An arrow sign saying 'Red Rock Terrace' with bushes and a pink rose
An arrow sign saying 'Red Rock Terrace' with bushes and a pink rose

Diamond Creek Vineyards was founded in 1968 in Napa, California. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

Diamond Creek is a name that resonates among the most discerning international wine collectors. Its wines, made from fully organic vineyards with minimal environmental damage, combine distinctiveness, complexity and sophistication. Diamond Creek’s Red Rock Terrace, Volcanic Hill, and Gravelly Meadow, are all based on Cabernet Sauvignon, and all priced around the same elevated level, yet are subtly but distinctly different in character. LUX meets President of Diamond Creek Vineyards, Nicole Carter and Graham Wehmeier, winemaker at the estate, which is now owned by the Louis Roederer champagne house, for a conversation and tasting over Zoom

Graham Wehmeier, winemaker at Diamond Creek:

“One of the magical aspects of this place that you have, just a stone’s throw away, obviously different soils and very different wines as well. To the point where even if you are not a collector or a wine geek or you didn’t know what terroir means or you don’t care, you could still taste the difference [between the different wines], it is that clear from glass to glass.

A vineyard with a road curving round and trees

Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Vineyard. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

The vineyards are very different in terms of temperature, Gravelly Meadow being the coolest, Volcanic Hill being the warmest. When we taste them side by side, the hand print of the three vineyards is quite strong.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

The altitude difference is 30 meters between Red Rock and Volcanic Hill, the top of Red Rock is almost level with the top of Volcanic Hill, then they both go down to the creek, which is where Gravelly Meadow is. It is the lowest, that is also why it is so cool. The cooling down there is so noticeable, on a hot day.

The creek has a big effect, in terms of soil difference. The creek’s soil for whatever geological reasons really stops on the north side of the creek and then the red soil starts the south of the creek.

A house in the distance surrounded by grape vines

The Diamond Creek Winery. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

I would agree that Gravelly Meadow has a taste of wet stones. I have no idea if it is something the grapes actually absorb; I would absolutely not rule out that grapes on rocky soil absorb the smell of those rocks, they are sitting there all summer long. It is very romantic, and one of the great things about Diamond Creek: Red Rock gives you these red earth flavours and Gravelly Meadow gives you these gravelly flavours and Volcanic Hill just tastes like a volcano in its flavour spectrum. ”

grapes on a vine

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

Tasting notes, by LUX Editor-in-Chief Darius Sanai:

We tasted the three celebrated single vineyards wines from Diamond Creek from the 2011 and 2018 vintages. 2011 was an interesting vintage in Napa Valley, relatively cool and wet, it was initially looked down on by some influential critics. But cool for Napa is not the same as cool in Northern Europe, and actually wines created by skilled winemakers from top vineyard sites were quite outstanding and balanced, suitable for palates that don’t want the fruit bomb type wines some Napa estates produce, particularly in hotter vintages.

Read more: A new photography prize for sustainability is launched

The tasting focussed on two vintages of its three celebrated single-vineyard wines, Gravelly Meadow, Volcanic Hill and Red Rock Terrace. Made from three near-adjacent vineyards, all based on Cabernet Sauvignon, they have very different characters, due to the differences in soil, temperature and aspect between the three vineyards, a perfect illustration that the concept of terroir can be as powerful in California as it is in Burgundy, where it reflects very distinctive wines, made from the same types of grape, from nearby vineyards.

A vineyard and a road

Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Vineyard. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

2011 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow:
This is the vineyard by the creek at the bottom of the property, cooler than the others and as its name suggests, surrounded by stones. Sublimely balanced wine, with stones, slightly dusty tannins, cool blue fruit, a little meatiness. Improved for hours.

2011 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace:
Richness and tannin in balance, with an underpinning of medium-ripe, almost smoky fruit. Hints of freshly-rolled Havana cigars. More punch than the Gravelly Meadow, but beautiful equilibrium.

A black and white photo of a man and woman

Al and Boots Brounstein, founders of Diamond Creek Vineyards. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

2011 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill:
Denser, lots of filaments of black fruit, plenty of power, and a wine that would match an umami cut of steak, like a bavette, with the acidity to match up to a cuisson a l’échalotte.

2018 Diamond Hill Gravelly Meadow
Lashings of stones, lots of blue and red fruits, a kind of transparent limpidity. A wine to enjoy by itself, and also one to keep in the cellar for as many years as you can bear as it will only improve. Pretty much unique: although if you are a fan of the great and classy Bordeaux second growths like Chateau Pichon Comtesse (in the same ownership), you will love this wine.

A vineyard with flowers growing on the side and sun shining on the trees

Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Vineyard. Image courtesy of Diamond Creek

2018 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace
Wow! Dense yet light, layers of opulence but with a kind of restraint that seems to be the hallmark of this estate. Porterhouse steak with mushrooms; or maybe even just the mushrooms, on a brioche.

2018 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill
A big wine with rich fruit, but balanced and defined, with definite tannic offset, in no way an unbalanced Napa cliche. Darkness and light in one wine, and so many layers. One to hang on to for 10 years, if you can find it, and if you can bear doing so. We don’t approve of foie gras, but if we did, we would recommend it as an accompaniment; as it stands, go for some marbled Wagyu beef, or a mushroom and truffle tart with a hint of olive oil from a single estate in Tuscany.

Find out more:

Reading time: 5 min
Donatella Versace standing on a runway

Donatella Versace at spring/summer 2022 Versace show, featuring a backdrop of the brand’s iconic foulards. Image courtesy of Versace

Identifiable by her first name alone, Donatella Versace is unique among designers. The creative director gives LUX the lowdown on what it’s really like being a woman at the top, how she is dipping into the metaverse and why the future of her super-sexy Italian fashion house is all about breaking new ground – and those safety pins. Interview by Fara Bashorun

LUX: How important was it for you to make your own mark on Versace, considering the lack of women designers at the top of the fashion industry?
Donatella Versace: It’s crucial, and I feel responsible – but not just because I am a woman. But because I care. I care that Versace is successful, that my teams are happy. At the beginning it was harder. No one really believed in me. They have always seen me behind the scenes and I was happy to keep doing what I was doing. But then, you know, I didn’t really have a choice – and to give up has never been an option. Because I was a woman – and my surname didn’t matter – I had to work harder than anyone to prove that I was capable. That’s why I think that the change must start from us.

In fact, today, within Versace, women represent 64 per cent of the employees; and 48 per cent of those are executives. Regardless of all the progress that’s been made, women still have to prove themselves more than men have to; women have to fight harder to have their voices heard. I think there is still a problem of credibility when it comes to women in positions of authority: it is still hard for them to have their opinions and actions validated by others. I say this from my own experience. As said, I was the only woman at the helm of the company. It took me a long time to really be heard, trusted and recognised as being capable within my own company.

A catwalk with all the models walking down in black dresses

Image Courtesy of Versace

LUX: “If you want to be comfortable, stay at home in your pyjamas.” You made this statement in 2011: do you still stand by it, despite the shift towards casual luxury?
DV: I think that the most important thing is to be, and express, yourself by wearing whatever you want to. In particular, nowadays, after two years of the pandemic, with social distancing and working from home, the way we dress has changed a lot. And fashion can only adapt to this change. Think of street style and how impactful that was on fashion.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Glamour, like style, just has different characteristics according to the times. For example, I have been wearing heels every day to go to the office since the day the total lockdown in Italy was lifted. It feels good. High heels are the quintessential symbol of femininity, a tool for women to feel stronger. The minute we wear them we walk in a different manner, we feel taller, we feel different, we can be whoever we want to be. That is the meaning of fashion anyway. It’s not just about covering ourselves in something warm, but wearing an armour that allows us to express ourselves without fear.

A woman holding a lime green bag wearing purple tights, a green skirt and orange top standing in front of a Versace print scarf

Image courtesy of Versace

LUX: The spring/summer 2022 collection is a confluence of legacy and futurity – iconic foulards, the return of those safety pins… Does this signal a new vision for the brand?
DV: The main inspiration behind the spring/ summer 2022 collection is the iconic Versace silk foulard. It is a fundamental component of Versace’s heritage and DNA. The foulard has been with us since the very beginning of the brand, but for SS22 it turns everything on its head – it is no longer fluid or dreamy, the scarf is provocative, sexy, wound tight for both men and women.

I’ve noticed that there is a fascination for the fashion of the past in the younger generations. They are discovering older treasures, since for them a lot of the fashion from the 1980s and ’90s is new. That’s why I keep bringing the codes of Versace into the world of today, remaining authentic to what they are, but never in an obvious way. There is a story to tell, and I see that people are interested in that story. Versace is always true to its DNA, but at the same time not a slave to it. It keeps on changing and evolving, because I listen to what people want and desire.

LUX: How have you adjusted to working under the ownership of Capri Holdings? Do you still feel that you are in charge?
DV: What has changed is the fact that, being part of a group with larger resources, Versace can tap into them and invest in technology, manufacturing, a larger base of employees. We’re opening new stores. Ultimately, Versace is growing to the next level. Thanks to Capri, I see big opportunities in accessories for sure, but every part of the business is growing.

Dua Lipa wearing a pink coord sticking her tongue out

Image courtesy of Versace

LUX: How important are brand collaborations, such as Fendace (Fendi x Versace)?
DV: As a designer, it gave me the opportunity to use my creativity on something new. It was also a way to create unity, and a sense that fashion houses can work together to offer people something unexpected. It doesn’t matter how designers decide to achieve this goal, but that the creative conversation goes above and beyond one’s own four walls, so to speak. There have been a lot of collaborations, but never a complete swap of designers.

Read more: Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation: Bridging Global South And North

I became the designer of Fendi and they [creative leads Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini-Fendi] became the designers of Versace. I did Fendi how I see Fendi. We saw it like a game, and that allowed us to be free to express ourselves. It’s never happened before. I’d like to underline that a collaboration is one thing, but swapping designers is a totally different thing. They trusted me enough to give Fendi to me and to translate it into my vision. I trusted them enough to hand over Versace.

Donatella Versace with Gigi and Bella Hadid

The new Versace women’s SS22 campaign, featuring Donatella flanked by supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid

LUX: You once described London as being the heart of new design, rather than Paris or Milan. Why do you think that is?
DV: Because of its energy, its ability to reinvent itself and to be unconventional! It is always new, always fresh. London is one of my favourite cities in the world!

LUX: As fashion brands begin to explore the metaverse, what’s Versace’s take on it? How important is it to you?
DV: I think the metaverse must be explored. My team and I are still learning about this universal virtual world, but I’m happy to embrace new ideas if they fit Versace. I’m fascinated by technology and I love to get to know all the newest and coolest experiences. For example, in 2020, we joined ComplexLand, a digital interactive experience, a first-of-its-kind immersive virtual destination featuring fashion, art, musical performances and cultural conversations. It was my first time as a virtual identity and I found it super modern, and absolutely in line with the brand’s aesthetic and current approach. It was fun to develop my virtual alter ego!

