Linda Yablonsky

  • Left: Marrakech Biennale artistic director Alya Sebti with biennale visual arts curator Hicham Khalidi and literature curator Driss Ksikes. Right: Artist Alexander Ponaromev. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary March 31, 2014

    Now and Then

    ON THE EVE of the fifth Marrakech Biennale, I dined with two kings. They are the founding monarchs of Elgaland-Vargaland, an amorphous dominion occupying the border territories between every country in the world—including the virtual. “Every time you travel somewhere,” its website proclaims, “and every time you enter another form, such as the dream state, you visit Elgaland-Vargaland.”

    The kings—Swedish artist-composers Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren— were inaugurating their Moroccan “embassy” that night at the Riad Kantarell, an intimate (no locks) guesthouse located deep within

  • Left: Collector Glenn Fuhrman and dealer Monika Sprüth. Right: Dealers Jay Gorney, Markus Rischgasser, and Eva Presenhuber.
    diary March 14, 2014

    Circle of Life

    EVERYONE SAYS the Armory Show is dreadful. Yet, said dealer Monika Sprüth of Cologne and London, “Everyone’s here. All of the important collectors.” As if on cue, Glenn Fuhrman stopped in, casting a furtive eye around the Sprüth Magers booth, where new, LA-based partner Sarah Watson was doing meets and greets, and hoping to settle soon on a left-coast location. “We always do well here,” said Eva Presenhuber of Zurich. An early, pre–laser printer installation by Urs Fischer held the floor, where new, New York–based partner Jay Gorney was flexing his conceptual muscle and loving it.

    It was Wednesday,

  • Left: Steve Martin with artists T. J. Wilcox and Elizabeth Peyton. Right: Dealer Lorcan O'Neill with Whitney Biennial cocurator Stuart Comer. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary March 07, 2014

    Commercial Flair

    THE COMMERCIAL CONFLAGRATION that is Armory Arts Week always begins with promise. This year—perhaps predictably, given the conservative profile of most art fairs—the nonprofit zone delivered on it first. The appetite whetter was MoMA’s Robert Heinecken retrospective, a revelatory show curated by Eva Respini. It gives overdue, East Coast recognition to the influential Left Coast proto-appropriationist and UCLA photography department founder—an artist’s artist if ever one was.

    The Monday night opening sent paroxysms of pleasure through a photo-centric crowd that included collectors Michael and

  • Left: Dealer Monica Manzutto and artist Adrián Villar Rojas. Right: Curator Patricia Martin, artist Ugo Rondinone, and dealer Barbara Gladstone. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary February 16, 2014

    VIP and Vigor

    ANY ART FAIR worthy of the name has a VIP program. It’s supposed to attract collectors, who mustn’t spend a moment idle, lest they start spending money on something other than art. Staged conversations or lectures further sweeten the pot, along with lunches, dinners, and after-hours parties stocked with plenty of tequila and local color to bring the privileged closer to their roots. They’re all pretty much the same. What’s different is the place—and sometimes the people.

    Zona Maco, the Mexico City art fair that recently completed its eleventh edition, has the drill down pat. That may be because

  • Left: Dealers Lucas Cooper and Paula Cooper. Right: Dealer Gavin Brown and artist Alex Katz. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary January 15, 2014

    Winter Wonderland

    SO OFTEN NOW, everything looks and feels like everything else. Yet the New York art world managed to kick off 2014 with something different, namely Jersey City. On Wednesday, January 8, when a polar vortex had the East Coast in its bone-chilling grip, curious art advisers, collectors, and journalists from Manhattan traveled across the Hudson River to preview current exhibitions at Mana Contemporary.

    “It’s a city of art,” said painter Yigal Ozeri, a founder with Mana chief executive Eugene Lemay, who parlayed success in the moving and fine art–storage business into a vast, two-million-square-foot

  • Left: Artists Louise Lawler and Cindy Sherman. Right: Dealer Jeffrey Deitch and collector Dasha Zukhova. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary December 28, 2013

    Homes for the Holidays

    THE BIG DIFFERENCE between art parties at Christmas and other times is that everyone attending is off duty. Relaxed, fueled by bubbly, anxious at the prospect of separation, and elated by the prospect of same, bedfellows familiar and strange gathered in New York last week for the year’s final revels together.

