Linda Yablonsky

  • 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

  • Left: Dealer Roland Augustine with collector Ann Tenenbaum. Right: Dealer James Cohan. (All photo: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary March 09, 2013

    Steppin’ Up

    MARK TUESDAY, MARCH 5, AS A RARE ONE. On that evening, the gala preview of the Art Dealers Association of America’s fiftieth anniversary Art Show achieved a heretofore unimagined peak by delighting everyone present, be they one of the Tisches, Lauders, Rockefellers, Mugrabis, or DeWoodys swarming the Park Avenue Armory; a museum personage (Glenn Lowry, Adam Weinberg, Richard Armstrong, Arnold Lehman); or an actual artist (Kiki Smith, Jannis Kounellis, John Newman, Pat Steir).

    Not one of the seventy-two intimate booths was a dud. From the Mitchell-Innes & Nash display of museum-worthy Jean Arp

  • Left: Lena Dunham and artist Laurie Simmons. Right: Jewish Museum director Claudia Gould with Dr. Mark Epstein. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary March 05, 2013

    Crown Jewels

    BECAUSE THE PRINCELY FIGURES in the art world are easy to identify, no one ever asks, “Who wears the crown?” Yet that was the tag line for the Jewish Museum’s February 27 Purim Ball at the Park Avenue Armory. The answer was just as clear: None needed, when the power (and the fun) is shared.

    Guests were asked to wear masks, tiaras, or crowns, but most of the nearly nine hundred who paid for tickets simply let down their hair to don festive dress and jewels. “I think we’re the only ones who followed the instructions,” said artist Izhar Patkin, whose royal headgear was vintage Vivienne Westwood.

  • Left: Artists Angel Otero and Jack Whitten. Right: Isolde Brielmaier, chief curator of the Savannah College of Art and Design, with Kathryn Kanjo, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary February 27, 2013

    deFINE Success

    SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, MAY BE BEST KNOWN as a crime scene—and what environment could be more hospitable to art? The society murder that inspired Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil took place in just one of this port city’s historic homes. The Savannah College of Art and Design has gone the book and film several times better by absorbing and restoring almost eighty buildings, each with a story of its own.

    Several came into focus last week during SCAD’s fourth annual deFINE ART, a supremely well-organized festival of exhibitions, performances, and talks. The most impressive venue was the school’s

  • Left: Artists Richard Phillips and Josephine Meckseper. Right: Writer Randy Kennedy and artist Ragnar Kjartansson. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary February 11, 2013

    The Big Chill

    WINTER IS SLEEPYTIME IN NEW YORK. It’s cold. People hibernate. They’re saving themselves for Armory Week. Whatever the explanation, over the past couple of weeks, the art activity meter dipped as low as the biting temperatures. “What’s going on?” people asked, wondering at the general malaise blanketing the scene. Luckily, cabin fever also set in, bringing the loyal and the hardy with light social calendars and heavy overcoats to the isolated events on tap.

    Take the odd assortment of collectors, artists, fashion writers, and sports car enthusiasts attending the January 29th dinner that The

  • Left: Dealer Andrea Rosen (right). Right: Artist Zoe Leonard and Artists Space curator Richard Birkett. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary January 14, 2013

    Fits and Starts

    WHEN THE 2013 NEW YORK ART SEASON began last weekend, anyone seeking more bang for the buck must have felt shortchanged. Oh, the art was nice, the people were nice, and so were the parties. But it made the future look like a rolled napkin at an empty seat at the table.

    Here was the art world that money has wrought: polished without any spit. Was 2012 so oppressive that few among us are interested in taking a leap? Following the shock of Hurricane Sandy, it may be only natural to resist throwing caution to the winds. Some dealers were happy just to reopen their doors. Others may have been attempting

  • Left: A view of  “Relâche – The Party.” Right: Yvette Mattern's Global Rainbow, After the Storm. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary December 05, 2012

    Rainbow Connection

    AT 8 PM last Tuesday, I was in a taxi moving through a light rain to the Standard Hotel. Suddenly, the sky lit up. “What’s that?” said the startled driver. “A rainbow?” It was. A rainbow in the dark—namely Global Rainbow, After the Storm, a public artwork made of laser beams by Yvette Mattern, an American artist who lives in Berlin. For three nights, it would shoot thirty miles from the roof of the Standard across Manhattan to the parts of Brooklyn devastated by Hurricane Sandy. “Beautiful,” the driver said.

