The Week in Art: Russell Simmons’s Art for Life Gala and Eduardo Navarro on the High Line

The week's highlights included wild parties and weird performance art.

Guests donning masks for Eduardo Navarro's performance We who spin around you at the High Line. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

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 (and, in the summer, out on Long Island’s East End), there’s always something happening at the city’s museums, galleries, and various event spaces. And, as was the case this week, with the Anderson Ranch Arts Center hosting its 50th anniversary part in Colorado, the wider American art scene also provides plenty of action. Here’s a rundown of this week’s highlights.

17th Annual Art for Life Gala at Fairview Farms 
Russell and Danny Simmons’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which supports arts education for inner city youth, held its annual gala on July 16 in Watermill, New York.

Among the 900 guests in attendance were tv personalities Star Jones, James Lipton, Soledad O’Brien, Katie Couric, and artist Kehinde Wiley. Featured artist Nari Ward was among the night’s honorees, recognized for significant career achievements and compelling philanthropic work.

The evening was sponsored by Bombay Sapphire gin, and also served as a kick off to the 7th Annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series program, which will select a winning artist to create public mural installation next spring.

Russell Simmons attends Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Russell Simmons attends Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Model Jessica White and guest attend Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Model Jessica White and guest attend Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Nari Ward and guests attend Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Nari Ward and guests attend Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Kehinde Wiley, Tangie Murray, and Daniel Simmons attend Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Kehinde Wiley, Tangie Murray, and Daniel Simmons attend Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s 2016 ART FOR LIFE Benefit presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin at Fairview Farms. Courtesy Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire.

Eduardo Navarro, We who spin around you at the High Line
The Rail Yards at the High Line are always a good bet for watching the sunset, but this week was an especially good time to stop by at the end of the day, with Mexican artist Eduardo Navarro hosting three nights of celestially-themed performance art.

The audience was instructed to don round bronze masks with a solar-filtered glass lens that allowed only the fainted traces of the sun’s dying rays to pass through. Listening to lectures by astrophysicists Jana Grcevich and Summer Ash, who offered ruminations on how the sun has been understood throughout history, it was easy to fall into a meditative state.

Following the last performance of the week, on July 21, artnet News joined the artist, the astrophysicists, High Line Art director Cecilia Alemani and members of her team at an intimate family-style dinner at nearby Chop Shop.

Guests donning masks for Eduardo Navarro's performance <em>We who spin around you</em> at the High Line. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Guests donning masks for Eduardo Navarro’s performance We who spin around you at the High Line. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Guests donning masks for Eduardo Navarro's performance We who spin around you at the High Line. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Guests donning masks for Eduardo Navarro’s performance We who spin around you at the High Line. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Opening Reception for “The Keeper” at the New Museum
The New Museum celebrated the opening of its summer exhibition, an ode to hoarding, which features over 4,000 objects—the most the institution has even shown in a single show—with a party attended by director Lisa Phillips, deputy director Karen Wong, and Ydessa Hendeles, whose display over over 3,000 photographs of people clutching teddy bears makes up the centerpiece of the exhibition.

The exhibition was curated by the museum’s artistic director, Massimiliano Gioni, with Natalie Bell, Helga Christoffersen, and Margot Norton.

Natalie Bell and Andra Ursuta at the New Museum for the opening of "The Keeper." Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Natalie Bell and Andra Ursuta at the New Museum for the opening of “The Keeper.” Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Carol Bove at the New Museum for the opening of "The Keeper." Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Carol Bove at the New Museum for the opening of “The Keeper.” Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Massimiliano Gioni at the New Museum for the opening of "The Keeper." Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Massimiliano Gioni at the New Museum for the opening of “The Keeper.” Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Karen Wong, Lisa Phillips and Ydessa Hendeles at the New Museum for the opening of "The Keeper." Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Karen Wong, Lisa Phillips and Ydessa Hendeles at the New Museum for the opening of “The Keeper.” Courtesy of Madison McGaw/BFA.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center‘s 50th Anniversary Celebration & Recognition Dinner at the Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colorado
Over 200 guests gathered in Aspen on July 21 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, including Art Basel in Miami Beach director Noah Horowitz, art collectors and patrons Jennifer and David Stockman, and artists Fred Tomaselli and Simon Haas.

