Linda Yablonsky

  • 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.)

  • Left: Artist Lucy McKenzie. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky) Right: Collector Nicoletta Fiorucci (in red dress) presenting her “Evil Under the Moon” scent. (Photo: Fiorucci Art Trust)
    diary September 05, 2013

    Volcano Lovers

    ART NEVER TAKES A VACATION. It just goes to summer camp. For the past three years, the London-based Fiorucci Art Trust has retreated to Stromboli, the Aeolian island off the coast of Sicily—the one with the active volcano. Every quarter-hour or so, it sends up plumes of fire and smoke. “You can almost set your watch by it,” Trust director Milovan Farronato told me the night I arrived for the closing ceremonies of Volcano Extravaganza 2013, a series of presentations he organized with the Glaswegian, Brussels-based artist Lucy McKenzie.

    Each weekend, from July 29 to August 24, rotating groups of

  • Left: Kanye West. (Photo: David Velasco) Right: Tightrope artist Masha Dmitri and singer Nina Dmitri with dealer Dominique Lévy and clown Kai Leclerc. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary June 17, 2013

    Way Out West

    AT THE JUNE 10 VIP OPENING of Unlimited, it was clear from the jump that this was going to be the biggest Art Basel ever. During the Monday afternoon previews for Unlimited and Design/Miami Basel, people massed on the Messe between the new, stacked, Herzog & de Meuron–designed convention halls, semiprotected from stormy weather by a ballooning aluminum canopy with an oculus to the sky. “We’re calling it the bum-hole,” said Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner. That was no joke. It was an accurate image—and a neat metaphor—for the immersive experience ahead.

    “It’s like a trip without leaving the

  • Left: Dealer Paul Schimmel with artist John Baldessari. Right: Artists Eva Rothschild and Mark Handforth. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary June 12, 2013

    Pool Party

    WOULD THE AMERICANS who went home after Venice return to Europe for Art Basel? That was the elephant in the room among dealers shuttling to Zurich last Saturday for the exhibition openings, symposia, and dinners that made up this year’s Contemporary Art Weekend, the amuse-bouche of the selling feast to come. Yet anyone in Zurich who wasn’t British, Swiss, or German appeared to be from New York, Los Angeles, or Dallas.

    John Baldessari, for example, was celebrating his eightieth birthday with a show of tasty new paintings at Mai 36 Galerie. Fresh from opening their current show at Sean Kelly, Los

  • Left: Artist Richard Mosse. Right: New Museum trustee Toby Devan Lewis with artist Sarah Sze and author Siddhartha Mukherjee. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary June 07, 2013

    Something for Everyone

    IF MASSIMILIANO GIONI’S “Encyclopedic Palace” for the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale was anchored by “a desire to see and know everything,” the lunch that Metro Pictures and Pinocateca Agnelli threw for Cindy Sherman on soggy May 30 signified a desire to see and know everyone.

    Held at the Byzantine-era Palazzo Malipiero—ground zero for a randy eighteenth-century teen named Giacomo Casanova—the buffet attracted enough boldface personalities to do any tenacious aristocrat proud. Yet the palazzo’s current owner, a stiffly coiffed blonde with narrow eyes, was unimpressed by the presence of Gioni and

  • Left: Artists Sarah Sze and Cindy Sherman. Right: Curator Germano Celant. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary June 02, 2013

    Worlds Away

    THE ONLY WAY to negotiate a city built on water is to go with the flow. That was the lesson of Tuesday, May 28—arrival day for the VIPs and art professionals invited to preview the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale for three days before its June 1 opening. First on the agenda: “The Encyclopedic Palace,” the central exhibition organized by Massimiliano Gioni, whose previous shows as chief curator of the New Museum in New York and the Trussardi Foundation in Milan gave many of us reason to expect the best, or at least the most acceptably compromised, Biennale ever.

    Expectations are never a good thing to

  • Left: Artist Francesco Vezzoli and architect Zaha Hadid. Right: Bernardo Bertolucci. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary May 28, 2013

    All That Glitters

    ONE WAY TO THE VENICE BIENNALE is through Rome. A healthy swath of the art tribe took that option last Sunday, when MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, hosted the gala premiere of “Galleria Vezzoli.” It was the first installment of a three-part, multinational career retrospective for Francesco Vezzoli, the Italian artist that many Americans love to hate.

