Created for the citywide art exhibition Prospect.5 in New Orleans, Simone Leigh’s bronze sculpture Sentinel (Mami Wata).
Photo: Prospect.5

The Artful Life: 5 Things Galerie Editors Love This Week

From the discovery of the one of the world’s largest emeralds to a striking new bronze sculpture by Simone Leigh

The Chopard Insofu Emerald. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard

1. Chopard Unveils 6,225-Carat Emerald  

Continuing its mission of sourcing exceptional stones in a responsible and sustainable manner, Chopard unveiled a 6,225-carat raw emerald during the high jewelry presentations coinciding with Haute Couture Week. Weighing a whopping 2.7 pounds, the Chopard Insofu emerald was discovered in the Kagem mine in Zambia by Gemfields, a leading supplier of responsibly sourced gemstones. The gem is among the largest emeralds ever discovered worldwide and is the second-largest emerald found in Kagem. “The size and quality of the crystal make it a rare find indeed,” stated Sean Gilbertson, director of Gemfields, noting that it was also “setting a historic milestone for traceability back to the mine-of-origin, a holy grail for consumers.” —Lucy Rees

Jamb's Atlas light is displayed alongside an array of Zak + Fox textiles in the brands' shared New York atelier. Photo: Courtesy of Jamb and Zak + Fox

Jamb's Hanbury sofa reimagined in textiles from Zak + Fox. Photo: Courtesy of Jamb and Zak + Fox

2. Jamb Opens First New York Location

British design destination Jamb has opened its first New York location in the city’s Gramercy neighborhood, joining textile brand Zak + Fox in its Park Avenue South showroom. More than 30 pieces from Jamb’s lighting collection, including several new designs, are on view alongside Zak + Fox’s remarkable array of textiles and wallpapers. Proving that good neighbors also make great collaborators, the two have joined forces on a selection of 18th-century inspired furniture pieces that Jamb has reimagined in fabrics from Zak + Fox’s new Sea Change collection.—Jill Sieracki

Photo: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

Photo: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

3. Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.’s Solo Exhibition at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

One of Galerie’s 2019 Emerging Artists, photographer Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. opens his second solo exhibition with Nicelle Beauchene Gallery this Thursday, January 27. Known for his deeply intimate work, Brown will present a selection of new portraits, abstract photographs, and two large sculptures. “In this exhibition’s group of compositionally arresting images, Brown both anchors and submerges us, diffusing the image to show how it intermingles with affect and demands its own structural forms,” says curator Katherine Adams. This untitled body of work will be on view until February 26. —Stefanie Li

Created for the citywide art exhibition Prospect.5 in New Orleans, Simone Leigh’s bronze sculpture Sentinel (Mami Wata). Photo: Prospect.5

4. Simone Leigh’s Sentinel (Mama Wata) Unveiled As Part of Prospect.5 in New Orleans

As Prospect.5 in New Orleans draws to a close, one last work was revealed as part of the citywide art exhibition. Simone Leigh‘s bronze sculpture Sentinel (Mami Wata) (2020-21) was installed at the base of the pedestal, which once held a monument to General Robert E. Lee. The statue of the confederate general was removed in 2017 and has stood empty ever since. Leigh’s work serves as a temporary proposal of what could activate the landmark formerly known as Lee Circle and has since been renamed Egalité Circle. Her work stands in honor of the activists, citizens, and officials who removed the reminder of the Civil War and references the diversity of African cultures present in New Orleans, a city rich with spirituality passed down through generations. Tapping into those deep roots and folklore, Leigh looked to Mami Wata, an African water spirit, and depicted her wearing a mask, another symbol associated with the city’s layered traditions. —Jacqueline Terrebonne

5. Sou Fujimoto Completes the House of Music in Budapest

The Hungarian capital is now home to the House of Music, a new performing arts space dreamed up by celebrated Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Encompassing nearly 100,000 square feet, the glass-walled venue is nestled within City Park and features a unique swooping roof punctured by 100 gaps meant to accommodate the surrounding trees. Designed to evoke the beauty of sound, the graceful edifice forms the heart of the Liget Budapest Project, an enormous cultural hub replacing the now-demolished Hungexpo complex. Inside, visitors will find exhibition galleries, concert halls, open-air stages, classrooms, and a library—plus an immersive 60-seat “hemispherical sound dome” inspired by the 20th century composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen.—Geoffrey Montes

Cover: Created for the citywide art exhibition Prospect.5 in New Orleans, Simone Leigh’s bronze sculpture Sentinel (Mami Wata).
Photo: Prospect.5


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