Has the Art World Forgotten How to Take Summer Off? Plus, The Famous Art Dealers Behind These Mystery Artworks, and More Juicy Art World Gossip

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SUMMER DAYS, DRIFTIN’ AWAY

A few days ago, I basically threw my neck out double-taking at my calendar. Is it really almost August? I haven’t even made a trip out to the Hamptons yet! Or gone out to a MoMA PS1 Warm Up! What kind of summer has this been, if one at all?! 

Turns out, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Chatter among the art set seems to be that the shape of summer is starting to change. It was once understood that July was for, say, a low-lift group show, and August was for shutting down completely and beating the heat somewhere beautiful. Not in this economy, as the kids say. 

“It’s hard to enjoy August like one used to,” Sarah Levine, director of communications at Lehmann Maupin, told me. “The summer is certainly not like it ‘used to be,’ when galleries closed for the full month of August. I’ve never experienced those days, but the rat-race pace does slow in the months post-Basel.” 

That isn’t stopping her from emulating the Augusts of the past, though. Levine boldly posted her itinerary for an August Eurotrip to her Instagram, and noted to me, “This fact shouldn’t prevent anyone from taking a much needed recharge in the summer. It is by far the quietest time of year—and who doesn’t need some Vitamin D to rejuvenate after so many hours spent in convention centers?” 

While I was reporting this story, I stopped to take a walk around the blistering East Village, where I ran into Half Gallery’s Bill Powers, who was dressed like the embodiment of summertime repose in head-to-toe blue seersucker. But looks can deceive, and he was coming from his gallery which was gearing up for the next opening, a solo show by Nicasio Fernandez. I asked Bill how he felt about working through the summer, and he seemed to suggest that summer is more of a different, vacation-themed kind of work than no-work-at-all. “Can you really count going to Menorca for a Christina Quarles show as ‘work’?” he said with a grin. 

The breaks have definitely been pumped on the emerging market, so people feel like they can’t afford to take six weeks off,” Powers added seriously, then laughed to himself. “How very anti-Larry of me to say.” 

Taking six weeks off was out of the question for Pietro Alexander, who launched Spy Projects in Los Angeles back in 2021 with Sasha Filimonov. “My partners and I have talked about taking a month off in July or August, but when the summer actually comes around there’s always an opportunity that we gotta jump on,” Alexander told me. “It’s a grind, but we’re hungry and our artists recognize that.” (It’s paid off, too, as the up-and-coming gallery recently sold out their solo show of work by Jaxon Demme on sight in just three hours of the doors being opened.) 

“I don’t think the art world is as dead this time of year as people say it is,” Alexander surmised. 

That is the exact conceit that Ingrid Lundgren and George Newall employed to start their seasonal space, Winter Street Gallery, out in Martha’s Vineyard. “During COVID, people started to look at alternative spaces during those months when people were going upstate or out East or elsewhere,” explained Lundrgren. “Because of that, people started to look outside of major art cities for different contexts to exhibit art. I feel like with that, the definition of how we understand summer has shifted a lot.” 

Newall noted the difference between when he worked at galleries during the mid-2010s and now. “There was this palpable drop during July and August, and it was really like a novelty if a friend were to make a sale during that time,” he recalled. “A few years ago there was a paradigm in Chelsea galleries where your summer show was just like, an inventory exhibition with a theme, and maybe you’d introduce an artist you were thinking of debuting in the fall as a kind of test run. So it served a function, but maybe wasn’t the most exciting.” 

Such days, however, are gone. “Now if you put up an interesting show in the summer, it really cuts through… If you do shows that are on autopilot, you’re going to get an autopilot response. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

QUIZ: CAN YOU MATCH THE ARTWORK WITH THE DEALER WHO MADE IT?

Speaking of summer group shows, perhaps my favorite of this year was Long Story Short’s group show, “Art (By) Dealers,” for which 94 art dealers tried their hand at creating an artwork, with all proceeds benefiting the Lower East Side Girls Club. Each piece was priced democratically at $500 flat, with no wait-list or pre-buying permitted, so the opening was quite the spectacle of art dealers and collectors racing for the prize. The catch? No one knew whose piece they were buying, and the artists remain anonymous.

