David Zwirner and Star Artist Part Ways, Guerrilla Artists Stink-Bomb the Whitney Biennial Party, and More Art-World Gossip

Every week, Artnet News brings you Wet Paint, a gossip column of original scoops. If you have a tip, email Annie Armstrong at [email protected].

 

DAVID ZWIRNER AND HAROLD ANCART PART WAYS

It’s pretty rare to see an artist leave behemoth David Zwirner gallery, so you can imagine my surprise when Wet Paint learned that Belgian-born, New York-based painter Harold Ancart is officially no longer represented by the gallery.

Ancart, who made his debut with Zwirner in 2018, is known for his large-scale abstract paintings that are often comic-like depictions of horizons and the natural world. He was introduced to Zwirner by Harry Scrymgeour, a former partner at Clearing gallery who told Artnet News in 2018 he thought the painter was a perfect fit for the mega-gallery. 

Ancart, you can imagine, was excited. David Zwirner’s program is probably one of the best in the world,” he told Artnet News that year.

It seems like Ancart did well for Zwirner over the years. The gallery routinely hawked his paintings of lone matches and icebergs at fairs, selling them for as much as $300,000 a pop. His secondary market has been on a steady trajectory since he joined the gallery. Nineteen of his top 20 auction prices have been set since 2019, and last May, he broke seven figures for the first time when a very pleasant oilstick painting of flowers fetched $1 million at Sotheby’s New York‘s contemporary evening sale. The estimate was $600,000 to $800,000. Last year, $3.5 million worth of his work sold at auction.

Since his Zwirner debut, Ancart’s works have been displayed far and wide, notably at this year’s Whitney Biennial (where he showed up to the opening night party), and at the knockout 2019 Public Art Fund commission in Cadman Plaza Park, where he mounted a concrete sculpture emulating a handball court titled Subliminal Standard. His work is in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, DC’s Hirshhorn Museum, Paris’s Fondation Louis Vuitton, and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, among others. There have also been rumors that Frank Ocean owns some of the artist’s work.

Ancart broke into the broader art-world consciousness in 2016, when the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston acquired and presented a series of 27 oilstick on paper works that he created on an epic trans-America road trip. (He transformed the trunk of his jeep into a makeshift studio and pulled over anytime he saw something that inspired him.)

So why did Ancart and Zwirner part ways? Both parties declined to comment, but you can’t stop me from speculating. Does it have anything to do with the fact that last year, Ancart was said to be dating actress Dianna Agron, who has also been linked to Zwirner scion and head of content Lucas Zwirner? (Despite rumors from Instagram celeb-gossip factory Deuxmoi, however, sources told Wet Paint that Zwirner and Agron were not dating, and had merely been at a few of the same parties.)

Another source close to the artist simply told Wet Paint that he “left quietly as he felt he needed to refocus solely on his work.”

 

THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FART

Opening night of the Whitney Biennial.

Did you guys smell that too? Last night, at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s second party for the 2022 Whitney Biennial, guests noted a certain… aroma.

I know the old aphorism—whoever smelt it, dealt it—but in this case, Wet Paint can reveal that the unpleasant scent wafting through the museum galleries was the work of two anonymous artists who cracked open a (harmless, health-wise) stink bomb. The duo wouldn’t call the smelly blast an artwork per se, but instead labelled it “a reaction” to the crapiness of contemporary New York.

“There’s a metaphorical stink of stagnancy over New York and the folks in power are trying to ignore it,” one of the fart bandits told Wet Paint. “They want to live in denial that their old way is stinky. I’m just revealing the truth.”

This wasn’t the first time they’ve struck. Stinky events at the Jane Hotel and Lucien have been made actually smelly by the perps, and the launch of Lucien Smith’s NFT project was also stink bombed. So was Julia Fox’s famed birthday party back when she was dating Kanye West. “It smelled very farty,” a source told Wet Paint.

Where will the prankster artists strike next, I wonder? Will they make the trek over to Venice? Or will they stay local, haunting the New York art scene? Stay alert out there, party people.

 

SPOTTED 

Courtesy a tipster.

