The New Museum Toasts Christian Marclay at Cipriani Wall Street

The art world invaded Wall Street, for a change, on Wednesday night to toast Christian Marclay and the New Museum at the Bowery institution’s spring gala at Cipriani.

Sometime during the cocktail portion of the evening the weather became dodgy and outside the streams of rain in the gutter ran perpendicular to the streams of swank muckety-mucks who dashed through the door from SUVs (the water running parallel and counter, though, to the haggard-looking businessmen headed to the 2 and 3 trains). The weather seemed to take something out of everyone, since we’d all been used to weather in the 70s, and hit especially hard those who’d flown in from out of town. John Baldessari (6′ 7″) shot straight to his table after arriving, where even seated he still dwarfed all well-wishers.

It was overcast inside too. Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen’s Snarkitecture had installed 44 giant white balloons over the ballroom. At certain times a woman at the corner of the balcony would hang a large number over the railing, which signaled that the person who stood at the base of each balloon’s string should either raise or lower his blimp. It gave the whole thing the feeling of a very slow dynamo. New Museum Associate Director Massimiliano Gioni wandered over to one of the black-clad balloon operators and asked cheerily how strong the rope holding the balloons was (A:”Very strong”).

On the balcony Alex Katz and his wife Ada sat with their backs to the balloons. Other people up there talked about Frieze and what comes after. “I’m ready for things to start winding down,” said an associate director at a gallery in Chelsea, sleepily discussing some relaxed group shows they have planned for the summer.

(All photos courtesy Patrick McMullan)

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