The Week in Art: Martha Stewart at the Botanical Garden’s Orchid Dinner and Jeff Koons at Sotheby’s
It was a wild week.
Though it may seem that Armory Week and Frieze Week get all the action, the reality is that there is never a dull moment in the New York art world. From the East Side to the West Side, there’s always something happening at the city’s museums, galleries, and various event spaces. Here’s a rundown of this week’s highlights.
New York Botanical Garden’s Annual Orchid Dinner at the Plaza Hotel
Plant lovers took advantage of unseasonably warm weather on February 8, buying rare orchids at the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Dinner without the risk of exposing them to an arctic chill on the way home. Guests included Martha Stewart and Sigourney Weaver.
The highlight of the night were the table centerpieces in the banquet hall, crafted from gorgeous orchids and other plants and flowers by 30 designers. Many of the stunning designs had a distinct Asian flair, in honor of the Thailand theme of the upcoming Orchid Show, opening February 18.
“Every time I come, it becomes more magical,” marveled board chair Maureen Chilton in her remarks.
Despite the tropical nature of the decor, “New York is one of the strongest places in the world where wild orchids are still found,” CEO and president Gregory Long told the crowd, noting that the garden’s “encyclopedic collection makes us sort of the Met museum of plants.”
Art for Water Benefiting the Waterkeeper Alliance at Sotheby’s New Yok
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hosted the Art for Water benefit auction, celebrating clean air and water, at Sotheby’s New York on February 6. Among the artworks being sold to benefit the Waterkeeper Alliance and its goal of proving everyone on earth with clean water for drinking, fishing, and swimming, were pieces by Jeff Koons and Ed Ruscha, co-chairs on the evening, as well as Diane Arbus, Urs Fischer, and Mark Grotjahn.
Koons told the crowd that his contribution, Girl With Dolphin and Monkey, is “about the eternal continuation of life energy. If we just let nature perform, if we don’t contaminate it, then it will remain our life force. We need clean water—it’s our connection to the eternal.”
Guests included Cheryl Hines, John McEnroe, Nicole Miller, and Kerry Kennedy, as well as artists Chloe Wise, Claire Sherman, Basmat Levin, Alexis Rockman, and Peter Drake. After cocktails and a silent auction, Michael Macaulay of Sotheby’s led a live auction.
“Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work” opening at the New Museum
The New Museum celebrated its new Raymond Pettibon exhibition on February 7, offering a first look at the enigmatic drawings by the artist. Among the guests in attendance for the festivities were dealer David Zwirner and his family, Performa’s RoseLee Goldberg, and artist Marilyn Minter. An intimate dinner followed the reception at the museum.
Vino 2017 Gala at Spring Studios
The Italian Trade Commission threw the Vino 2017 gala on February 6. Aside from free-flowing wine served by bartenders who were almost certainly male models, the evening’s highlights included an appearance the Bumbys. Outfitted in their usual face-obscuring bandanas and sunglasses, the duo sat at their typewriters, quickly appraising the appearances of guests eager to discover their fortunes.
“Whatever animal that coat is made of, I feel like you killed it with your bare hands,” wrote Gil, who was overly impressed by my fake fur coat. “You’re the queen now—shady ladies are gonna come gunning for you. Watch your back before it becomes someone else’s pelt.”
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