This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX

Reading time: 6 min
Three grey and blue oriental style paintings side by side
A man sitting on a paint splatted chair

Durjoy Rahman, the founder of the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

Like many organisations, the Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation saw its programming curtailed during the pandemic. In the first of this two part feature, Rebecca Anne Proctor reports on plans to make up for precious lost time in its mission to bridge different geographic and conceptual worlds of art

When the Nepalese artists and curators Hit Man Gurung and Sheelasha Rajbhandari staged ‘Garden of Six Seasons’, a group exhibition at Hong Kong’s Para Site (15 May – 15 November 2020), they couldn’t have imagined that just two years later a version of the show would be held in Berlin during the summer of 2022. Held at SAVVY Contemporary, an independent art, cultural and community space (from 10 June to 10 July), the exhibition, which is now titled ‘Garden of 10 Seasons’, brings the work of Gurung and Rajbhandari full circle: from the Far East to the West in the effort to promote art from the Global South and flip a Western-centric vision of the world.

Three grey and blue oriental style paintings side by side

Artworks by Joydeb Roaza. Courtesy of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the artist

A precursor to the recent Kathmandu Triennale 2077 – that took place in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 11 February to 31March – the Hong Kong exhibition, which they presented with the artistic director Cosmin Costinas, displayed artworks showcasing various interpretations of the garden as a metaphor for mankind’s relentless efforts to control nature and reconstruct the world order. The show in Hong Kong, then Berlin, critically looks at diverse Indigenous knowledge as a source for decolonising power structures, marking, as its curators state: “a much-needed intervention in our understanding of what constitutes art.” The exhibition also brings together South Asian partnerships, sponsored by Bangladeshi entrepreneur, art patron and collector Durjoy Rahman and his Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF). His aims, like those of Gurung and Rajbhandari, are precisely to forge cross-cultural dialogue and exchange between the Global South and international art community.

metal parts in the clouds

Works by Shilpa Gupta. Courtesy of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the artist

Since its founding in 2018, DBF has been on a mission. The foundation’s forthcoming roll-out of events depicts a desire to transcend the challenges of the past few years and set the world order straight – through art and creativity. “The post-Covid scenario will be looked at differently by everyone regardless of whether or not they are involved in art,” said Durjoy from Dhaka. “From curated exhibitions to awards and symposiums, our effort to connect, convene and sustain a global art ecosystem is now stronger than ever.” From the founding of the foundation, Durjoy states that its aim was to “highlight and support artists and creatives in diverse mediums from South Asia and foster cultural exchange with the West and beyond.” With more than 25 years as an art collector, he says that while he has seen the art landscape of South Asia progress and transform, he believes it has “seldom received due recognition”.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Over the next few months, the foundation will stage and support the Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India as a benefactor of the DBF Asia Art Future Award, presented to Sri Lankan Jasmine Nilani Joseph. In December2022, the first edition of the DBF Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) Award (announced in April 2022 during the Venice Biennale) will recognise ground breaking contemporary visual artists or collectives, predominantly from the South Asian region.

A square made up of small orange and red and blue rectangles

Works by Rana Begum. Courtesy of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the artist

On 6 March, DBF-supported Indian artist Pallavi Paul’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, newly commissioned by SAVVY Contemporary and shown in the framework of the Berlinale’s Forum Expanded 2022. Additionally, DBF will help stage ‘Garden of 10 Seasons’ in the summer at SAVVY Contemporary. The fourth edition of the foundation’s Majhi International Art Residency will also take place from the end of September to early October this year, with the location still to be decided.

“Our aim is to create epistemological diversity by organising exhibitions, symposia, performances – the body as a site of discourse– radio programmes, discussions, poetry and literature events,” says Elena Agudio, the artistic co-director of SAVVY Contemporary, founded in 2009, that engages with the ideologies, politics and daily practices of oppression by deconstructing the history and continuity of Western hegemony, and by reconnecting with forms of co-existence and togetherness.

chefs working in a kitchen placing food on a plate

Culinary art by the ‘MasterChef Australia’ finalist Kishwar Chowdhury. Courtesy of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation

‘Garden of 10 Seasons’ will be co-curated by the artists Gurung and Rajbhandari, and explores the meaning of gardens and their impact on culture. “Since 2009 we have been trying to undo Western systemic violence through creative means; we are trying to understand the world through multiple perspectives,” added Agudio. The show at SAVVY Contemporary will depart from the themes presented in Kathmandu. “At its core are image- and object-making lineages that transversed or unfolded in parallel to what the West has deemed as modernity,” said Rajbhandari and Gurung. In effect, the exhibition attempts to build frameworks of understanding and bridge together multiple aesthetic and cosmological conceptualisations.

six arches drawn on rectangles in purple, blue, red, green and brown

Works by Hamra Abbas. Courtesy of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the artist

Many practices, such as Paubha painting in Nepal, ink wash in East Asia, and bark cloth in the Pacific, have been side-lined within Eurocentric discourse, added the curators. Most recently, DBF sponsored a symposium titled ‘Coming to Know’ on occasion of the opening of ‘A Slightly Curved Place’. Curated by Nida Ghouse and Brooke Holmes, the exhibition presented the first ambisonic, or three-dimensional, surround-sound installation staged by the UAE’s Alserkal Arts Foundation at Concrete, in Dubai, and based on the practice of the acoustic archaeologist and sound technician Umashankar Manthravadi.

Read more: Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation: Layers of Meaning

The exhibition offers new ways of thinking about curatorial practice, thus pushing the boundaries of what an art exhibition can offer– while also remaining open to the critical debate revolving around the importance and expansion of new technologies. “As an art foundation, our endeavours cannot be confined within the exhibition of our collection,” says Durjoy. “We wanted to fulfil our social purpose of building a greater awareness for South Asian artists in the global arena.”

A renaissance style painting of a family sitting together

Works by Rashid Rana. Courtesy of Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation and the artist

The symposium, in line with DBF’s greater aims of forging inter-cultural dialogue and exchange, was jointly staged by Alserkal Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Classics at Princeton University, in the US. Through discussions led by art and culture experts from the Arab world, South Asia and internationally, it gathered the public together through critical discourse relating specially to the realm of new technologies, culture, and art from the Global South. Creative expressions from South Asia deserve acknowledgment, DBF believes. The foundation thus aims to help bridge the cultural gap and represent such creatives to an international audience through programmes and events. These are intended to engage artists, communities, academics, and critics working in the creative space, as well as support them and advance the connection between art-making and important social and cultural issues in the region.

Durjoy Rahman at a DBF-hosted classic car event

Durjoy, always a man on a mission, with boundless energy and ideas, ultimately hopes to change the world through art, elevate artists from global areas that have been, until now, largely left out from the international art scene. “The idea of changing perspectives through art practice is something the DBF stands for,” explains Durjoy. “Our dynamic calendar of art events, exhibitions, residency programs, awards and symposiums works towards the mission of empowering artists and to rekindle our hope for a better future. We will continue to support art practitioners and their creations as we work to push forward the ideals of an open society.”

This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of LUX

Reading time: 6 min
Canada Goose logo on a wall in a factory where a woman is sewing with a machine
A bald man in a suit standing in a factory

Dani Reiss, Canada Goose CEO

Heritage, authenticity, design pedigree, celebrity – Canada Goose has all the elements of a fashion success story. So how did a family brand that made functional fur-trimmed down parkas for the local police become the multimillion-dollar powerhouse it is today? We talk to CEO Dani Reiss on the rise of outerwear.

In fashion, a lot changes in 25 years. Dani Reiss, the CEO of Canada Goose, began working at the brand – originally owned by his parents – in 1997. At the time, the company’s famous down jackets were worn by those who worked out in the cold: members of the Ontario police force, film crews and actors on set, and Canada Goose was part of a successful family business bringing in $3m in revenue a year. Fast-forward a quarter decade and things are a little different. In 2017 there was a $391m IPO. And in 2021 Canada Goose reported revenue of $186.69m, in the second quarter alone. This turnaround is perhaps thanks to an unlikely style success story – that of Canada Goose’s down jackets, with their trademark red and white logo on the left-hand sleeve. These jackets are now worn – on and off film sets, crucially – by Emma Stone, Daniel Radcliffe, Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig and Rihanna. They’re also bestsellers in the outerwear category at retailers such as Flannels and Net-A-Porter, and the global shopping platform Lyst saw searches for Canada Goose go up 71 per cent year-on-year in December 2021.

Kate Upton wearing a brown gilet with the sun behind her

Campaign star Kate Upton in an SS20 look

Speaking to LUX recently, Reiss is candid that this wasn’t an overnight change. The marketing budget was non-existent when he took over and the team worked hard to create an organic buzz around the brand. “One thing we did have at the time was a relationship with the film industry,” he says. “And so, we used them as role models and made sure our products appeared on screen like in National Treasure, where people were out in extreme climates.” Reiss surmised – correctly, as it turned out – that this authentically rugged association would appeal to urbanites. The real success came when these customers invested in the jackets – and found them to live up to the hype. “Ultimately it comes down to having an amazing product,” he says. “They thought they were warm because they bought a similar jacket, but they weren’t actually warm. That’s where the urban legend came to be, where people say, ‘All you need to wear is a T-shirt under a Canada Goose jacket’, which is actually true.” Canada Goose has grown in stature through its association with the cold, and Canada – a place where the weather system can plummet to -30C (-22F) – is part of that.

An old image of a man working in a factory

Dani Reiss took over the family business from his father, David, pictured above, in 1970

‘Made in Canada’ has long been part of Reiss’ strategy. The brand has the largest supply chain in the country and employs 20 per cent of Canada’s apparel workforce. He describes the ‘Made in Canada’ label as “a huge differentiator for us. Like a Swiss watch made in Switzerland, you see the word Swiss before you see the word watch and so you can’t separate the two.” As a young man, Reiss was resistant to joining the family business. Studying English literature and philosophy at the University of Toronto, he initially made an exception to earn some money to go travelling. While at the company, he says, he realised the power of this brand he had grown up with. “What I learnt was that people loved our products,” he says. It was this connection between customer and product – a story, in a way – that made the aspiring writer change his mind and, indeed, excel at his job. He was CEO four years after joining, at the age of 27. A balance of fashion nous and product-led authenticity form the narrative that has helped Canada Goose become the success story it is today.

