The Week in Art: Public Art Fund Turns 40, Christie’s Launches Beverly Hills Office
There was lots of partying this week.
Here’s a rundown of some of this week’s art-scene highlights.
Public Art Fund 40th Anniversary Benefit
Art was front and center at the Public Art Fund’s (PAF) 40th birthday party on April 20, where the undeniable highlight of the night were the interactive art projects. Jesse Hamerman let guests create molds of their fingers at his plaster workshop; Oliver Herring asked the crowds to transform models into tin-foil covered sculptures over the course of the evening; Anna K.E. created selfie stations stocked with asymmetrical neon-colored wigs; and B. Wurtz offered the chance to win one of his sculptures in his carnival-themed game Pistachio Toss.
“Everyone kind of looked like they were kids,” Wurtz told artnet News of watching party-goers try their luck. The winners were easily spotted by their medals, crafted from ribbons and the lids from take-out containers.
Among those in attendance were Jenna Lyons, Tony Hale, Cynthia Rowley, Bill Powers, Lisa Phillips, James and Jane Cohan, Paul Kasmin, Liz Glynn, and Rob Pruitt.
During the family style dinner, featuring place mats designed by Tabor Robak, PAF chairman Jill Kraus spoke to the organization’s 40 year history, noting that it shares a birth year with three other women-founded New York art institutions: the Drawing Center, Studio in a School, and the New Museum, all of which were represented at the festivities. “This was a seismic year for women in the arts,” said Kraus.
“We are one of a number of organizations that began in that mid-to-late ’70s moment when artists were making work that was more than museums could accomodate,” PAF director and chief curator Nicholas Baume told artnet News, noting that public art is “part of what makes New York the quintessentially creative and democratic city we know and love.”
An after party, featuring an array of colorful birthday cake, saw guests dancing late into the night.
National YoungArts Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
With the spectacular backdrop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur, alumni from the National YoungArts Foundation performed in front of over 270 guests at the organization’s second annual New York gala, held on April 20.
Guests included gala co-chairs Sarah Arison and Thomas Wilhelm and Gillian Hearst Simonds and Christian Symonds, Klaus Biesenbach of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, actor Christian Slater, Marlies Vehoeven of the Cultivist, opera singer Placido Domingo, and artists Dustin Yellin, Will Cotton, and Derrick Adams.
“I feel that culture in America is under attack in a way that I never thought I would see happen,” Salmaan Rushdie, the event’s honorary chair, told the crowd. “We must see ourselves now as the guardians of culture. It is for us to protect American culture and to show that it is not the dark manifestation that currently occupies so much of our lives. America is a richer place and a better place than that, and the arts are where that richness begins.”
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center Benefit Auction at Cipriani Wall Street
New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center held its benefit auction on April 20, featuring more than 20 artworks on sale via Paddle8 by the likes of Alex Katz, Richard Prince, Deborah Kass, Katherine Bernhardt, Nicole Eisenman, and Hanna Linden.
The evening, which raised over $1.75 million, saw Hillary Rodham Clinton receive the Center’s Trailblazer Award, while fashion designer Marc Jacobs was honored with the Visionary Award. In attendance were both honorees, Huma Abedin, Arianna Huffington, Lana Wachowski, Jonathan Adler, Deborah Kass, Patricia Cronin, and Stacy London.
SculptureCenter Lucky Draw Benefit at SculptureCenter
Over 300 guests were on hand on April 18, as SculptureCenter held its Lucky Draw benefit, an art raffle that lets every ticket holder go home with an original work of art. Sara Friedlander of Christie’s kicked off the night with a live auction featuring works by Ugo Rondinone, Amy Sillman, and Adam McEwen, and Lowell Pettit served as emcee.
