(l) Tracy Stern, Founder Tracy Stern SALONTEA, Chef Daniel Boulud and Tara Reddi, VP IFPDA at Restaurant Daniel last night to preview some of the prizes to be had at the upcoming IFPDA’s Treasure Hunt this Wednesday, November 4, 2009 from 5 – 9pm at the Park Avenue Armory, New York.

This Wednesday from 5 – 9pm at the Park Avenue Armory, the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA) will host printfair 09.  To get the party started, the IFPDA’s Paper/Ink Committee are hosting a Treasure Hunt as an exciting way to explore the Fair.

To join the Treasure Hunt, simply pick up a Clue Card upon arrival at the Fair. Look for the Pink Elephant logo as you visit exhibitors throughout the Fair to find the prints which solve riddles or answer historical or humorous questions listed on the card. The Hunt will lead you through the Fair’s international roster of dealers as well as prints from every period. Players who correctly solve all ten clues will be entered into a drawing for prizes generously provided by the Treasure Hunt’s sponsors. Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the Fair and the winners notified by e-mail or mail.   Prizes include: a Fou de Toi Ring in 18K white gold, Rose de France (6cts) and diamonds (0.19cts) from Mauboussin; a 4-course dinner for two with wine pairings at Bar Boulud; dinner for two at Nobu Fifty Seven; afternoon tea for two at Tracy Stern SALONTEA that includes a gift-boxed porcelain teapot and tea party music CD; three issues + catalogue raisonne + Alex Katz tote bag all from Parkett; a $500 gift certificate from Artbook; and more. Opening Night Preview ticket includes Run of Show Pass and the ticket is valid for the Preview and for admittance during public hours Thursday – Saturday 12noon–8pm and Sunday 12noon–6pm.  Opening Night Preview tickets are $75 per person and available at http://www.ifpda.org/content



Merce, Merce, Me

Students from P.S. 3, P.S. 89, P.S. 234, P.S. 315, NEST+m, The Brearley School, The Corlears School, The Dalton School, and the Merce Cunningham Studio Class For Teenagers perform Changing Steps, 1975 at Memorial - Events in Honor of Merce, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, October 28, 2009.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company hosted MEMORIAL- EVENTS IN HONOR OF MERCE, with site-specific performances by The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, former Company dance members and other artists who shared in Merce’s adventure.  The five-hour events schedule began at 4pm.  Three stages were mapped out on a diagonal over the massive Park Avenue Armory Drill Hall.  Performers entered and exited smoothly from stage to stage along red=carpeted pathways and held tight to the program schedule.  Atmospheric lighting and minimalist music echoed from the balcony where live musicians re-created pieces from the Cunningham catalog.  Stark, moody, lively, intelligent, beautiful – it was all Merce all night.  http://www.merce.org/

Merce Cunningham alum, Paige Cunningham performs Interscape, 2000 on Stage 2.

Early Cunningham Collaborator/Dancer and Dance Philanthropist, Sage Cowles

(l) Cunningham Collaborator/Dancer, Carolyn Brown with Choreographer Sara Rudner and a friend.



Charlie’s Angels Choreographed and Art Directed by Jason Samuels Smith. From left: Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Chloe Arnold, The Kitchen, Saturday October 24, 2009, Chelsea, NYINSIDE SLIDE!
Emmy award winning choreographer and master in the art form of Tap Dance, Jason Samuels Smith brought a slam of dazzle, glide, flip, flop, flea hop and every other virtuoso tap move in between to The Kitchen with his New York premiere of Charlie’s Angels.  Curated by Rashida Bumbray, Samuels Smith got together three of the best Tap Dancers in the world: Michelle Dorrance, Doremeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Chloe Arnold and in his words “sent them on a mission to play Charlie Parker’s music note for note with their feet...interpreting the sophisticated style called Bebop as only Parker could create it.”  In so doing he and his talented collaborators resurrected with amazing flair two once-popular styles: Tap Dance and Bebop.  The show was polished-up with lighting by Sue Samuels, glamorous costumes by Gingie McLeod, spoken word by Craig 'muMs' Grant, with sultry musical interludes played by the crowd-pleasing saxophonist, Stacy Dillard. The dancers performed 16 sections, mostly trios, in rapid-fire velocity and in less than an hour left the audience completely wowed with some hollering yo,yo, yay, yay, you work, girl!  

Emmy Award Winning Choreographer and Tap Dance Virtuoso, Jason Samuels Smith Charlie’s Angels performers: (l) Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Stacy Dillard and Chloe Arnold, The Kitchen, October 24, 2009




AFTA 2009

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi with AFTA Awardees, Robert Redford and Salmon Rushdie

Cipriani’s Grand Central outpost was abuzz with all sorts of luminaries this past Monday when Americans for the Arts presented the 2009 National Arts Awards honoring distinguished artistic, cultural and corporate leaders for their contributions to arts in America. After a hard day in the hot seat for her disparaging comments on General Stanley McChrystal, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looked nothing short of glowing and none to bothered to present Robert Redford with the NAA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Other recipients included: Salman Rushdie presented with the Kitty Carlisle Hart Award for Outstanding Contributions to Arts; Sidney Herman was given the Frederic R. Weisman Philanthropy in the Arts Award; Bank of America received the Corporate Citizenship in the Arts Award; Rosario Dawson the Award for Artistic Excellence; and Lisa Phillips, Director of The New Museum, seemed really chuffed to hand Ed Rusha his award for Artistic Excellence.  Photographer Todd Eberle was commissioned to make portraits of the honored guests and set-up a mobile photo studio in the Chapel area at Cipriani’s.  The portraits are available for $1500 and all proceeds benefit Americans for the Artts.  www.AmericanForTheArts.org



Princess Maxima of The Netherlands
Labor Day weekend ended and bam! New York was back in full swing. Stacks of gallery openings collided with fashion week and shows were scattered all over the city this season. How to do it all?  The best bet was to go Dutch.

