The Week in Art: Socrates Sculpture Park Celebrates 30 Years, and Textile Month Shines at Marimekko
Long Island City was the place to be.
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 opening of the United Talent Agency’s new Los Angeles art space, the wider American art scene also provides plenty of action. Here’s a rundown of this week’s highlights.
Socrates Sculpture Park 30th Anniversary Gala at Mark di Suvero’s Studio
The New York gala circuit doesn’t often make stops in Queens, but artist Christo, the Brooklyn Rail‘s Phong Bui, and Queens borough president Melinda Katz were among those who made an exception on September 22nd, trekking out to sculptor Mark di Suvero‘s waterfront studio in Long Island City to celebrate the 30th anniversary of nearby Socrates Sculpture Park, of which he is founder and chairman.
The combination of sunset cocktails enjoyed with a spectacular view of the city skyline, boat rides, and live music made for a lively evening. Many guests left with sculpture in tow, having purchased impressive animal artworks created by children in the park’s youth arts education program.
The night’s highlight, however, was the surprisingly emotional remarks by Di Suvero, who Socrates executive director John Hatfield praised for his rare “combination of courage and generosity” and Bui introduced as “the embodiment of a romantic artist… and a freethinker.”
Speaking of his own immigrant childhood, Di Suvero noted that “one of the presidential contenders has an immigrant wife, and maybe he wants to send her back! This is not the way to live,” he insisted. “We need to live with love.”
Di Suvero thanked everyone who had made the “dream” of Socrates a reality, with over 1,000 artists exhibiting at the park over the years. He encouraged everyone to think less about money and more about helping other people, noting that we “could become a great city of power.”
Premiere of Colorblind Artist: In Full Color, at Spring Place, hosted by Semaine
Filmmaker Megan Raney Aarons debuted her new film on artist Daniel Arsham to a select group of taste-makers (we spotted Broad City actor Arturo Castro in the audience) on September 19 at Spring Place’s funky, velvet-lined screening room.
The short but fascinating documentary follows Arsham, who is colorblind, as he tries out new glasses that enable him to see color for the first time. The film shows intimate footage of the artist’s childhood and current family life, along with interviews with his family, colleagues, and collaborators.
It delves into the surprising impact of the new “vision” on his life and work, including his first-ever use of color. (The resulting show, titled “Circa 2345,” is currently on view on Manhattan’s upper east side at the Perrotin Gallery.) The screening was followed by a lively Q&A session with Arsham, Raney Aarons, and Visionaire magazine co-founder Cecilia Dean.
Marimekko and Museum of Arts and Design Celebrate New York Textile Month
Artist Sarah Zapata only had five weeks to prepare her labor-intensive sculptural installation in the storefront of Marimekko’s Flatiron location, but the results were still impressive on September 19, as the Finnish clothing store welcomed guests for a private reception.
The project was arranged by New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, where Zapata is an artist-in-residence “I just immediately thought of Sarah’s work as being a great fit,” said assistant curator Samantha De Tillio at the reception. “It really looks onto her Peruvian-American heritage and issues of being a woman.”
It was an unusual project for the artist, who incorporated sections of Marimekko fabric into a rolling, brightly colored textile landscape, painstakingly woven by hand with sections of yarn on a type of rug canvas similar to burlap.
Zapata, who is interested in using textiles as architectural building components, told us she was happy to work with an “iconic” brand with that has long been led by women designers. She spent 12 hour days working on the shaggy installation, which she admitted was “very Muppets.”
Also on hand for the occasion was Marimekko’s Artwork Studio manager, Petri Juslin, who gave a presentation about the brand’s history of design. The company has plenty of classic prints that stay in the rotation each season, but still introduces 10 to 15 new designs each year, because “we don’t want to be a museum of prints,” he told artnet News.
“I’m in Heaven” Photo Booth Brunch at Adoro Lei
New Yorkers love brunch, but it’s not generally known for being an artsy scene. That was not the case at Adoro Lei pizzeria, which launched its new brunch menu on September 17, featuring special menu items like Jacques Torres chocolate chip pancakes and Fruity Pebbles-themed waffles with a special photo booth: a backdrop by Brazilian graffiti artist Pixote.
Celebrity stylist Nina Tiari ran the special “I’m in Heaven” photo shoot in the restaurant’s private room, Heaven Below, while guests enjoyed the musical stylings of DJ Gui.
Opening of “DTLA” at UTA Artist Space
The United Talent Agency debuted the inaugural exhibition at its new multidisciplinary venue, UTA Artist Space on September 17. The show, featuring the work of Larry Clark, was organized in collaboration with Luhring Augustine.
Clark was on hand for the opening along with UTA’s Josh Roth and Jeremy Zimmer, actress Emily Ratajkowski of “Blurred Lines” fame, comedians Chris Tucker and Kristen Schaal, film producer Joel Silver, director Gus Van Sant, and Girls actor Alex Karpovsky.
The exhibition included over 50 works, offering an overview of the artist’s career featuring everything from the rarely seen 1968 film Tulsa to new paintings and collages.
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