Rooney Mara taking a smoke break in the West Village *** Gallerist Alex Shulan Tweeting at Ryder Ripps about whether Bored Ape Yacht Club’s imagery is racist *** On that topic, Madonna is now the latest celebrity to ape in *** Futura and Marc Jacobs telling a group of students about the time they first met at the legendary club the Roxy during an event hosted by Free Arts NYC *** All five of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Whitney Biennial’s opening party, as well as Diamond Stingily, Wu Tsang, Arthur Jafa, and Ebony Haynes *** Mills Morán hosting a Whitney after-party at Dr. Clark’s, where Telfar Clemens, Chloe Wise, Antwaun Sargent, and Kayode Ojo were all present *** Francisco Correa Cordero, Lucas Zwirner, and Marlene Zwirner at the re-opening of Entrance after its renovations *** Don and Mera Rubell looking at a Cynthia Talmadge painting out of the back of Ellie Rines’s van ***

56 Henry's Ellie Rines showing Don and Mera Rubell a piece by Cynthia Talmadge, which the gallery will exhibit next week at EXPO Chicago.

56 Henry’s Ellie Rines showing Don and Mera Rubell a piece by Cynthia Talmadge, which the gallery will exhibit next week at EXPO Chicago.

WE HEAR…

Comme des Garçons is collaborating with Dan Colen’s Sky High Farms to create a clothing line that Sam Hine and Ella Emhoff will model … Artist Justin Owensby got Sotheby’s tattooed on his knuckles Jacolby Satterwhite created a short film for musician Perfume Genius Mark Grotjahn is on the hunt for a PA to help him set up Zoom calls—if you’re hired for this job and oversee any juicy meetings, you know who to come to … Chloë Sevigny and Karma director Siniša Mačković are renewing their vows (“or something like that”, Mačković clarified to Wet Paint), and Sevigny has been posting some cheeky bridal ware on her Instagram … Seminal black metal band Mayhem have been filming something (a music video, perhaps?) at Lomex Gallery … And speaking of black metal and high art, Satyricon’s Sigurd Wongraven will have a show at the Munch Museum in the home of black metal, Norway Miles McEnery Gallery is opening their fourth space at 525 West 22nd Street next month, providing an additional 7,000 square feet, bringing the gallery’s footprint to 26,000 square feet, across 22nd and 21st Streets…Artworks by novelist Tao Lin are going to be on display at Ka-Vá Kava and Kratom bar in Williamsburg…Beloved Little Italy eatery Forlini’s is officially shuttering some time next month… Alex Israel has taken to Instagram to voice his support for billionaire Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, a known supporter of anti-abortion politicians …

 

WET PAINT IN THE WILD

The founders of the Spring/Break art fair, Ambre and Andrew Gori, are as freewheeling and spirited as the fair itself. The couple have a dizzying appetite for learning about emerging art, and are reliably two of the most fun people at any given party. Their immaculate vibes are what allowed them to take over Wet Paint in the Wild without the requisite disposable camera—an allowance given to very few! Let’s see what they got up to…

In a special invite from Artnet’s gad-about-town guru, Annie Armstrong, we’re here to ‘Wet Paint’ an accurate portrait of a particularly hectic week of cultural gallivanting from the duo who do (and, in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, just did) SPRING/BREAK Art Show. Our intention? Vicariously exhausting (certainly) and momentarily reprieving you from thinking about world conflict (hopefully) via our most recent cross-country run-around, only without the charming celluloid film photos Annie is best known for—primarily as we neglected to find those of a disposable variety anywhere in the pharmacies we frequented when we did look; partially because we didn’t really look that closely due to wandering, cross-eyed, the urban topographies of three (or more?) cities, ignorant to the places where those magical cardboard and coiled film contraptions lived. (Hilarious since, through our shared anonym BOYFRIENDGIRLFRIEND, we deploy celluloid documentation of the world around us on the reg.)

In a special invite from Artnet’s gad-about-town guru, Annie Armstrong, we’re here to ‘Wet Paint’ an accurate portrait of a particularly hectic week of cultural gallivanting from the duo who do (and, in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, just did) Spring/Break Art Show. Our intention? Vicariously exhausting (certainly) and momentarily reprieving you from thinking about world conflict (hopefully) via our most recent cross-country run-around, only without the charming celluloid film photos Annie is best known for—primarily as we neglected to find those of a disposable variety anywhere in the pharmacies we frequented when we did look; partially because we didn’t really look that closely due to wandering, cross-eyed, the urban topographies of three (or more?) cities, ignorant to the places where those magical cardboard and coiled film contraptions lived. (Hilarious since, through our shared anonym BOYFRIENDGIRLFRIEND, we deploy celluloid documentation of the world around us on the reg.)

