As the world slowly begins to open up, we may find ourselves grappling with an irrational and highly compelling urge to consume. A phenomenon known as “revenge spending” sees us buying “going-out” dresses and shoes, vacations, going to movies, restaurants—vying to buy things that we previously had no chances of wearing, to wear to places we previously had no chances of visiting. Our stimuli-starved selves need to be fed, and art is one of the rare pleasures that manages to sustain our eyes, hearts, and minds at the same time.
The arts have taken a heavy toll during the past two years with gallery and museum closures. While many galleries have set up ingenious workarounds such as digital tours, video programming, and online viewing rooms, these compromises do not compare to seeing a piece of art up close. The emotional, and sometimes humbling, journey is unequivocally an in-person one: it happens in the minute strokes and textures that become visible as we lean in, in moments when we gaze up at a canvas three times our size, or in the split-second when a work instantly resonates with us. Art is a live, visceral experience, and these experiences require space in the real world.
Below is a list of new art spaces and exhibitions around the world that have, against the odds, been able to open their doors to provide us with the proverbial chicken soup for the soul.
1228 Normandy Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Located on a quiet street on Miami Beach, Jupiter Contemporary is the newest gallery on the block, having opened its doors a scant few weeks ago earlier this month. Founder Gabriel Kilongo chose the relatively less-buzzy neighbourhood for Jupiter’s home, right beside Central Fine, the only other gallery in the area. Kilongo hopes to be one of the first in what will become a new arts district in Miami Beach. He says, “When presented with the opportunity to open a gallery in Miami, I began thinking of my experience in the United States. Jupiter is consequently a metaphor for both a sense of alienation and how distant Miami is, or was, from the art capitals of the world, except during Art Basel in December. If New York is the Earth of art, then Miami is Jupiter.” The gallery kicked off its opening with a solo exhibition by Marcus Leslie Singleton, Diagrams and Dilemmas, on view until April 16th 2022.
Promenade 79, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland
For those planning to embark on the aforementioned revenge vacation, or just so happen to live in the Swiss Alps, Gagosian has chosen the upscale ski destination for its latest outpost. The blue-chip institution regularly exhibits some of the most well-known and respected artists from around the world. True to form, Gagosian Gstaad chose to work with Damien Hirst for its inaugural exhibition and officially opened its doors on Valentine’s Day. Titled Myths, Legends, and Monsters, the exhibition featured new works by Damien Hirst that have never been seen before. The exhibition explores notions of celebrity and identity through a series of monochromatic oil portraits of cultural icons such as Pablo Escobar, Malcom X, Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe. Though the gallery is now closed and will reopen in the summer season, the works will likely be available to view in one of Gagosian’s nineteen other locations around the world in the near future.
2 Bourdon Street, London, UK
Paradise Row was originally a gallery in East London that closed down eight years ago. It has recently been reincarnated in the centre of Mayfair London as a yearlong not-for-profit curatorial pop-up. The space partners with both UK and international artists to fundraise for various social and environmental causes. 20 percent of the proceeds from sale of works will go towards causes chosen by the curators and exhibiting artists — each exhibition will be geared towards a different charity. Their current exhibition, City Entwined, is a two-part exhibition that unites independent and emerging artists, galleries and project spaces from around London to highlight the creative relationships and sense of community that make up an integral part of the city’s cultural DNA. City Entwined is on view until May 7th 2022.
601 West 26th Street, New York City, New York, USA
Though Basquiat has enjoyed a stratospheric surge in popularity in recent years, he occupies an especially inimitable place within New York City. His life and works drive powerful social and cultural narratives that are still relevant now. King Pleasure © is an immersive exhibition of over 200 never-before-seen and rare drawings, paintings, and artefacts compiled and presented by the Basquiat family. Where Basquiat’s image is now often over-saturated in commercial markets—which he likely would disapprove of had he been present—King Pleasure © promises an intimate treatment, where the reverence for his achievements tie in with the intricacies of being a part of his personal life. The show begins April 9th 2022 in a historic building in Chelsea, New York City.
The Courtauld Gallery
Somerset House, Strand, London, UK
Established in 1932, The Courtauld Gallery is admittedly far from brand new; it is a longstanding institution renowned for its permanent collection of art that dates from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The gallery has recently undergone the largest renovations in its history, and reopened to the public late last year. The updated rooms include its LVMH Great Room, the oldest and largest dedicated exhibition space in London which houses the greats of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist eras: Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, Gauguin, Renoir. Visitors can also view new exhibits from the Renaissance to the 18th century in the Blavatnik Fine Rooms, as well as another new area dedicated especially to Medieval and Early Renaissance paintings.
Already a must-visit in London for those seeking their fill in classical art, the new Courtauld Gallery is now doubly so. Currently, Van Gogh: Self-Portraits is on view until May 8th, where visitors will find 16 self-portraits that trace the artist’s life from his formative years in Paris, to the last one he painted before his death in 1890. And yes, one portrait in particular—undoubtedly the first that came to mind for many—will be on view as well.
SAVE UKRAINE NOW Benefit Print Series
Though technically not a real place to visit, it is a small way to aid a nation and its people whose needs are, most assuredly, very real. Juxtapoz has brought together 12 Ukrainian artists to create a selection of limited-run giclée prints for US$100 each. All proceeds will benefit the Save Ukraine Now charity for humanitarian aid efforts and to support the Ukrainian armed forces. Contributing artists include: Waone, Alexander Grebenyuk, Alexey Kondakov, Artem Proot, Bohdan Burenko, Dzvinya Podlyashetska, Iryna Maksymova, Ivan Grabko, Nicolas Koshkosh, Rita Maikova, Denis Sarazhin and Stepan Ryabchenko. Prints are available for purchase here.
Cover Credit: Werner Du plessis / Unsplash
Writer | Vanessa Lee
Vanessa is an art, fashion and lifestyle writer and creative consultant from Vancouver, Canada. She is currently based in Hong Kong.