Activist Artist Lauren Halsey Joins Gagosian, and Other News

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Lauren Halsey. Photography by Russell Hamilton, courtesy of the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, and Gagosian

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Activist Artist Lauren Halsey Joins Gagosian

Larry Gagosian recalls being more impressed with Lauren Halsey’s Metropolitan Museum rooftop commission, in which she created an Egyptian-style temple with nods to her South Central Los Angeles upbringing, than anything else he’s seen at the space. A mere few days after her installation wrapped its six-month run, Gagosian announced Halsey will be joining its roster. Her first show will open next year at the gallery’s Paris location with an institutional exhibition to follow at London’s Serpentine Galleries in October. Activism and her upbringing is inextricably linked with Halsey’s practice—she created a food bank in her neighborhood during the pandemic and is requesting some of her art sells to collectors of color. 

Since founding his fashion label S.S. Daley in 2020, Steven Stokey-Daley has had a whirlwind of success: he’s already dressed celebrities like Harry Styles and won the coveted LVMH Prize. Now the British designer has been named the guest designer at January’s Pitti Immagine Uomo 105, the organization confirmed. “Steven Stokey-Daley transforms the British upper class into a queer fashion fantasy,” says Francesca Tacconi, special events coordinator at Pitti Immagine. He’ll be joined by fellow guest designer Luca Magliano. —Ryan Waddoups

“From the Black Space 1 (panel 6)” (1975) by Juanita McNelly. Image courtesy James Fuentes

Juanita McNeely, a feminist painter who depicted her personal struggles, dies at 87.

Feminist painter Juanita McNeely, known for her powerful canvases inspired by personal struggles, has died at 87. James Fuentes Gallery, which represented her since 2020, confirmed her death. Born in St. Louis in 1936, she discovered her passion for painting early on and received a merit scholarship for oil painting at the age of 15. Her art often featured images of bleeding women, influenced by her own health issues. She pursued her artistic journey, even surviving a cancer diagnosis, and later became a professor in Chicago before settling in New York City. McNeely’s gripping 1969 painting, Is It Real? Yes, It Is!, reflects her traumatic experience with an illegal abortion, and now resides at the Whitney Museum.

The long-vacant Flatiron Building is set to be converted into luxury housing by 2030.

The Flatiron Building is set to be converted into luxury housing. The renovation aims to give the troubled triangular-shaped building a fresh start after its sole office tenant, Macmillan Publishers, left before the pandemic, and after a previous buyer failed to complete the purchase. The Brodsky Organization, a residential developer, has acquired a stake in the building and will lead the conversion process, which is expected to take about three years. Despite the building’s distinct layout, the conversion is facilitated by the building’s numerous windows. The project also aligns with Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to address New York City’s housing shortage by repurposing struggling office buildings. 

Artforum covers. Image courtesy of Artforum

Artforum fires its editor after publishing an open letter about the Israel-Hamas conflict.

David Velasco, the editor-in-chief of the prestigious art magazine Artforum, was fired after the publication posted an open letter regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict that the publishers said didn’t align with the organization’s standards. The letter, signed by thousands of artists and cultural workers, supported Palestinian liberation and criticized cultural institutions’ silence on the Israeli bombing of Gaza. The magazine’s publishers, Danielle McConnell and Kate Koza, expressed regret over the misinterpretation of the letter as Artforum’s official stance and did not directly mention Velasco’s termination. Velasco had worked at Artforum for 18 years; at least four editors resigned in response to his dismissal and photographer Nan Goldin said she will no longer work with the magazine. 

Yuga Labs owes $1.5 million in damages for selling fake Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

A California federal judge has ruled that Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, is entitled to more than $1.5 million in damages from conceptual artist Ryder Ripps and his business partner Jeremy Cahen. The judge determined that Ripps and Cahen must pay Yuga all their profits from their copied NFTs, which they claimed were meant to criticize racist elements in Yuga’s art. Yuga had accused them of counterfeiting its tokens, and the judge found they were fully aware of the confusion their copies would cause, concluding that they were not creating parody or satire but attempting to profit from Yuga’s success.

Bologna’s medieval Garisenda “leaning” tower is drawing concerns over subsidence.

The medieval Garisenda “leaning” tower in Bologna, known for its tilt, is attracting modern attention amid concerns about its stability. Streets around the tower have been closed off as scientists monitor it for signs of cracking or movement. While it has been leaning for centuries, recent acoustic sensors and pendulums have been installed for monitoring. The mayor, Matteo Lepore, emphasized that the closure is primarily to gather precise data rather than immediate safety concerns. A biannual report and potential restoration work are on the horizon as the city aims to protect the monument.

“Now & Then” with cover artwork by Ed Ruscha. Image courtesy of The Beatles

Today’s attractive distractions:

Here’s how Microsoft Word has influenced our use of language over 40 years.

Ed Ruscha designs the cover for Now and Then, the Beatles’ final new song.

The Geoguessr World Cup is a surprisingly tense competition of geography.

One scientist confirms that cats really are talking to you through their meows.

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