Celluloid capture or no, you may be asking yourself: how on Earth did this marathon of flight-assisted cultural excavation—one requiring 10 flights in nearly as many days—even happen? Perhaps more importantly, why did it occur? Simple—we set sail like haggard Odysseuses, after two years of basically being quarantined in our “Ithaca” by COVID, seeking the sirens of an ocean of ocular idea-making, up shit’s creek (in a fun way) with only our eyes and minds as a paddle. And did so in order to: 1). Work on our forthcoming September SPRING/BREAK Art Show (brand new theme to be announced next week), 2). Support and celebrate the SXSW premiere of ‘The Art of Making It’, the doc film about the art world that features us and alongside a slew of inspiring art world people (and that, no big deal, we just found out won the SXSW Audience Award TODAY), 3). Prowl pool parties and masticate loudly through migas taco meetings there in Austin for our nascent film production company, in a nod to more notorious couple-dom companies Desilu and Curtleigh, for now called Ambresand, and finally, to, 4). Of course do other stuff that’s secret currently that may or may not happen or end up being cool, about which you will we’re sure will know more in due time.

Celluloid capture or no, you may be asking yourself: how on Earth did this marathon of flight-assisted cultural excavation—one requiring 10 flights in nearly as many days—even happen? Perhaps more importantly, why did it occur? Simple—we set sail like haggard Odysseuses, after two years of basically being quarantined in our “Ithaca” by COVID, seeking the sirens of an ocean of ocular idea-making, up shit’s creek (in a fun way) with only our eyes and minds as a paddle. And did so in order to: 1). Work on our forthcoming September Spring/Break Art Show (brand new theme to be announced next week), 2). Support and celebrate the SXSW premiere of ‘The Art of Making It’, the doc film about the art world that features us and alongside a slew of inspiring art world people (and that, no big deal, we just found out won the SXSW Audience Award TODAY), 3). Prowl pool parties and masticate loudly through migas taco meetings there in Austin for our nascent film production company, in a nod to more notorious couple-dom companies Desilu and Curtleigh, for now called Ambresand, and finally, to, 4). Of course do other stuff that’s secret currently that may or may not happen or end up being cool, about which you will we’re sure will know more in due time.

First, we visited our friend Eric Pearson in an undisclosed location somewhere off the coast of California, spontaneously sitting through a performance component for the painted work of Ya Chin Chang. Curated by Queenie Wong for our HEARSAY:HERESAY show in L.A.,

First, we visited our friend Eric Pearson in an undisclosed location somewhere off the coast of California, spontaneously sitting through a performance component for the painted work of Ya Chin Chang. Curated by Queenie Wong for our HEARSAY:HERESAY show in L.A.

Ya Chin’s work from our most recent fair sold out this very day—with our friend Eric’s six rolls of the dice dictating exactly the commissioned work Ya Chin would be making him as part of her ‘Snackstalgia’ series, these of Mr. Potatohead-type appropriations, all based on classical master still lifes and constituted exclusively of the snack-type things she consumes while she paints. This one is called Snackstalgia.

Ya Chin’s work from our most recent fair sold out this very day—with our friend Eric’s six rolls of the dice dictating exactly the commissioned work Ya Chin would be making him as part of her ‘Snackstalgia’ series, these of Mr. Potatohead-type appropriations, all based on classical master still lifes and constituted exclusively of the snack-type things she consumes while she paints. This one is called Snackstalgia.

New York City hopping next, we saw a host of openings—standouts being the closing night exhibition of S/B 2020 alum Asif Hopque at Yossi Milo and the classically trained portraits of another couple-crew artist duo: Colleen Barry and William St. John. The latter was hosted by co-heads of the first organization SPRING/BREAK ever supported back in 2013: Arts In The Armed Forces. The initiative, manned by multi-talents Joanne Tucker and Adam Driver, was packed with both so many people and Colleen’s voluminously bodied, neon-tinged bathers/St. John’s onyx-backdropped updates of regal portraiture—a supreme compliment to Hoque’s mythic oil paint creatures pulled from his own private lexicon/antiquity.

