artists, including MOP curator/artist Nana Ohnesorge and former Tristian Koenig Gallery artist Heath Franco.

Gagosian Sued

Roy Lichtenstein, 'Girl in Mirror', 1964

Art dealer Larry Gagosian is being sued by elderly collector Joan Cowles for selling a Roy Lichtenstein painting without her consent.  Cowles claims that her son Charles offered the 1964 painting ‘Girl in Mirror’ to Gagosian without gaining her permission to do so.  Asserting that the painting was damaged, the dealer sold the work to an unnamed collector for $ 2 million (far less than its market value) and took a $ 1 million commission in the process.

The $10 million suit accuses Gagosian of “such wanton dishonesty as to imply criminal indifference to civil obligations, with reckless disregard of Cowles’s rights”.  In response, Gagosian has described the accusations as “outrageous and baseless,” stating that the fault lies with Charles Cowles, who failed to disclose that he had no authority to sell the painting in the first place.