“Everyone is wearing black,” a reveler remarked at the BOMB magazine gala. “There is still a downtown!”
Truly, the band of bon chic bon genre artists, patrons and gallerists assembled at Capitale Monday evening all appeared in shades of sable. Black jackets, black cocktail dresses, black eye-liner and black ties streamed into the room, punctuated by wan, porcelain faces. The group’s chatter soon reached a dull roar, and guests did their best to shout and drawl simultaneously. “I don’t really think they’re crypto-fascists, do you?” someone asked. We did not catch the subject of her inquiry.
Christened in 1981, BOMB magazine has enjoyed three decades of blessings from artists of both wide and marginal renown, the art world’s papal personae and choir-boys alike. While the full spectrum of BOMB devotees appeared at the gala, the vast majority were noteworthy members of the contemporary art scene. Marina Abramovic, Klaus Biesenbach, Dorothy Lichtenstein and Tim Nye all greeted their coal-clad friends and enjoyed the array of comfort-food canapés.
The materials of Richard Serra’s two enormous new sculptures, currently dominating the Gagosian Gallery on 24th Street, will be recognizable to anyone who knows Mr. Serra’s work. They’re made from curved, continuous steel plates more than thirteen feet high, rusted into shades from powdery orange to Martian mahogany, and marked with what are or appear to be scales, drips, streaks, stretch marks, shadows, calcium deposits, water stains, and lightning bolts. The rust continues so evenly that it’s only the occasional glint of a silvery, unrusted corner that looks like evidence of the human hand. Seen from above, their shapes are also recognizable: Cycle is a triskelion composed of three floppy, interlocking “S”s, which create three roughly circular clearings and three spiraling corridors. Junction, also made of steel plates doubled into corridors, looks more like a pinched, four-pointed star.
Last month The Observer uncovered a fake Richard Serra bathroom recently installed in a Tribeca Penthouse. Well now it looks like an authentic Serra powder room is in the works just a few blocks south, where the renowned mega-sculptor has just expanded his home. Longtime residents of 173 Duane Street, Mr. Serra and his wife Clara have just purchased the third floor of the building, city records show.
The New York art world may be entering uncharted territory.
Why do we think so? Let’s look at the big picture: In June, dealers at the Art Basel fair reported that business was booming. Art, we were told in report after report, was selling as it had in the heady days of 2006 and 2007, when the housing crash and the worldwide economic crisis were merely theories in the heads of a few sharp-eyed economists and canny hedge fund managers.
Last month, the world’s two leading auction houses, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, announced record revenues for the first half of the year, having moved $3.4 billion and $3.2 billion worth of art and other goods, respectively.
Now, for New York: there are, at this moment, more galleries, more artists, more curators and—perhaps most significant—more square footage devoted to art than at any time in the city’s history. The art world has never been wealthier, and that wealth has never been more intensely concentrated.
Richard Serra is best known for his 50-ton steel Torqued Ellipses and site-specific sculptures, yet the intimate retrospective of his drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, organized by the Menil Collection and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, provides perhaps the most illuminating encounter yet with the Mick Jagger of American sculpture.
With Read More
According to city records, premier contemporary art dealer Christophe Van de Weghe, whose Upper East Side gallery–Van de Weghe Fine Art–is one of the leading contemporary galleries in Manhattan (he’s also got one in Chelsea), recently sold his loft at 77 Mercer Street for $2.8 million. Mr. Van de Weghe who, according to Read More
We’ve all seen them: School groups in museums, attended to by their teachers and led by docents who dutifully introduce them to the world of art. This exposure is meant to encourage curiosity in culture and instill a sense of aesthetic awareness. But art is a hard, if not impossible, sell to children: A lot Read More
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been attempting to fit contemporary art within its walls for some time now. The results have been fumbling, if never less than earnest. Acting on the muddled assumption that major reputations are necessarily earned by major art, the curators have devoted valuable space to Thomas Struth, Bill Viola, Tony Read More
Thor is the Viking god of thunder, and he lends an appropriate name to this restaurant/bar/lounge that has opened on the Lower East Side. In fact, the name’s an acronym for The Hotel On Rivington, the narrow, high-rise that stands out of scale with the neighborhood. For the past four years, the building has been Read More
Upon entering Oteiza: Myth and Modernism, an exhibition on display toward the top of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda, you may wonder where the Basque sculptor Jorge Oteiza (1908-2003) has been all your life. Though renowned in Spain—a museum devoted to his work opened in Navarre shortly before his death—his reputation hasn’t traveled much Read More