The show is up until Sunday, when all the artists will be revealed upon deinstallation. Before the mysteries become solved, Will Leung, the owner of Long Story Short, and co-curator Kathy Huang, sent over a sample of ten pieces that you can try to match with the dealer who made it. Good luck, and let me know how you fare!

#1


Is this artwork by:
A) Geena Brown, Lyles & King
B) Olivia Smith, Magenta Plains
C) Amy Cappelazzo, Art Intelligence Global
D) Mills Moràn, Moràn Moràn

 

#2


Is this artwork by:
A) Eric Firestone, Eric Firestone Gallery
B) Louis Shannon, Entrance Gallery
C) Adam Cohen, Gagosian
D) Taymour Grahne, Taymour Grahne Projects

 

#3


Is this artwork by:
A) Karen Galloway, Sow & Tailor
B) Nathalie Karg, Nathalie Karg Gallery
C) Harper Levine, Harper’s
D) Sara Han, Harper’s

 

#4


Is this artwork by:
A) Nicole Russo, Chapter Gallery
B) Will Leung, Long Story Short and ATM Gallery
C) Daniel and Sam Kapp, Kapp Kapp
D) Hannah Root, Pace Gallery

 

#5


Is this artwork by:
A) Wendy Olsoff, PPOW
B) Kevin Poon, WOAW Gallery
C) Todd Kramer, Ross & Kramer
D) Lauren Marinaro, Marinaro

 

#6


Is this artwork by:
A) Will Hathaway, Night Gallery
B) Jeffrey Deitch, Jeffrey Deitch
C) Lily Mortimer, Gagosian
D) Anna Zorina, Anna Zorina Gallery

 

#7


Is this artwork by:
A) Margot Samel, Margot Samel
B) Matthew Higgs, White Columns
C) K.O. Nnamdie, Anonymous Gallery
D) Leo Fitzpatrick, Public Access Gallery

 

#8


Is this artwork by:
A) Ebony L. Haynes, 52 Walker
B) Jen Mora, Lehmann Maupin
C) Stefania Bortolami, Bortolami
D) Theo Mauritz, M 2 3

 

#9


Is this artwork by:
A) Jessica Fredericks, Fredericks & Freiser
B) Marta Gnyp, GNYP
C) Ellie Rines, 56 Henry
D) Jacob Hyman, Amanita

 

#10


Is this artwork by:
A) Christina You, Gagosian
B) Jessica Silverman, Jessica Silverman Gallery
C) Viola Angilioni, Jeffrey Deitch
D) Peter Harkawik, Harkawik

 

ANSWER KEY:

1) B

2) A

3) A

4) D

5) C

6) B

7) B

8) D

9) A

10) C

 

 

WE HEAR 

O’Flahertys is hiring servers for their new café, which is apparently a real café…  Sargent’s Daughters is now representing Yaron Michael Hakim… A book of the collected country music criticism by the late art critic/bad-boy critic Dave Hickey is in the works… Natalie Frank is the hand model/artist for Tom Holland’s tortured artist character in the new show “The Crowded Room,” and the really goes berserk with their headline about it… Entrance has taken on representation of Hannah Lee, Mariko Makino, and Pat McCarthy… Attendees of a late-night party in NoLIta for a distant British member of royalty were surprised when none other than Tom Sachs came in during the wee hours to ask the DJ to turn down the volume *** 

Courtesy a tipster.

 

SPOTTED

 

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A post shared by Salma Hayek Pinault (@salmahayek)

Salma Hayek-Pinault is absolutely smothering her billionaire husband François-Henri Pinault with love *** Someone white-washed Basquiat’s old studio/Angelina Jolie’s current property again *** Jonah FreemanArden WohlLily Mortimer, and Polina Berlin at Chloe Wise‘s opening at The Ranch last weekend *** This photo in the basement of The Odeon may be the “Spotted” to end all “Spotted”s (commenters were confused, though, to see Andy Warhol alongside the ghost of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio…)  ***

 

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A post shared by Keith McNally (@keithmcnallynyc)

 

 

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