The Week in Art: Hammer Museum Honors Laurie Anderson, Grace Farms Unveils Beatriz Milhazes Mural
From New York to LA, there was lots going on.
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. And, as was the case this week, with the Hammer Museum gala in Los Angeles, the wider American art scene also provides plenty of action. Here’s a rundown of this week’s highlights.
Hammer Museum’s 14th Annual Gala in the Garden
Artist and musician Laurie Anderson and filmmaker Todd Haynes were honored on October 8 at the museum’s annual gala, held in the institution’s outdoor courtyard.
The evening’s guests included a wide array of gallerists, collectors, and philanthropists, as well as celebrities such as January Jones, Laura Dern, Minnie Driver, Andie MacDowell, Patricia Arquette, Amanda Peet, Selma Blair, Will Ferrell, and Emma Roberts. Artists in attendance included Sterling Ruby and Catherine Opie.
Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier, actress Jodie Foster, director Alexandra Hedison, and Robert Soros, son of billionaire George Soros, served as event co-chairs, and Bottega Veneta was the night’s sponsor. Highlights included speeches from author Karl Ove Knausgaard and actress Sarah Paulson, and a music performance by Rufus Wainwright set amid a lantern installation from designers Pedro&Juana.
Tomas Maier and Ann Philbin at the Hammer Museum Gala in the Garden. Courtesy of BFA.
Release Party for Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai-Guo-Qiang at Sotheby’s New York
Netflix celebrated the release of the new Cai Guo-Qiang documentary with a cocktail party and screening at Sotheby’s New York. The evening was hosted by Bennett Miller, Tad Smith, Samantha Boardman, Aby Rosen, and Wendi Murdoch, the film’s producer.
Murdoch and Cai participated in a Q+A about the film following the screening, which was attended by such guests as Sienna Miller, Dasha Zhukova, Klaus Biesenbach, Silas Chou, Sarah Arison, and Eric Shiner.
“Possibilities Are Endless” One-Year Anniversary Celebration at Grace Farms, New Canaan, Connecticut
It was drizzling rain over Grace Farms on October 8, but this didn’t detract from the natural beauty of the site, which was celebrating the one-year anniversary of its new River Building facility designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architectural firm SANAA.
In honor of the occasion, the cultural center, which has a mission of promoting art, social justice, faith, and community, unveiled a new 108-foot-long mural, Moon Love Dreaming, by Beatriz Milhazes. “Art threads through our initiatives,” said Sharon Prince, the president of Grace Farms Foundation, in her introductory remarks.
The Brazilian artist told guests that the piece, which lines the hallway that houses the organization’s education classrooms, responds to “the mysterious beauty of the architecture and landscape.”
In addition to a champagne reception, guests, who included Grace Farms curatorial advisor Yuko Hasegawa (artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) and dealer James Cohan, enjoyed a performance by former principal dancer of New York City Ballet Wendy Whelan and a poetry reading by Li-Young Lee, winner of the Lamont Poetry Selection from the Academy of American Poets, both selections inspired by Milhazes’ work.
Daniel Arsham hosts studio tour for students from the Henry Street Settlement
High school students in the Henry Street Settlement’s (HSS) Abrons Art Center Engagement Program and Expanded Horizons college prep and leadership program were treated to a private tour of Daniel Arsham’s Long Island City studio on October 12.
Arsham gave the kids a photography lesson, assuring them that if they had used Instagram, they were already photographers, of a sort. Polaroids taken of the students holding art objects in Arsham’s studio will be on display at HSS’s upcoming CINEMAtheque party, featuring a film presentation by the artist.
Opening Night of Antigone Now, the Onassis Festival of Arts and Ideas at the Onassis Cultural Center
The Onassis Cultural Center kicked off its free three-day festival on October 13 with Carrie Mae Weems’s performance-based piece Past Tense. Over 420 people, including actress Fiona Shaw, Onassis Foundation executive and cultural director Amalia Cosmetatou, and Performa founder and director Roselee Goldberg were in attendance to witness the debut of the work, which responded to the ancient Sophocles drama Antigone.
On stage, Weems, accompanied by the Three Graces (artists Imani Uzuri and Eisa Davis, and mezzo-soprano opera singer Alicia Hall Moran), read poetic passages, telling a story with themes of social justice, violence, and gender.
“Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden” Reception & Dinner at the New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden celebrated its current exhibition of Japanese chrysanthemums, or kiku, with an October 13 reception and dinner honoring Judy and Michael Steinhardt.
Guests enjoyed a tour of show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, where performers played Japanese taiko drums during a cocktail hour that included sake tastings, before retiring to the Garden Terrace Room for a Japanese dinner.
Bombay Sapphire’s “10 Years, 10 Cocktails Retrospective Gallery” at Agora Gallery
Cocktails and still life painting shared the stage at Chelsea’s Agora Gallery on October 12, where Bombay Sapphire celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Most Imaginative Bartender Competition. Guests enjoyed Boston bartender Schuyler Hunton’s winning drink, “Breakfast in Bombay.”
Golden Paints created 173 unique paint colors using ingredients from memorable cocktails entered in the contest over the years, including matcha tea, beets, jalapeño, and cinnamon. Alumni from the New York Academy of Art then painted still lifes of past winning cocktails and this year’s finalists, displayed at the gallery with the drink on a pedestal.
Preview of “Salvatore Scarpitta: 1956–1964” at Luxembourg & Dayan
Ahead of the opening of its newest exhibition, featuring the work of Salvatore Scarpitta, Luxembourg & Dayan hosted an afternoon preview of the show on October 13 with drinks.
Art historian Rafaelle Bedarida, an expert on the artist, and Scarpitta’s friend Julian Schnabel, offered a fascinating analysis of his under-appreciated career. Schnabel, who reportedly named his son Vito after Scarpitta’s dog, lamented the lack of recognition for Scarpitta’s 50-year career, despite being represented by the legendary Leo Castelli.
“Artists don’t get paid bi-weekly or monthly,” Schnabel joked, “they get paid posthumously.”
“Points of Convergence: Arakawa and the Art of 1960s–1970s” at artnet
Over 100 guests were in attendance at artnet’s Woolworth Building office for a panel discussion about the Japanese artist Arakawa, co-hosted with ACAW and Reversible Destiny Foundation. Art historians Reiko Tomii, Naoto Nakagawa, and Charles “Mark” Haxthausen, each spoke animatedly about their personal encounters with the enigmatic conceptual artist.
Arakawa had the nerve to move to New York with just a few dollars in his pocket and the confidence to meet the grand-daddy of conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp. Among other colorful anecdotes, Tomii told the standing-room-only audience how Arakawa’s first meal with Duchamp consisted of “spaghetti without sauce” for 35 cents at a diner.
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