Prior to their first date, Samuel Parker gifted Madeline Hollander a piece of jewellery. When they were both enjoying the opening of the 2019 Whitney Biennial at La Caverna in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she misplaced an earring.
Ms. Hollander, 35, an artist and choreographer whose first solo museum exhibition, Flatwing, premiered at the Whitney in March, said, “I was for a very long period on all fours using my phone as a flashlight crawling over the dance floor.” I don’t think it was a particularly attractive scene.
In the course of the night, Mr. Parker, 32, had hoped to speak with her, but he was unable to find an opportunity. She arrived just as I had been waiting to see her, so I tried to keep a cool head and wait for the right chance to strike up a conversation. I couldn’t find the right moment since she was dancing all over the place. ”
Her grandmother had loaned her a gold hoops for this occasion and when he saw her looking for something, he joined in the search and found it among the crowds of revellers before she could find it. Then, less than a year later, in February 2020, in his Los Angeles home, Mr. Parker proposed to her with yet another gold band, this time capped with a diamond and peridot gemstones in the ancient jubilee cut style.
In Kentfield, Calif., on May 15, they were married in front of 50 fully vaccinated guests. The ceremony was officiated by artist Ian Cheng, a close friend of the couple who was consecrated by the Universal Life Church just for the event.
They had previously met at Miami Art Week and Jeffrey Deitch Gallery in Los Angeles during the opening of Urs Fischer’s “PLAY” exhibition, for which Ms. Hollander had choreographed a dance piece, prior to their meeting at La Caverna. Mr. Parker, the creator and principal of Parker Gallery in Los Angeles, was affected by each brief interaction.
It was clear to him that “something would happen here again in the future,” he claimed.
In the days after Mr. Parker’s return to Los Angeles from his journey to New York, they continued to go back and forth between the two cities on a regular basis. Mr. Parker’s gallery includes a private viewing room in the West Village, so Ms. Hollander and Mr. Parker were used to alternating their time between the two locations.
A month after getting engaged, in March of 2020, New York fell under lockdown, and the pair decided to depart as quickly as possible to avoid becoming stranded there. It wasn’t until she boarded a last-minute flight from New York to Los Angeles that Ms. Hollander realised she was about to embark on a new chapter in her life.
“I thought I’d just be there for two weeks,” she sighed in disappointment. When she returned to New York City in September, she was finally able to pack up her flat and go to Los Angeles.
Relatively speaking, their hectic travel schedule was a nice break during the pandemic.
“That was a terrible period for the world and there was a lot of worry and concern,” said Ms. Hollander. Having so much time together was a blessing in itself.
Before their wedding day in September 2021, they learned they would be parents, which only added to their pre-wedding happiness.
Ms. Hollander was not surprised by the timing. She recalls thinking, “It’s typical of this baby to want to be here for this occasion,” at the wedding.