Canada Goose logo on a wall in a factory where a woman is sewing with a machine

A glimpse inside the Canada Goose factory in Toronto

Ben Hurren, head of men’s elevation at Flannels, sees the combination as essential. “Authenticity and craftsmanship undoubtedly remain key drivers for our customer,” he says. “But, more importantly, what really speaks to our customer is Canada Goose’s relevance in the world of high fashion and their ability to embrace modern trends; not just in the design process, but in their approach to marketing, too.”

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Canada Goose – with its 60-odd-year history – has the heritage and design pedigree to back up any modern marketing. “I think that today, more than ever, people want authenticity, they don’t want fake brands,” says Reiss. “Brands with heritage and history that have a reputation behind them – I think that’s important.” But he’s aware fashion is part of the story, too. “If you look back 20 years ago… you bought a jacket, you wore it in the snow, you didn’t pick it when you went to pick your outfit, the way you would pick your shirt and your shoes or your blazer,” says Reiss. “Outerwear has now become a category.” The brand is exploring categories, too, adding knitwear in 2017. In its Fiscal 2022, the brand saw its non-parka revenue grow by more than 70% – driven in large part by lightweight down, vests and apparel.

Jordin Tootoo standing on a piece of ice in the sea with a power line and green house behind him

Jordin Tootoo in the FW19 Campaign

Next is footwear. The brand bought the outdoor shoe company Baffin for $32.5m in 2018, and launched Canada Goose footwear at the end of 2021. The CEO is keen to keep the company relevant moving into a new era, with a new generation. The campaign for the footwear range is a case in point – it features indigenous Canadian activist Sarain Fox, the hockey star Jordin Tootoo and Romeo Beckham. “They have to be a Goose Person; they have to be authentic,” says Reiss. “All of our brand ambassadors use our products in the field, and they are all authentic people with authentic stories.”

Read more: Frieze pays tribute to New York’s cultural ethos

Beckham is described as “a compelling addition, and he also does resonate with a younger demographic.” Pierre Lavenir, a cultural specialist at Lyst, says alliances like these have helped the brand’s success. “Teaming up with relevant community stakeholders can also help Canada Goose reach a greater audience,” he comments. “We can expect the brand to strengthen its partnerships with outdoor enthusiasts – such as explorer Aldo Kane – and to team up with more streetwear brands to earn its place in the zeitgeist.”

Romeo Beckham in a pink gilet, beige trousers and white boots crawling

Campaign star Romeo Beckham modelling the brand’s first ever footwear offering

Canada Goose’s relevance to a new generation goes beyond campaigns, to how the company is run. The longtime use of fur on the hoods of parkas was problematic – particularly for Gen Z and millennials, demographics with sizeable vegan cohorts. In June last year, Canada Goose announced that it would be going fur-free, and cease manufacturing with fur by the end of 2022. The focus has instead moved to a more sustainable way of working: the brand launched the Standard Expedition Parka in 2020, which is made using 30 per cent less energy than any other Canada Goose product, and recycled nylon is part of the Cyprus and Crofton collections.

A man in a black coat and red boots squating over the snow

Campaign star Jordin Tootoo modelling the brand’s first ever footwear offering

Lyst’s statistics already demonstrate that there is appetite for these pieces – in December 2021, searches for Canada Goose fur-free items were up 75 per cent year-on-year and pieces made with recycled fabrics were up 73 per cent. Net-a-Porter, meanwhile, reports that the brand is now on the radar of more conscious consumers, who are purchasing these designs as ‘buy now, wear forever’ investments. Despite these pieces being more expensive to produce, Reiss is committed to making the change. “This is the future of outerwear for Canada Goose,” he says. “Part of our mission is to make the world a better place. You can’t be a company and just take from the world without improving it at the same time.”

Find out more:

Reading time: 6 min
A painting of a woman in an oval shape with two images on either side
A painting of a woman in an oval shape with two images on either side

Nicholas Party portrait, 2022

In our ongoing online monthly series, LUX’s editors, contributors, and friends pick their must-see exhibitions from around the globe

Umberta Beretta, philanthropist, art collector and curator

I would recommend Nicolas Party’s exhibition at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milano. I am directly involved and partially sponsored the exhibition. It is called Triptych. Nicolas party produced eleven new works all inspired by the old masters at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum. The exposition has been organised in partnership with Kaufmann Repetto gallery and will run until the end of June. In the museum Nicolas Party was especially impressed by Mariotto Albertinelli‘s triptych. The exhibition is very respectful of the museum but very connected to the surrounding works.

paintings on the walls and on stands in a gallery

Nicolas Party’s exhibition at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan is showing until June 27 2022

Together with the triptychs, the artist created six oval works inspired by his beloved Rosalba Carriera, an author also present in the Poldi Pezzoli Museum. This exhibition is a chance to see how contemporary art can very well be inspired by the works of the past and of how a brilliant contemporary artist can create something totally new whilst giving homage to the ancient.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

The artist has been very generous with sharing what inspired him and by making some very clear references that can be followed whilst looking at the exhibition. It is a great chance to see something new and discover something old at the same time.

Cheryl Newman, artist, curator and photography consultant

I’m running a workshop in Norway in a couple of weeks so will finally get inside the 60-meter-high new Munch Museum on Oslo’s trendy waterfront. Love it or hate it, this recycled concrete and steel sustainable building is a long-awaited landmark and new home for the enormous collection of Norway’s greatest painter.

A large cement building by a river that says MUNCH on the side of it

Munch museum, Oslo

Munch was a progressive and challenging artist, so it seems apt that his new home should incite a bit of debate. I have been moved by Munch’s depictions of loneliness and death since my student days, so I’ll head straight to the Sick Child paintings. Munch’s work is unflinching and confronts the fragility and anxiety of human consciousness which is as relevant now as when Munch was a contemporary.

A small painting of 'the scream' on a black wall

One of Munch’s most renowned paintings ‘The Scream’ on display at the Munch museum

It’s also interesting to see Munch shown with artists directly influenced by his work and if you are in Vienna before June 19th, In Dialogue at The Albertina includes work by Peter Doig, Tracy Emin, Georg Baselitz and Marlene Dumas that refer to Munch’s themes and you can see profound responses by the artists included.

A painting of a red blue and white scribble

Tracey Emin’s work on display at the ‘In Dialogue’ exhibition at The Albertina in Vienna

Closer to home, I am yet to visit artist and activist Poulomi Basu’s powerful work, Fireflies at Autograph gallery in London. Poulomi is a powerful force, advocating for the rights of marginalised women through political documentary and complex storytelling. Her unflinching images are at once both dreadful and seductive. Curated by Bindi Vora, in this multimedia exhibition, Poulomi turns the camera on herself and her mother, to express patriarchal violence, resistance and solidarity with her female subjects. I am expecting a challenging and provocative exhibition.

A hologram in blue in an art gallery

Poulomi Basu’s ‘Fireflies’ at Autograph

I’ll also be heading to a group show at the Nunnery Gallery in Bow, a free public gallery that supports local emerging artists. ME 2 U: A Collective Manifesto is a lesson in how to maintain a healthy positivity in the complex world we inhabit. It will include a young painter whose work I love, Lindsey Mclean.

A pink naked lady walking up the stairs

Lindsey Mclean’s ‘Faux Stairs’ showing at Bow Arts

Lindsey’s work disrupts the historical representation of femininity and women in painting. She uses recurring motifs such as fans, veils and feather boas to obscure the gaze within the work. Her paintings are rich and complex, mixing textures and jewel like colours.

Candida Gertler OBE, Co-Founder, Co-Director and Trustee at Outset Contemporary Art Fund

My best kept secret for the most rewarding visit to any Biennale is to go after the opening week! It’s true, you might miss the glamorous opening parties and the opportunity to see many familiar faces from around the globe, but you are abundantly compensated by the unparalleled experience of enjoying art the way it’s meant to be seen – with enough space to breathe!

A giant metal bust of a girl with plaits

Simone Leigh’s ‘Brick House’ on show as part of ‘The Milk of Dreams’ at the Venice Biennale

Having just returned from my first art trip with Outset Partners (a philanthropic body that grants experimental forms of funding to transformational projects) since the start of the pandemic, my fears of being confronted with the ‘same old, same old’ whilst in an entirely different, post-pandemic world were allayed. The 59th Venice Biennale, curated by Cecilia Alemani, addresses our collective desire to reconnect to the basic elements – even bringing a field of fragrant earth into the display- and embraces in some of the pavilions and external exhibitions technology in all its augmented and extended forms (a characteristic that defines our ‘new normal’) giving us a insight into the nee phygital era.

A man in a blue jumpsuit and mask standing on a road with a man and woman behind him

Loukia Alavanou, still shot from ‘Oedipus in Search of Colonus’

The Milk of Dreams exhibition in the Arsenale is the most elegantly curated exhibition I can remember in a long time. Each section of the long stretch of installations felt like a fully formed museum show in its own right, giving the – mainly female – artists the consideration and attention to detail that both they and the public deserve. Between the main exhibition, the national pavilions, and the collateral programme, just the right mix of well established and emerging artists were represented: from Barbara Kruger’s temple-like installation of warning texts Untitled (Beginning/Middle/End) in her signature style in the Arsenale, to the fantastic Greek Pavilion Oedipus in Search of Colonus by Loukia Alavanou. There – equipped with my goggles and a swivelling chair to anchor me – I took my front row, immersive seat to a mesmerising journey where ancient Greek tragedy meets futuristic virtual reality.

A blue purple and green lit up brain on a black screen

Although there is so much more to choose from the collateral programme – like the monumental Kiefer exhibition at the Palazzo Duclae; the wonderful Parasol Unit show at the Music Academy with Oliver Beer’s fantastic musical installation in the palazzo’s chapel; and the Ugandan and the Côte d’Ivoire Pavilions scattered around Venice – for me, the one unmissable exhibition is Udo Kittelmann and Taryn Simon’s exquisite Human Brains: It all Begins with an Idea at the Fondazione Prada.

Read more: A new photography prize for sustainability is launched

The design alone of this mammoth endeavour deserves a whole pride of golden lions, and the way the curation traverses the centuries of brain research through the lense of artists, illustrators, scientists and writers left me feeling equal parts satisfied and eager to learn more – like a student and a scholar simultaneously. Just as the entire biennale was a journey between the known and unknown, what more can one ask for

Clara Hastrup, artist

As I’ll be traveling to Copenhagen at the end of this month, the exhibition I’m really looking forward to seeing is Haegue Yang: Double Soul at Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (until July 31). Yang has an incredible visual language and works with a wide range of materials to create her sculptures and immersive environments.

sculptures lit up made of feathers and pompoms

Haegue Yang’s ‘Double Soul’ at Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark

She uses everything from venetian blinds, bells, drying racks to pompoms and artificial flowers, transforming and abstracting these familiar objects into surreal and chaotic landscapes where you can either get lost or find new meanings.

