Wednesday, March 2, 2016

First signs of Spring

Hanging on in Central Park. 2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016. A mild and sunny day in New York. Not heavy overcoat weather with temperatures in the low 40s.

The witch hazel is blooming in Carl Schurz Park. It was visible from a half a block away on Sunday. All of a sudden. It is always the first sign of Spring to me here in the city.
The witch hazel opening up on Sunday in Carl Schurz Park on the corner of Gracie Square and East End Avenue.
I looked it up on the NYSD archive, and see that it is two weeks earlier than last year, and last year’s was two weeks earlier than the year before. According to my calendar, the forsythia will be beginning to blossom (right next to the Witch Hazel) in just about two more weeks. Then comes the pears, and suddenly everything’s beautiful on the neighborhood’s cross streets and along the avenues.

Daylight Savings comes the Saturday after next. All of this is my personal version of Looking Forward rather than Looking Backward. Which can be quite troubling if you follow the news.

Last night there was a benefit preview of  The Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory. This is the 28th year of the show which is produced by the Art Dealers Association of America. AXA is the “Lead Partner” in the show, and the preview benefits Henry Street Settlement. You’ve read about the Henry Street Settlement here. It is one of the New York neighborhood philanthropies that nurtured New York for more than a century – mainly for immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century. These Settlement houses – and I’m thinking also of Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and East Side House Settlement – are all still vibrant and crucial, teeming with activity and participants. This is a large part of the foundation that makes New York the city of the nation. Helping our neighbors and strengthening the community all around. When we do.
The entrance Gallery of the Park Avenue Armory last night for The Art Show benefit preview.
Forsythia and orchids decorate the front staircase.
The crowd inside the Drill Hall.
I got to the Park Avenue Armory about quarter to seven and the great Wade Thompson Drill Hall with 72 different exhibitors was jammed. It’s a bit of a different crowd from the Art and Antiques set. Different but the same. Fashion-wise the look is altered in subtle ways denoting an attitude about oneself. Wealthy collectors often begin to take on the stylistic sensibilities of the collections and the artists who created them. There are a lot of deep pockets looking here and there and if something should catch their eye ...
Her coat was a light white fabric that outlines her black dress underneath. Very chic and
very "artiste."
Craig Fitts and Bruce Shostak, aka Reggie Darling and Boy Fenwick.
Art Advisor Linda Silverman. George Farias and Alexandra Lebenthal.
So there was also excitement in the air. For my eyes, last night, there were a lot of reasons for the excitement. Fabulous pieces, paintings, objects, sculpture. There’s a Frank Stella piece that is 5’ X 16’ or 18’, and it’s sensational; you can’t avoid it and you're lifted by it. In another gallery there’s a large Helen Frankenthaler. Beautiful.  A different style than Stella but also affecting. Then there are the Edward Hoppers, and the Steichen photos of Duseand of William Merritt Chase.
Frank Stella at Marianne Boesky Gallery & Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York, NY.
Helen Frankenthaler at John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
From Debra Force Fine Art, Inc. New York, NY: Edward Hopper, Farm House at Essex, Massachusetts, 1929. $1,600,000.
Edward Hopper's Wellfleet Road, 1931, at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Edward Steichen, Eleonora Duse, 1903, at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs.
Edward Steichen, William Merrit Chase, 1904, at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs.
It’s a great comprehensive look at the art market right now, and what someday -- maybe even next week -- that you’ll see in a museum. The Art Show runs through Sunday.  All the prominent galleries are there showing their best stuff. It’s a pleasure to spend time taking it all in. Give yourself a good couple of hours to take it all in.  Also Looking Forward. So good. 
303 Gallery, New York, NY.
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY.
Tilton Gallery, New York, NY.
Sperone Westwater, New York, NY.
Peter Freeman, Inc. New York, NY.
Menconi + Schoelkopf, New York, NY.
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, IL. Alexander Gray Associates, New York, NY.
Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, NY.
Cheim & Read, New York, NY.
Mnuchin Gallery, New York, NY.
Metro Pictures, New York, NY.
Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY.
Danese/Corey, New York, NY.
Alexander Gray Associates, New York, NY.
Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY.
 

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