The Week in Art: The Frick Garden Party and ArtsConnection Honors Lena Dunham
Your weekly dose of fabulous art 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.
ArtsConnection 2016 Benefit Celebration Honoring Amy Cappellazzo and Lena Dunham
“Girls” creator Lena Dunham and powerhouse art advisor Amy Cappellazzo, lately of Sotheby’s, were honored by ArtsConnection at its annual gala, held May 23 at 583 Park Avenue. Guests included Brian Williams, actor Andrew Rannells, artists Will Ryman and Pat Steir, Andrea Glimcher, and ArtsConnection board of directors founding chair, Linda Janklow, and current chair, Lisa Plepler.
Both honorees were presented with artwork created by students in the ArtsConnection program—”Are you sure you don’t want to put this in a museum?” Dunham asked. “If you are comfortable with this being in my home, I’m thrilled.”
Dunham went on to praise the work ArtsConnection does to provide arts education to students in New York city public schools. She also attributed her inability to do math to her high school’s decision to let artists also teach math and science: “That was a mistake.”
Cappellazzo, “a badass and a gangster,” received a memorable introduction from Elizabeth Alexander, but it was Sarah Silverman who stole the night with her typically edgy comedy set. The two-time Emmy winner wrapped up the show with a saucy bit on Midwestern Christians. We need to go to more benefits for children’s organizations.
Into the Garden: The Frick Collection‘s Spring Garden Party for Fellows
The Frick marked the opening of “Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection” on May 23 with a garden party. The exhibition saw sculptor Arlene Shechet pair 12 of her own porcelain works, created during a residency at Germany’s Meissen manufactory, with roughly 100 18th-century pieces by the renowned porcelain markers.
Guests, who included sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, Noreen Ahmad of Sutton PR, and Sotheby’s restitution specialist Christina Eberli, enjoyed live music from jazz quartet the Flail, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres in the museum’s Fifth Avenue garden. (The once-imperiled Russell Page viewing garden was, unfortunately, not open for the occasion.) Illustrators Lily Qian and Deanna First were on hand creating one-of-a-kind fashion sketches of attendees’ outfits—dress code was white and gold, the signature Meissen color combination—courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue.
One of the true highlight of the evening was the unheard of opportunity to venture behind the velvet rope, past the famed Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting, and up the grand staircase to the second floor. Never-before opened to the public, it will hopefully be converted into gallery space under revised renovation plans. Suffice to say, artnet News can definitively report that director Ian Wardropper’s office (which used to be Mrs. Frick’s bedroom) is way nicer than yours.
Gordon Parks Foundation Awards Dinner
It was an A-list crowd at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 24th, where collector and musician Swizz Beatz, hip hop star Usher, actor Andrew Rannells, Giants star Victor Cruz, artist Kehinde Wiley, and gallerist Tony Shafrazi were on hand to honor the legacy of Gordon Parks at the 10th anniversary awards dinner for the late photographer’s foundation.
Awards were given to Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, founders of Public School and creative directors of DKNY; photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier; recording artist and actress Janelle Monáe; and Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative.
Foundation executive director Peter Kunhardt Jr. called the night “a true testament to the legacy of Mr. Parks and his long lasting impact on the art world and the next generation of artists” in a statement.
The New York EDITION Exhibits the Work of Legendary Iconic Music Photographer Bob Gruen
New York’s EDITION hotel held a special pop-up exhibition of the work of photographer Bob Gruen. The artist, who got his start shooting rock stars, was once John Lennon‘s personal photographer.
For the May 25 event, Gruen pulled from over 100 photos from his archives, showcasing shots of such musical icons as David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, and Led Zeppelin. After the main event wound down, pop star Rihanna stopped by for a personal tour of the show in the wee hours of the morning.
OfficeHour at the Work in Progress Artist Residency
It’s been a fruitful three weeks at 1500 Broadway, where Tiffany Zabludowicz has transformed an empty office building into an utterly unconventional artist residency program.
Her parents, noted collectors Anita and Poju Zabludowicz, have a space in the building, and the landlord approached her about possibly hosting an exhibition once an office had been gutted to make way for a new tenant. “I felt what would be much more interesting would be to give this office space to artists and just let them go and see what happens,” Zabludowicz told artnet News.
A group of artists have been hard at work for much of the month, creating corporate-inspired work, and the May 26 event served as their open studio celebration. The evening, co-hosted by Performa, included a number of performances, including one from Cyril Duval, of ITEM IDEM, who hired a painter to spray paint the buns of an inflatable hot dog he had covered in rubber band mustard.
Many artists took the opportunity to continue work on their existing projects, but Violet Dennison and Coco Young were inspired to team up on video piece, filming the crowds many stories below. There’s plenty of be-suited Elmos and cartoon characters, although the Desnudas, unfortunately, only came out of hibernation after they finished shooting.
The intensely-long range paparazzi lens the pair used lends the footage a grainy, vintage quality. “I guess it just shows that Times Square is timeless,” said Zabludowicz.
Poetry Society of America’s Spring Benefit Dinner at the New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden’s spring exhibition, “Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas,” provided the stunning setting for the Poetry Society’s benefit dinner on May 24. The evening honored Billy Collins and Laura Baudo Sillerman.
Guests, who included “A Prairie Home Companion’s” Garrison Keillor and the Poetry Society of America’s president, Kimiko Hahn, and executive director, Alice Quinn, enjoyed cocktails and mingling in the airy conservatory.
Celebration for “A Change of Place” at Jack Shainman the School
Jack Shainman welcomed the public to his 30,000-square-foot Kinderhook, New York, outpost on May 22. “A Change of Place” is the sixth show in the space, which opened in a converted high school in 2014. The exhibition offers solo shows from four artists: Richard Mosse, who shoots pinked-hued photos with Kodak’s discontinued infrared Aerochrome film; Garnett Puett, who enlists bees to complete his sculptures; Hayv Kahraman, who draws on 13th-century Baghdadi illuminated manuscripts for inspiration in her paintings on linen; and Pierre Dorion, who creates illusionistic painting based on photographs of the School.
On hand for the occasion were guests including the Glenn Lowry, director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art; JiaJia Fei, the director of digital of New York’s Jewish Museum; collectors Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu; and artists Barkley L. Hendricks, Brad Kahlhamer, and Hank Willis Thomas.
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