Gertrude Stories: Gaelle Porte

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Gaelle is a French-born, New York-based contemporary art curator and studio director of artist Prune Nourry’s studio. She’s also one of our all-time favorite curators here at Gertrude, and guests love her (she has an average guest rating of 5/5 on her 4 past Salons!) . At her Salons, Gaelle shares access to the privacy of an artist’s studio, allowing for better comprehension of the artists’ purpose.

What do you think about the format of Gertrude Salons? The unique format of the Gertrude salons lies in the fact that the audience has the opportunity to actually ask questions to the artist directly. The curator helps guide  and open up the discussion when some may feel intimidated or not always know where to begin the conversation. In order to really understand the process of an artist, there is nothing better than to hear and see it directly from the inside.

Past Salon: Prune Nourry Studio Visit


Gaelle talks as artist Prune Nourry and guests look on during Prune’s studio visit.

Can you tell us a little about Prune? Prune is an artist I have known for years and have had the joy of working closely with for 2.5 years. I am constantly surprised by her intelligence, avant garde ideas and determination. She is not 30, yet she has the mind of an empress conquering the world with a noble cause.

She reflects upon gender preference in China with her latest project Terracotta Daughters. Appropriating the familiar symbol of China’s Terracotta Soldiers, Nourry created an army of 108 life-size Terracotta Daughters a symbol for the unborn girls.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to host their own Salon? Make sure it is a subject you feel passionate about. Know it well so you can go deeper than what anyone could easily find online. Try to make the audience feel comfortable enough to join in the conversation and make it an enriching experience to all. Everyone, the curator and the artist included, should walk out having learned something new. The discussion should feed new inspirations.

What people are saying about Gaelle’s Salons:

“Really enjoyed studio visit: -even more intimate -deeper insight into artist process and work setting.most salons/galleries/museums would only display finished work. Seeing intermediary elements (molds etc.) gave better understanding of how final pieces are created.”
          - Jeff A.

“5 stars for my first event with Gertrude. I spent a whole hour inside an artist’s head, an unforgettable experience. Gaelle, the curator, was a perfect host. she made the connection incredibly quickly between the artist and the audience.”
          -Matt V.

Gaelle’s Past Salons
Daniel Horowitz Studio Visit
Oliver Jeffers’ Studio Visit
Kyia Kim and Chong Gon Byun Studio Visit

Other links
Gaelle’s Profile
Gaelle’s Instagram
Prune Nourry’s Instagram
Interview with the Prune Nourry

Prune Nourry’s ongoing and upcoming projects
- Collective show - Girls, curated by Pharrell Williams at Galerie Perrotin, Paris - Opening May 27th
- Collective show - La Part Animale, curated by Tatyana Franck at Galerie Sophie Sheidecker, Paris - Opening May 27th
- Solo show - Terracotta Daughters, curated by Tatyana Franck, Flux Laboratory, Zurich - Opening June 13th

Want to host your own Salon? Start here.

July 17, 2014 0 Share this

Gertrude Stories: Karen Huber

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Karen is an independent contemporary art curator in Mexico City with a background in photography and painting. Her cosmopolitan and sophisticated vision has led to the innovative way she conceptualizes and implements group and individual exhibitions. Her current curatorial project is called WHITE SPIDER.

What do you think of the Mexico City art scene? Mexico City is a very inspiring city. Every year I see so many projects emerging from different directions with different points of views. From galleries, museums, and collections, to more independent and experimental projects. There are so many talented artists coming from all over the world to share their experience. Some say it’s the “New Berlin”.

Do you think that it is expanding globally? Yes! The market here is growing; everything in art is moving very fast. With Mexico’s cultural and historical heritage, I find it to be an extremely attractive, creative and inspiring place to foreigners. Both it’s past and present are very interesting to people all over the world.

It doesn’t feel local anymore, living here its starting to feel like were an international art community from all over the world making links from outside to here…so watch out world!

Salon:  Álvaro Castillo: ‘Conversaciones Rurales’ Led Tour & Conversation
Karen hosted a Salon in Mexico City with an artist she greatly believes in. It was a three part Salon that began with a short talk with the artist, Álvaro Castillo, a led tour of the exhibition, and a discussion between the artist, gallerist, and guests. The Salon was followed by some wine and tapas to celebrate the evening.

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The artist Álvaro Castillo speaks about the concept of his exhibition during the Salon.

Why do you think Álvaro Castillo is an important artist to know about? As a painter I find him very challenging and his work is so organic with lots of investigation and contextual background around it. He belongs to one of the most respected galleries in Mexico. As a person, he is charming character with many transcending ideas. I think he is an important element in his generation of artists.

Other Links
Karen’s Profile
Karen’s Instagram

Karen’s Upcoming Projects:
- Upcoming WHITE SPIDER curatorial project
- September, October, and December: Karen is producing and curating two solos shows and residences for Adriana Minoliti (painting, digital intervention and installation, Argentina); Daniel Horowitz (collage, painting, installation - Brooklyn, NY) and a collective show with artists living in Mexico
- August: Solo show in the gallery Art Space Mexico. Karen will present recent works by Felix D’ Eon
- Karen will be hosting more Gertrude Salons in August, September, October, November, and December, so watch out for those!