Carrie Mae Weems was presented with the institution’s National Artist Award, while famed Knoedler forgery trial plaintiffs Eleanore and Domenico De Sole were honored with the Service to the Arts Award.

The evening also included a live auction featuring works by by Catherine Opie, Alex Prager, Carol Bove, Antony Gormley, and Richard Tuttle.

Simon Haas at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center 50th Anniversary Gala. Courtesy of photographer Owen Kolasinski/BFA.

Simon Haas at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center 50th Anniversary Gala. Courtesy of photographer Owen Kolasinski/BFA.

David Stockman, Jennifer Stockman, and Tad Smith at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center 50th Anniversary Gala. Courtesy of photographer Owen Kolasinski/BFA.

David Stockman, Jennifer Stockman, and Tad Smith at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center 50th Anniversary Gala. Courtesy of photographer Owen Kolasinski/BFA.

Robin Zendell and Noah Horowitz at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center 50th Anniversary Gala. Courtesy of photographer Owen Kolasinski/BFA.

Robin Zendell and Noah Horowitz at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center 50th Anniversary Gala. Courtesy of photographer Owen Kolasinski/BFA.

2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School 
July 21 marked the opening of the New York Studio School’s annual Alumni Association Exhibition (July 18–August 21, 2016), held in the school’s galleries.

Lesley Heller of Lesley Heller Workspace, Andrew Arnot of Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Miles Manning of Elizabeth Harris Gallery, and Larry Greenberg of Studio 10 teamed up to curate the show, which features 60 pieces chosen from submissions by 157 school alumni. In addition to works by Elisa Jensen, Judy Hoffman, Peter Neal, Steve Hicks, Amanda Church, the exhibition included a special Rorschach painting by Christopher Wool.

Guests included art advisor Vasili Kaliman, Ros Brennan of Sydney’s National Art School, curator and art critic Karen Wilkin, art social media doyenne Robin Cembalest, and artist Miru Kim.

Guests at the 2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School. Courtesy of photographer Scout MacEachron/New York Studio School.

Guests at the 2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School. Courtesy of photographer Scout MacEachron/New York Studio School.

Guests at the 2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School. Courtesy of photographer Scout MacEachron/New York Studio School.

Guests at the 2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School. Courtesy of photographer Scout MacEachron/New York Studio School.

Guests at the 2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School. Courtesy of photographer Scout MacEachron/New York Studio School.

Guests at the 2016 Alumni Association Exhibition opening at the New York Studio School. Courtesy of photographer Scout MacEachron/New York Studio School.

Anal House Meltdown at Red Bull Studios
Artists George Henry Longly, Eddie Peake, and Prem Sahib took their hilariously-titled Anal House Meltdown party from London to Manhattan on July 21. The event has previously appeared in various over-the-top locations, such as on a volcano in Stromboli to a basement in Dalston, a London neighborhood that the Guardian called, “an unbearable place of braying skinny-jeaned trustafarian hipsters hanging in underground bars discussing their latest cult night.”

Guests at the event, which numbered in the hundreds, were invited to kick off Longly’s first US solo exhibition, “We All Love Your Life,” at the gallery.

Anal House Meltdown. Courtesy of Christos Katsiaouni via Red Bull Studios.

Anal House Meltdown. Courtesy of Christos Katsiaouni via Red Bull Studios.

Anal House Meltdown. Courtesy of Christos Katsiaouni via Red Bull Studios.

Anal House Meltdown. Courtesy of Christos Katsiaouni via Red Bull Studios.

Anal House Meltdown. Courtesy of Christos Katsiaouni via Red Bull Studios.

Anal House Meltdown. Courtesy of Christos Katsiaouni via Red Bull Studios.

Additional reporting by Rain Embuscado. 


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