LUX Editorial Team

This month we suggest visiting the White Box gallery at the Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Currently on show are the works and submission statements of the winner and runners up of the Louis Roederer Photography Prize.

colourful photographs on a white wall

The Louis Roederer Photography Prize for Sustainability exhibition at The White Box space at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. On show until May 29 2022.

The winner of the inaugural Prize is Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah, who’s works come from her collection ‘Behold the Ocean’, where she focuses on the detrimental effects of ocean acidification. Runner up Jasper Goodall’s use of colour and light in his photographs, bring you into a fairy-tale like landscape evoking reverence for nature. Adu-Sanyah’s and Goodall’s works are juxtaposed with Sahab Zaribaf’s meditations on the relationship between humans and nature.

Reading time: 7 min
people gathered for a photo

Left to right: Frédéric Rouzaud, Maria Sukkar, Maryam Eisler, Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah, Carrie Scott, Brandei Estes, Darius Sanai

The Louis Roederer Photography Prize for Sustainability was launched in London last week, attracting some stellar names from the two fields to the new Nobu Hotel, for the inaugural awards evening.

The prize was developed by LUX’s sister company Quartet Consulting and Louis Roederer, the acclaimed champagne house behind Cristal, which it makes from 100% organic vineyards. The aim is to raise awareness of the sustainability issues facing the planet, using photography as an artistic medium.

Jasper Goodall and Frédéric Rouzaud

Cheryl Newman

Ina Sandmann Sarikhani, Alexandra Tilling, Richard Billett

Judges’ chair Darius Sanai spoke about the urgency and interconnectedness of the crisis of biodiversity and sustainability, and Frédéric Rouzaud, owner of Louis Roederer, presented the prize of  £5,000 and a magnum of Cristal to the judges’ choice of winner, Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah. Jasper Goodall and Sahab Zaribaf were equal runners up and also received a magnum of Cristal each.

Guests included Sir Guy Weston, Ina Sandmann Sarikhani, Maria Sukkar, and Ola Shobowale. Moving forwards, future editions of the prize will be developed by Quartet Consulting and the Fondation Louis Roederer in Paris.

superannuation by Sahab Zaribaf

a boat in the sea in front of a snowy mountain

Point In Time [Sanata Inés Glacier, Seno Ballena] by Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah

BirchWood (from Twilight Series) by Jasper Goodall

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Emilie Pugh

Booklets created about the Louis Roederer Photography Prize

Darius Sanai

The White Box space at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square

Carrie Scott

The exhibition of the works of Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah, Jasper Goodall and Sahab Zaribaf are on display at the Nobu Hotel London Portman Square until 29th May.

Reading time: 6 min
artist with artwork
portrait of a man in front of artwork

Photograph by David Taggart

Jeff Koons is the world’s most expensive living artist, creating works that reflect modern life in their interplay with kitsch, materials and art history. Koons chats to Millie Walton about communication, how art brings the sublime into the everyday and pink inflatable rabbits

Jeff Koons is making me sweat. He’s ten minutes late to our Zoom meeting, and at this stage, I’m unsure whether he’s forgotten, or I’m unwittingly engaged in some kind of power play.

Something I realised in preparing for this interview is that almost everyone has something to say about either Jeff Koons as a person or his work. One of my favourite anecdotes goes something like this: “My friend went to a house party and had sex beneath a Jeff Koons, and said it was the way they’d like to die someday.” When I heard it, I thought that’s probably exactly the type of story an artist who is famed for making explicit artworks of himself and his ex-wife Ilona Staller (who was also a porn star known as La Cicciolina) and shiny balloon sculptures would love to retell to fawning art collectors at swanky gallery openings in New York. It’s hard not to make assumptions about one of the world’s most famous and controversial artists.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

red balloon dog sculpture

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Red) (1994–2000). © Jeff Koons, photo: Mike Bruce, Gate Studios, London/Courtesy the Royal Academy of Arts, London

A young, attractive woman (one of Koons’s studio assistants, perhaps) enters the screen to test the audio and camera, before he finally sits down, checks his ‘earpods’ are in place and gives me a Hollywood smile. At 66 years old, with gleaming white teeth, a full head of hair, barely any visible wrinkles and the glow of health, Koons could pass for early forties. He speaks precisely and slowly, maintaining eye contact and frequently dropping my name into the conversation, which has the destabilising effect of making everything he says seem both deeply profound and strangely orchestrated. “Millie,” he says mysteriously at one point. “What’s really interesting and beautiful about art is that what’s relevant and new is really quite ancient.”

porcelain sculpture

Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988). © Jeff Koons. Photo Tom Powel Imaging

Rising to prominence in the mid-1980s in New York, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Prince and Keith Haring, Koons has long advocated the idea of ‘accessible’ art. He takes everyday objects and pop icons as his subjects, often rendering them at a huge scale to disrupt cultural hierarchies and unsettle the viewer’s sense of perception. Of the making of Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988), for example, a white and gold porcelain sculpture of the musician and his monkey, the artist says, “I was really trying to make a connection with Renaissance sculpture and to show that something we can acquire in a gift shop can have this important meaning to us in life, and as much relevance to excite and stimulate us as the Pietà.”

Read more: Sophie Neuendorf on new wave collecting

Over the years, critics haven’t been so open-minded. His work has been variously labelled as “vacuous”, “crude” and “lazy”, but this has only increased his popularity. In 2019, Rabbit (1986), a metre-tall stainless-steel copy of a plastic inflatable bunny, sold for more than $91 million at Christie’s, breaking the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction set in 2018 by David Hockney’s 1972 painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), a record previously held by Koons himself. That might seem like an eye-watering price, but his work is highly technical and expensive to produce, which has, in the past, led to delays in completion and major lawsuits. In 2018, billionaire financier Steven Tananbaum sued Gagosian over the delayed delivery of three of the artist’s sculptures. Then, earlier this year, the artist shocked the art world by announcing his decision to drop both Gagosian and David Zwirner and to be represented worldwide exclusively by Pace Gallery, stating, “The most important thing to me is the production of my work and to see these artworks realised”.

silver sculpture of a rabbit

Jeff Koons, Rabbit (1986). © Jeff Koons. Photo Tom Powel Imaging

The desirability of his work comes not just from the promise of drama and luxury. There’s also an appealing sense of playfulness, nostalgia and recognition to be found in his vibrant colours and simple visual language that recalls a childlike innocence. “When we’re young, we’re more curious. We absorb tremendous amounts of information very quickly because we’re open,” he says. “Eventually, people start shutting down and making all of these judgements. I try to open myself up to everything.”

Koons is a ‘conceptual’ artist: a visionary, rather than a maker. He has multiple studios and a team of more than fifty people producing the ideas that he dreams up. It’s an approach to art-making that allows him to “have feelings and sensations, but not to be dependent on the hand”. It also allows him to pursue “Duchampian ideas” by taking a more “objective” viewpoint. Whether one can truly detach oneself from one’s own thoughts is debatable, but what’s important is the intention behind the work and, for Koons, that often comes from a personal experience or encounter with a material, colour or form. As a younger artist, for example, he recalls buying a pink inflatable rabbit and a yellow and green inflatable flower which he placed on mirrors propped up against the wall. “The colour, the reflection and this association was so intense, I had to go have a couple of beers to really come down from the excitement,” he says.

artist with artwork

Koons photographed in his Manhattan studio in 2021 with a work in progress. Photograph by David Taggart

His focus now is more on being in dialogue with the viewer than himself. “There’s joy in sharing the human potential with others, instead of just with the self,” he says. This idea of exchange is perhaps most evident in the artist’s ‘Gazing Ball’ series (2012–) in which he places a blue, mirrored, hand-blown glass gazing ball within a classical piece of art, such as Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. The ball reflects the surroundings and the viewer, literally drawing them into the work of art. For Koons, the object relates to his childhood in York, Pennsylvania where he recalls seeing gazing balls in people’s gardens. “I’ve always loved the generosity of [the gazing ball], but also that it’s a lawn ornament. It’s something that can be looked at in a very profound way and at the same time it’s frivolous,” he says.

Read more: How Durjoy Rahman’s art foundation supports cultural collaboration

painting with sculpture

Gazing Ball (da Vinci Mona Lisa) (2015). © Jeff Koons. Photo Tom Powel Imaging

The same could be said for many of Koons’s sculptures, which, at the very least, teach us that outward appearances can both charm and deceive. The reason he so often works with stainless steel is that it’s both highly durable – “A kind of a proletarian material; if people wanted to melt [the works] down to make spoons, forks, pots and pans, they could,” he says – and shiny in appearance. One of the artist’s most iconic pieces, Balloon Dog, explicitly plays with these material qualities by suggesting the bulging soft surface and lightness of a balloon while harnessing the sculptural strength of the metal. “Only the surface has a visual luxury, and when I say a visual luxury, I’m speaking about the excitement of stimulation, reflection, abstraction and change,” he explains. “That’s the type of luxury that my works are interested in.”

public sculpture of a ballerina

Jeff Koons, Seated Ballerina (2017) at the Rockefeller Center, New York. © Jeff Koons. Photo Tom Powel Imaging

Has the material worth of his work changed the way he feels about his practice, and art in general? “I love art, I love the idea of how it can really better the lives of people as an educational tool. It informs us, not only of our history, but of all the human disciplines, how we can incorporate them, fit them into our lives. It’s always a dialogue about becoming,” he says. “If the market, at some point, became interested in me, I’d like to believe it was because I was able to communicate some of those ideas to people, and that they found relevance in the belief of this type of transcendence.”

Find out more:

This article was originally published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue.

Reading time: 7 min
artist in the studio
man standing in front of colourful artworks

Idris Khan in his studio with new works incorporating musical scores. Photograph by Maryam Eisler

Idris Khan is one of the world’s hottest abstract artists, drawing on his Muslim heritage to create works that gain a different meaning every time you look at them. Darius Sanai meets him in his London studio to discuss colour, the Koran and his suburban childhood, while Maryam Eisler photographs him

I first met Idris Khan on a plane. We were flying back from a private view of an exhibition in Baku, where both he and his wife Annie Morris have had their works shown in the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Center.

Idris was scrawling through some photographs he had taken on his iPad. They showed aspects of Hadid’s then new design in an abstract, mystical, almost humorous way. I said I wanted to publish them in one of the magazines I edited for Condé Nast; after a little persuasion, he agreed.

