Gallery Hopping: Tonight’s Hottest New York Art Openings

Emil Lukas, Rain, 2013. Paint and ink on canvas over wood frame, 78 x 97 inches.
Emil Lukas, Rain, 2013, paint and ink on canvas over wood frame, 78 x 97 inches.

Emil Lukas experiments with sinuous lines and layers of larvae in Emil Lukas: Thread Paintings and Larvae Paintings, at Sperone Westwater.
Opening reception for the artist tonight from 6-8 p.m.: 257 Bowery
Emil Lukas will be on view through February 22.

Alex Prager, Crowd #9 (Sunset Five), 2013, archival print, 59.5 x 91.85 inches
Alex Prager, Crowd #9 (Sunset Five), 2013, archival print, 59.5 x 91.85 inches.

Alex Prager studies the contradictory emotions of people in Face in the Crowd, at Lehmann Maupin.
Opening reception for the artist tonight from 6-8 p.m., at both NYC locations: 540 West 26th Street and 201 Chrystie Street
Face in the Crowd will be on view through February 22.

Frank Stella, K. 144, 2013, ABS and steel, 76 x 97 x 49 inches
Frank Stella, K. 144, 2013, ABS and steel, 76 x 97 x 49 inches.

Frank Stella plays with technicolor shapes and synesthesia in Frank Stella: Recent Work, at Peter Freeman, Inc.
Opening reception for the artist tonight from 6-8 p.m.: 140 Grand Street
Frank Stella: Recent Work will be on view through February 22.

LXR & Co.: A Vintage Treasure Trove with White Glove Service, in Soho

Salesman and vintage handbag enthusiast, Tinor, with an Hermes Birkin and an Hermes Kelly bag. Photo courtesy of Getty.
Salesman and vintage handbag enthusiast Tinor wears white gloves to show off an Hermes Birkin and an Hermes Kelly bag. Photo courtesy of Getty.

Last night, I attended the opening party for LXR & Co.’s holiday pop-up shop in Soho. While Cory Kennedy played old Blondie hits from a DJ booth and waiters passed around “Birkin Bellinis,” I met some VIPs named Hermès, Chanel, and Louis.  Continue reading “LXR & Co.: A Vintage Treasure Trove with White Glove Service, in Soho”

“Henri Matisse: The Essence of Line” at Marlborough Gallery

Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé, 1932, etching
Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé, an etching made by Matisse in 1932.

The simplest things are often the most difficult to perfect. Henri Matisse once mused, “The effort needed to see things without distortion takes something very like courage; and this courage is essential to the artist, who has to look at everything as though he saw it for the first time…”

Indeed, the artist was courageous in his depictions of life, defying critics who viewed his artwork as being too decorative. As he grew older, Matisse became Continue reading ““Henri Matisse: The Essence of Line” at Marlborough Gallery”

Wedding Style: The Countdown Begins

My wedding is in 8 days!! Here’s a sneak peek of one of my favorite parts of our decor: watercolor table numbers painted by my dad and oyster shell table number holders made by my talented florist and wedding designer, Anne Kilcullen of Blade. I couldn’t be more excited to see how everything comes together on our wedding day.

Momofuku Noodle Bar: Where Comfort Food is Compelling

My fiancé, Alex, and I love going out to eat. But since we got engaged in December, our dinner dates have turned into wedding-planning sessions at home with takeout. Last night, after meeting with potential wedding photographers in Union Square, we walked over to one of our favorite haunts: Momofuku Noodle Bar. Here’s what we ate:

Momofuku’s shiitake bun, perhaps the most comforting, delicious food you will ever eat. Alex polished his off in the 5 seconds it took me to snap this photo.

  Before and After: Alex’s favorite, chilled spicy noodles with sausage, candied cashews, and spinach leaves.

 Before and After: Duck ragu with poblano chiles, cilantro, red onion, and a fried egg, over flat noodles.

Screen Printing with Peter Tunney

Above: Peter Tunney, working with gold paint in his studio on January 19, 2012

Peter Tunney declared tonight at a group visit to his Tribeca studio that he hates to be called a celebrity. “Just call me an artist, because that’s what I really am.” Sorry, Peter, but it’s too late. You’re already famous to us – especially since spending 300 days of your life living at West Chelsea nightclub Crobar.