Want to host your own Salon? Start here.

July 17, 2014 0 Share this

3 Shows You Need To See This Week

1. Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, Galerie Perrotin
(July 08 - August 22)
On view is a selection of iconic works by the couple two decades after showing their work at Emmanuel Perrotin’s first Paris location. The show revisits the full span of the couple’s career, during which they developed a distinctly American community-based art outside the orbit of New York.


(via Galerie Perrotin)

2. Some Artists’ Artists, Marian Goodman Gallery
(June 26 – August 22)
This unique exhibition has been selected by gallery artists and brings together 23 artists from various backgrounds, generations, and geographical areas. The artists were chosen according to a wide spectrum of criteria. The criteria was determined primarily by the selectors and included a multitude of voices in the selection process.


(via Marian Goodman Gallery)

3. Joan Mitchell Trees, Cheim & Read
(May 15 – August 29)
This exhibition of seven large-scale canvases by Joan Mitchell is inspired by the form and structure of trees. Throughout her career, Mitchell abstracted tree-forms and was known for her expressionistic, visceral explorations of the natural landscape. A full color catalogue accompanies the show with an essay by John Yau. 


(via Cheim & Read)


July 9, 2014 1 Share this

3 Must-See Shows For This Week

1. To do as one would, David Zwirner Gallery
(June 26 - July 25)
Last week, we attended the preview for To do as one would where curators Mary Mitsch, Martha Moldovan, and Poppy Pulitzer spoke to us about their show:

To do as one would presents a group of artists who employ cheap materials often associated with industrial production, construction sites or corporate environments. Cement, office chairs, lightbulbs, wire, cloth—media that are typically the base of economic and governmental enterprises—are repurposed as art and shed of their intended use-value.


(via gertrwde Instagram account at David Zwirner Gallery)

2. Kara Walker A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugary Baby, Domino Sugar Factory
(May 10 - July 6)
This exhibition is Kara Walker’s first large-scale public project, situated in the sprawling industrial relics of Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory. Walker’s physically and conceptually expansive work responds to the actual structure and history surrounding the Domino Sugar Factory. The exhibition pays homage to the overworked sugar Artisans upon the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.


(via J Grassi/

3. Hypothesis For An Exhibition, Dominique Lévy
(July 8 - August 16) 
Hypothesis For An Exhibition, is a collaborative artists’ project inspired by the work of Giulio Paolini. It is made up of two components - an exhibition and an extensive publication dedicated to the work of the participating artists. The project aims to explore Paolini’s work of the 1960s and 70s in parallel to the work of the younger generation of artists based in New York today. There are numerous categories of investigation including: the relationship between the artist, the work, & the spectator; the phenomenon of vision, etc. 


(via Dominique Lévy Gallery)


July 2, 2014 0 Share this

Gertrude’s First Salon in Mexico City

Yesterday, Gertrude held its first Salon in Mexico City. The Salon, entitled Conversaciones Rurales, was curated by Karen Huber with artist Álvaro Castillo. Here are some images from the Salon. We can’t wait for more Gertrude Salons in Mexico!





June 26, 2014 0
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Update from Gertrude HQ


Over the past week, we have worked with curators on Salons in London, Mexico City and Los Angeles. We have received questions from curators all over the world - we summed them up on our new support center where you will find answers to questions from “How do I start a Salon?” to “What makes a great Salon post?”. We’re also introducing our first Gertrude Story, highlighting stories of curators setting up their Salon.

1. Support Center
A comprehensive resource designed in response to your questions. 



We have been listening to your questions and have launched a brand new Support Center to answer them as completely as possible. This newly added resource compiles our FAQ, example Salon posts, tutorial videos, media kit, and Curator Guidebook. If you have any further questions you can always contact us at

2. Gertrude Stories
A new series on our blog will introduce the curators behind our events. 


We will now be featuring Gertrude Stories periodically on our blog. These posts are short interviews with our curators all over the world. They give readers a fuller and more personal perspective of our Salons, the individuals that organize them and the art scene in the cities where they take place.


Alice & Gertrude

June 26, 2014 0
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Gertrude Stories: Karen Huber


Salon: Álvaro Castillo: ‘Conversaciones Rurales’ Led Tour & Conversation

“Mexico city is still a very wide canvas to make interesting things. Anything is possible here.”

Karen is one of the leading contemporary artists in Mexico City. Because she wanted to spread her passion for the Mexican Art Scene in an educational way, she decided to start hosting salons with Gertrude.

5 Contemporary Artists Living & Working in Mexico You Need To Know About According To Karen:

1. Rafael Uriegas


Rafael Uriegas, Adan y Eva, 2012, oil on wood, 200 x 305 cm, Image courtesy of TOCA/Galería at Zona MACO via Installation Magazine.

