Linda Yablonsky

  • Left: Elizabeth Murray. (© Sydney B. Felsen) Right: Poet Bob Holman and Daisy Murray Holman. (Unless noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary August 30, 2007

    Remembering Murray

    New York

    People at funerals are mourning a death. Memorials are for celebrating a life. Only two weeks after the artist died on August 12, what was billed as Elizabeth Murray Praise Day at the Bowery Poetry Club last Saturday afternoon had the air of both. Over three faintly bizarre hours, the program, underwritten by Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, provided a blend of the poignant and the comic that threatened to bring it closer to a Saturday Night Live skit shredding avant-garde performance practice than an actual art-world remembrance.

    During the free-form portion of the afternoon—most of it—as the

  • Left: Dealer Barbara Gladstone with collector Barbara Jakobson. (Photo: Ryan McNamara) Right: Artist Lydia Lunch. (Photo: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary July 06, 2007

    Banks Holiday

    New York

    Sometimes the most ordinary events can seem historic. Witness the divine convergence of punk and punter last Thursday, when spoken-wordsmith Lydia Lunch performed live in New York for the first time in more than a decade, and Prince of Darkness Banks Violette greeted his opening at both Barbara Gladstone and Team with a disappearing act.

    The call came from the Gladstone gallery about an hour before its doors were to open on Violette’s blue-chip Chelsea solo debut. “Banks is still working on the installation,” Miciah Hussey told me with studied nonchalance. “So the show will open next Friday, but

  • Left: Jeanne Moreau and Miuccia Prada. (Photo: Linda Yablonsky) Right: Curator Ida Gianneli with artist Francesco Vezzoli. (Photo: Ryan McNamara)
    diary June 10, 2007

    Venetian Grind


    Imagine my excitement on Wednesday when I stepped inside the Turkish galleries at the Arsenale and saw an LCD sign of the word COMPLAIN in bright orange letters. Then I saw the rest of the work (by Hüseyin Alptekin), another sign hanging above a large installation of small shacks with IKEA-style interior decor, meant to represent restaurant dining in Tblisi. This sign said DON’T.

    Actually, I had little to complain about. Despite discovering my luggage missing and Wexner Center director Sherri Geldin filling out her own forms at the lost-baggage window on Tuesday afternoon, I was able to retrieve

  • Left: Artist Elizabeth Murray. (Photo: Linda Yablonsky) Right: Dealer Larry Gagosian with artist Richard Serra. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)
    diary June 02, 2007

    Serra, Plain and Tall

    New York

    “Elizabeth Murray tells me that the only way to experience a Richard Serra is from a wheelchair—going thirty miles an hour!” said her husband, the indefatigable Bowery Poetry Club eminence Bob Holman. We chatted during the dinner for 550 artists and patrons attending the Museum of Modern Art’s decorous Tuesday-night preview of “Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years.” This is the retrospective that the oft-criticized Yoshio Tanaguchi building was literally designed to show.

    It was amusing to watch the other architects in attendance—Richard Meier, Richard Gluckman, and Rafael Viñoly, for starters—as

  • Left: Mary Heilmann. (Photo: Carla Rhea) Right: Paul McCarthy. (Photo: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary May 26, 2007

    Hail Mary

    Newport Beach, CA

    Say you are invited to Mary Heilmann’s first traveling retrospective, debuting at the Orange County Museum of Art. Naturally, you want to travel, too. Heilmann is a stunning colorist, modest yet buoyant. Her abstract paintings of cityscapes and seasides exude the force of nature with uncommon delicacy. She may be the most important underrecognized artist in America, and it’s about time she had a museum show in the US. Where better to start than her home state of California? Paul McCarthy will be there. Christopher Williams will be there. So will LA MoCA’s Jeremy Strick and Ann Goldstein and the

  • Left: Artist Francesco Clemente. Right: Fran Lebowitz with Alba Clemente. (Photos: David Velasco)
    diary May 11, 2007

    Band Wagon

    New York

    It’s not easy to turn heads in an art world that demands attention from every possible direction. When as many galleries as possible stage openings on the same night in wildly different parts of town—as happened in pre-auction-week Manhattan last Thursday—craning necks start to feel pain. Where to look first, and at whom? In Chelsea, Marianne Boesky offered two discoveries: a formerly neglected, deceased American Abstract Pop artist, Nicholas Krushenick; and a long, tall, charming Glaswegian named Tony Swain, whose landscape paintings on newsprint were pressed into project-room service at the

  • Left: New Museum chief curator Richard Flood with artist Richard Prince. Right: Collector Dakis Joannou with artist Jeff Koons. (Photos: Patrick McMullan)
    diary April 25, 2007