    Dealer Gordon VeneKlasen brought a personal touch to his holiday cocktail on Tuesday, December 17, by opening his Washington Mews house to inspection by artists, curators, collectors, dealers, and museum directors. With no particular agenda to pursue, most conversations began (and sometimes

  • Left: New Museum director Lisa Phillips, collector Eugenio López, and curator Julie Sylvester. Right: The party for the Museo Jumex. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 25, 2013

    Creative Juices

    MAYBE IT WAS THE ALTITUDE. Or the good weather. Or the exhilarating energy of Mexico City itself. Whatever the reason, the November 16 opening of collector Eugenio López’s Museo Jumex set off a weekend of spirited patronage topped by a drink-all-you-want, dance-till-you-drop blowout. Roll together all the parties at any Miami Basel and it still wouldn’t hold a candle to this one.

    Guests who stopped over in Guadalajara a few days earlier had a taste of the hospitality to come when Silvia Ortiz and Ines López-Quesada opened an outpost for their Travesía Cuatro Gallery in Madrid with a group exhibition

  • Left: Artist Cyprien Gaillard. Right: Artist Yayoi Kusama and dealer David Zwirner. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 14, 2013

    Moments Like These

    EARLY EACH NOVEMBER, the auction houses start trumpeting their fall sales in New York with predictions of prices best described as insane. But hey, what would contemporary art be if it couldn’t be outrageous? Usually, of course, the provocations come from artists. During preauction week, when everyone comes out to play, primary-market dealers turn up the heat to remind us that there wouldn’t be a secondary market without new art—or any kind of art without artists.

    Last Thursday, to mark her debut with his gallery, David Zwirner gave a press conference with the eighty-four-year-old Yayoi Kusama.

  • Left: Singer Florence Welch and fashion designer Sarah Burton. Right: Frieze cofounders Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary October 22, 2013

    More to Love

    IF EVER A PERSON were to overdose on art, London during Frieze Week would be the place and time to do it. From the VIP opening of Frieze Masters last Tuesday afternoon to Sunday’s close of Frieze proper, the city’s galleries, museums, and fairmongers majorly turned it out, offering abundant opportunities for overindulgence in every quarter.

    Off the Regent’s Park campus, the big news was Pablo Flack and David Waddington’s Hoi Polloi. At two weeks old, this serene bistrotheque in the Ace Hotel Shoreditch is already the best art clubhouse since 1980s Odeon in New York, or ’60s Max’s, though it’s

  • Left: Artist Rob Pruitt. Right: Collector Steve Cohen with dealer Monika Sprüth. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary October 16, 2013

    Happy Monday

    FRIEZE LONDON (as opposed to Frieze Masters and Frieze New York) isn’t just an art fair with a split personality. It also has the UK capital itself, splendid museums, and galleries hither and yon. In some ways they are really the hosts of Frieze Week (or the “Frizzes,” as one cab driver put it). On Monday, October 14—ostensibly the week’s “quiet night”—a bunch of them threw out the welcome mat with a round of openings and dinners that brought out the special pleasures and anxieties of living simultaneously in past and present.

    Historically minded visitors with VIP cards could dip into Whistler

  • Left: Dealer Emmanuel Perrotin. Right: Whitney curator Chrissie Iles and artist T.J. Wilcox. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary September 25, 2013

    Family Circus

    HOW MUCH FUN is the New York art world? Lots and lots. You can thrill to spending oodles of cash money on art that will be forgotten by the time your children start wondering why you didn’t spend it on them—or you can partake of the real thing at any given moment and have a ball doing it with your friends.

    Take last week, when the new season didn’t just bring more of the same old. It had new faces, new places, and a new sense of brio that gave this shiny, densely populated town of wealth and ambition a fresh spark of wit and taste, both vulgar and refined, sometimes both at once.

    “Sheep Station”

  • Left: Artist Roe Ethridge. Right: Dealer Stefan Ratibor with artist Nate Lowman. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary September 23, 2013

    The Neverending Story

    THE FRENCH PRIZE DISCRETION so much that they keep excitement to a minimum. The opening week of the Twelfth Biennale de Lyon, at least, was exceedingly decorous, despite the presence of some seventy artists whose work leans more toward the edgy. A telltale sign was a 2002 photograph by Roe Ethridge that gave the whole enterprise a big black eye.

    This image of the artist, who is sporting a bloody shiner, is the most ubiquitous of two by Ethridge that curator Gunnar B. Kvaran chose to brand his international exhibition, “Meanwhile… Suddenly, and Then.” (The biennial also has two regional platforms.)