Monday, October 30, 2017

Beauty; something to contemplate

Looking down at TEFAF from the second floor of the Drill Hall in the Park Avenue Armory. 7:10 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, October 30, 2017.  An overcast weekend, mild in the 60s, with a lot of rain moving in on Sunday throughout the day. A perfect autumn weekend with one of those rains that somehow begin the grand finale of the foliage.

I got a glimpse of it yesterday morning when I drove across the 79th Street transverse of Central Park. The ultra-violet rays took over the darkness by highlighting the yellow of the leaves about to fall to the roadside. I see Change of Seasons as Mother Nature’s assurance of Hope. Beauty; something to contemplate.

Over on the West Side, the rain kept the crowds from the farmer’s market that is set up on the Columbus Avenue side of the Museum of Natural History. It kept the booksellers and scarves, caps and gloves purveyors from the front of Zabar's. Inside it was not so busy for a Sunday morning. New Yorkers don’t go out in the rain if they can help it. Just like everybody else.

Kim McCarty at the opening of her latest series of paintings at the Morgan Lehman Gallery.
Last week was another  fill ‘er up on the Calendar. Those of us on the go-around were lucky with the weather. Last Thursday night, Kim McCarty had a opening of her latest series of paintings at the Morgan Lehman Gallery (534 West 24th Street, Chelsea).

There was a big crowd, not surprisingly since Kim, basically a California artist who is very popular all over the world these days. I’ve known her and her art for a long time because of Michael’s – her husband Michael’s restaurant. To this day many of Michael’s clientele are still unaware that amongst the Hockneys, Stellas, et al on the walls of the rooms, are a number of Kim McCartys.

Among the guests: Blythe Danner, Brenda Vaccaro, Joel Grey, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Eric Roth, James Brooks, Brooke Shields, Pamela Fiori, Joanna Cassidy, Martin von Hasselberg, Desiree Gruber, Paige Peterson, Michael Gracias. Afterwards many of the guests and then some adjourned 26 blocks north up to Michael’s on West 55th Street for “bites and drinks.” That first little item “bites” at Michael’s is a feast that can’t stop giving, and of course the drinks are always ready and waiting.

Then on Friday, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted its 2nd Annual Opening Night of TEFAF New York Fall at the Park Avenue Armory.  It was a fund-raising benefit for the The Society’s members and New York’s most notable collectors, philanthropists and leaders in fashion and design.
Outside the Park Avenue Armory for the opening night of TEFAF.
TEFAF New York Fall, which focuses on decorative art and jewellery from antiquity through the early 20th century, is recognized for championing the finest art dealers and experts from around the world, as well as providing the highest quality art fair experience.  TEFAF means The European Fine Art Fair. The Fair is held every March in Maastricht, Netherlands. JH and I have had the pleasure of covering the TEFAF opening there on three different occasions.

I am neither a collector nor a connoisseur of antiques and fine art, so a fair such as this is far outside my ken or bank account. However, as an exhibition, it’s for everybody — a demonstration of man’s ability to create treasures as awesome as the autumn foliage at its height. It is a universal message, that like that of a museum; and again, like the foliage, offers the same assurance; beauty unbound.
Patrick van Maris, Jamee Gregory, Amy Astley, Michael Plummer, Jeff Rabin, and Nanne Dekking.
Dr. Tullia Lindsten and Dr. Craig B. Thompson. Martha Stewart.
Jamee Gregory, Shabnam Henry, Carolina de Neufville, Caryn Zucker, and Elizabeth Singer.
Wilbur Ross and Hilary Geary Ross. Juan Montoya and Urban Karlsson.
Joaquin Serra, Caryn Zucker, Elena Serra, and Shabnam Henry.
Jamee and Peter Gregory. Eleanora Kennedy, Muffy Miller, and Tina Beriro.
Christina Smith, Sean Smith, and Alexia Hamm Ryan.
Taking in the fair. Elena Serra, Yaz Hernandez, and Bettina Zilkha.
The city of Maastricht, it should be added, is a great historical city that in and of itself is a pleasure to experience. The Romans first established it. TEFAF’s revenue, after expenses, goes entirely to charities involved in cancer research funding.