    At the Standard, the Art Production Fund, which facilitated the installation, was toasting

  • Left: Artist James Turrell and composer Philip Glass. Right: The Hacienda Ochil amphitheater. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary December 03, 2012

    Full Cycle

    THIS WAS ALWAYS supposed to be a big year. The ancient Mayans pegged it as the last gasp of “Baktun 13,” a 144,000-day planetary cycle that will reach its pinnacle on December 21, the winter solstice. Interpreters of Nostradamus, who studied the Mayan calendar, predict that date will bring the end of the world. Don’t hold your breath.

    In the Yucatán peninsula, where December 21 means a fresh start, Baktun 13 is also shorthand for the Fund for the Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of Mayan Villages. Founded by preservationist Claudia Madrazo de Hernández to restore Mayan culture and provide

  • Left: Dealer David Zwirner and artist Lisa Yuskavage. Right: Dealer James Cohan. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 14, 2012

    New York Groove

    NEW YORKERS LIKE to say they’re tough. They have to be. Some say that’s why big stuff happens there—because the citizens can take it. And come out better for it.

    Consider the humbled art dealers of Chelsea. Just a week after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc throughout the neighborhood, several were ready to open their doors again. They were the lucky ones: Matthew Marks and David Zwirner, who had the resources to speed recovery, and those above street level or outside the flood zone, who just had to wait for electricity to be restored.

    The Drawing Center was in the latter group, and the first to put

  • Left: Artist Doug Aitken and LUMA Foundation founder Maja Hoffmann. Right: Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 12, 2012

    Before the Deluge

    IN MID-OCTOBER, after head-in-the-sand weeks spent at multiple art fairs, it felt natural to seek a little R&R in the country. For me, that country was France—specifically the south of France, and the Provençal city of Arles. I arrived just ahead of other refugees from Frieze London and FIAC, for an October 20th performance by Terry Riley premiering Doug Aitken’s Altered Earth: Arles, City of Moving Images, a gift to the town from collector Maja Hoffmann’s LUMA Foundation.

    The following Saturday night, still exhilarated by this experience of art, music, and patronage, the Los Angeles County Museum

  • Left: Sweeping the water out of Gagosian Gallery, West Twenty-First Street, where a Henry Moore sculpture show was partially installed before Sandy. Right: Soaked and oxidizing Carl Andre plates drying on the sidewalk in front of Paula Cooper Gallery. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 01, 2012

    After the Flood

    THE NEW YORK art business has been a speeding train for so long that it began to seem as if nothing could stop it, or even slow it down. Then came Hurricane Sandy.

    Sandy did it. Knocked out all the power in Lower Manhattan, where most galleries are concentrated. Those in Chelsea took the biggest hit. They didn’t just lose power. Some dealers may lose their galleries as well.

    It started on the night of Monday, October 29. At the peak of the storm, the Hudson River breached its banks and surged through Chelsea Piers, sending an extraordinarily powerful, twelve-foot flume of water down every street

  • Left: Artists Dinos Chapman and Tracey Emin. Right: Frieze cofounder Amanda Sharp with Frieze Masters director Victoria Siddall. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary October 16, 2012

    Hang Ten

    AT THE AGE OF TEN, the Frieze Art Fair has spawned two progeny. The New York offspring, born last May, offered the same looks-like-art collectibles as the London original, but housed them in a better tent. Last Tuesday, the art stork arrived home in Regents Park with a refined historical sibling, Frieze Masters, promising to connect ancient and modern under a single roof.

    Having pretty much vanquished the Armory Show—and absorbed the lessons of New York—Frieze cofounders Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp appeared to many to be pulling a Maastricht. The new fair, directed by Victoria Siddall, put