At 31, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn is probably the youngest art dealer to be a partner in a 57th Street gallery. She’s certainly the youngest partner in the newly formed Lawrence Rubin Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, which opened with an exhibition of paintings by Richard Diebenkorn on Feb. 18 in the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue at 57th Street.
What Ms. Greenberg lacks in age she makes up for in self-confidence. For the gallery’s second show, which is scheduled to open on March 23 and is currently being curated by Ms. Greenberg and Gregory Crewdson, 57th Street will be introduced to a body of work by nine young photographers, mostly nudes in sometimes highly suggestive fictional tableaux.
“I’m sure a lot of people will hate it,” Ms. Greenberg told The Observer about Another Girl, Another Planet , the title that she selected for the exhibition, which is largely by women and about women. “But that will be interesting as well.”
“These are imagined narratives more like fiction rather than something societal or political,” she said of the work in Another Girl . “What they are using to create these kinds of scenes is a documentary-type style. Manipulated, so that while you come across these photographs and think that they are documentary, they are in fact not at all.”
For instance, said Ms. Greenberg, Dana Hoey, who is in the show, “draws pictures of photographs that she imagines in her mind, and then it might take her three months to a year to find that particular scene that she had already drawn on a piece of paper to take the photograph of. They have a vagueness to them that takes a while to absorb because the narratives are loose.”
Another artist, Katy Grannan, “put an ad in the newspaper in Dutchess County and asked for girls from the ages of 18 to 25 to pose for her for $50,” Ms. Greenberg said. “So what happened was that she got a lot of phone calls from these girls and she would go in and show the young girls her portfolio and said whether they wanted to undress or not was up to them. She wanted them to be a part of their own environment.… Katy is from this kind of middle class, so she goes in and sees herself as one of these girls, very much.”
An art adviser who found a Jasper Johns flag painting for the American Embassy in Paris for her father and mother-in-law, Felix and Elizabeth Rohatyn, Ms. Greenberg has one foot on Fifth Avenue, where she works and lives with husband Nicolas Rohatyn, a managing director at J.P. Morgan, and another foot in downtown artists’ studios. As she sees it, she was brought into the staid 57th Street gallery by her father, St. Louis art dealer Ronald Greenberg, to introduce the kind of art that’s not being seen uptown.
Ms. Greenberg hopes to keep introducing shows that are provocative. A graduate of Vassar College who attended the graduate program at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, Ms. Greenberg spends a great deal of her free time looking at art with her husband. “I was looking at the schedule and the schedule had on it Diebenkorn and [Roy] Lichtenstein followed by another historical exhibition,” said Ms. Greenberg. “and I felt that it was too familiar to all of us and that I could bring something newer. They were too focused on the generation that I had grown up with.”
Ms. Greenberg grew up in a rambling old house in St. Louis that she refers to as “that kooky house with a Donald Judd box in the middle of the living room and Andy Warhol Mao wallpaper in the bathroom.” What shocked her parent’s generation does not shock her.
Her first show will also include frontal nudes by Gabriel Brandt, an artist from Las Vegas. “Those are all side-of-the-road romances in his photographs,” Ms. Greenberg said. “He gives the people who stand for him odd things to hold. They are very cryptic. He styles them. Can you imagine styling a naked person? There is not much to do.”
First Wired Gallery
Businessman Edward Carter recently discovered that he owns the world’s largest inventory of Ansel Adams prints. “I have waited for years and years to finally share my collection with the public,” he told a group of 60 guests gathered in a heated tent on his East 47th Street terrace on Feb. 7 for a dinner prepared by David Bouley.
On Feb. 18, Mr. Carter is simultaneously opening the Edward Carter Gallery at 560 Broadway, near Prince Street, and launching its Web site (www.edwardcartergallery.com) in conjunction with Auction Universe, a New York-based firm that oversees Internet bidding on fine art. The site is the first permanent sales effort on the Internet by a gallery. Bidding for a print for Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico , the quintessential Adams, will begin at “something like $15,000,” Mr. Carter said. Another print of the same image fetched over $100,000 at auction last December.
“They are using our gallery to legitimize fine art photography on the Net,” Mr. Carter told The Observer after dinner. “We have designated parts of our inventory which will only be available on line. Individual people in the past have auctioned individual pieces. This is the first time a whole association of two entities has done so.”
He has also aligned himself with Mary Street Alinder, Adams’ biographer and the foremost expert on the photographer. He toasted her, and gave guests signed copies of her 1985 book, Ansel Adams: A Biography , as door prizes.
“The photography field just keeps booming,” said Daile Kaplan, a vice president and director of photography at Swann Galleries Inc., one of the main auction outlets for photography. “Every year, two new photography galleries open and none of them ever close.”
Looking around Mr. Carter’s penthouse living room, Ms. Kaplan spotted the vintage print of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico , hanging over the pine mantel. Aside from her and Henry Buhl, president of the SoHo partnership and an old friend of Mr. Carter’s, there were not many art-world groupies. In the crowd were screenwriter Susan Seidelman and her husband, screenwriter Jonathan Brett.
Also there was Mr. Carter’s old friend James Berman, who designed the gallery based on the design of his own Web site. (Mr. Berman is best known for his design of 600 Citibank cash-machine branches, in 51 countries, with touch-sensitive screens.) Instead of the usual chalk white walls and polished wood floors, the walls of the Carter gallery are covered with charcoal gray and chocolate brown flannel, with gray industrial carpet on the floor. Classical music is piped in over the sound system. A computer terminal displays the Web site. The choice of dark colors for the walls reflects Ansel Adams’ preferred way of displaying his black-and-white photographs. The gallery will show works by other photographers, but there will be one room designated for Adams.
Mr. Berman said he met Mr. Carter at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, N.Y. Mr. Carter landed there after being kicked out of the Hotchkiss School because he spent too much time in the darkroom.
One of those people who seem to reinvent themselves every decade or so, Mr. Carter, 58, has developed a life insurance company, owned a luxury resort and published an Internet travel magazine. In 1980, he turned his family’s Adirondack camp in Upper Saranac Lake, N.Y., the Point, into a luxury resort that is currently tied for first place in the Zagat guide to American inns.
Now he considers himself to be riding the wave of the future, and hopes to open more wired galleries in cities like Tokyo and Buenos Aires. He is bullish about promoting the future of photography to beginner art collectors.
“If you get a million-dollar bonus on Wall Street, which a lot of these guys do, they can’t go out and buy a great Picasso,” Mr. Carter said. “The whole art world has gone out of almost everybody’s reach, except, thank goodness, photography.”
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