Linda Yablonsky

  • Left: Cindy Sherman and Chuck Close. Right: Marla Prather, Mickey Straus, and Alexandra Munroe.
    diary August 20, 2005

    Hustle Beach

    Long Island

    It may be only a few golf swings from that height of East Hampton hoity-toitydom, the Maidstone Club, but for much of its sixty-nine years Guild Hall has contented itself with remaining a small-town art space dedicated to the artists in its hood. Of course, when the local talent boasts names like Close, Sherman, Salle, Fischl, Bleckner and Chamberlain, not to mention Pollock, de Kooning, and Rivers, the place may not have to try that hard to be the Little Museum That Could.

    Take last Friday night, when all of the above (minus Pollock, de Kooning and Rivers, that is), joined Dennis Oppenheim, the

  • Left: The Watermill Center with artwork by PaulaGabriela and Os Gemeos. Right: Virginia Coleman and Robert Wilson with a table centerpiece by Susan Miller Smith.
    diary August 07, 2005

    Boys from Brazil

    Long Island

    You can expect to have a good time at a party where the cha-cha shoes are limited-edition Havaianas flip-flops by Vik Muniz, printed with his signature chocolate drizzle. At just $100 a pair, they were among the limited-edition goodies at Robert Wilson's twelfth Annual Watermill Summer Benefit last Saturday. The theme this year was “Brazil.” That meant there were tropical fruit/palm tree centerpieces by Susan Miller Smith on every dinner table, four Brazilian artists in residence, and a hundred pretty-young-thing interns from other parts of the globe—very promising as far as charm and energy

  • Left: Neville Wakefield and Barbara Gladstone. Right: The scene at the opening.
    diary June 27, 2005

    Bridge Line

    New York

    Even Slater Bradley, who is thirty, was feeling old. For many at the Thursday night opening of Neville Wakefield’s “Bridge Freezes Before Road,” the summer group exhibition at Barbara Gladstone, this was the “young, hip show” of the post-Venice/Basel season, the “cool” place to be. And “cool” was the word for the “Greater New York 2005” generation swarming the gallery in low-cut dirndls and pastel shirts. Actually, the recent-MFA-grad crowd provided a neat counterpoint to the soigné middle-agers filling the Whitney the previous night to greet the arrival of Eugenie Tsai's terrific Robert Smithson

  • Left: Chiho Aoshima and Takashi Murakami. Right: Michele Maccarone, Christian Haye, Pilar Tompkins, and Renaud Proch.
    diary June 07, 2005

    Naked and Rude

    Los Angeles

    Friday night, West Hollywood. A Chateau Marmont manager has upgraded Lisa Yuskavage, still in town from her Wednesday dog-and-pony show with Lisa Cholodenko at the Hammer. Whisked from her rear-view room near a noisy elevator, she has now landed a gargantuan, six-room penthouse with a full-size kitchen in lieu of a minibar, ashtrays everywhere (in California!) and a nearly wraparound terrace. When I arrive to visit, the remote-controlled gas fire is roaring, the sun is setting over the hills, and life is rich and strange.

    Saturday afternoon, while touring the galleries in Chinatown, along Wilshire

  • Left: Still from Francesco Vezzoli's Gore Vidal's Caligula. (Photo: Matthias Vriens) Right: Stephen Gyllenhaal and Lisa Cholodenko.
    diary June 03, 2005

    The L.A.-Word

    Los Angeles

    Ever since the obscene $254 million that The Gates brought New York made art tourism the new pornography, I've felt a little funny about traveling to other cities just to visit exhibitions. Of course, I wasn't jumping on a private jet to preview the Venice Biennale or to shop early at Art Basel. I was going to LA to attend the first National Critics Conference. So what if the lead-off speaker was a TV Hall of Famer (All in the Family producer Norman Lear)? The USC/Annenberg School for Communication sponsored the event. Surely I would be safe in the arms of academe.

    Can you hear me laughing?

