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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

20 June 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

To Mayfair, the central London district that long ago seceded into a parallel universe. Rakewell learns that the luxury hotel 45 Park Lane is gearing up to launch what sounds like one of the most surprising exhibitions of the summer.

Yes, from 4–29 July, the hotel will host a show dedicated to photographer Alan Jay Silfen’s snaps of singer Lionel Richie over the years. Quite what motivated this tribute to the ‘Three Times a Lady’ troubadour – who will himself be present at the launch – remains to be seen. As readers will no doubt be aware, Richie’s most notable foray into the art world to date was sitting for a blind sculptor in the video for his song ‘Hello’. The Rake does hope that the iconic bust that resulted from the episode will also be on display.


In one of the less likely rumours of the past week, various gossip sites reported that Ashley Olsen (of twins fame) might be romantically linked to blue-chip painter George Condo. The pair were pictured at a hotel in Manhattan earlier this week, a liaison which, according to a source quoted by gossip website Page Six, ‘looked romantic.’ Looks, sadly, can be deceiving; according to Skarstedt, Condo’s gallery, the artist was merely meeting the child star turned museum exhibit for a business meeting. Apparently, he has just designed an advert for her fashion line. 


The verdict is in on Tate Modern’s £260 million revamp, and the ambitious new displays have by and large received a critical thumbs-up for their bold attempt to redefine the story of global modernism. But the really pressing question haunting the museum’s highly publicised opening weekend (sponsored by high street clothes emporium Uniqlo) involves not the quality of the art, but that of the retail experience.

Thank heavens, then, for design agency UXUS, who have been charged with creating the new museum shop. A press release sent out by the firm last week reveals that the new shop is ‘conceived […] as occupying the crossroads of culture and commerce, and invites visitors to explore the world of art through the museum’s retail expression.’ Art lovers, it seems we’re in safe hands.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via@Rakewelltweets.