Appraisers Association of America’s Annual Award Luncheon at the New York Athletic Club
This year’s Annual Award Luncheon for the Appraisers Association of America, held April 18, honored art dealer Jeffrey Deitch. The gallerist was introduced by Jeff Koons, his friend of 40 years. Nancy Harrison and Elizabeth von Habsburg served as lunch co-chairs. Deitch follows in the footsteps of past recipients including artist Frank Stella, art critic Peter Schjeldahl, art historian Linda Nochlin, and gallerist Arne Glimcher.
Art F City’s Goth Opera Benefit at Collapsable Hole
Art F City went for a creepy goth theme for its annual benefit, which included an operatic performance from Joseph Keckler and a photo booth from artist Sean Fader. Delia Deetz, the fictional sculptor from Beetlejuice, who appeared on the cover of Art in America at the end of the film, was “honored” with a lifetime achievement award presentation. Guests at the spooky event included gallerist Asya Geisberg; artists Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw; and Emmanuel Lemakis, of the College Art Association; and his wife Suzanne Lemakis, of Citigroup’s fine art program.
Opening for “Cindy Sherman: Once Upon a Time” at Mnuchin Gallery
Thirty years worth of transformative self-portraits by Cindy Sherman were on view in one place at Mnuchin Gallery, which saw French art dealer Philippe Ségalot, artist Casey Spooner, and Klaus Biesnbach, in addition to Sherman and the gallery’s Sukanya Rajaratnam and Robert Mnuchin, on hand for the April 18 opening.
Opening Reception for “Irving Penn: Centennial” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Marking the centennial of the birth of Irving Penn, the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated the opening of their retrospective of work by the American artist with an opening party on April 17. Guests included Vogue‘s Grace Coddington, jewelry designer James de Givenchy, photographer Robert Freson, and producer Tonya Lewis Lee, wife of Spike Lee.
The Kitchen’s Spring Gala at Hammerstein Ballroom
Proving that gala season is indeed in full swing, the Kitchen also held their annual event on April 17, attracting the likes of LCD Soundsystem musician James Murphy, Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, composer John Cale, and MoMA PS1 founder Alanna Heiss.
The Opening Reception for “Calder | Miró: Constellations” at Pace Gallery and Acquavella
The families of Alexander Calder and Joan Miró were on hand for the opening of the two part exhibition of their respective “Constellation” series at Pace and Acquavella galleries. In addition to Calder’s grandson, Alexander Rower, and Miró’s, Joan Punyet Miró, guests included Emmanuel Di Donna, Fran Lebowitz, and another artist descendant, Mark Rothko’s son Christopher Rothko.
Christie’s Launches Los Angeles Flagship in Beverly Hills
More than 60 paintings, sculptures, photos, and works on paper by artists including Cy Twombly, Francis Bacon, and Pablo Picasso, collectively valued at over $450 million, were on view as Christie’s celebrated the opening of its new Los Angeles flagship in Beverly Hills. Guests including the Art Production Fund’s Casey Freemont, Jonas Wood, and and Christie’s America president Brook Hazelton enjoyed a cocktail reception and private viewing of its inaugural exhibition.
I Love Dick Premiere at the Linwood Dunn Theater, Los Angeles
The highly anticipated Amazon TV adaptation of art writer Chris Kraus’s book I Love Dick had its premiere on April 20. The author wasn’t on hand, but showrunner Jill Soloway and stars Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon were among those walking the red carpet.
Bombay Beach Biennial in Bombay Beach, California
While celebrities turned up at Coachella over the weekend, a decidedly offbeat festival was happening just down the road by the Salton Sea. Called the Bombay Beach Biennial, it is the brainchild of Lily Johnosn White, of the Johnson & Johnson family; actor Tao Ruspoli, son of the late Prince Alessandro Ruspoli; and Stefan Ashkenazy, of the Ashkenazy real estate family.
The quietly-launched secret festival is now in its second edition, bringing works by over 100 artists and performers including Kenny Scharf, James Oster, and Gary Oldman to the tiny, mostly-abandoned town of Bombay Beach, once a popular resort town.
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