Love him or hate him, Richard Serra is one of the most important sculptors living today. Now an octogenarian, he recently mounted a three-part show at a trio of Gagosian galleries in New York. The 24th Street location holds four new works from his Rounds series, where every forged steel piece is said to weigh 50 tons. Walking next to and through each piece—a tangible experience that makes Serra’s his work so thrilling—I observed the material’s usual raw form, but in new, unusual colors: orange, gray, navy, and brown swirled together in a surface that reminded me of time-worn elephant skin. Go see the show before it closes on December 7.
Tiffany Jow, editorial director
While in Bologna recently, I had the opportunity to visit the apartment of Virginia Valentini and Francesco Breganze, a local husband-and-wife design duo who launched their own company, LATOxLATO, about a year ago. Native Italians and architects by trade, Valentini and Breganze create furniture and accessories that make you look twice thanks to unexpected form and unusual details. The designers don’t create pieces solely as objects of beauty, although their work is beautiful—every piece has to have a function. Their vase series—its arches are an unmistakable nod to the arches in Italian architecture, and especially to the famous porticos of downtown Bologna—is the perfect cross between minimalism and glamour. Ranging from the tall, singularly arched Marcello to the square Sophia L centerpiece (my personal favorite is the Virrorio, a rectangular vessel with four arches), the collection comes in white ceramic with either 24-karat gold or platinum metallic details. Che bello, indeed.
Rachel Gallaher, senior editor
The Frye Art Museum’s current show Pierre Leguillon: Arbus Bonus captures popular culture in post-war America through the camera lens of acclaimed photographer Diane Arbus (1923–1971). Known for her candid images of marginalized individuals, this exhibition, organized by artist and curator Pierre Leguillon, highlights Arbus’s lesser-known, yet, at times, equally provocative, editorial and commercial work. In a series of more than 200 photo spreads ripped from the pages of The Sunday Times, Esquire, McCall’s and Harper’s Bazaar, Leguillon reveals the gap between her editorial subjects and society’s misfits. From photo spreads on children’s fashion to stories about celebrity dopplegängers, topless dancers, and married couples, this exhibition is a must-see before it closes on January 5.
Claire Butwinick, assistant editor
I’m hoping for a little something of the iPhone 11 Pro variety under the tree this year. (Midnight Green, please.) As the cracked back screen on my current iPhone 8 would tell you: I’m not a huge fan of bulky cases. But that perspective changed when I wrote last month about Hong Kong-based tech accessories brand Native Union, which creates these sleek and very chic Italian Nappa leather-clad smartphone cases and other well-designed electronics accoutrements. In October, the company released its Clic Marquetry cases for the new iPhone 11 models. They’re made by hand using three different leathers, which give them what Native Union’s head of design Fabien Nauroy referred to as a “minimal, geometric, and unisex” aesthetic. “They’re refined with a high attention to detail like the handmade edge-to-edge leather assembly,” he told me. “But also bold and striking with our signature slash featured in different shades of black and rose.” Here’s to my secret Santa taking the hint.
Lauren Mang, digital editor/special publications
The Best Things We Saw is a monthly roundup of places, spaces, and things that stopped GRAY staffers in their tracks. Herewith, our picks for the best of the best in October.