  • Left: Pattie Lee Becker's puppet show. Middle: Peter Krashes. Right: Linda Ganjian's sculptures.
    diary May 10, 2005

    Outside the Box


    Low expectations have been at least partly responsible for some of my happiest experiences in art, and they didn't let me down on Saturday afternoon when I dropped into Parker's Box, in Williamsburg, for what the invitation had billed as a weekend “international art market.” I expected the sale of something, I guess, but all I found was a bunch of artists sitting around talking at an art fair that was nothing short of soulful. The artist-run gallery has survived on Williamsburg's Grand Street for five years. To celebrate, directors Alun Williams and Allyson Spellacy opened their doors to a

  • Left: Harry Mathews, Lynne Tillman, and Geoffrey O'Brien. Right: Glenn O'Brien (at microphone) and the TV Party Orchestra.
    diary May 02, 2005

    Unquiet Americans

    New York

    The downtown underground resurfaced in Manhattan last Wednesday, though (sigh) only for the night. At 192 Books in Chelsea, the line between fact and fable grew dim as Harry Mathews read the sex scenes from My Life in CIA (Dalkey Archive Press), his new autobiographical novel.

    Mathews, author of Cigarettes and other gems, has been a part-time Parisian for many years—long enough to have been suspected of being an American agent by the French intelligentsia. His new book chronicles his life in the 1970s as a frog version of the unwitting spy in Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana. Arriving at

  • Left: Nancy Spero. Middle: Still from Leon Golub: To the Dogs. Right: Charlie Ahearn and Jane Dickson.
    diary April 21, 2005

    Personal and Political

    New York

    Something unexpected happened in the closing minutes of the memorial for Leon Golub in the Great Hall at Cooper Union last Sunday: Robert Storr, speaking rapidly and with increasing urgency, turned a pointedly secular tribute into an almost evangelical call for art-world solidarity with Golub's viscerally political vision, rousing the standing-room-only gathering to thunderous, cheering applause.

    Golub died last August, at eighty-two. Like his wife of fifty-three years, Nancy Spero, he stuck to his Old Leftie guns throughout his life, expressing his rage against one state machine after another

  • Left: Marc Jacobs, Rachel Feinstein, and Francis. (Photo: Patrick McMullan/PMc) Right: Anna Sui, Tobias Meyer, and Rachel Feinstein.
    diary March 25, 2005

    Old Ladies' Night

    New York

    Throughout the day following the opening of Rachel Feinstein's second solo turn at Marianne Boesky, all anyone wanted to know was who had been there the night before. In fact, there was only one question: Was Marc Jacobs there?

    Yes, Marc Jacobs was there! At the dinner, held at funky El Quijote (in the Chelsea Hotel), he was at the head table with a very glam Anna Sui, who had the ear of Sotheby's Tobias Meyer, who had the eye of art consultant Mark Fletcher, who was at the elbow of collector (and sometime John Currin model) Dianne Wallace, who was opposite Feinstein and Currin, who administered

  • Left: The crowd at Matthew Marks. Right: Larry Gagosian and Damien Hirst. (Photo: Patrick McMullan/PMc)
    diary March 14, 2005

    High and Dry

    New York

    How many of the seemingly thousands of art-world revelers drinking to Damien Hirst on the Lever House terrace Friday night knew that what they were really celebrating was the end of art? At least that’s how it felt on West Twenty-fourth Street, where Gagosian presented Hirst's first show in New York since the former YBA gave up the bottle for more sober pursuits. Like painting. Executed in photo-realist style from pictures in magazines and print ads, the thirty variously sized works on view depicted Hirst's familiar fascinations with soul-killing violence and living death. One painting showed

  • Left: Joan Didion and Eric Fischl. Right: Rirkrit Tiravanija at NYEHAUS.
    diary March 08, 2005

    Mary's and Jesus

    New York

    “Nature abhors a vacuum,” playwright Marsha Norman was saying. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Night Mother was speaking of life in New York, but her observation perfectly characterized both the capacity crowd filling Mary Boone's Chelsea gallery for Eric Fischl's show of new paintings and the sudden plethora of Martin Kippenbergers all around town.

    At Fischl's opening, just about the only empty space was between the many jostling pairs of legs. The artist stayed near the front of the gallery, greeting friends and fellow Boonies (David Salle, Karin Davie, Will Cotton, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders),

  • Left: Kiki, Jane, and Seton Smith. Right: Paolo Carnevale and Barbara Gladstone.
    diary February 09, 2005

    Happy Returns

    New York

    The most radiant face in the art world last Thursday night belonged to Jane Smith, celebrating her ninetieth birthday at her LaGuardia Place loft with a party given by her artist daughters, Kiki and Seton. Before marrying their father, artist Tony Smith, Jane (née Lawrence) was a babe of Broadway. She appeared in the original production of Oklahoma in 1943, eventually taking over the romantic lead, and also modeled for the photographer Edmund Teske (1911–1996); his dreamy black-and-white portraits resurfaced in an exhibition at the Getty last summer, where several images of Jane pointed up her