    “Why is that?” asked the dealer Almine Rech, who attended with her husband Bernard Picasso and other longtime Vezzoli supporters in Europe, such as the erstwhile Italian supermodel Mirella Haggiag, the designer and collector Miuccia

  • Left: Gloria Koons (left) with artist Jeff Koons (right) and four of his children. Right: Artists and musicians Brian Eno, Michael Stipe, and David Byrne. (All photo: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary May 16, 2013

    Keeping It Real

    I SOMETIMES WONDER how the guest list for an art event would look if the host did the inviting instead of a publicist. Striking examples of each approach emerged last week during an abundantly social six days in the Frieze New York universe that saw many of the same people crossing paths every day, sometimes more than once. Their overlapping trajectories created the impression of a global high school that had suddenly shrunk to the size of a boot-strapping, high-heeled island obsessed with aesthetics and freighted by money, saved from madness by the appearance of integrity now and then.

    This

  • Left: Dealers Lawrence Luhring and Roland Augustine. Right: FOOD chefs-for-a-day, artist Matthew Day Jackson and SunTek Chung. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary May 12, 2013

    FOOD and Drink

    FRIEZE NEW YORK began this year in a downpour. During its early hours on May 9, it rained art, it rained people, and it just plain rained on Randall’s Island Park, soaking Paul McCarthy’s ginormous balloon dog on the northern side of the slinky white tent. It put a bit of a damper on Matthew Day Jackson’s premier outing as a guest chef for FOOD, Frieze Projects curator Cecilia Alemani’s re-creation of the legendary artist-owned restaurant that galvanized SoHo in 1971. Inside, however, it was clear from the jump that the second American edition of Frieze was in no kind of sophomore slump.

    “It’s

  • Left: Collector Christophe de Menil, artist Marc Quinn, and dealer Mary Boone. Right: Dealer Larry Gagosian. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary May 08, 2013

    Ante Frieze

    THE NEW YORK ART WORLD IS ON FIRE. It’s got spring, it’s got Frieze, it’s got the contemporary auctions. It’s got galleries and artists, and exhibitions opening for seemingly all of them. The only thing it doesn’t have is a night off.

    The match was lit on Thursday, May 2. That evening, Tracey Emin, Philip Taaffe, Jannis Kounellis, Sara VanDerBeek, Tim Hawkinson, Spencer Finch, Anthony Pearson, Carl Palazzolo, Zak Smith, and Alexi Worth all withstood a thousand air-kisses in Chelsea alone.

    At Lehmann Maupin, Emin showed white bronze boxes topped by appealing white bronze animals with sweet nothings

  • Left: Artists Carlos Amorales and Joan Jonas. Right: Dealer Jose Kuri with artist Gabriel Orozco. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary April 19, 2013

    Tequila Sunrise

    NO MATTER WHAT THE HOUR or how gridlocked the traffic, there is always time for everything in Mexico City. During Zona Maco México Arte Contemporáneo, the art fair with the Aztecan skull logo, four-hour lunches and late-night dinners blend yesterday into today and tomorrow while somehow imparting a sense of progress.

    Tuesday, April 9 began this year’s push to festivity with the annual gallery hop through the Polanco, Roma, Condesa, and San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhoods. Due to a late arrival from New York, I missed much of the tour, but caught up with what Dallas collector Christen Wilson

  • Left: Guggenheim Museum deputy director Ari Wiseman and chief curator Nancy Spector. Right: Dealer Marian Goodman and artist Danh Vo. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary March 26, 2013

    Danh Patrol

    THE INVITATION CAME on White House stationery. It was the menu for a three-course dinner, cast in slightly outré terms. On arrival at Marian Goodman’s gallery for the March 20 opening of “Mother Tongue,” Danh Vo’s much anticipated New York debut, there were no tables in evidence, no white-gloved waitstaff, no food. A closer look at the menu, one of several odd artifacts displayed in lighted cases, showed it to be dated November 25, 1963. That was three days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The dinner had never been served.

    An air of melancholy settled in, centering on the battered