The Opening Night in New York, while not Maastricht, nor as vast (the public space at Maastricht is like a huge airplane hangar fashioned by interior designers, gallerists and antiquaries) is a special affair even for antiques fairs here in New York. The very best of the very best is on display to sell.
Walking through the aisles of TEFAF.
The famous TEFAF flowers.
Proceeds from The Opening Night benefit The Society’s patient care, research and education programs at MSK. More than a thousand guests from the fashion, art, philanthropic and design worlds attended the preview, which was generously underwritten by Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller and sponsored by Natura Bissé. Amy Astley, Architectural Digest’s editor in chief, was this year’s Design Committee Chair; Architectural Digest is the TEFAF media sponsor.
The food at these fairs are always an important element. You'd be surprised who can drop their public appearance to load up on the scrumptious. And why not? We're all the same when it comes to great looking food set before us, and in small bits so you don't feel guilty or greedy. But you can nevertheless help yourself to your heart's desire. Art Fest, the organizers, wanted a variety of good food and drink, and in that spirit support a restaurant, oyster bar, grab & go café, (new) balcony tapas bar, espresso bar and a bar dedicated to Ruinart, the Champagne sponsor.  Canard Inc. the evening's caterer, featured an extensive wine list in many of them, too. The scope and variety of this in the Armory was to uphold the scope and reputation of the Maastricht fair. There were no naysayers crowding around the tables, and who could blame them ...?
The Gravlox station ...
Pulled pork ...
Sushi ...
Dumplings with droppers of hot sauce ...
Shucking oysters on the go.
Among those attending: Martha Stewart, Kevin Sharkey, Juan Montoya, Urban Karlsson, Nanne Dekking, Patrick van Maris, Amory McAndrew, Kitty and Stephen Sherrill, Marigay McKee, Michael Plummer, Jeff Rabin, Fiona Druckenmiller, Amy Astley, Brian Sawyer, Karen Glover, Elizabeth Fuller, Shelley Carr, Marshall Watson, Eric Cohler, Tansa Mermerci, Yosun Reza, Eleanora Kennedy, Muffy Miller, Tina Beriro, Kate Davis, Elizabeth Singer, Daisy Soros, Michael Smith, Dr. Tullia Lindsten and Dr. Craig B. Thompson, Caryn Zucker, Shabnam and Tom Henry, Carolina de Neufville, Ellery Gordon, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Rebecca de Ravenel, Konrad Bernheimer, Hilary Geary and Wilbur Ross, Vicente Wolf, Louise Grunwald, David Kleinberg, Liz and Jeff Peek, Yaz Hernandez, Travis Acquavella, Marcie Pantzer, Amanda Meigher, Grace Meigher, Emilia Saint-Amand, Allison Aston, Madeline Weinrib, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Susan Gutfreund, Liz Gardiner, Christina and Sean Smith, Sara Zilkha, Alan and Sandra Gerry, Joaquin Serra, Elena Serra, Diandra Douglas, Radzy Minski, Adrienne and Gianluigi Vittadini, Carlos Picon, Cornelia Ercklentz, Phillip Thomas, Jamie Niven, Bettina Zilkha, Elisa Davis, Meike Hartelust, Katinka Reiss, Roel Smit, Nicole Miller.

The TEFAF New York Fall show at the Park Avenue Armory runs through this Wednesday. Treat yourself to the leisure of taking it all in.
J. Kugel, Paris.
Lowell Libson Ltd.: Joseph Mallord William Turner, A distant view over Chambéry, from the North, with storm clouds, 1836. Price: $1,300,000. Once owned by Dorothy Payne Whitney.
Agnews, London: Jacob Jordaens, The Serenade or The Ambulant Musicians, painted circa 1640-5. This recently rediscovered late masterpiece has been unknown to scholars for over one hundred years, and is now revealed in public for the first time since 1911. Its provenance can be traced to the 18th century, where it once formed part of the famous collection of Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, which was housed at the Chateau de Malmaison, west of Paris.
Carlo Orsi — Trinity Fine Art, Milan.
Alberto Di Castro, Rome: Night Clock by Giuseppe Campani, Sculpture by Johann Paul Schor; Rome, circa 1670. The metallic globe depicts the 12 constellations.
Caylus, Madrid.
Shapero Rare Books, London.
Daxer & Marschall, Munich: Antonio Chichi, A Cork Model of the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli, Rome c. 1790.
Mullany, London.
Ronald Phillips, London.
Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books, Stalden.
Aronson Antiquairs: One of a Pair of Blue and White Bowl and Cover Flower Vases, Delft, circa 1695.
Vanderven Oriental Art, Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Les Enluminures, New York: A sumptuously decorated copy of the Histoire Ancienne, one of the great historical compilations of the Middle Ages, made for Charles V or a member of his retinue.
The Gallery Perrin, Paris.
Jean-Luc Baroni, London: Portrait of the painter Francesco Raffaello Santoro, Rome 1887.
Richard Green, London: Paul-Cesar Helleu, Madame Helleu sur le Bird, 1899. in 1898 Helleu rented a yacht, the Barbara, to try and give his wife Alice some comfort after a family tragedy. The following year he purchased the Bird. This painting depicts Alice relaxing on the bridge of the Bird.
Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna.
Peter Finer, London.
Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva.
Haboldt-Pictura, Amsterdam.
Moretti Fine Art, London: Donato Creti, Cleopatra dissolving the pearl, 1710s.
Naumann Fine Art, New York: Study for d'Artagnan, a maquette for the monument to Alexandre Dumas. Signed lower left: Gve Doré.
Agnews, London: George Minne, Head of a Man, 1910-13.
Elle Shushan, Philadelphia: Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette sculpted in wax set within dioramas of shell and mica, French, circa 1785.

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