The Week in Art: Asia Week Highlights and Art Production Fund Gala
Pictures from the parties that had everyone talking.
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.
Art Production Fund Concrete Jungle Gala
Guests were dressed to the nines Wednesday night, March 16, for the “Concrete Jungle” benefit hosted by Art Production Fund in honor of Ryan McGinley and Jane Kaplowitz Rosenblum. To raise money for Ugo Rondinone‘s “Seven Magic Mountains” project in a desert just outside of Las Vegas, the non-profit organization held a live auction of works donated by Yoko Ono, Deborah Kass, and Alex Katz, among others.
The star-studded list of attendees included actresses Chloë Sevigny, and artists Marilyn Minter, Zoë Buckman, Cindy Sherman, and Deborah Kass. Highlights on the evening included a temporary tatoo station from Joyce Pensato and live performances by Lion Babe and Petra Collins and Madelyne Beckles
Art F City’s SPRNG BRK Benefit
“Spring Break and all its excess” was the theme for Art F City‘s SPRNG BRK fundraising benefit. Held Tuesday, March 15, at East Village tiki bar Otto’s Shrunken Head, the night’s honoree was feminist artist, collector, and philanthropist Carol Cole.
“I gotta say, we throw a good party,” Art F City founder and executive director Paddy Johnson told artnet News in an e-mail. The over 200 guests, instructed to wear “island attire,” were each greeted with leis upon arrival, and invited to partake in a Jell-O shot toast.
With “more drinks than the MTV Beach House,” and a “Best Man-Boobs of the Art World” wet t-shirt contest, it proved quite a wild night. Artist Paul Outlaw, who posed provocatively with partner Jennifer Catron for Art F City’s Artists as Pandas in the Nude 2015 calendar, took home top honors for his self promotional performance, which involved tearing off his shirt to advertise the pair’s upcoming show at New York’s Postmasters Gallery.
David Hammons Opening at Mnuchin Gallery
The New York art world elite was out in force at Mnuchin Gallery on Tuesday, March 15, for the opening of “David Hammons: Five Decades.” Given the museum-like scope of the exhibition, it was perhaps no surprise to see museum directors Thelma Golden (Studio Museum in Harlem), Glenn Lowry (Museum of Modern Art, New York), and Melissa Chiu (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC) were in attendance.
Also on hand were artists Theaster Gates and Glenn Ligon, dealer Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn, and curator Scott Rothkopf of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. Despite kicking off a half-hour before the customary 6:00 p.m. start time, the opening was starting to fill up by 5:45—all the more impressive given the absence of the artist. Hammons was supposedly away in Marrakech for that city’s biennial. Even the gallery, though, didn’t know his whereabouts for sure.
Asia Week New York 2016 Reception
The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s annual kickoff for Asia Week, held Monday, March 14, saw over 650 well-heeled art lovers, many in Asian-inspired garb, exploring the museum’s 101-year-old Asian art department after hours. Guests included Asia Week chair and Chinese art expert Lark Mason; Maxwell K. Hearn, the Met’s curator of Asian Art; South Korean textile historian and embroiderer Young Yang Chung; and Mary Ann Rogers and Carol Conover of New York’s Kaikodo gallery.
Waiters interrupted merriment on the museum’s balcony, which included a spread of tasty hors d’oeuvres such as sushi and fried lotus chips, by banging a gong, signaling that remarks from Met director Thomas P. Campbell were about to begin. As befit the celebratory occasion, however Campbell kept things brief—and eager guests were quick to queue up at the open bar for a signature “Red Lotus” cocktail even before his speech was over.
Bronx Museum Spring Gala & Auction
Monday, March 14, the Bronx Museum held its annual spring gala and auction, “Wild Noise: Bronx/Havana,” at the Conrad. Fashionable art worlders who turned out for the upscale festivities including the evening’s honorees: philanthropist Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, artists Los Carpinteros, novelist Cristina Garcia, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund program director Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas. The theme of the celebration’ was based on the museum’s groundbreaking art exchange with the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba. (The exchange is the biggest collaboration between the two countries in 50 years.)
The event included a silent auction as well as a live auction, the live portion of which included works by Martin Wong (the subject of a recent retrospective at the museum), Maria Elena Gonzalez, and Los Carpinteros (who were given their first US solo show by Holly Block, the museum’s executive director).
The high point of the evening was the auctioning off of two tickets to Cuba, with Block promising to serve as the winners’ tour guide. When the price stalled at $6,000, Block chimed in to urge attendees to bid. “I’m worth more than that,” she shouted. Block noted that a trip to Cuba, for one person alone, with her as a guide, normally costs $6,900 at minimum. The tickets went for over $10,000.
Asia Week Celebration at the Rubin Museum of Art
The Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea, which was founded by collectors Donald and Shelley Rubin, glowed with hypnotic James Turrell-like lighting on Thursday, March 17, as guests sipped cocktails and dined on delicious Asian-inspired dishes for its annual Asia Week Celebration. Brief remarks included those by executive director Patrick Sears, who discussed exciting current exhibitions such as “Try to to Altar Everything” by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, and by Jane Casey, co-host of 2016 Asia Week Celebration.
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