At that stage, I had no idea that Idris, one of Britain’s most prominent painters and sculptors, had originally trained in fine art photography. It explained the richness of the images I saw on his iPad that he had taken just for his personal pleasure.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

It is, in fact, hard to classify Idris, hard to pin him down. As he points out in the interview below, even his ethnicity is not quite what it seems: he possesses a completely Islamic name, but is half Welsh and was born and educated in the UK. Tall, slim and fair-skinned, he could pass as any Englishman in the lanky Jarvis Cocker mould; but he was actually brought up as a devout Muslim by his father, a surgeon from Pakistan who had settled in Birmingham.

His art is also deceptive. He has created his own, distinctive and trademark shade of blue, known informally as ‘Idris Khan blue’, through blending ultramarine and Prussian blue; yet he is a sculptor and maker of 3D objects as much as a painter.

Every time I meet him, he is gentle, thoughtful, disarmingly self-deprecating, and not in a staged way. But there is an intensity and steeliness there, and originality of thought amidst the lightness of touch, that has allowed him to become the celebrated artist he is.

abstract blue artwork

One of the artist’s works with stamped texts

We meet at his studio in an artistic area in east London. It is a striking, warehouse-type building on a single floor; his wife, the acclaimed sculptor Annie Morris, occupies a near identical studio next door. Walking into Idris’s studio, you find yourself in front of a long, wide art table with paints and objects neatly lined up. There is a multitude of materials, but it is the tidiest studio I have seen.

At the back, behind the glass partition, is his office; behind his desk are stamps of lettering he creates for some of his works. They are artworks in themselves. A passageway off to the left leads to an open-plan kitchen area which opens out into Morris’s studio. She is there, working on a spectacularly coloured array of sculptures and stained glass; she chats to us for a while before returning to her own works.

Khan has been commissioned to be the Lounge Artist for Deutsche Bank at Frieze London 2021, where the artist will be creating an immersive blue environment. Meanwhile, I look on while Maryam Eisler photographs him in a variety of locations in the studio for our cover, and then he and I settle down on suitably socially distanced chairs to chat.

artist with stamp

Photograph by Maryam Eisler

LUX: Was there anything in your background to suggest you would become an artist?
Idris Khan: I had a very normal suburban upbringing: my father was a surgeon and mother was a nurse and I was a really sporty kid. It was probably through education that I sort of fell upon becoming an artist.

Read more: The eco-art organisation making a stand at Frieze London

LUX: So, when you were single digits, were you doing artistic things?
Idris Khan: No. I can remember loving to draw, but the creativity came late, probably when I was around 17 or 18. I went to do a foundation year and it was photography that gave me the keys or the tools to go on and express myself in an artistic way.

collection of metal stamps

Photograph by Maryam Eisler

LUX: There was no plan to become an artist?
Idris Khan:
No, I wanted to be an athlete. It was strange. I loved running – that was my top sport. But it just didn’t work out and it was just like, “What’s the next thing, the next best thing you’re good at?” It’s funny, isn’t it? That weird pressure when early on you want an artistic career, especially when two professional people – my parents – were saying, “Well, you know, graphic design is what you need to go into.” And I was thinking, “Hmm, I don’t want to be a graphic designer… my portfolio is full of photographs and beautiful things.” And from no understanding of that kind of career, I had to fight for it. I went to Derby University to study for my photography BA and had great teachers there and that helped me. They paved the way for me to come down to London to do my master’s at the Royal College of Art.

LUX: Did you always expect to be an abstract, conceptual photographer?
Idris Khan: Very much so. I never really saw myself as someone who was going to be a landscape photographer or go out into the world and take those kinds of pictures. I was already a studio-based photographer and for some reason I always liked photographing very still things. It’s interesting – when you’re a student, you’re sort of looking for things that you want to pursue in some way and so, I found myself going back into empty sports interiors. It’s kind of weird, the access a camera gives you to go into these places. So, I would photograph the walls of squash courts. I loved the marks that were made in the squash court wall. Somehow, when you frame those marks they start to look like paintings. They no longer look like a squash-court wall; the marks in the wall and the floor just started to have this energy, and there’s a certain element of stillness. It’s amazing that a photographer can get access to empty spaces like that. I’d say, “Oh, can I come and sit in your squash court for half an hour?” Normally they’d say no, but a camera gives you this licence.

artist laying down musical score

Photograph by Maryam Eisler

LUX: And how would you describe yourself? An abstract artist? Or is that irrelevant?
Idris Khan: It is relevant. I think I always try and push that level of abstraction, whatever medium I’m working with. So, if I’m working with a photograph, I like the deception that you don’t know whether it’s a photograph or not, it just looks like my hand or marks made on a piece of photographic paper. I think it was about three or four years outside of college that I met Annie and she was the first person to say, “Well, why don’t you make a sculpture?” I did a bit of film and things like that, but she said, “You know what, there’s a great idea. You deal with layering photographs. Why can’t you deal with that same idea, but in different materials?” So, I made my first sculpture for which I sandblasted musical notes onto steel and used that same process of repetition and layering and time and the eradication of time, and then that sort of led itself into what I’m doing now with the big blue paintings and language eradicating language. Same idea, just pushed into different mediums.

Read more: Sophie Neuendorf on the Legacy of Valmont’s Didier Guillon

LUX: Musical notes and stamps of verses – why are they of interest, particularly?
Idris Khan: I think Islam probably gave me the sort of trigger to deal with repetition and language and the eradication of language. And the reason was that my father wanted us to become Muslims; we were praying five times a day, mosque every Friday afternoon… that’s what he wanted for us. And of course, it became an act of rebellion: first my brother, then my middle brother, then me. I said, “Well, now we’re not going to do this anymore.” But I can’t help that, somehow, that part of my life is inherent in what I do. So, talking of repetition for example, I find Islam very repetitive – returning to the prayer mat every day, repeating the same verses all the time. I remember very clearly my father saying, “Repeat after me, repeat, repeat after me…” – and that’s the way I was processing language. I didn’t know what I was saying. I think what I do is a reflection of that, to be honest. Looking back to my twenties, the work I was making and the way I was using language, I was kind of confused with the culture when I was growing up. Being the only white kid in the mosque, it was kind of a role reversal in terms of race. I was the white boy everyone was looking at and I felt uncomfortable. Am I using that way of linking something to my heritage or trying to eradicate it? That’s the kind of thread I could try and bring together.

artist using a stamp

Photograph by Maryam Eisler

LUX: And what’s your relationship with your heritage now?
Idris Khan: I don’t know. I really like the fact that I have it to tap into occasionally. I don’t think there’s many kids from that sort of background who actually do become artists. And I’d love to give back to that culture a little bit. I’m doing a proposal at the moment [for a spectacular public sculpture in Saudi Arabia] and I don’t think you could go there with a British name and delve into the Koran. But my name gives me access to be able to do that; there is that little bit of faith, perhaps, somewhere deep rooted, that I can engage with and have an idea and a concept that I can push.

LUX: So you feel that your name is more Islamic than you?
Idris Khan: Yeah, definitely.

LUX: Is that a drawback or is it just a thing?
Idris Khan: I think it’s just a thing. It’s funny when people see me and they haven’t seen a photograph of me or anything like that, they’re always very surprised by what I look like. Maybe I should just look a bit more exotic. I’m not sure, but I definitely think that’s the case.

LUX: Do you feel obliged to make art that your gallery can sell?
Idris Khan: It changes. I think when you were young, you obviously want to start working with a gallery straight away. I felt that I was very nurtured by Victoria Miro in London. I was a 24-year-old coming out of college, quite young for an artist to start working with a commercial gallery straight away. And what was in my mind at that time was if I was making something for sale. So, every show from then on adds more pressure to have a successful exhibition, meaning: does the work sell out? And I have found that over the past 15 years or so that the pressure to sell is much higher than it was. Because of the art fairs and the machine that is the art world, there’s a lot more pressure. I suppose that can spill into the artist’s mentality, but I don’t particularly care too much about that sort of thing. I like making bodies of work. Yes, we’ve got to keep the studio going and things like that, but I don’t like to say, “Okay, if I’m not going to have a sell-out show, then I’m a failure.” I don’t feel that pressure. Everybody likes to say, “Oh yeah, I sold out”. It never used to be like that. And so, what does that mean? Does that mean a successful show? I don’t know!

LUX: How do you control the pressure to sell?
Idris Khan: I like putting limits on the number of paintings; for example, six blue paintings at a particular size. And if you can put limitations on yourself, that’s important too, because otherwise you could just keep going. I could probably have made layered music pieces in black and white from 2006 for years, but I said no.

colourful artworks

Khan with his stamp works. Photograph by Maryam Eisler

LUX: And what about museum shows?
Idris Khan: They’re different. I see them as giving me greater freedom to show a breadth of work rather than the usual commercial shows. It’s about what happened in those two years – you’re showing the work you’ve done during that time. What I love about what’s happening in Milwaukee in early 2023 [where the first US retrospective of his work will be held at the Milwaukee Art Museum] is that it’s a survey show of 20 years of my work. And it’s such an exciting thing to do, to bring your work together at different moments and look back and see the journey it has taken and how it has changed. You’re hopefully reaching a much bigger audience than comes for commercial gallery shows and a different part of the audience, too. I hope that part of my career develops more.

Read more: Inside Maja Hoffmann’s Provençal Art Hotel

LUX: What else would you still like to do?
Idris Khan: I’m working on a proposal at the moment [for a public artwork in Saudi Arabia], which is rather big. I’ve been thinking about it for three years. If I get that, it’ll be a wonderful thing to do. I just did a nice little piece of public art in London [65,000 Photographs at One Blackfriars in 2019]. There’s a real excitement when you make something like that, so I’d love to do more.

LUX: How often do you and Annie see each other during the day in the studios?
Idris Khan: You know, Annie is so busy it’s like, “Why would you be coming in here?” It’s only when I ask her to come over for an opinion or I go there, and she has an opinion. And it’s just not about art making. Sometimes it’s about selling a work and everything that comes with being an artist.

two artists in studio

Annie Morris with Idris Khan in her studio.

LUX: How did you meet?
Idris Khan: In 2007, she was exhibiting at a gallery in west London. I had a mutual friend called Rebecca in New York. In fact, the first time I met Annie, Rebecca said, “You have to meet Annie Morris.” And then she told me that she was coming to London and said, “You’ve got to come to Annie’s exhibition”. I went but I was a bit lazy, thinking, “God, west London, it’s too far…”. But I went and then she had a show in New York in the same month that I was having one and I flew in to see it and, you know, there’s no lie here, we’ve been pretty much together 24 hours a day since then. She moved in after a month. Got engaged after five.

LUX: Are you very similar as people or just matching?
Idris Khan: Is Annie louder? Perhaps! I suppose maybe similar but different energies. What’s great is we both respect each other’s work massively. I mean, now I’m moving more into colour. That’s probably because I can’t get away from all the colour next door. I was very much monotone, you know, with my black and white works, and then there has been this sort of explosion. She will probably get into more monotone, hopefully! There’s unbelievable respect and influence in both directions.

