Monday, July 2, 2012

Jill Krementz covers Alighiero Boetti, Part II

Wait staff (lined up according to height) greet arriving guests who were already standing outside the museum waiting for the doors to open at 6:30.
Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan
Reception & Preview of the Exhibition
June 26, 2012
The Museum of Modern Art

As is the custom, there was a special Tuesday night reception for the opening of the Alighiero Boetti exhibition. Hosted by MoMA's director Glenn Lowry with Trustee Chairman Jerry Speyer and President Marie-Josée Kravis, the guest list for the 6:30-7:30 segment was by invitation only. The reception that followed included closer to a thousand lucky invitees (curators lenders, artists, and gallerists). There was an open bar, a DJ, and for the first time ever, caramelized bacon was an added treat.
Carter Foster, curator of drawings at the
Whitney Museum.
Andrea Marescalchi was Boetti's assistant (and good friend) in Rome for the last eleven years of the artist's life.
MoMA's Special Programming and Events assistant Nicholas Ruiz, with Pamela Eisenberg, who is his "boss lady." Paola Zanzo, head of MoMA's special events, with two special events of her own, sons Wyatt and Jedidiah.
MoMA curators Connie Butler (The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings) and Ann Temkin (The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture). Susan Morris, art consultant for the Ford Foundation. "I'm pleased to see the Boetti exhibition—especially to view the inspiration for the Vik Muniz photo Mappa del Mondo, after Alighiero Boetti (Pictures of Pigment)—which we now have on display at the Ford Foundation headquarters.
Guests gather in the Sculpture Garden.
MoMA PS1 Curator Klaus Biesenbach and Lisson Gallery's Alex Logsdal. Lisson Gallery, founded in 1967, was one of a small number of pioneering galleries in the UK, Europe, and the United States to champion a generation of artists who were transforming the way art was made and presented.
Artist Francesco Clemente. Clemente met Boetti in Rome in the early '70s and the artists were very close friends. When Gagosian mounted a Boetti show at his New York Gallery in 2001 Clemente was interviewed by Louise Neri for the catalogue, A Fugue for Alighiero e Boetti.

Boetti, said Clemente, was initially attracted to Afghanistan for all the usual reasons--the cheap travel, narcotics, the Buddhas of Bamiyam, and the towers of Herat, local tradtions like "buzkashi" (a type of polo game) and by the presence of Sufi poets and mystics. But Boetti, recalled Clemente, loved the country "because it was devoid of the cacophony of capitalism."
Artist Pat Steir. Collector Michéle Gerber Klein.

"I never met Boetti but love his twin persona. What I have is a work on paper with stamps and collages from his 1990 entry to the Venice Biennale for which he won an honorable mention. It is called Untitled Swordfish ... reminds me of Hemingway ... and it belonged to Boetti's widow Caterina."
Jerry Otero and his wife Robin Cembalest. Mr. Otero works for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; Ms. Otero is the Executive Editor of ARTnews.
Roberta Smith is one of the chief art crtics for The New York Times. New York Magazine's Jerry Salz.
Andrea Marescalchi and the artist's widow, Caterina Raganelli Boetti.
Jon Lutz and Caterina Raganelli Boetti. Mr. Lutz is the Collections Manager for The Olnick Spanu Collection.
Miguel Quismondo, an architect from Spain, with Caterina Raganelli Boetti. Artist AA Bronson and his partner, architect Mark Jan Krayenhoff van de Leur. Bronson has two group shows coming up, one at SF MoMA and the other at the Walker.
Artist Amy O'Neill with her husband Christophe Cherix (The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books).
Art critic Larry Qualls: "What is most illuminating about the MoMA presentation is the opportunity to see the early work, in which Boetti explored, perfected, and rejected tropes that young MFAs are still struggling to understand 40 years later.

The later pieces, particularly the maps, remind us that we can examine the political in art without the heavy-handed in-your-face pummeling that is the hallmark of most of the stuff churned out in so many theme shows."
Glenn and Susan Lowry.
Christiane Rattemeyer and Glenn Lowry. Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, freelance art curator and editor, is the wife of Christian Rattemeyer.
Lynn Cooke worked on the Boetti show in Madrid and contributed an essay to the catalogue which she also helped edit. David Frankel, MoMa's Editorial Director, designs many of the catalogues for the museum; but he did not do Boetti.
Glenn Lowry, Christian Rattemeyer, and Barbara Gladstone.
Linda Yablonsky writes about art. Judy Auchincloss is with Prudential Douglas Elliman.
The view from above.
Scott Rudd, staff photographer for MoMA.
Janelle Reiring and Louise Lawler. Andrea Marescalchi and art critic Jason Kaufman.
Mark Jan Krayenhoff van de Leur and AA Bronson on the sidewalk in front of MoMA googling the name of a nearby Japanese Restaurant. I was too tired to remember the name of Hatsuhana at 17 East 48th Street so we wandered aimlessly for several blocks before they pooped out and went home in a cab. The spiffy green suit was designed by Ozwald Boateng of Saville Row. The tie is Etro.
Meanwhile, the party continued in the garden at MoMA.
The celebration continued in the garden until 9:30 PM. Boetti seemed to go unnoticed. I hope that MoMA's excellent exhibition will bring this innovative and interesting artist with a poetic idiosynchratic vision the attention he deserves.
Click here for Part I of Alighiero Boetti's "Game Plan" at MoMA ...

Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.
Contact Jill Krementz here.

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