Here’s artnet News’s rundown of this week’s event highlights, an especially busy one given that Asia Week, the highly anticipated Whitney Biennial, and the Art Production Fund benefit—some of the most-anticipated highlights of the art gala season—were all taking place.
APF’s Bright Lights, Big City Gala Honoring Elmgreen & Dragset and Miuccia Prada at the Landmark Rooms
The Art Production Fund honored artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset at its annual gala on March 13 at the iconic Seagram Building, giving guests a first look at the new Landmark Rooms, formerly the Four Seasons, which will open in April.
Also honored was designer Miuccia Prada, who dressed the APF team: executive director Casey Fremont, director of operations Kathleen Lynch, and co-founders Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal. The evening’s dresscode was “unsuitable,” which led to everything from ’80s-style power suits to silken pajama sets from the fashionable crowd, many of whom got temporary tattoos designed by Gary Simmons.
Aside from the honorees, artists in attendance included David Altmejd, Zoe Buckman, Rob Pruitt, Deborah Kass, Patricia Kronin, Ryan Trecartin, Dustin Yellin, John Currin, Sebastian Errazuriz, and Jessica Craig-Martin. Among the other guests were MoMA PS1’s Klaus Biesenbach and Angela Goding, socialite and fashion designer Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Sarah Arison of the Arison Arts Foundation, and gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin.
Following the cocktail hour, featuring Dom Pérignon’s 2006 vintage, there was a site-specific performance, Modern Living, from artists Gerard & Kelly, who staged an earlier iteration of the piece with APF at Philip Johnson’s Glass House. They told artnet News it was especially meaningful to reimagine it in Johnson’s landmarked Pool Room, which became a striking stage for a quartet of performers from the L.A. Dance Project.
“Visionaire Presents Toiletpaper Paradise” Opening at Cadillac House
If you missed the spaghetti-filled installation from Fondation Beyeler at Art Basel in Miami Beach, run, don’t walk to Cadillac House, where Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari continue their quirky collaboration through April 12.
The project, presented by Cecilia Dean and James Kaliados of Visionaire, celebrated its opening with a spaghetti and meatball dinner, a nod to the room’s literal explosion of pasta, on March 10. Guests included Marilyn Minter, Chloe Wise, Tali Lennox, Michael Avedon, Anne Pasternak, and Ryan McNamara.
Whitney Biennial Opening Celebration at the Whitney Museum of American Art
The weather got in the way of the Whitney’s planned March 14 VIP opening party, with winter storm Stella cancelling the first of three nights of celebrations for the highly-anticipated exhibition. The museum was at full capacity, therefore, on March 15, with two parties packed into one.
There was a red carpet entry through the Untitled restaurant, where celebrities including Zosia Mamet, Zoe Kravitz, and Julianne Moore posed for the paparazzi. Inside, waiters were on hand at the entrance handing out personal-sized bottles of sparkling white wine, and the passed hors d’oeuvres were plentiful. There was also a specialty cocktail on the night, The Gertrude, named after the museum’s founder, Gertrude Whitney.
While the drinks and food were all downstairs, that didn’t stop the crowds from heading up to the galleries—we spotted Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem dashing across the lobby into the crowded freight elevator—where work by 63 artists selected by curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks are on view across two floors.
Reopening Party for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Soho’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art celebrated the completion of a successful expansion project when it reopened on March 9 with a VIP reception. Director Gonzalo Casals welcomed guests to the new exhibition “Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting,” which showcases 250 works from the collection of museum co-founders Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman.
Duane Michals in conversation with curator Lolita Cros at the Hôtel Americano
The latest event at Hôtel Americano’s Salon Series celebrated the career of photographer Duane Michals, who elevated the medium by borrowing from cinema to create photographs that communicate a narrative. At the discussion on March 13, curator Lolita Cros spoke with Michals about politics, artistic inspiration, and the commodification of photography. Guests included Stefan Bondell, Edward De Luca, Scott Drevnig, Panos Galanopoulos, Sydie Lansing, Kristina Loggia, Tim Soter, and Emily Weiss.
Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden
Winter may have had one last trick up its sleeve, but visitors to the New York Botanical Garden on March 11 were transported to warmer climes in a special nighttime viewing of “The Orchid Show: Thailand.” The impending snowstorm was forgotten amid the lush conservatory, in full bloom thanks to array of exquisitely beautiful, multicolored orchids.
The centerpiece of the exhibition, the Orchid Show’s 15th edition, is a traditional Thai pavilion, which provided a stunning backdrop for a dance routine from the Somapa Thai Dance Company. Guests enjoyed music from a number of DJs and the specialty “Dancing Lady” cocktail, specially designed for Orchid Evenings by the head mixologist of Edible Bronx.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Asia Week Reception
With 50 international galleries descending on New York for the 8th annual Asia Week New York, the Met welcomed guests for a reception honoring the occasion.
The museum’s Asian art galleries were open during the party on March 13, offering the opportunity for those in attendance to visit exhibitions on 18th- and 19th-century Chinese imperial opera, Chinese carved lacquer, and a celebration of the Year of the Rooster, among other shows. Outgoing director Thomas P. Campbell greeted guests including dealer Carlo Cristi, curator Willow Hai Chang, and Chinese art expert Lark Mason and his wife Erica Mason.
The Rubin Museum of Art Asia Week Celebration at the Rubin Museum of Art
Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as the Rubin Museum for its annual Asia Week celebration on March 16. The party provided guests a last chance to see the exhibition “Nepalese Seasons: Rain and Ritual,” which closes March 27.
The highlight on the night was a participatory art installation by Miya Ando, of a delicate mandala made from bleached and dyed Bodhi leaves. “It’s a type of tree that the Buddha gained enlightenment under,” the artist explained to artnet News. “The mandala represents the universe—there’s a continuum. And leaves fall, then they come back every year.”
The piece was displayed in the museum’s Art Lounge, and guests were invited to make a wish and drop a leaf from the balcony above, an action reminiscent of the Japanese tradition of tying strips of paper after making a prayer at a temple. “There’s something really ethereal about how a leaf falls,” Ando added.
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