New York City hopping next, we saw a host of openings—standouts being the closing night exhibition of S/B 2020 alum Asif Hopque at Yossi Milo and the classically trained portraits of another couple-crew artist duo: Colleen Barry and William St. John. The latter was hosted by co-heads of the first organization Spring/Break ever supported back in 2013: Arts In The Armed Forces. The initiative, manned by multi-talents Joanne Tucker and Adam Driver, was packed with both so many people and Colleen’s voluminously bodied, neon-tinged bathers/St. John’s onyx-backdropped updates of regal portraiture—a supreme compliment to Hoque’s mythic oil paint creatures pulled from his own private lexicon/antiquity.

At a dinner for the duo afterwards, we spoke to Amanda Chicago Lewis, Rolling Stone investigative journalist who broke the true story of the sex tape heist that lead to the most recent Hulu series, Pam and Tommy, all while catching up with old friends. We suggested her next expose be on the ponderable deaths of Scientology art-couple Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan in 2007, particularly as no one seems satisfied with explanations of the so-called ‘Golden Suicides’. We think she was intrigued…

At a dinner for the duo afterwards, we spoke to Amanda Chicago Lewis, Rolling Stone investigative journalist who broke the true story of the sex tape heist that lead to the most recent Hulu series, Pam and Tommy, all while catching up with old friends. We suggested her next expose be on the ponderable deaths of Scientology art-couple Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan in 2007, particularly as no one seems satisfied with explanations of the so-called ‘Golden Suicides.’ We think she was intrigued…

Coinciding with us heading home for the night, Eric, the “Snackstaglia” supporter, sent us a photo of the “gummy taco” we jointly purchased when we were visiting him, showcasing the gelatinous innards of the confectionary creation, and announcing his near immediate tummy ache.

Coinciding with us heading home for the night, Eric, the “Snackstaglia” supporter, sent us a photo of the “gummy taco” we jointly purchased when we were visiting him, showcasing the gelatinous innards of the confectionary creation, and announcing his near immediate tummy ache.

At a happening hosted to celebrate the people who made the film happen, we watched the sun set, met a descendent of the Dia family who told us incredible stories, then hit an after party for the Daniel Kwan/Daniel Scheinert multiverse movie, ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once.’ Where our close friend, artist and FT. LONESOME fixture Michelle Devereux—someone we hadn’t seen since COVID—was perhaps the most radiant (laser light show, excluded), and our pal Sergio Lira from A24, particularly on point. Coincidence found us as Sergio re-introduced us to director Cristina Tamez, who we spent the better part of an hour trying to remember who we’d previously met through, and landed on the discovery that it was at our friend Ariel’s birthday party THREE YEARS BEFORE. Here are Chris Laughlin, Artist Chris Watts, Debi, Co-Editor Ines Vogelfang, Editor Nyneve Laura Minnear.

At a happening hosted to celebrate the people who made the film happen, we watched the sun set, met a descendent of the Dia family who told us incredible stories, then hit an after party for the Daniel Kwan/Daniel Scheinert multiverse movie, ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once.’ Where our close friend, artist and FT. LONESOME fixture Michelle Devereux—someone we hadn’t seen since COVID—was perhaps the most radiant (laser light show, excluded), and our pal Sergio Lira from A24, particularly on point. Coincidence found us as Sergio re-introduced us to director Cristina Tamez, who we spent the better part of an hour trying to remember who we’d previously met through, and landed on the discovery that it was at our friend Ariel’s birthday party THREE YEARS BEFORE. Here are Chris Laughlin, Artist Chris Watts, Debi, Co-Editor Ines Vogelfang, Editor Nyneve Laura Minnear.

Okay, so the next day we hike up our big boy and girl pants and fly back to Los Angeles. It’s insane, obviously, because we’re only going to be there 24 hours. This is where some of the reasons behind this can’t be discussed much yet, but a great silver lining was that being back there meant coinciding with a happening on a farm in Malibu organized by SPRING/BREAK LA supporters Skylight and RedCar, with a meat demonstration by The Meat Hook’s Ben Turley and a midnight walk up the mountain like awed child campers in the wilderness to look at indigenous orchids, brush weeds, and a pitch-black view of the sea.

