Spring Awakening

Jeff Koons Puppy on the Greenwich Estate of Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant, Greenwich, CT, April 7, 2011

Spring arrived just in time for the annual Danspace Project Gala on April 26 with an evening of performances honoring Marina Abramovic.   Executive Director Judy Hussie-Taylor opened the gardens of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery to toast the artist whose recent MOMA exhibition The Artist is Present pulled down record-breaking numbers for the Museum with attendance for her three-month endurance challenge totaling 561,471.  Rob Storr introduced the artist who quickly turned the stage over to performers including Trisha Brown Dance Company, Stephen Petronio Dance Company with accompaniment by Rufus Wainwright, Jr. and a spellbinding musical performance by Laurie Anderson.  www.danspaceproject.org

A few nights later at the Stephan Weiss Studio in the West Village Anne Barlow, Executive Director of Art in General greeted guests who immediately high-tailed to the rear of the studio to view DoubleBlind  a unique auction where 10 nominators: Peter Eleey, Yasmil Raymond, Joel Meyer, Jens Hoffmann, Janice Guy, Sean Kelly, Alan Cumming, Dan Cameron, Tanya Bonakdar and Spencer Sweeney selected 10 artists: Jeremy Deller, Shannon Ebner, Scott Foley, Tim Lee, Matt Mullican, Shirin Neshat, David Remfry, Ted Riederer, Thomas Scheibitz and Andrew W.K.  who each photographed a single roll of film that remains undeveloped and unseen.  Like a time capsule, the images will ultimately represent the artist’s singular perspective, one that can only be shared with the single patron who won the bid.  The suspense of it all caused swarms of people to place bids.  The evening was an instant success. www.artingeneral.org

Spring just wouldn’t be spring in New York without the fabulosity Anna Wintour generates for the Met’s Costume Institute Gala, this year paying tribute to the late Alexander McQueen with a retrospective of his work Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty curated by Andrew Boulton.  Harold Koda, Chief of the Costume Institute expressed how “his work fits so easily within the discourse of art,” noting “the retrospective paralleled the aesthetic of its subject more closely than any recent gala—necessitating little, if any, reinterpreting.”  In true McQueen fashion, the event knocked down all museum records raising $10.4 million.  www.metmuseum.org

The David Zwirner Gallery transformed an annex of their West19th Street chain of galleries into a monastic dining room replete with cathedral ceiling for a dinner party to celebrate the preview of Minus Space reductive art, an exhibition of works by Donald Judd drawn from the artist’s seminal 1989 exhibition held at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany.  The exhibition brings together works that comprise one of Judd’s few explorations of color on a large scale using anodized aluminum.  The pieces, mostly borrowed from international public and private collections, reflect the artist’s intended clarity and rigor in its installation.  The serenity was interrupted during cocktails when the bar was stocked with colorful tequila drinks in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo.  Rainer Judd performed a traditional family toast, tossing a drink over her shoulder and a party kicked in. http://www.davidzwirner.com/

The perfect spring afternoon ushered in Josh Smith: The American Dream at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center on the polo grounds of Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant’s Greenwich estate.  An eclectic mix of hipsters, historians, and established and emerging artists huddled under a tent where a Moroccan-inspired buffet of lamb, cous-cous and grilled vegetables was served.  Nearby in a converted barn dating from 1902, home of the BFASC, Smith installed riotous colorful paintings in a succession of rooms over two floors, in some instances from floor to ceiling.  The exhibition thrills with pure artistic energy. http://www.brantfoundation.org/


Spring Awakening