2. Andrés Orjuela

3. Mateo Pizarro


Mateo Pizarro, Ladron que roba ladron, 3, 2010, Original graphite drawing, Original Collection, Ladrón Roba Ladrón series, Image courtesy of BLESSA 22.  

4. Ary Ehrenmberg

5. Fabiola Torres-Alzaga

Fabiola Torres-Alzaga, House of Games, 2013, Image courtesy of Steve Turner Contemporary Gallery.

How would you characterize the art scene in Mexico City?

Mexico City is a very inspiring city. Every year I see so many projects emerging from different directions with different points of views. From galleries, museums, and collections, to more independent and experimental projects. There are so many talented artists coming from all over the world to share their experience. Some say it’s the “New Berlin”. The market here is growing; everything in art is moving very fast. With Mexico’s cultural and historical heritage, I find it to be an extremely creative and inspiring place to foreigners. Both it’s past and present are very interesting to people all over the world.

What is your involvement in this scene?

I’m completely involved collaborating with initiatives, galleries, museums, and art fairs. I have my own curatorial project, which is launching a limited edition project with fine art artist’s prints. I am managing and curating a new idea for an auction and am creating my own gallery. I also teach about curating as a medium for communication. Overall, I believe that one of my responsibilities, which comes from being immersed in the art world and being a curator, is to talk about art. My role is to explain an artist’s work and it’s importance. It is to be a guide on how to collect art, to give people perspective of what’s going on right now in the art world, and to really understand [the artwork] and its context. Basically, I hope to open minds and engage people to believe in art.


An image from Karen’s past exhibition Sing Sweet Songs of Conviction in Mexico City.

How do you think the art world in Mexico City differs from the art scene in New York?

I think there are so many opportunities in Mexico, and so many projects to create that haven’t been done yet. Mexico city is still a very wide canvas to make interesting things. Anything is possible here.

What is the best art spot in Mexico City that most people don’t know about?

I wouldn’t say that people don’t know about it, but to me, and I speak from experience, one can take an art experience anywhere (an exhibition, a piece of art, etc.) and make it a great spot. I adore the city’s buildings, Porfirian Architecture, Art Deco, and historical houses from every decade. I see an opportunity to make something there, to give it life. It is the same life that happens when an artist finishes a piece of artwork.






The Edificio Vizcaya in Mexico City is one of these historical and beautiful buildings in which Karen has done one exhibition and will do three more in the future.

Why is it important to pay attention to the art scene in Mexico City?

There is so much energy here. Galleries and promoters are engaging with exquisite and talented artists to present their work and ideas to the world.

As I said, artists, and even gallerists, from all over the world, are seeing and developing opportunities here. It doesn’t feel local anymore. Living here is starting to feel like an international art community from all over the world. So watch out world!

Want to host your own Salon? Start here.

June 25, 2014 1 Share this

That’s what Gertrude is good at: offering people visibility into what is generally a very opaque world.

Brian Feldman, in the New York Times profile about Gertrude.

Thanks Brian for being one of our all time favorite guests! We’ll see you soon at a Salon.

Kenneth & Gertrude

June 20, 2014 0 Share this

The New York Times tmagazine was kind enough to profile us last Sunday.

With Pop-Up Salons, Art Is Demystified

Gertrude Stein’s Legacy Lives On in Pop-Up Art Salons”

A couple of our great curators and guests were interviewed and listed in the article, too. Also some of the partners who dared make Salons happen like the newmuseumphillipsauction and Paul Cooper Gallery.

Thanks to all of you for helping make this Salon movement happen. We’re super excited here at Gertrude about what’s to come. 



June 19, 2014 0 Share this

Basel & 3 Shows to See This Week

1. Jean-Baptiste Bernadet Fugue, American Contemporary
(June 11 – August 9)  
The paintings presented in Fugue, the French noun meaning ‘running away’, appear inextricably connected suggesting an almost fluid continuum. Yet, each individual painting stands on it’s own as an individual exploration of Bernadet’s free design. The language of the works, not overly formalized yet not completely loose, achieve a focus for meaning while still allowing for a level of detailed level of freedom of interpretation.



2.  Israel Lund Israel Lund, David Lewis Gallery
(June 10 – July 27)
In his self-titled solo exhibition, Israel Lund’s paintings are all about making impressions of images and of a system at large. Through a series of paintings of various sizes, sculptures, and silk screens, Lund’s impressions exhibit a love of images.


(via David Lewis Gallery)

3. Sam Moyer More Weight, Rachel Uffner Gallery
(April 26 – June 22)
In her third show at the Rachel Uffner Gallery, Moyer presents a dramatically different body of work that continues to explore her interest in the ‘in-betweens’ of genre. In More Weight, she obscures the lines between drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and architecture through the diverse collection of works that make up the two-storied exhibition.


(via Rachel Uffner Gallery)

Also, this week marks the beginning of Art Basel 2014, the premier international art show for modern and contemporary works. Basel will run from June 19 – 22. If you want the complete Basel experience, you can check out our tour of the fair with an internationally renown artist, designer and architect.