LUX: Annie is Jewish, you were brought up a devout Muslim. Is there relevance in that?
Idris Khan: I think if Annie was a lot more practicing, then maybe. I mean, there’s definitely choices of faith: holidays, things like that. And the kids weirdly see themselves as Jewish, or want to be more Jewish. They want to have a connection to a religion, which is kind of interesting. I don’t know whether that’s because of the schools they’re going to or whatever, but they quite like to say, “My mother is Jewish, so I am too. My father’s Muslim, but because it’s my mother, that’s what we are.” I’ve got absolutely no problem with that. They like to learn about both faiths as well. I think it’s one of those questions which doesn’t necessarily come up, but it could one day. Maybe the show in Israel [at the Alon Segev Gallery, Tel-Aviv, in April 2022] will be kind of an interesting place to look at that. Could I start using the Torah? Can I use Hebrew to make a painting? Could I combine Arabic and Hebrew together in a painting? What would that look like? That show will be a good excuse to be able to do something like that.

Collaborations with Frieze and Deutsche Bank

Idris Khan took over the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Lounge at Frieze London this October. “I’m making the Lounge into this kind of blue world with blue carpet and blue paintings. You’re going to be walking down the corridor from the fair, with one of my works made into wallpaper which becomes very immersive, into the lounge. I’m also going to be showing a huge array of the stamps that I have made my paintings with over the past 10 years. I’ve made quite a lot of these stamps – probably over a hundred thousand – but it is the first time I’ve actually exhibited them as an installation. What I really love about them is that they become relics of the paintings. I mean, not many artists can say, ‘Well, here are my brushes’. They’re interesting things as they’re still objects in their own right. Even having been along a kind of journey as paintings, they exist as there are these passages of writings in blocks. I’ll be showing shelves and shelves of these.”

He has also created artworks for the first exhibition, also to be launched in October this year, in a new programme of art to be shown at Deutsche Bank’s new offices in the former Time Warner building on Columbus Circle in New York. “I’ve made four large grid paintings using watercolour and sheet music. Each is a set of nine different variations on a colour tone from blues, reds and greys based on colours of the seasons. I like working with a grid of colour – it’s like looking at the colours of the seasons in one instant. And Annie will be showing a large sculpture there as well. We’re looking forward to seeing it all installed. Hopefully it will be a real explosion of colour as you walk into the space.”

Find out more:

This article was originally published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue, for which Idris Khan designed our logo.

Reading time: 16 min
An inflatable white structure that says 'Zero Nukes' in Times Square

María Berrío, ‘Anemochory’, 2019

New York City is a buzzing city known for its love and support of art and culture. The city is now making up for lost time since the pandemic and celebrating life and the endurance of the human spirit. As the 10th Edition of Frieze New York opens today, Sophie Neuendorf tells us what she’s most looking forward to this week

Having lived in New York for most of my life, I have a soft spot for Frieze Art Fair. In fact, the entire “Frieze Week” is always an eye-opening, immersive experience. There’s even more energy in the city than usual, and it really heralds the beginning of Spring art season.

Opening on May 18, Frieze Art Fair will welcome visitors to The Shed on West 30th for the second year. It’s also Frieze NY’s 10th anniversary edition and the first under the stewardship of new director, Christine Messineo.

Performance shot of Aphrodite Navab from The Homeling, ‘Ink and Lipstick on Paper’, 2017. Aphrodite Navab is represented by A.I.R.

What I particularly enjoy about Frieze New York is its meticulous programming and marvellous events, with well-curated shows, gallery openings, and spotlights on up-and-coming artists. This year, in a touching tribute, Frieze is celebrating New York-based non-profit organisations that have also seen significant anniversaries over the past year. These include A.I.R., Artists Space, Electronic Arts Intermix and Printed Matter, Inc. Frieze New York will highlight and honour each organisation and celebrate their continued contribution to the New York cultural landscape.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

In an especially poignant tribute to current events, A.I.R., the nation’s first all-female artists co-op gallery, will respond to the seemingly imminent overthrow of the landmark court case Roe v. Wade with Trigger Planting, a map of U.S. states where abortion will likely be outlawed. Interestingly, it will be made with herbs traditionally linked to fertility and reproduction.

A woman hanging upside down on a rock climbing wall and a braid hanging from a ceiling

Baseera Khan, ‘Braidrage’, 2017-ongoing. Performance, duration variable. Photograph documenting performance at Participant Inc., New York, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Simone Subal Gallery, New York. © Baseera Khan. Photo by Maxim Ryazansky

According to Messineo, the participating organisations’ “support of emerging visual and performing artists, especially women, Black, and LGBTQ practitioners, reflects the spirit of many of the artists exhibited at this year’s fair.” Continuing that, “The mission of these organisations remains as urgent as when they were founded in the 1970s, and Frieze New York pays tribute to their creative lives.”

A picture of a tree with branches and pink blocks put together with numbers on them

Charles Gaines, ‘Numbers and Trees: London Series 2, Tree #1, Blomfield Street 2022’. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

With 65 galleries showing at the fair this year, it’s going to be tricky to select favourites. However, a few of my must-sees are Alice Neel and Tracey Emin at Xavier Hufkens; Maria Berrio at Victoria Miro (the proceeds of this work will support Unicef’s humanitarian response in Ukraine!); Luiz Roque and Solange Pessoa at Mendes Wood Gallery (both artists are showing at Biennale); and Charles Gaines at Hauser & Wirth.

Read more: Sophie Neuendorf’s Inside Guide To The Venice Biennale

One of my favourite fairs, Volta, is finally returning to New York after a few tumultuous years. Opening with 49 international galleries, it will now take over 548 West 22nd Street, most recently home to Hauser and Wirth but best-known as the longtime home of the Dia Foundation. In contrast to the blue-chip heavy-weights showing at Frieze, Volta caters to a middle market. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing their eclectic mix of galleries and artists, from Istanbul to Tokyo, Berlin and Lebanon.

two people looking at abstract art on the wall

VOLTA Art Fair. New York City. Photo: David Willems

Also returning after a three year hiatus, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is opening with presentations from 25 galleries. In a surprising departure from the usual locations they were previously in the west village and red hook), the fair is moving to Harlem this year, the city’s historic African American enclave. This is perhaps a tribute from a fair dedicated to art from Africa and the African diaspora. Look out for one of their special projects, an NFT collaboration with Christie’s.

An inflatable white structure that says 'Zero Nukes' in Times Square

Amnesia Atómica, ‘Zero Nukes’

From an inflatable mushroom to the celebration of 20 chefs at the Brooklyn Museum, there’s a lot going outside the fairs. Apart from the Frick Collection, which is always worth a visit, not only for the collection but as an oasis of tranquility, I’ll be rushing to these exhibitions:

1. Amnesia Atómica NYC: Zero Nukes, at Times Square. This oversized, inflatable mushroom cloud sculpture by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes will spend the week in the heart of Times Square as part of an effort to raise awareness of the anti-nuclear movement.

2. Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. at MoMA, because Barbara Kruger is an icon and one of the most important artists of our time.

An artwork that has writing on it

Barbara Kruger, ‘Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.’

3. Baseera Khan: I Am an Archive at the Brooklyn Museum, which explores the lived experiences of people at the intersections of Muslim and American identities, both today and throughout history.

In this year’s Frieze Week, the art world seems especially sensitive to current events and taking the time to highlight internationally important socio-political issues, maximising the soft power of art and culture to affect positive change. In turbulent times, the art world can be a beacon of hope and strength.

An orange awning with white writing

Sant Ambroeus restaurant, New York

For those looking for lighter entertainment to mix it up, London-based luxury fashion retailer Matches, who’ve collaborated with Frieze London on several occasions, opened a pop up shop on 160 East 83rd Street. Take a break and browse the latest high-fashion summer collections as they celebrate Frieze Week in the city. Relax at Sant Ambreous in between and above all, enjoy the New York City energy.

Reading time: 5 min
A bedroom
A bedroom

Castle View Bedroom

Why should I go now?

The Scottish capital is at its most glorious in late spring, bathed in light for 18 hours a day. The student population gives it extra life, and the big tourist crowds of high summer are not yet here. The Sheraton Grand is in a perfect location: many rooms have views to Edinburgh Castle, a forbidding looking edifice on a hilltop across the gardens from the hotel, and it’s at the end of Prince’s Street, the main drag.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

What’s the lowdown?

There are Sheratons and Sheratons, and LUX would like you to understand that this one is grand in both name and nature. It’s a relatively modern building with a light, airy restaurant and bar, casual chic in style and contemporary in feel. And the jewel in the crown is its spa facilities, unrivalled in urban Scotland: a huge indoor pool, and extensive rooftop vitality pool area.

A bronze tiled sauna space with white towels

Hammam at One Spa ©2018 Matthew Shaw

Too often, rooftop pools in cities are tiny things; in this case the vitality pool is vast, and has sweeping views for you to take in while breathing the clear air gurgling down from the nearby Highlands. There’s an indoor vitality pool also, in case the weather gets really bad, though the outdoor pool is well heated so we can’t see why we wouldn’t use it.

An outdoor rooftop pool with steam coming out of it

The outdoor hydropool at One Spa

Getting Horizontal

Our bedroom had big windows and a big view over to the Castle; to its left, people wandered up and down Prince’s Street Gardens; to its right, a sheer rock face more redolent of the Highlands than a city. There was an overarching sense of space and light, so much so that for one dinner we decided to dine in-room, enjoying a very long summertime twilight and some excellent quality, simple cuisine done well: a salmon salad and green vegetables, some local ale. Furnishings were soft and quite masculine.

Read more:Switzerland, our top pick for summer

A lounge with a window ceiling

The Club Lounge ©Matthew Shaw


The hotel is modern, spacious and comfortable, although if you’re looking for a historic interior, you won’t find it here. We loved the efficiency and comfort, and there are plenty of historic buildings to visit in Edinburgh.

A living room with cream chairs and a blue sofa

The Grand Suite Living Room

Rates: From £321 average per night (approx. €380/$400)

Book your stay:

Darius Sanai

Reading time: 2 min
mountains and an alpine lodge on the grass
mountains and an alpine lodge on the grass

Photograph of the Zermatt valley by Sheherazade Photography

The yacht’s being refurbished, you’ve done Ibiza too many times, the Hamptons are too cliquey and Bodrum is so 2021. So where to head this summer? Allow LUX to offer you some recommendations from one of our absolute favourite summer destinations (and no, this is not paid-for content): Switzerland

Switzerland in summer: panoramic views, (mostly) blue skylines, clean air, no crowds, teeming wildlife, one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, some of the best hotels in the world, and activities from kitesurfing and kayakking to glacier skiing and wine tasting. What more could you want? Perhaps, just a little guidance through the options, to get the very best out of your Helvetian experience.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Zermatt is, in effect, the epicentre of the Alps, in a valley surrounded by more than 30 of the highest peaks in Europe, which glow white with permanent snow even on a hot summer’s day. And it’s usually warm and sunny here: the resort is on the border with Italy and if you take a telescope to the top of its highest peak, Monte Rosa, you can see the spire of Milan cathedral.

