The Week in Art: Free Arts Honors Taryn Simon and the ICP Infinity Awards
Here’s a rundown of some of this week’s art-scene highlights.
Free Arts NYC 18th Annual Art Auction at the Ukrainian Institute of America
Three floors of art and revelry marked the Free Arts NYC Art Auction on April 26, which honored Taryn Simon. The artist was on hand to share work created under her tutelage by students in Free Arts mentoring programs for underserved youth and families.
“Now that I’m creating art too, I like feeling proud of myself and feeling more confident,” said one of the students who presented Simon with the award.
“Taryn’s been such a pioneer for arts education for so long,” Free Arts art advisory board member Michelle Hellman Cohen told artnet News, pointing out that “it’s such a crucial time for arts education.”
“She actually spent two days working with Free Arts teens” added Liz Hopfan, the organization’s founder and executive director, describing the project, which involved consider how other people look at and interpret images, as “an amazing educational experience.”
Guests on the night included Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Waris Ahluwalia, Sarah Arison, Chloe Wise, Zoe Buckman, Claire Distenfeld and Thelma Golden, who enjoyed glasses of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut champagne and portrait drawing sessions from illustrator Justin Teodoro.
ICP 33rd Annual Infinity Awards
On April 24, artists, photographers, and celebrities turned out in force for ICP’s lavish dinner and award ceremony at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. Of the more than 500 guests in attendance, we spotted actor Tommy Lee Jones, artist Zoe Buckman, journalist and ABC news television anchor Sade Baderinwa.
Each of the seven awards presented was preceded by a short but engrossing film about the particular photographer, their practice, and the particular project associated with the award. Michael Christopher Brown, who won an award for his photobook Libyan Sugar, spoke candidly about his harrowing time in the war-torn Middle East with the late Tim Hetherington.
Other honorees included: Harry Benson (lifetime achievement); Sophie Calle (art); Michael Famighetti and Sarah Lewis (critical writing and research); Edmund Clark and Crofton Black (documentary and photojournalism); Vasantha Yogananthan (emerging photographer); and For Freedoms (online platform and new media).
Galerie Perrotin Unveils New Gallery at 13 Orchard Street
Gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin unveiled his biggest gallery of his career—which began in 1989—on the Lower East Side on April 27 with “Iván Argote: La Venganza.” Iván Argote was just one of the artists from the gallery’s stable on hand for the event. Also in attendance were JR, Daniel Arsham, KAWS, and Sophie Calle, in town for her Creative Time project, debuting April 29 at Brooklyn’s Green Wood Cemetery.
Music star Pharrell Williams, whose design work is represented by Perrotin, was also there, joining crowds as they perused the exhibition before climbing the stairs to see the still-under-construction second and third floors, scheduled to be completed in November. The party continued on the rooftop, with drinks in the misty twilight.
Drawing Center 40th Anniversary Gala at Capitale
In honor of its 40th birthday, friends and supporters of the Drawing Center gathered on April 25. One artist was chosen to represent each decade of the institution’s history: Marcel Dzama, Teresita Fernández, R.H. Quaytman, and Rashid Johnson (the only one of the four who did not have his first solo show at the Drawing Center).
The artist honorees were joined at the event by the likes of Tom Finkelpearl (commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs), Agnus Gund, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Frances Adler, David Zwirner, Marian Goodman, Brett Gorvy, and artists Pat Steir, Lorna Simpson, Will Cotton, Eddie Martinez, Natalie Frank, and Judith Bernstein.
Queens Museum Annual Gala
At its gala on April 17, the Queens Museum honored Katrina M. Adams, CEO and president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), in thanks of the organization’s work to support the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home to the museum. Guests included Queens Museum executive director Laura Raicovich, artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, and actor Lee Byun-hun.
The highlight was performing artist and composer Abby Dobson rendition of “Queens Anthem,” composed by Emiliano Branda in response to submissions from members of the local community of their sound-based memories of the borough, including protest songs.
Collective Design Celebrates Five Years at Clocktower at EDITION
On April 26, New York’s Collective Design fair celebrated its upcoming fifth edition (May 3–7) with a dinner at the (fittingly named) EDITION Hotel. Guests included artists Jose Parla, Chloe Wise, Daniel Arsham, Steven Ladd, Nir Hod, and Fernando Mastrangelo; the Jewish Museum’s JiaJia Fei; Metropolitan Museum of Art decorative arts curator Christian Larsen; and art Instagram star Pari Ehsan.
Skowhegan’s 46th Annual Awards Dinner at the Plaza Hotel
More than 500 guests, including artists, curators, and collectors turned out to support Skowhegan’s artist residency program at the school’s April 25 awards dinner, including Agnes Gund, Michael Xufu Huang, Mia Locks, Darren Walker, Thelma Golden, and Christopher Y. Lew.
The night honored Jack Whitten, the Studio Museum in Harlem and William T. Williams, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and its Chairman and CEO, Charles C. Bergman. Hank Willis Thomas, Alex Katz, Chris Ofili, and Polly Apfelbaum sold limited-edition works at a pop-up shop, the Metropolis Ensemble performed.
Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists Book Launch at Fulton Street Key Foods, Brooklyn
A Brooklyn supermarket set the unlikely stage on April 27 for the release of Julia Sherman’s Salad for President cookbook (out May 16), in which she asks artists to share their favorite salad recipes. The author’s local grocery store, Key Foods, played a key role in the book’s creation. Guests included artists Tauba Auerbach (who has a recipe in the book) and Lorna Simpson, as well as Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Christina Muhlke.
The photo booth was stocked with giant papier-mâché lettuce masks, and guests were encouraged to shop and donate the groceries to charity. There was also a dance floor and music from DJ Chances With Wolves and cocktails by Arley Marks Drinks.
The Tang Dynasty Ball at the Asia Society
The Asia Society celebrated its “Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia” exhibition (through June 4) with a gala on April 27. Guests included The Cosby Show star Phylicia Rashad and event co-chairs Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang. The event was inspired by the multiculturalism of the Tang dynasty (618–906), a period that saw the exchange of fashion, food, music, and other commodities between China, Southeast Asia, and the Islamic Middle East.
Additional reporting by Eileen Kinsella.
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