Okay, so the next day we hike up our big boy and girl pants and fly back to Los Angeles. It’s insane, obviously, because we’re only going to be there 24 hours. This is where some of the reasons behind this can’t be discussed much yet, but a great silver lining was that being back there meant coinciding with a happening on a farm in Malibu organized by Spring/Break LA supporters Skylight and RedCar, with a meat demonstration by The Meat Hook’s Ben Turley and a midnight walk up the mountain like awed child campers in the wilderness to look at indigenous orchids, brush weeds, and a pitch-black view of the sea.

But our business wasn’t done in Austin. We got back on a flight the next day after a few more To-Do boxes were checked, the serendipity flowing as we coincidentally shared a flight with the farm-owner of the place we’d been just last night, and bumping into Blake Dirickson, Renaissance human and husband of producer Liz Destro, whose Lionsgate series ‘Swimming With Sharks’, starring Diane Kruger and Kiernan Shipka, was premiering in Austin that night.

But our business wasn’t done in Austin. We got back on a flight the next day after a few more To-Do boxes were checked, the serendipity flowing as we coincidentally shared a flight with the farm-owner of the place we’d been just last night, and bumping into Blake Dirickson, Renaissance human and husband of producer Liz Destro, whose Lionsgate series ‘Swimming With Sharks’, starring Diane Kruger and Kiernan Shipka, was premiering in Austin that night.

At its after party, Andrew took maybe thirty pictures of Ambre standing cock-eyed on platform shoes by a pool, both secretly hoping to emulate the iconic event of the ‘party-going tumble into a pool where everyone throws caution to the wind and jumps in’ supposedly popularized at ‘The Garden of Allah’ some time in the 1930’s across from the original Chateau Marmont in L.A. Shortly, both recalled the existence of digital telephones, and the fact that no one will every jump into pools spontaneously ever again.

At its after party, Andrew took maybe thirty pictures of Ambre standing cock-eyed on platform shoes by a pool, both secretly hoping to emulate the iconic event of the ‘party-going tumble into a pool where everyone throws caution to the wind and jumps in’ supposedly popularized at ‘The Garden of Allah’ some time in the 1930’s across from the original Chateau Marmont in L.A. Shortly, both recalled the existence of digital telephones, and the fact that no one will every jump into pools spontaneously ever again.

Luckily there will be naps galore before Oscar weekend officially gets underway (starting... tomorrow?) And we won't have to board another plane, looks like, for another (*looking at watches, anachronistically) couple of days.

Luckily there will be naps galore before Oscar weekend officially gets underway (starting… tomorrow?) And we won’t have to board another plane, looks like, for another (*looking at watches, anachronistically) couple of days.

 

 

WET PAINT QUESTIONNAIRE

God, I love subway art! Who wouldn’t be a sucker for the Marcel Dzama mosaic at the Bedford stop in Williamsburg? Or the Mickalene Thomas piece at 53rd Street?

I’m glad you all share my enthusiasm. Last week, I asked you to name the best subway mosaics in New York, and the answers came pouring in.

Flack Sarah Goulet wrote in to say that, “according to my 18-month-old daughter, it’s William Wegman’s dogs at 23rd Street, but I’m partial to Nancy Spero’s mythical women at Lincoln Center.” Nazy Nazhand voted for the Beaux Arts-style ceramics installed by Squire Vickers, “including the 28th Street station, which is a stunning example.”

Artist Christina Welzer agreed with me about the Dzama, but also named Monika Bravo‘s work at the Prospect Ave stop. “But it’s definitely not the dogs in Chelsea,” she added. (Artist Farah Al Qasimi, meanwhile, agrees with me that the Wegman dogs rock the house.)

Art advisor Jay Grimm volunteered Joyce Kozloff’s mosaic at 86th Street, “with a close second being Elizabeth Murray’s coffee cups all over the Bloomingdale’s stop.” Katharine Overgaard, director at Franklin Parrasch gallery, named Jackie Ferrara’s installation Grand Central: Arches, Towers, Pyramids.”The tiled nature of this extensive mural lends itself so well to the concept of modularity which is central, I think, throughout Ferrara’s oeuvre,” she added.

Phillips public relations director for the Americas, Jaime Israni, said she just “wanted to give some love to Michele Oka Doner’s installation at the 34th St-Herald Square.”

My question for you this week is: Which art dealer is the best at video games? Write in your answer to [email protected]

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Kenneth Proto

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