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Southern Guild, a stalwart gallery within South Africa’s fine art and collectible design sphere, will open in Los Angeles in February, becoming the country’s first dealer to expand stateside. Located on Western Avenue in a historic 1920s building in Melrose Hill, the 5,000-square-foot outpost will feature three large-scale exhibition spaces designed by art-world favorite Evan Raabe Architecture Studio. Founded by Trevyn and Julian McGowan in 2008, the gallery has upheld the ingenuity of the human hand and an ethos of cultural exchange by uplifting artists from South Africa, Benin, Congo, Kenya, and Nigeria, and with their robust presence at international fairs. On that note, don’t miss their Armory Show debut this week, which features Zizipho Poswa, Kamyar Bineshtarigh, Manyaku Mashilo, and Oluseye.
Other art-world movements made waves this week. Gagosian appointed Jiyoung Lee to lead operations in South Korea, strengthening the mega-gallery’s foothold in Asia. She brings experience from Sprüth Magers, Esther Schipper, and PKM Gallery. The Dia Art Foundation has a new curator and department co-head in Matilde Guidelli-Guidi, who has overseen installations at Dia Beacon and recently revived the long-running lecture series “Artists on Artists.” Tate, meanwhile, hired two new curators: Marleen Boschen, who specializes in ecology, and Kimberly Moulton, who will be dedicated to Indigenous art.
In the fashion realm, Theory tapped Chloé’s chief commercial officer Marco Gentile as its new chief executive officer for Europe and the UK. His appointment follows an era of bullish expansion in London’s retail market with new stores opening in Covent Garden and Battersea Power Station. After spending a few years at Valentino as chief brand officer, Alessio Vannetti is making the leap over to Gucci in that same capacity. He served as the Italian label’s worldwide communications director before his departure. —Ryan Waddoups
The New York City Planning Commission has greenlit the renovation of 60 Wall Street’s postmodern lobby, originally designed by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo in 1989. The decision has been met with strong opposition from architectural preservationists and critics. Commission chair Dan Garodnick acknowledged the lobby’s significance but emphasized that the owners, primarily GIC Singapore and minority owner The Paramount Group, have the right to update the non-landmarked space. Liz Waytkus, executive director of Docomomo U.S., criticized the decision for its lack of sustainability and questioned the rush to renovate without a confirmed tenant. An appeal against the commission’s ruling is in progress, led by city councilman Christopher Marte. The lobby has been the subject of preservation efforts for years and even played a role during the Occupy Wall Street movement, adding to its historical and cultural significance. Critics, like architect Robert A.M. Stern, argue the commission is not equipped to make aesthetic decisions and should focus on its core responsibilities.
Last week, someone painted the graffiti-covered façade of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s former Manhattan studio pink, also defacing a plaque honoring the artist. The artist Roberto Palacio is a potential suspect, as he recently posted about the act on Instagram and is selling related artwork for $40,000. Street artist Doodlehedz is actively removing the pink paint, criticizing the act as disrespectful to Basquiat’s legacy and the street art community. The building, now leased by Angelina Jolie for her Atelier Jolie venture, was once owned by Andy Warhol and served as Basquiat’s studio from 1983 to 1988.
Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, India, is challenging the conventional airport experience with its new terminal that includes a 25-acre public outdoor space. Designed by SOM, the terminal offers amenities like dining, shopping, lush gardens, rainwater-collecting ponds, and a conference center. The design is particularly suited to Indian culture, where sending off or welcoming family at the airport is often a major family event. Unlike other Indian airports that restrict entry to only those with a boarding pass, the terminal lets families spend time in the outdoor space until departure. The airport has also found success with outdoor concerts, and aims to build on that, offering a car-free, open-air space that meets the community’s need for culture and entertainment.
The V&A Dundee, a design museum in Scotland, has removed all references to its £500,000 ($629,855) donation from the Sackler Trust, following ongoing controversy over the family’s involvement in the U.S. opioid epidemic. This action mirrors the V&A in London, which also distanced itself from the Sacklers last year by removing their name from its arts education center and a £2 million ($2.52 million) entrance. Members of the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, the company behind OxyContin, a drug implicated in more than 500,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. The museum’s decision has been praised by the Scottish Drugs Forum, which had previously suggested that the museum should also commemorate those who died from drug overdoses. The removal was finalized by the V&A Dundee’s board in August.
Ikea’s experiment with new urban store layouts revealed that customers actually prefer the traditional maze-like design. The company initially thought that smaller, downtown stores with more straightforward layouts would appeal to customers looking for quick shopping experiences, but feedback showed that shoppers value the guidance provided by the maze layout, leading Ikea to redesign its downtown stores to resemble its larger, suburban locations. The mazes encourage customers to buy more by guiding them through various showrooms, reinforcing Ikea’s belief that showing more leads to higher sales.