Inside the New Sydney Modern’s Striking Retail Gallery, and Other News

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Gift shop designed by Akin Atelier at the Sydney Modern. Photography by Rory Gardiner

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Inside the New Sydney Modern’s Striking Retail Gallery

The SANAA-designed Sydney Modern opened this year as a breathtaking extension of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. While the museum has nabbed accolades for its programming, Akin Atelier’s gift shop—whose curvaceous interior abounds with amber resin and pearlescent plinths—is captivating locals and stealing headlines. “The site gave us a unique opportunity to break past the ‘exit through the gift shop’ conventions and extend the artistic experience of the gallery into the retail space,” Akin Atelier’s Alexandra Holman told Wallpaper, noting how the shop intends to enrich the gallery’s cultural and architectural experience. It’s no wonder the shop feels like a sculpture in its own right. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz

Bottega Veneta’s runway outfitted with Gaetano Pesce chairs during Milan Fashion Week. Photography by Matteo Canestraro

Bottega Veneta stores are now showcasing resin-dipped chairs by Gaetano Pesce.

Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy commissioned Gaetano Pesce to craft sculptural resin floor and more than 400 resin-dipped chairs in an array of vivid colors for the Italian maison’s summer 2023 runway show. After traveling to Design Miami in December, the chairs are now making appearances at the label’s flagships in London, Milan, Paris, Rome, and Berlin. Each chair will be available for purchase on request. 

Blockchain services company Valence is launching an app with Expo Chicago Art Fair.

Valence, a blockchain services company, has teamed up with the Expo Chicago Art Fair to launch a new app called Valence Art Wallet. Slated to launch in early April, the app provides Certificates of Authenticity, shipping and payment documents, and a payment layaway service. Chris Vroom, the co-founder of Valence, hopes to expand the app’s services to include collection management and appraisals, while using the blockchain to track provenance and transactions while empowering galleries and artists to benefit from this new market.

President Biden designates two new national monuments in the American Southwest.

President Biden has designated two new national monuments in the American Southwest, safeguarding areas in Texas and Nevada that feature Indigenous art, including petroglyphs and pictographs. The Castner Range in Texas extends across 6,672 acres and is known for the Mexican Gold Poppies that bloom each spring, and 41 archaeological sites containing Indigenous rock art from as far back as 1350 CE. In Nevada, Biden has protected more than half a million acres of the Spirit Mountain area, home to Indigenous petroglyphs, pictographs, and sacred lands, which are central to the creation story of many Native American tribes.

Ramadan Pavilion by Shahed Saleem. Image courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Shahed Saleem crafts a deconstructed mosque for Ramadan at the V&A Museum.

The Ramadan Pavilion 2023, a colorful installation inspired by the holy month of Ramadan, will be on view at the Exhibition Road Courtyard of the V&A South Kensington until May 1. Designed by architect Shahed Saleem, the pavilion is a response to England’s first-ever mosque and draws inspiration from the V&A’s print collection of mosques and Islamic architecture. Saleem’s design aims to explore themes of worship, belonging, and identity, while celebrating the resilience and inventiveness of marginalized communities.

The RealReal is shutting down its beauty business to focus on luxury consignment.

The RealReal is shutting down its beauty business to focus on luxury consignment, aligning with shareholder demands for profitability. The company’s financial losses have shrunk to $39 million from $52 million for the same period in 2021. The move follows the layoffs of roughly 230 employees and plans to close flagships in San Francisco and Chicago.  

Canva integrates ChatGPT-style AI text and image generation across its product suite. 

Canva has integrated the latest AI text and image generation technology into its UI, including Magic Write, Magic Edit, Magic Eraser, Magic Design, and Magic Presentation, making the design process more efficient and user-friendly. The AI features were built in-house through long-term investment and acquisition, and Canva ensures that all rights to use have been ironed out, so that “anything you create in Canva is yours.”

“Free Gyarados” (2022) by Haruho Mitsuda. Photography by Taku Saijo, courtesy of the National Crafts Museum

Today’s attractive distractions:

Scientists are using fMRI machines to scan the brains of people using DMT.

Colorado may have once been home to an ancient astronomical observatory.

Japanese craftspeople reimagine Pokémon as old artifacts to stunning effect. 

As demand for vinyl soars, Metallica has bought its own vinyl record factory.

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