The Week in Art: A Picnic at the Glass House and a Rainbow-Colored Affair at the New Museum
Those of us not in Basel still had plenty to do.
There’s never a dull moment in the art calendar. This week was no exception, and even with much of the international art scene shifting its attention to Basel, Switzerland, for the annual Art Basel and all of its accompanying festivities, there were events aplenty closer to home.
The Glass House Summer Party
It was a beautiful day for a day trip out of the city on June 11, as 400 guests, including actress DJ Mia Moretti, violinist Margot, poet and artist Cleo Wade, Alice + Olivia creative director Stacey Bendet, and artist Liza Voloshin made a pilgrimage to New Canaan, Connecticut, for the Glass House‘s fourth annual summer party, one of the season’s most exclusive affairs. The classy picnic lunch included Taittinger champagne and lawn games, as well as the chance to enjoy the Glass House grounds, currently currently home to “Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden.”
Vontobel Dinner, Schällenursli Farm, Basel, Switzerland
Across the ocean, VOLTA art fair welcomed dozens of lucky VIP guests into town for the marathon Art Basel week on June 13 with a fabulous farm-to-table dinner at the Schällenursli farm just outside Basel and up the road from the fair’s home on the Markthalle. (artnet News’ parent company was one of the sponsors).
VOLTA’s artistic director Amanda Coulson was on hand for the occasion. Among the crowd were well known New York collectors Susan and Michael Hort, as well as collector and art financier Asher Edelman. After a lively cocktail hour in the rustic-yet-tres-chic barn, sheltered from the torrential downpour outside, guests took their seats at extra-long dinner tables where the multi-course meal featured local specialties like Belper Knolle cheese. The night concluded with take-home goody bags full of much-coveted Aesop products.
“Hell, Yes!” Party at the New Museum
It was a riot of color at the New Museum on June 15 as 500 members and friends gathered to toast the arrival of summer and appreciate the stunning views from the Sky Room Terrace at sunset. Guests got a last look at the spring exhibitions including Nicole Eisenman and Cally Spooner, who had a crew of performers wrestling in the lobby gallery throughout the evening.
The night was a celebration of Ugo Rondinone‘s beloved illuminated rainbow sculpture, titled Hell, Yes!, which graced the museum’s facade from the opening of its new Bowery home in December 2007 until November 2010. Guests, who included Jewish Museum director of digital JiaJia Fei and Metropolitan Museum of Art online community producer Kimberly Drew, dressed in rainbow colors in honor of the occasion.
“Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion” Opening at El Museo del Barrio
A stylish crowd turned out on June 13 for the opening of El Museo’s celebration of the three-decade career of Puerto Rican fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. Among those on hand were exhibition curator Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, actress Parker Posey, El Museo chairman emeritus and artist Tony Bechara, and artist Paul Caranicas.
“I think he is the rainbow; he’s the inspiration; he’s always been something no one could figure out,” said former Lopez muse Pat Cleveland, who artnet News spotted looking at photographs she had taken with the artist when she was just 25. We asked if the photos, which were taken for the New York Times, would have been representative of a typical Lopez shoot. “I think so, because we had a lot of fun,” Cleveland laughed.
Pre-Release Party for SoHo Sins by Richard Vine
An art world murder mystery took center stage on June 14 at Gatsby in SoHo, where Art in America managing editor Richard Vine was celebrating the forthcoming publication of SoHo Sins, a noir novel set amid the underbelly of the 1990s New York art scene.
Publisher Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime hosted the party, which welcomed such notable guests as artists Andres Serrano and Wong Kit Yi, art historians Irving and Lucy Sandler, Warhol Foundation co-founder Vincent Fremont, art critic Carter Ratcliff, actor Peter Gray Lewis, and Art in America editor-at-large Betsy Baker and editor-in-chief Lindsay Pollock.
Partygoers read selections from the novel in a game of “hardboiled karaoke” led by Raja Kelly of dance-performance troupe the Feath3r Theory, and the author signed copies of the book with the inscription “Go, and sin no more,” a Bible passage from John 8:11.
Magyar Foundation Tour of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Magyar Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting Hungarian heritage and culture, hosted a private reception on June 14 in honor of the Guggenheim’s current show of work by László Moholy-Nagy, titled “Moholy-Nagy: Future Present.” Following small bites in the museum’s Wright restaurant, guests enjoyed a private, after-hours tour of the exhibition with museum curator Karole Vail.
“The whole idea was to make as Hungarian an event as possible,” Rony More, CEO of ART PLEASE, told artnet News. More, who organized the event on behalf of the Magyar Foundation, pointed out that even the bowls of popcorn, a classic bar snack, were dusted with Hungarian paprika. As we spoke, the Hungarian consul passed by and complimented More on his authentic wine selections, saying, “I didn’t know you could get these here!”
Attendees included at least one prominent Hungarian American, George Pataki (also Italian and Irish). “I love Hungarian art,” said the former New York governor to artnet News, noting that he appreciated that “here at the Guggenheim, Americans who don’t know the tremendous art history that Hungary has have a chance to experience it.”
La Noche from Spain at the Instituto Cervantes
Guests who stepped inside the hidden Amster Yard garden at the Instituto Cervantes in East Midtown on June 16 were instantly transported to Spain, in an evening organized by Spain Tourism Board and designed by Spain Fresh.
Notable attendees included Ignacio Olmos, director of Instituto Cervantes New York, and Elisa Saez, director of the Spain Tourism Board. On hand were the best of Spanish music, food, and drink, with massive pans of piping hot paella, a mammoth leg of Iberico ham, and a concert from Barcelona pianist Albert Marquès and his jazz fusion quartet.
Adding to the Spanish feel was a stunning light art installation by Carlos García of L’Observatoire International, with red balloons twinkling like lanterns amid the trees, and architecturally themed video projections by artists Laia Cabrera & Co. Irene Sivianes, a graduate of Martha Graham’s School, performed a flamenco-inspired dance piece.
Additional reporting by Eileen Kinsella.
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