Monday, February 20, 2017

Jill Krementz covers Julian Lethbridge's solo show

Julian Lethbridge.
Julian Lethbridge
Paula Cooper Gallery
534 West 21st Street
February 16-March 18, 2017

The winds were howling off the Hudson River and the sidewalks remained packed with frozen snow. But still they came for the opening of Julian Lethbridge's solo show of 14 paintings at the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea.

Among the hardy: Julian’s longtime love Anne Bass; artists Cecily Brown, Glenn Ligon, Terry Winters, Sallie Benton, and Laurie Simmons; art critics Roberta Smith, Jerry Saltz, Mark Stevens & Betsy Baker; Gallerists Paul Kasmin & Matthew Marks; and Whitney Chief Curator Scott Rothkopf.  Other guests included Damian Woetzel with his wife Heather Watts, and Poet Jorie Graham.

The exhibition, organized by Paula Cooper and Steven Henry (the gallery's senior director), focuses on Lethbridge’s most recent work created over the last two years.
Steven Henry, Senior Director at Paula Cooper where he has worked for the past 18 years. Mr. Henry, accompanied by Paula Cooper, made multiple studio visits to Julian's New York workplace while organizing this exhbition.
On hand to greet the guests: Jake Ewert, Exhibition Coordinator, Registrar Kristoffer Haynes, and Zach Madrid, Gallery assistant. Zach has recently moved to NYC from Marfa, Texas — a place I want to visit sometime.
Investor Bruce Schnitzer, who is a friend of Julian's.
Betsy Baker, former Editor of Art in America viewing Topside.

Lethbridge, using luminous oil paints and pigment sticks on linen, builds his compositions layer upon layer.

Moira Kelly, an artist who came down from upstate. Behind her, Diode, her favorite painting in the show for which she only had one word ... "Magnificent."
Conley and Meredith Rollins with their sons Copeland (9) and Walton (7). Ms. Rollins is the Editor-in-Chief of Redbook Magazine; she and her husband are among the owners of the White Hart Inn in Salisbury , Connecticut. The painting is Argos.

Anne Bass and Julian Lethbridge.
Jon Chodosh, who has his own commercial real estate brokerage firm.
Gallerist Janice Guy and painter Cecily Brown.
Cecily Brown and Julian Lethbridge, old friends dating back to a shared Rome residency.
Markus Kirschner, a former assistant to Julian, writes screenplays. Markus is now working on the screen adaptation of Dancer, Colum McCann's novel — the story of Rudolf Nureyev as told through the cast of those that knew him. Oscar-winning actress Lee Grant who is looking great at 89. I loved her 2014 memoir, I Said Yes to Everything.

Julian with Dr. David Shaffer. Julian Lethbridge and Anne Bass met in 1993 at a dinner party hosted by Dr. Shaffer and his then wife, Anna Wintour.

"I believe it was a deliberate notion of Anna's and not an accident of that night's placement," recounts Julian.
Nathalie Karg is an art dealer at 291 Grand Street. The painting is titled Counterpoint 2.
Gallerist Paul Kasmin.
Gallery owner Matthew Marks, who is currently exhibiting the work of Vija Celmins.
Pulitzer prize poet Jorie Graham whose new book of poems will be published on April 1st by Ecco Press (HarperCollins).

Jorie's mother, sculptor Beverly Pepper, just celebrated her 94th birthday. I pass by (and enjoy) one of Beverly's installations located at Third Avenue and 49th Street on a daily basis.
Artist Glenn Ligon.
Mr. Ligon in the smaller of the two galleries.
Josh Klausner, Anne Bass's son-in-law, is a film director and screenwriter. He wrote Date Night (starring Tina Fey & Steve Carell) and Shrek Forever After.

Josh Klausner with Scott Rothkopf. Mr. Rothkopf is the Senior Curator at the Whitney Museum where they are preparing for the opening in March of the Whitney Biennial.
Oliver (5) and Matilda (3) Deja. Their mother, Agnes Deja, is a painter. Photographer Todd Eberle.
Designer Bill Katz with his partner, stylist Brian Kim.

Matthew Higgs and his wife, artist Anne Collier (with their dog Olive) greeting Julian. Mr. Higgs is the Director of White Columns, New York City's oldest alternative non-profit space dating back to 1970.

White Columns is known as a showcase for up-and-coming artists, and is primarily devoted to emerging artists who are not affiliated with galleries.
Olive is Shih Tzu/Poodle mix who was adopted from Adoption Rescues. The painting is Argos.
Painter Christian Haub.
Steven Henry multitasking.

In addition to his responsibilities at Paula Cooper, Mr. Henry is on the Board of Directors of the Little Opera Theatre of New York, which will be hosting their gala on Saturday, February 25th celebrating the New York premiere of Carlisle Floyd's "Prince of Players."

Julian Lethbridge, Anne Bass, Glenn Ligon, and Joel Shapiro will be among the guests.

Writer Mark Stevens who is working, with wife, Annalyn Swann, on a biography about Francis Bacon.

I was very sorry to learn that his mother, Polly Kraft, a long-time friend and an artist whose work I love, had died last month.
Artist Terry Winters. Lisa Cooley has recently joined Paula Cooper as a Director.
Damian Woetzel, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, was waiting for his wife Heather Watts who was stuck in traffic on the West Side Highway.

Mr. Woetzel is the Director of The Aspen Institute Arts Program.
Artist & filmmaker Laurie Simmons with designer Richard Pandiscio, who has designed all of Laurie's books. Mr. Pandiscio is known for his branding of big fancy hotels like The Mark.
One more of Laurie Simmons — how can I resist?
The Benton Family: Sallie and Bob with their son John who is a professor at NYU where he teaches a course in emerging media.
Fellow artists Julian and Sallie Benton.

Jack Macrae, who is married to Paula Cooper. Paula went home with the flu at 4:30 after completing the installation of Julian's show.

Jack and Paula own the Chelsea Bookstore — 192 Books — around the corner from the Gallery.

On a personal note, I photographed their wedding album when they got hitched on February 21st, 1987 The reception was at Jennifer Bartlett's Soho loft.

So a happy anniversary to them as they celebrate 30 years together.
Roberta Smith, a chief art critic for The New York Times and her husband Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York Magazine.
8:15 PM: Steven Henry heading into the freezing night after a cozy reception where numerous paintings found new homes.

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