    Something New

    New York

    The food was awful and the company mixed (from uptown and down-) at Sunday’s Earth Day benefit gala for the New Museum of Contemporary Art. The evening was very nice, as was the setting. Nice weather accompanied 670 friendly guests to the princely precincts of Cipriani 42nd Street, the former bank opposite Grand Central Station. Inflatables, or their approximations, were in the air. Not only did strings of foam pearls resembling round balloons (arranged by Jes Gordon) dangle from a black-and-white fabric canopy two stories above our expensively coiffed heads, but one of the evening’s two guests

  • Left: Artist Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons. Right: Clarissa Dalrymple, artist Adam McEwen, and a friend. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary March 28, 2007

    The Hole Shebang

    New York

    At the Friday-night opening of Carroll Dunham's second solo outing at Gladstone Gallery, the question on everyone's lips was, “Vulva or rectum?” This conundrum derived from Dunham’s rude new paintings of his beloved protagonist, Mr. Penis Nose, in his signature fedora. We didn’t see so much of the famed proboscis—just the business end—in the plainly autoerotic Square Mule, 2007, the sole occupant of one room in the gallery. The canvas shows Mr. Penis Nose bottom up, with his revolver aimed back at his gluteus maximus. The bullet rictus where the rectum would be had the unmistakable aura of labia.

  • Left: Dealer Yvon Lambert, artist Richard Jackson, and Yvon Lambert director Olivier Belot. Right: Marina Abramovic. (Photos: Patrick McMullan)
    diary February 28, 2007

    Gift Rap

    New York

    Ladies and gentlemen: The limited-edition goodie bag has arrived. At least, that's how it seemed on two consecutive party nights last weekend, when after-dinner art swag was nearly as rich as the money behind it.

    First, on Friday night, at the dinner celebrating Franco-American gallerist Yvon Lambert’s capitulation to Chelsea colossalism, wooden-tray-bearing waiters surprised the guests by serving signed and numbered rubber duckies with dessert. The squishy yellow multiple, decked out in a green military helmet and a big paper neck-tag ID, commemorated California artist Richard Jackson’s inaugural

  • Left: Brooke Alderson and New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl. Right: Artist Cindy Sherman with filmmakers Vincent and Shelley Dunn Fremont. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary December 29, 2006

    Roamin' Holiday

    New York

    It’s not a terrorist attack we need to prepare for, it’s a weather event (an art-market cataclysm seems not to be in the offing). For proof, I offer last Thursday, officially the first day of winter in New York and the day I noticed the tulips coming up in my garden. They came up early last year, too, but that was February. Life is so speedy now! So corrupted by pleasure. Take the nights before Christmas: I loved them all.

    I loved seeing Jack Pierson at his Printed Matter book signing on Thursday night, pretending to be superficial in a natty Prada suit while exuding complete sincerity to fans,

  • Left: Keanu Reeves. Right: Yvonne Force Villareal with MoMA curator and P.S. 1 chief curator Klaus Biesenbach. (Photos: Patrick McMullan)
    diary December 10, 2006

    Magic Towel Ride


    As Jaime Frankfurt, art adviser to the stars, told me Thursday afternoon, attempting to put the Art Basel Miami Beach fair in perspective, “It's either the end of the world or it's fabulous!” I wondered whether there was a difference, but I was hoping for fabulous when I headed over to the Sagamore Hotel that evening for a cocktail party launching Yoko Ono's new show on XM Radio. Yoko in full-moon Miami at the same time as Russell Simmons, Narcisco Rodriguez, Calvin Klein, and Jay-Z? Give peace a chance! I had to check it out.

    Yoko was nowhere in sight, nor was anyone else who looked even remotely

  • Left: Frieze's Amanda Sharp, Sarah Watson, and artist Rachel Feinstein. Right: Artist John Currin (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 14, 2006

    Pussy Galore

    New York

    There was an amazing amount of pudenda power on the walls at John Currin’s uptown Gagosian Gallery debut on Saturday night, and plenty on the floor, too—at least judging from the “Victoria's Secret Unplugged” atmosphere in the main room. The art seemed to trigger a concordance of emotional responses in the well-heeled crowd filling the hallways, stairwells, and elevators: admiring (Inez van Lamsweerde), alarmed (Currin’s professorial dad), enraptured (Sean Landers), giddy (Helen Marden), gleeful (Piotr Uklanski), guarded (Rudolf Stingel), effusive (Yvonne Force Villareal), and unfazed (A. M.