The Week in Art: Ja Rule at the Watermill Center and Chelsea Instagram Tour
See events from the Hamptons to Aspen.
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 Aspen Art Museum hosting its annual Aspen ArtCrush festivities, the wider American art scene also provides plenty of action.
Here’s a rundown of this week’s highlights.
The Watermill Center‘s 23rd Annual Summer Benefit and Auction
Perhaps summer’s most-anticipated art party, the annual Watermill gala attracted a fashionable crowd on July 30. The occasion featured a wide array of installation and performance art, as well as cocktails, dinner, and an auction conducted by Simon de Pury.
With As We Lay Dying, a major group of curated installations from the Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF), a Donald Trump-bashing piece by Pussy Riot, and a post-dinner performance by Ja Rule, the absence of a promised Kanye West appearance was barely noted by the evening’s guests, who included artist Orlan, writer Bob Colacello, and National Arts Club curator Stacy Engman,
WineCrush at Aspen ArtCrush
Amy and John Phelan kicked off the 2016 edition of Aspen ArtCrush with a private dinner at their home on August 3. The art collecting couple showed off their impressive holdings of contemporary works to a crowd including artists Gabriel Orozco, Mickalene Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas, along with cyclist Lance Armstrong, Aspen Art Museum director Heidi Zuckerman, Sotheby’s Amy Cappellazzo, and collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole.
New Museum Celebrates Public Beta NEW INC End-of-Year Showcase
On July 29, the New Museum welcomed guests for a party celebrating “Public Beta,” an exhibition showcasing the work of members of NEW INC, the institution’s non-profit incubator for art, design, and technology.
Crowds at the New Museum’s Sky Room and terrace marveled at innovative projects like Parc Office‘s Totem, which aims to eliminate annoying on-screen notifications in favor of small, geometric objects that transmit information through ambient light, glowing brightly, say, at the start of a scheduled appointment.
The technology played into the party festivities, with a collaborative performance from Lisa Park that created a symphony by tracking participants’ heartbeats with sensors. Even the signature cocktails got in on the action, served to guests in Flirting Goblets, glasses outfitted with feathered, kinetic devices as part of a performance by HE+HU.
Art Gallery Instagram Crawl hosted by Robin Cembalest
Social media influencer Robin Cembalest gave a select group of art-loving Instagrammers a guided tour of the Chelsea Gallery scene on August 3. At each of the stops along the way, which included Cheim & Read, Pace Gallery, and Andrea Rosen Gallery, either Cembalest or the gallery director walked guests through the exhibition.
In addition to snapping away on their smart phones, guests got to check out Polaroid-esque instant cameras from Lomography USA.
The event was the inaugural outing for Hotel Americano’s new Salon Series, and wrapped up with happy hour at the hotel bar with cocktails like “Grown Up Lemonade” and small plates from chef Kevin Chun.
Thomas Moran Trust Midsummer Benefit Cocktail Party in East Hampton
Today’s robust art scene on Long Island’s South Fork can trace its roots to Thomas Moran and Mary Nimmo Moran, who built the area’s first artist studio in 1884, according to the Thomas Moran Trust.
The organization’s annual summer benefit party, held July 29, celebrated the final stages of restoration of the historic property, and offered guests a sneak peak of the grounds, outbuildings, and studio.
Additional reporting by Cristina Cruz and Neha Jambhekar.
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