Steve Martin Surprised Guests at The Art Show Gala Preview Last Night

The legendary comedian perused the works on offer alongside the likes of Yvonne Force Villareal and Agnes Gund

Steve Martin

Steve Martin (Photo: Hunter Abrams for BFA).

Art fairs can be exhausting. Shuffling around through the crowds, making sure you see everything, rushing to find the best works before they get scooped up by a competing collector, dealer, etc.  And with just so many of them on the art circuit calendar (Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Frieze London, Frieze New York), gallery goers are starting to experience “fair fatigue.” That’s why Art Dealers Association of America President Adam Sheffer called the organization’s Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory last night the “non-fair art fair.”

Agnes Gund, Craig Starr, Yvonne Force Villareal, Jeffrey Seller

Agnes Gund, Craig Starr, Yvonne Force Villareal, Jeffrey Seller (Photo: Hunter Abrams for BFA).

“You don’t feel this overwhelming need to ‘conquer’ this thing,” he explained. “There’s wonderful food and drink, you can move leisurely from one both to the next. It’s not so overwhelming that you need to do the whole thing and be there first. It’s more about the experience.”

Alexandra Lebenthal, Catherine Boas, Leslie Schulhoff

Alexandra Lebenthal, Katherine Boas, Leslie Schulhoff (Photo: Victor Hugo for Patrick McMullan).

Indeed, the Art Show is less about posing for pictures and aggressive business talk, and more about the love of the game. Plenty of guests were soaking up the experience, with a range of art patrons including Yvonne Force Villareal, Alexandra Lebenthal, Maria Baibakova, Leonard Lauder and Agnes Gund among them. Most surprisingly, legendary comedian Steve Martin also turned up for the festivities. Highlights included Marilyn Minter paintings from Salon 94, some explosively colorful Frank Stella works from Marianne Boesky Gallery, and Martin Puryear sculptures from Matthew Marks Gallery. 

Judy Lauder, Leonard Lauder, Thelma Gold

Judy Lauder, Leonard Lauder, Thelma Gold (Photo: Victor Hugo for Patrick McMullan).

In a side room, however, there was a rare display – archive jewelry and sculptures from Mr. David Yurman. “I learned how to weld in Provincetown in the 1960’s – it was a real beatnik moment, and I just followed my bliss,” said the designer. “Sculpture and jewelry are very much the same. The separation between art and craft means little difference. One adorns the body and the other you bring home to put on your mantel.”

Sarah Arison, David Yurman

Sarah Arison, David Yurman (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for David Yurman)

Mr. Yurman’s sculptures were a delight, and seeing them next to some David Yurman pieces, it was easy to see the evolution of his work from bronze sculptures to fine jewelry. Given the context, however, more than a few fair patrons tried asking how much the sculptures were going for, to which Mr. Yurman’s team politely reminded them that some works just aren’t for sale.

Artwork by David Yurman (Victor Hugo for Patrick McMullan).

Artwork by David Yurman (Victor Hugo for Patrick McMullan). (Photo: Victor Hugo for Patrick McMullan).