The Week in Art: High Fashion at El Museo and Carrie Brownstein Rocks the Moth Ball
There were plenty of post-Frieze parties.
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. This week was no exception.
Oh! You Pretty Things: The 2016 Moth Ball
Artist duo Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw kicked off the annual Moth Ball for the story-telling nonprofit with a bit of performance art on May 10, paying homage to the evening’s glam rock theme with leather pants, glitter, and mesh tops while pouring shots for the boldly-dressed crowd.
“It’s Jen and Paul’s portable dive bar at a fancy gala,” said Catron to artnet News of the piece, which saw the artists maneuvering a custom-built bar on wheels throughout the lobby of Capitale on Bowery, much to the surprise of well-lubricated attendees.
Guests were invited to bid on eBay for such prizes as drink with actress and writer Molly Ringwald and a walk-on “Portlandia” role, or to get temporary glitter tattoos. The evening’s entertainment also involved stories from a selection of the Moth’s Grand Slam and high school winners, and hairdresser-turned roadie Suzi Ronson‘s unlikely tale of how she created David Bowie‘s signature red Ziggy Stardust hairstyle.
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of “Broad City” introduced the evening’s honoree, Carrie Brownstein, recalling how the Sleater-Kinney front-woman and star of art-loving sketch comedy “Portlandia” befriended them on Twitter. “I mostly listen to [the Moth] in my car, because that is my favorite place to cry,” Brownstein said during her acceptance speech.
El Museo del Barrio Gala 2016
Fashion was top priority for guests at El Museo del Barrio‘s annual gala, held May 12 at the Plaza Hotel. Celebrating the museum’s upcoming exhibition “Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion,” and honoring designers Ruben and Isabel Toledo (who outfitted photographer Paige Powell in a gorgeous hand-painted lace romper-dress for the occasion), there was perhaps more pressure than usual for the crowd to turn up in a stunning outfits.
Curator Rocio Aranda Alvarado, in an amazing sparking pantsuit, was already looking ahead to what to wear to the show’s opening next month. “I might wear my fuchsia-pink cocktail dress with lots of ruffles on it,” she told artnet News.
Guests, who included actress Debi Mazar, photographer Edward Mapplethorpe, and gallerist Suzanne Geiss, enjoyed cocktails and dinner before a Paris Is Burning-inspired dance routine by LGBT dance troup House of Xtravaganza kicked off the after party.
Beyond Borders Storefront for Art and Architecture 2016
The TWA Flight Center may have shut down as a working airport terminal in 2001, but the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed building was at full capacity on May 8 for the Storefront for Art and Architecture‘s retro-inspired gala. It was the terminal’s last outing before it will be converted into a lobby for a new hotel.
The event honored photographer Ezra Stoller, whose vintage photographs of the terminal were among works on sale in a silent auction, and architect and activist Teddy Cruz. Adding to the throw-back feel were DJs Stefan Ruiz and Jose Parla, spinning LPs. Among those in attendance were Storefront board president, Charles Renfro, Storefront director Eva Franch, artist Sebastian Errazuriz, and actor Waris Ahluwalia, who we couldn’t help but hope was scouting locations for the next Wes Anderson film.
Noguchi Museum Annual Spring Benefit
Architect Tadao Ando and artist Elyn Zimmerman were presented with the third annual Isamu Noguchi Award by Japanese ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa at the Noguchi Museum in Queens on May 10.
Guests, who included actor Waris Ahluwalia, enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the museum’s picturesque sculpture garden and special exhibition, “Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony.”
ArtTable 23rd Annual Benefit and Award Ceremony
On May 6, female leaders in the visual arts gathered for ArtTable‘s annual benefit luncheon at 583 Park Avenue. Marieluise Hessel Artzt, whose collection is housed at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS), which she founded, was presented with the 2016 Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts Award by CCS Bard executive director Tom Eccles.
“It was never a matter of prestige or decorating my home,” said Hessel Artzt of collecting in her acceptance speech. “Art is the truest expression of what it means to be human.”
The Guggenheim UBS Map curator Sara Raza received the New Leadership Award, and Bennington College president Mariko Silver, who was introduced by her mother, former National Endowment for the Arts acting chairman Joan Shigekawa, gave the keynote address. Guests included Studio Museum Harlem director Thelma Golden, gallerist Barbara Gladstone, and curator Lowery Stokes Sims.
Jeff Koons and Google
A new limited-edition Nexus phone case collaboration between Jeff Koons and Google was unveiled with a cocktail party at Spring Place on May 9. Attendees, who included Performa‘s Roselee Goldberg, Giants star Victor Cruz, actress and DJ Leigh Lezark, model Selita Ebanks, the New Museum’s Karen Wong, and artnet CEO Jacob Pabst, who enjoyed a performance by husband and wife duo Ashley Laracey and Troy Schumacher of the New York City Ballet.
The Dia: Beacon Spring Benefit
Dia Art Foundation lured collectors in town for Frieze Week up to Dia Beacon (one of our favorite day trips) on May 7 for its annual luncheon. In addition to remarks by director Jessica Morgan and chairman Nathalie de Gunzburg, the institution unveiled new permanent installations of work by Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, and Bruce Nauman.
Guests included artists Brice Marden and Laurie Simmons, as well as Dia founder Heiner Friedrich, who lent his name to the stunning new Flavin sculpture in the basement. Untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), which may have been created in 1973 but is ripe for the age of Instagram.
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