Although Tunney is a fixture on the art scene, there are apparently some things most of us do not know about him. For example, did you know that he cannot live without Bounty paper towels? “Of course I love Bounty,” he proclaimed at one point, picking up a white roll and flailing it above his head. “It’s the quicker picker upper!” This announcement came while he was screen printing works of art in front of his fascinated guests at his 70 Franklin Street work space. His studio and office are among the cleanest, most organized working environments I have ever stepped foot in – surprising for a man who spends his days hoarding clippings from newspapers and magazines.

Tunney’s enthusiasm for creating art quickly spread through each one of us as we stood around him in rings of his cigar smoke. Tonight he proved to be the antithesis of the stereotypical introverted artist, exuberantly speaking to the group about his work and life without ever taking his eyes away from his task. I should also mention that his studio and office are among the most organized places He is a celebrity, but he is an artist first and foremost.

Above: The beginnings of a screen print, created by Tunney on January 19, 2012

Take a Ride on Carsten Holler’s Double Carousel

imagePhoto by Davide Monteleone / VII. Courtesy of Enel Contemporanea.

As the winner of this year’s Enel Contemporanea Award, Brussels-born artist Carsten Höller has earned the honor of displaying his interactive installation Double Carousel with Zöllner Stripes at MACRO (the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome). The work will be on view from December 2, 2011 through February 26, 2012.

The bright, colorful merry-go-rounds that make up the installation slowly turn in opposite directions, inviting the public to hop on and off as they please. But don’t let the slow movement of the rides fool you – these works are surrounded by walls of criss-crossing lines, or Zöllner Stripes, which create a destabilizing effect on riders by temporarily impairing their perception of space.

Can’t make it to Rome in the next few months? Don’t fret. Carsten Höller: Experience, the artist’s current exhibit at the New Museum in New York, is also very impressive, and closes on January 15.

Giuseppina in South Slope, Brooklyn

Above, the everything pizza at Giuseppina

I read Sam Sifton’s review of Giuseppina in April and have been itching to try the restaurant since. But as a Manhattanite, it’s so much easier to just go to Motorino! I finally drove out there with my boyfriend last night. The experience was even more impressive than I thought it was going to be.

Upon entering, the first thing I noticed about the dimly lit restaurant was that it was extremely clean. Owner and pizza maestro Chris Iacopo (brother of Lucali’s Mark Iacopo) was manning his post at the pristine marble counter before an open, fiery, wood-burning oven. We were seated at the best seat in the house, to the right of the oven and counter, right in front of the action.

The menu at Giuseppina is simple and to the point. Choose between pizza and calzones, and toppings such as beef pepperoni, sweet peppers, hot peppers, portobello mushrooms, fresh garlic, fresh basil, onions, olives, and artichoke hearts. Or you can get a simple white pizza, a veggie pizza, or an everything pizza. We decided to take the plunge and get everything.

Chris got to work making our pizza. With the dough in a perfect circle in front of him, he added tomato sauce. Then, to my excitement, he took a block of mozzarella out of a refrigerator and grated the cheese directly onto the pizza with a box grater. Next to him was a plate of whole peppers and portobello mushrooms which he grated onto the pizza as well! He added the rest of the toppings, then placed the pizza in the oven until the cheese bubbled and the crust became crisp and perfectly charred on the edges. He removed it from the oven, sprinkled it with fragrant sprigs of basil and a very light dusting of parmesan cheese. The pizza looked and smelled so fresh and delicious that I couldn’t wait to take a bite before taking a picture! (See above…)

While we were waiting for our check, Chris came over and introduced himself. A gracious host, he was kind and smiley, and shook our hands as he thanked us for coming. He also advised that we come back and try a calzone sometime. “We make them real good!” he said.

It’s safe to say I have added a new pizza joint to my list of New York favorites. Thanks, Chris!

Giuseppina’s:691 Sixth Avenue (20th Street), South Slope, Brooklyn; (718) 499-5052.

At Christie’s, Raise a Paddle to Support Japan


New York’s auction season is upon us, and you know what that means? Bid, bid, bid! Tomorrow, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art auction will kick off with the Session One sale, which includes new works by Takashi Murakami, Yoshimoto Nara, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons, among others. The proceeds from works sold during the first part of Session One will benefit Murakami’s not-for-profit organization New Day: Artist’s for Japan, an initiative that supports the country’s earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.