Every type of mountain activity is available, including summer skiing at the top of a Swarovski crystal-encrusted cable car. It is also a paradise for mountain dining, with more fine dining spots than St Tropez, better views, and fewer crowds. Try the Findlerhof for its beautiful local farmers’ meat and cheese platter, and epic Matterhorn views; and Restaurant Zum See for an idyllic gourmet experience in a meadow at the foot of the peaks. In the village, we had a highly memorable meal at the restaurant in the hotel Omnia, all pared-back boutique chic and astonishingly vibrant flavours.

A bathroom with a view of the Matterhorn

The view from a bathroom at The Cervo Hotel

Stay at: The Cervo is Zermatt’s eco-resort, and its owner, Daniel Lauber, is a passionate and thoughtful sustainability pioneer. One of the most thoughtful sustainable hospitality experiences, from the biodegradable slippers to the renewable energy heating system – tough, at 1600m altitude. The food, all sourced locally, is both hearty and magnificent and the staff have risen impeccably to the challenge of finding excellent wines and cocktail ingredients with a local remit.

2.Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz

A brown grand hotel exterior with a garden in front of it

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St Moritz

Badrutt’s is St Moritz, or so you will probably think after staying there. The hotel dominates the valley and lake like a citadel. The service became legendary even before the former Shah of Iran flew its staff out to serve a banquet marking 2500 years of the Persian Empire at the palace of, near Shiraz, in 1972. It’s the kind of hotel where the staff know what you’re thinking, before you do.

Read more: A Tasting At One Of The World’s Great Champagne Houses

The facilities make it, effectively, a holiday in one property: huge indoor pool with picture window, lawns and gardens (in the middle of St Moritz!), fine dining in a formal banquet hall which makes you feel like Audrey Hepburn (whoever you are), and across the road, its own pizzeria at Chesa Veglia – in reality a top social spot in its own right. And the views across to the mountains are inspiring.

3.Gstaad Palace

A large palace style hotel with a pool in front of it

The piscine at Gstaad Palace

The Palace is a hotel that will whisk you into the jazz era even by thinking about it. This is a place where generations of European aristocrats have visited to stay and dine at; or to play tennis on its impeccable clay courts, or dance at its Greengo nightclub (in summer, it incorporates the indoor pool as a bar and terrace). It’s a perfect base for walking tours, or for strolls around Gstaad’s chi-chi high street, or just to exist in and take the air and dream of eternal youth.

4.The Alpina Gstaad

A palace and a garden

The Alpina Gstaad

Two luxury hotels in one place? Mais oui; the Palace and the Alpina are like Meursault and Margaux, we couldn’t live without either of them. The Alpina has contemporary style and vibrancy within the envelope of Alpine glamour (unlike some new luxury hotels in the Alps, it’s not pretending to be in Brooklyn), an outdoor pool with heart-melting views over the mountains, an equally gorgeous indoor pool and spa, and one of our favourite Japanese restaurants outside Japan.

5.Dinner at the Nira Alpina

a wooden restaurant with a panoramic view of the mountains

Nira Alpina Stars Restaurant

The Nira Alpina is a hotel and restaurant resort on the edge of the high Engadine valley, between Lake Sils, inspiration for poets and artists, and buzzy St Moritz. Its rooftop restaurant, Stars, has a dramatic view across the valley and lakes where daytime kitesurfing gives way to reflections of the moon by night, and over to the jagged mountains on the other side. It’s at the foot of the Corvatsch mountain, which makes for energetic hiking in summer; at the end of a long walk down from the Fuorcola Surlej pass, we love indulging in a glass of Franciacorta here, followed by a bottle of vibrant Chardonnay from the nearby Bündner Herrschaft wine region, accompanied by its delicate, locally-sourced mountain food, big on herbs and vegetables from the nearby high valleys. We haven’t stayed at the hotel, but the restaurant is an experience in itself.

Reading time: 4 min
A green and pink statue
An orange vase with eyes on the side

Black-Figure Chalcidising Eye-Cup, Greek, Attic, circa 520 BC Pottery Diameter: 29.2 cm

As the second edition of Eye of the Collector opens its doors tomorrow at London’s Two Temple Place, the founder, Nazy Vassegh, tells LUX which pieces to look out for

I am writing this column after a long and busy first day installing the second edition of Eye of the Collector. Free of the normal white tents and gallery booths, we have been working for the past six months with our participating galleries to curate a new type of show that encourages creative new dialogues and collecting pathways.

Over one hundred and fifty works from three thousand years of art history have arrived in the past days, each one to be hung with care and consideration ‘as if in a collector’s home’. The whole event is set against the stunning backdrop of Two Temple Place, a neo-gothic masterpiece built in the late nineteenth century for William Waldorf Astor. Our aim is to make the experience of visiting an art fair an enjoyable journey of discovery.

When you enter the private space of an art collector there are always surprises, works that unexpectedly fall outside of their main collecting categories, ‘cri de coeur’ purchases or inherited pieces passed down through generations. It is this curatorial excitement that we strive to recreate through the juxtaposition of works at the fair, suggesting new ways of collecting.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

This year we have a broad cross section of galleries representing the international canon of art history.

Starting at one of the earliest works, I totally adore this Chalcidising eye-cup being brought by Ariadne Gallery. A drinking vessel for toasting the gods, as the wine went down so the head of Medusa would appear inside.

From the Horn of Africa, we welcome Addis Fine Art to the fair this year, representing some of the greatest artists from Ethiopia and the diaspora. I have been so impressed by the quality of painting led by Tadesse Mesfin, and continuing through two of his students also on show Tizta Berhanu and Nigatu Tsehay.

a painting of a black man disfigured in front of a green background

Nigatu Tsehay (b. 1981), Momentary Glimpse XXV, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 79 x 71 cm

After the Second World War, many of Europe’s artists left in pursuit of a socialist ideal in the Americas. Some of the most talented ended up in Brazil where the Modernist movement was growing rapidly. This year we have some of the finest works from this period being brought to the fair by Ana Escarzaga Gallery, a specialist in that period. My personal favourites are a pair of chairs made by the trailblazer Lina Bo Bardi, designed originally for her own home Casa de Vidrio in São Paulo in the early 1950’s.

Read more: The Inspiration Behind The Eye Of The Collector Art Fair

Following this year’s theme concentrating on the importance of female artists throughout history, one work that has really touched me is Leni Dothan’s Sleeping Madonna, 2011. This video work, showing the artist breastfeeding her young son, is a direct reference to the canon of Christian iconography and grand master painting where the female figure of Mary Magdalen is often portrayed as passive and alone.

Two brown leather chairs

Lina Bo Bardi (b. 1914), “Bola” chair, circa early 1950s. Designed for her own house, “Casa de Vidrio” in São Paulo, this is an edition done in 1980 by Nucleon under Lina´s supervision. Saddle leather with a beautiful patina, black painted iron structure, solid & heavy brass balls and bolts.

Emblematic of the spirit of discovery at the fair are the sublime works by Alice Walton. With a forensic eye, Walton produces highly complex and multi-layered objects infused with a rich tonal blending technique. These textured surfaces are intense and yet calm.

A green and pink statue

Alice Walton (b. 1987), The Travelling Portland, 2021 Jasper Clay H34 x W20 x L17 cm

Continuing the theme of female artists, we are delighted to have an important work by Australian female First Nation artist Nyarapayi Giles. Unusual amongst her peers, Nyarapayi embraced vibrant colour to tell the story of her life. The subtle and flowing application of paint shows great originality; the style she has developed is readily recognisable and unique to her works.

Two circles in red and yellow

Nyarapayi Giles, (b.c.1940), Warmurrungu – Two Circles, 2016 Acrylic on canvas 179 x 148 cm (Framed)

The first edition of Eye of the Collector last September was a great success. We had always said we would be happy if we managed to get 3000 people through the door over the four days. We have nearly half that booked now for VIP Day alone tomorrow.

Tickets are available at for Thursday 12th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th May 2002

Reading time: 4 min
A bottle of champagne and a wine glass on a wooden table outside
A bottle of champagne and a wine glass on a wooden table outside

Argonne Aÿ Grand Cru 2013

Ella Johnson visits the oldest family-owned champagne house, Henri Giraud, to taste some of its celebrated cuvées, and hear about the importance of the use of sustainable oak from local forests in its unique ageing process, with twelfth-generation owner Claude Giraud and winemaker Sébastien Le Golvet

Henri Giraud has been producing champagne since 1625 and is still owned by its founding family – a rarity among Champagne’s oldest houses. Together, twelfth-generation owner Claude Giraud, and winemaker Sebastien Le Golvet create their celebrated (and very expensive) champagnes which combine richness, freshness, and saline qualities, from their vineyards in Äy, on the southern cusp of the Montagne de Reims, in the heart of the Champagne region.

A man standing next to a vineyard

Claude Giraud, CEO of Henri Giraud is the 12th generation to lead the estate

The richness comes from the pinot noir grapes, which are warmed by the sun on the south-facing slopes of the Montagne. The River Marne, flowing past the property, provides their wines’ freshness; and saline and mineral qualities come from the 200 metres of pure chalk beneath the soil.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

But their champagnes have something else. They are fermented and matured in oak barriques (small barrels) sourced from the Argonne Forest, which stretches from the flatlands of the east of the Champagne region to the hilly border with Lorraine. The forest has been at the heart of European history for millennia and, for each bottle of the Argonne cuvée sold, Henri Giraud plants new two-year-old oak trees and maintains them for five years to replace the oaks they fell to create their barriques.

Oak barrels in a room with coloured lights on the walls

Henri Giraud is committed to replanting and maintaining the same number of oak trees that they use to create their barrels, in order to ferment their champagne

So-called ‘kings of experimentation’, Giraud and Le Golvet have identified ten different terroirs in the Argonne Forest, which they use to intensify the complexion of their wines. They know that if they create barrels from the oak trees which come from a plot called Les Châtrices, for instance, the wine will have a lot of “sharpness and tension”, they tell me. If they use another terroir in the forest, Lachalade, “it will be richer and rounder”.

