At the start of a new season, as hundreds of galleries throw open their doors on new exhibitions, the New York art world can feel enormous, unwieldy even. But then one finds oneself walking to an opening at Mary Boone’s 57th Street gallery during the early hours of Fashion’s Night Out, and the whole art scene feels rather quaint.
All along Fifth Avenue there were lengthy lines spilling out of stores like Tiffany and Abercrombie. Camera crews and photographers were readying for the night. But The Observer found our way to the former Squibb Building, and we hopped into those speedy elevators to the fourth floor, thinking of that Ruscha painting, Honey…I Twisted Through More Damn Traffic To Get Here.
It was shortly after 6 p.m., and so only a modestly sized group had arrived to see artist Luis Gispert’s luxurious new photographs—big, color-rich prints of car interiors decked out with counterfeit designer fabrics. There is a Lincoln Mark VIII outfitted with bubblegum pink Coach fabric and a BMW emblazoned with Burberry accents.
Peering through the cars’ windows in the photographs, one seems to be floating in the air, looking out over scenic vistas–a flat desert, a glacier. They’re strange and beautiful, though not nearly as trippy as the showstopping film that Mr. Gispert presented at Boone back in 2008. Tucked in a side gallery was a photo of a shirtless black man from the neck down, against a bright white background. It was hanging high on the wall, and visitors were giving it long looks.
We headed down to Chelsea by way of Central Park’s southern edge, avoiding the fashion crowds, but found the West Twenties teeming with people.
At Jack Shainman Gallery, on 20th, revelers were spilling out onto the street after taking a peek at Nick Cave’s show, “Ever After,” which is filled with new examples of the his trademark Soundsuit sculptures. A long row of white and golden hair-draped suits with bunny ears lined the opening gallery. In the back of the gallery there were suits with tuba heads, stitched with waves of silver, gray and black buttons. “It’s very morbid, peaceful and tranquil,” Mr. Cave had told us when we profiled him last month. Agreed.
Mr. Cave, dressed all in back, greeted well-wishers inside the sweltering gallery, posing for one photograph after another. He’d been working at Shainman for the past week, and had already made headway on his second show, called “For Now,” which opens Saturday at Mary Boone’s Chelsea branch. “I’m really, really happy,” Mr. Cave told The Observer. He looked it. “But,” he added quickly, “there’s a little more work to do. Just a little.”