NY400 honoring the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of New Amsterdam sailed into town (literally) on the replica of The Half Moon.  The voyage, an annual Dutch tradition, retraces Henry Hudson’s Halve Maen (Half Moon) ship’s original 1609 voyage and his discovery of the New Netherland colony, what is modern-day New York City.  NY400 a joint Dutch-American celebration of the shared history between New York City and the City of Amsterdam was planned alongside ongoing special exhibitions at the Museums: In & Out of Amsterdam at MOMA; Amsterdam/New Amsterdam and Dutch Seen both at the City of the Museum of New York; and this past Tuesday The Met unveiled a special exhibition: Vermeer’s Masterpiece, “The Milkmaid” at a morning press preview led by the show’s curator, Walter Liedtke.

Loaned by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, “The Maidservant (Milkmaid)” was last seen in New York at the 1939 World’s Fair.  Five Vermeer paintings in The Met’s permanent collection and works by fellow Dutch masters make for a blockbuster exhibition that gives the viewer a rich insight into Vermeer’s inspirations in creating one of his most famous pictures. The milkmaid, a subject of common genre painting, was taken up by many 17th century Dutch masters but the lustrous simplicity in the way Vermeer handles light, form and composition – the respectful distance he keeps from the subject – makes this small-scale oil on canvas his very own monumental vision.  www.metmuseum.org

The quietude of Vermeer was usurped on Wednesday when The Marine Band Royal Netherland Navy banged it out at the southern tip of Manhattan celebrating the 400th anniversary and the unveiling of The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion at Peter Minuit Plaza.  The Pavilion, a 5,000-square foot permanent structure looks directly toward the harbor where Henry Hudson sailed.  The $2.3 million structure designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio was commissioned by the Battery Park Conservancy and is a gift from the Dutch Government to New York City to honor the Dutch-American pioneers of New Amsterdam.  An ultra-chic curvaceous design of glass and painted white concrete with an electronic LED façade will provide digital information points for visitors touring surrounding neighborhoods.  The structure will officially open in 2010. www.unstudio.com

To applaud the unveiling, Battery Park Conservancy Chair, Bill Rudin with Diana Taylor, Chair of the Hudson River Park Trust co-hosted Battery Gardeners’ Luncheon in the presence of their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands.  Just before lunch, the Princess presented the city with 120,000 flower bulbs – tulipa vvedenskyi Henry Hudson – a beautiful orange tulip to be planted this fall in New York’s five boroughs, Battery Park and Hudson River Park. Guests looked thrilled to find a Dutch terracotta pot and a few of the bulbs in the gift bags. www.ny400.org

On Thursday I hopped the ferry to Governor’s Island where Renny Ramakers co-founder and director of Droog presented Pioneers of Change, a seriously considered exhibition of Dutch design, fashion and architecture on the themes of recycling, regeneration and renewal.  The two-weekend long event curated by Ramakers presents the work of Dutch designers in 11 officer houses on the island.  The standout was seeing designer Christien Meindertsma quietly standing on the porch of House No.03 knitting woolen carpets with 6-foot long needles using wool from different kinds of Dutch sheep. The cable-knit patterns are based on early Dutch fishermen sweaters.  Some of the finished pieces were on display inside the house. On a tour led by Ramakers she summed it up best by saying “doesn’t it feel a bit like The Truman Show,” the 1998 surrealist film by Peter Weir set in New York City. www.pioneersofchange.com

I made it back to Manhattan just in time for the preview of Alix Smith’s solo exhibition States of Union at Morgan Lehman Gallery in Chelsea. Smith’s earlier photographic works have all explored identity and society and in States of Union she explores family portraiture and same sex marriage. She sought out long-term couples and uses visual tropes borrowed from references like the Saturday Evening Post and Old Master portraiture as a way to imbue her images with clues emblematic of security, monogamy and convention.  With a week celebrating the Dutch, I couldn’t help being drawn to “States of Union #2” where a standing woman lowers pearls into the hands of her partner seated at a desk.  Set in a domestic interior against a soft blue background, the picture appears to directly quote Vermeer.  In a conversation with Smith she noted that Vermeer has always been a strong influence in my work – his use of light in particular…but this photograph (“States of Union #2”) is based on the 1910 painting “The New Necklace” by the American painter William McGregor Paxton who was also very much inspired by Vermeer.  Before the 20th century and the popularity of diamonds, pearls were given as engagement gifts so the use of pearls seemed perfect for this project.

The picture is what the 17th century Dutch referred to as a conversation piece and with this new series Smith examines a portrait genre with almost no history of depiction encouraging the current cultural debate around gay marriage.  www.morganlehmangallery.com


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