Sébastien Le Golvet has been making champagne at Henri Giraud since 2000

Le Golvet prefers to vinify the majority of his wine in these oak barrels. He meticulously tastes and memorises each one – 1,200 in total – in order to produce the perfect blend. It would be more efficient to produce the Maison’s 300,000 yearly bottles of wine in tanks, of course, but efficiency is not the endgame. ‘When Sébastien creates his wine, he is like an artist in front of a painting. He can create different colours. The result is just in a bottle,’ says the Maison. The remaining ten percent is vinified in egg-shaped amphorae, made from sandstone, which provides the fruitiness for which the Henri Giraud Dame-Jane rosé cuvée is famed.

A wine bottle next to its cask

Fût de Chêne MV17

Champagne Henri Giraud has changed since Le Golvet took the winemaking reins from Claude Giraud in 2000. ‘Claude’s wine was much richer.’ I am told. ‘Sébastien is more precise, young. He has a different style. The more difficult the vintage, for Sebastién, the better it turns out. It’s the challenge. But both want to try new things each year, to discover more and more terroir’.

Read more: A tasting of Dalla Valle wines with the owners

It is fitting, then, that neither Le Golvet or Giraud is able to choose their best wine to date. ‘I like to say that the best wine we have ever produced is the wine we will produce tomorrow. The wines become more precise each time.’

A green vineyard

Henri Giraud has been producing the finest champagnes since 1625

We sample their Fût de Chêne MV 17 and Argonne Aÿ Grand Cru Brut 2013 in their tasting room. These are huge, rich champagnes despite the balance and limpidity, and Giraud breaks out a box of the perfect match for them. Not foie gras (which we would in any case have declined) or an aged Pecorino Romano cheese (which would have gone rather nicely), but some Cohiba Behike cigars. The king of cigars went rather well with this, Champagne royalty.

Find out more:

Reading time: 3 min
A man painting by a window with a skyscraper outside
A man painting by a window with a skyscraper outside

Artist Jared Owen during his residency at the World Trade Center. Photo by Josh Katz

With the support of Silverstein Properties, Silver Art Projects was founded by Cory Silverstein and Joshua Pulman in 2018. Here, the two philanthropists speak to LUX Contributing Editor, Samantha Welsh, about providing a space for underrepresented artists in an iconic location, the World Trade Center, New York City.

LUX: How did you meet?
Cory Silverstein: It’s a really interesting story! Joshua and I met in college and bonded over art. I was exploring a work I was interested in by Julio Le Parc, and I knew Joshua was very knowledgeable about art – so I approached him one day in the library. That is how our friendship and interest in supporting artists started.

LUX: Who or what were your inspirations?
Cory Silverstein: My grandfather, Larry Silverstein, and Michael Bloomberg are two of my biggest inspirations, largely for their philanthropic endeavours that focus on the arts in New York City. Our residency program Silver Art Projects was primarily inspired by K11 in Hong Kong and Manifesto in Paris.

Two men standing with masks on in a lounge in a skyscraper

Cory Silverstein and Joshua Pulman at the opening of the World Trade Center Artist Residency

LUX: What drove you both to found Silver Art Projects?
Cory Silverstein & Joshua Pulman: We observed a great demand for studio space in Manhattan as artists have been forced to move further and further from the galleries they work with and the institutions who that inspire them. We wanted to support these artists, and together with the commitment of Silverstein Properties to nurturing art in Lower Manhattan, we were able to establish Silver Art Projects.

LUX: How would you say you are disrupting arts patronage?
Joshua Pulman: We are providing access to some of this country’s most premier real estate to a group of up-and-coming artists, all made possible by the generous support of foundations and individuals as well as unique corporate social responsibility efforts from companies in the area. In this way, we have been able to enhance the neighbourhood while supporting artist communities beyond it.

New World Trade Centre

Larry Silverstein was the developer of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Photo by Julie di Majo

LUX: The world watched with collective horror the destruction of the World Trade Center and its communities on 9/11. Each of us remembers where we were that day. How does Silver Arts Projects go beyond renewed real estate?
Cory Silverstein: 9/11 was a tragedy that impacted everyone, but it also reminded us of our collective humanity and the societal need for community engagement. Hope emerged from the adversity as well as a desire to rebuild and re-engage. For me, there was a personal commitment and obligation on behalf of my family to nurture culture in Lower Manhattan and across the city, but this was something that resonated with the wider neighbourhood. Art brings people together, and the World Trade Center is an important and iconic site to do that. There has been an evolution of artist-led programs and residencies in the area, and we are hoping to continue that legacy with Silver Art Projects.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

LUX: What measurable impact have you had so far working with marginalised communities?
Joshua Pulman: As Silver Art is at the epicentre of commerce in New York City, our program focuses on enabling artists to achieve more sustainable financial and business practices. Looking back at our first cohort, eighty-five percent of artists who came to Silver Art Projects without gallery representation achieved it after the program. Several artists have also gone on to achieve other impressive accolades, from press coverage in prominent publications to awards and institutional recognition. Ultimately, we gauge the impact Silver Art Projects has by our artists’ long-term ability to support themselves through their art practice.

A man sitting in front of blue canvases

Tariku Shiferaw during his residency at the World Trade Center. Photo by Josh Katz

LUX: How do you manage the engagement between emerging artists and artist activists?
Joshua Pulman: Some artists who joined our Social Justice Cohort are active activists in their communities, while others seek to incorporate narratives addressing social justice into their practices. By creating a melting pot of these artists in one place, we have seen pure magic happen at the intersection of artistic practice and activism.

A woman painting in a denim shirt

Helina Metaferia during her residency at the World Trade Center

LUX: Which mentors have particularly stood out and why do you think they are so effective?
Cory Silverstein and Joshua Pulman: All three mentors who support the 2021-2022 artist cohort really stand out:

For Freedoms and Hank Willis Thomas provide monthly Wide Awakes Sessions at Silver Art Projects. Artists are invited to participate in monthly disorientation sessions, encouraging artists to connect in an open forum by reimagining the future together. This has been effective in bringing together our community of artists and giving a voice to everyone in our cohort.

A man sitting on the floor paining on canvases with art works around him

Chella Man during his residency at the World Trade Center. Photo by Josh Katz

Chella Man understands the importance of representation and aims to be the kind of role model he wishes he had growing up. Just last month, Chella hosted an open discussion on ‘Creativity and The Productivity of Resting.’ Chella has been a great mentor to many of the underrepresented artists in our community, as he talks about authenticity and remaining true to oneself.

Read more: Volta’s Kamiar Maleki On Supporting New Artistic Talent

Tourmaline’s mentorship and involvement at Silver Art has particularly stood out because Silver Art Projects provided her with new space and perspective to connect and inspire emerging artists in our community. A member of the Black trans community, she’s passionate about sharing and celebrating the stories of her predecessors. Last month, Tourmaline took a group of the artists to visit her work on view in The Afro Futurist Period Room at The Met, encouraging other artists to live joyfully, confidently and authentically.

An art work of people standing with political signs in protest

#StopAsianHate by Susan Chen, an artist from Silver Art Projects

LUX: How is your vision for social justice informing upcoming projects?
Cory Silverstein: Our program is guided by the mission of supporting underrepresented artists. Artists in our 2020-2021 cohort, for instance, were all selected for their focus on social justice and activism. As an organisation, we are equally committed to developing programs that nurture more awareness and equality. In partnership with Art for Justice, we recently announced an extended commitment to supporting formerly incarcerated artists by dedicating a quarter of all future residency spaces to ex-prisoners. We are also seeking to bring in other art forms and interests to widen the conversation and offer greater support.

Find out more:

Reading time: 5 min
A woman in a pink dress standing in front of golden and wooden doors
A woman in a pink dress standing in front of golden and wooden doors

Nazy Vassegh photographed in the Grand Hall at Two Temple Place. Photo by Alex Board

This May sees the second edition of Eye of the Collector kicking off the summer art season in London. Conceived as a new style of art fair, the concept sees Two Temple Place transformed into an imaginary collector’s home for a boutique style fair. Ahead of the opening, the founder, Nazy Vassegh, tells us why she created this unique fair and the key focus this focus this year

The idea for Eye of the Collector came about from a work trip I took to the opening of the 2019 Venice Biennale. As I wandered around extraordinary palazzi full of carefully curated breath-taking art from all eras, I questioned why art fairs were so formulaic – boring white tents and aisle after aisle of white box booths. My collector friends were also starting to complain to me about suffering from ‘fairtigue’. Given that I worked in what was supposed to be a creative industry, I thought it was time to take action.

A white tree with antlers coming out of the top

Image from Eye of the Collector 2021: Susie MacMurray, The Stalker 2021. Courtesy of Pangolin gallery

Returning to the UK, the search for an appropriate home for Eye of the Collector began. My husband was working in the fashion business at the time and had staged a show during London Fashion Week at Two Temple Place. When he showed me the building and I learnt more about the history of the interior it became quickly clear that this was the perfect home for what we wanted to achieve.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Built in 1895 for William Waldorf Astor, then one of the richest men in the world, the brief to the architect had been to create ‘the finest building irrespective of cost’. The result is a riot of neo-Gothic panelling, stained glass windows and rare marble mosaic floors created by the finest craftsmen of the time. As a sign of true quality, the supporting pillars of the galleried landing were carved from solid ebony and, in the reinforced safe room, William Waldorf kept the title deeds for most of modern Manhattan.

A wooden room with art on the walls

Image from Eye Viewing Room, 2021 showing the Lower Gallery

My intention had always been to present art and design in a setting that collectors could imagine in the context of their own homes and this fitted the bill perfectly. Owned and run by the Bulldog Trust I also liked the idea that we were re-purposing a historic building and in so doing supporting a charity dedicated to good causes.

After a digital-only edition in 2020, Eye of the Collector finally launched in real life in September 2021. Given all the disruption of the previous eighteen months I really didn’t know what to expect. This was going to be the first real art event in a long time and no-one could predict how collectors and the wider art world would react, especially to something as new as Eye of the Collector.

A red couch in a grey and beige room with art on the wall

A range of art is shown at Eye of the Collector from works by emerging artists to the masterpiece classics

Art and design from modern day to antiquity was presented from thirty international galleries, curated as if in an imaginary collector’s home free of the traditional booths and putting the art centre stage to encourage new collecting pathways and creative artistic juxtapositions. Prices ranged from a few thousand pounds for an original work by an up-and-coming young artist to a few million pounds for an early masterpiece by Lucien Freud. This allowed collectors of all types and at all stages of their collecting journey to engage.

Read more: Sophie Neuendorf’s Inside Guide To The Venice Biennale

Our next edition will take place from 11-14 May once again at Two Temple Place, WC2. This time around we are placing an emphasis on female artists. A wide variety of works will be offered for sale including contemporary art, some made especially for the fair, mid-century and modern design, ancient art and studio ceramics.

Find out more:

Reading time: 3 min