Monday, March 12, 2018

Art, Craft, and Design

Snowdrip by a streelamp. 9:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, March 12, 2018. A sunny Sunday, fair and mild with temps reaching the mid-40s, and daylight still with us at 7 p.m. I love Daylight Savings.

At certain times of the year, the Art World becomes the center of social activity. I’m not up on it, have never followed it enough to know when it’s coming. I only know when it has arrived. Last week it seemed to be breaking out and enlivening the social scene, getting people out and about.
Dining al fresco on Fifth.
Last Tuesday night Brian Frasca opened his VFGI townhouse on East 80th Street for a reception hosted by Mary Snow and Lionel von Richthofen for Ati Sedgwick and to preview her paintings curated by Doug Dechert.

The interiors of the VFGI townhouse are adorned with four floors of Lautrecs, Miros, and other major works because it's also the flagship building for VFGI insurance, an international fine art insurance brokerage.
Niki Beel, Richard Johnson, Ati Sedgwick, Lionel von Richthofen, and Mary Snow.
Bryan Frasca and Sarah Johnson-Court.
The evening brought out an interesting mix of art, media and society. The artist's son-in-law, New York Post columnist Richard Johnson attended with his wife Sessa along with Anthony Haden-Guest, who took notes for his own story about the event. The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto could be seen chatting up John Dizard, the brilliant financial commentator for the FT. Around and about the rooms: Jennifer Creel, Susan Gutfreund, Muffie Potter Aston, Mark Gilbertson, Lara Meiland Shaw, Amanda Ross, Claudia Bull, Dorrit Morley, Juliet Longuet, Renee Rockefeller, Omar Hernandez and Whitney StrohKaren Kieselstein-Cord; Gallerists Mark Murray and Andrew Miller, with Bob Turner who was in town from the left coast for the Armory show.
Doug Bechert and Ati Sedgwick.
Last Thursday night, Mia Fonssagrives-Solow’s “Bright Wild Things” opened at Galerie Dumonteil on 475 Park Avenue. The diverse robot animals are reminiscent of spiritual totems (if they were applied culturally in the 21st century), “re-formed and re-imagined for our times. From Meerkats and Baboons to Rabbits and Terriers, the artist translates from all walks of  life through the lens of the industrialized world.”
The opening of “Bright Wild Things” at Galerie Dumonteil.
Ms. Fonssagrives also remains an icon of the cultural revolution of the 1960s when she first came to the fore. She is the children of the creative world of New York and Europe. Her father Fernand Fonssagrives was an important fashion photographer in the 1940s and 1950s. Her mother Lisa Fonssagrives was one of the most important (and familiar to the public eye) photographic models of that era. Lisa Fonssagrives was born and raised in Sweden. When she was old enough she moved to Paris to train as a dancer. There she met Fonssagrives and that meeting led to Lisa’s career as a model. Photographs of her modeling hats were then sent to Vogue (this was in 1936). Horst saw them and immediately wanted to photograph her, and thereafter she had a great career working with Hoyningen-Huene, Man Ray, George Platt Lynes, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn whom she later married.
“Bright Wild Things” is a mystical exhibition of figurative sculptures of diverse root animals in bronze.
Minotaur meets Armadillo at “Bright Wild Things."
Daughter Mia, coming of age in the 1960s, took the town, via Paris, fashion-wise, in partnership with her friend Vicky Tiel creating a fashion business. The two women met at Parsons School of Design, became friends and then business partners. They started not in New York, but in Paris in 1964 introducing their Mia-Vicky mini-dress in a couture show of designer Louis Feraud. It was a sensation. A half century later, the mini is just part of fashion parlance universally. The Mini-Vicky didn’t create it as much as the women’s artistry launched it into the parlance that still exists today. Eugenia Sheppard covering the Feraud show for the The International Herald-Tribune wrote a piece at the time exclaiming that “Anyone in Fashion over 25 might as well be dead.”

In the ensuing years Ms. Fonssagrives-Solow has actively expanded her creative language immeasurably as an artist and sculpture. Her solo exhibition at the Galerie Dumonteil of Bright Wild Things runs through April 30th.
Ms. Fonssagrives with her grandchildren on opening night.
More Art, Craft, and Design. Last week the Museum of Arts and Design's Trustee Joan Hornig hosted a cocktail reception at her home to celebrate the Museum's upcoming annual exhibition and sale, "LOOT: MAD About Jewelry."

“One only needs to travel to 2 Columbus Circle, the home of the Museum of Arts and Design, to experience the most innovative, trend setting jewelry designs and interact with the artists who created them,” said Ms. Hornig to her more than 70 guests.

Joan and George Hornig
“Even better, the annual LOOT pop up event enables one to purchase the pieces which can be enjoyed outside of a museum setting, and add to that this highly anticipated showcase provides critical funds to support the education department of MAD.”

LOOT’s Kick-off event was their largest ever. Guests really got into the spirit of LOOT by wear fabulous jewelry.

During the event LOOT’s Chair Marsy Mittlemann, its Curator Bryna Pomp, and Chairman Emerita Barbara Tober took a few minutes to talk about the upcoming exhibition. "LOOT: MAD About Jewelry" (from April 16 to April 21).  It will feature 35 emerging and established jewelry artists from 15 countries.

Now in its 18th edition, the annual show and sale has become a place where remarkable, unusual, and significant jewelry artists debut in New York. 

During the run, the LOOT Award is presented to luminaries in the field of jewelry, including artists, collectors, and designers. This year’s honorees are Carolee Lee, Loreen Arbus abd Michael and Karen Rotenberg. Previous recipients include Iris Apfel, collector Barbara Berger, Joan Hornig, fashion designer Kay Unger, and artists Joyce Scott and Axel Russmeyer.

The 2018 Opening Benefit takes place on Monday, April 16th. The evening’s events include first access for patrons to meet the artists and acquire their designs; a cocktail reception; and a dinner honoring the Award recipients.
Joan Hornig, Bryna Pomp, Marsy Mittlemann, Carolee Lee, and Karen and Michael Rotenberg
Kathleen Giordano, Katharine Fields, Jill Ryan, Maria Nunes, and Beth Farber
Donald and Barbara Tober Kathy Chazen and Carolee Lee
Andy Langer, Pat Langer, and Stacy Creamer
Michael Rotenberg, Karen Rotenberg, Bryna Pomp, and Marsy Mittlemann
Pamela Workman, Joan Hornig, Patti Dweck, and Michael Dweck
Lauren Lawrence, Edgar Batista, Meriel Lari, Donald Tober, and Sharon Hoge
Katherine Parr, Caroline Coakley, and Barbara Regna

Photographs by Annie Watt (VFGI & MAD)

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