The Week in Art: Swizz Beatz at the Brooklyn Museum and the Wild Tribeca Ball

Gala season heats up.

Stiltwalkers at New York Academy of Art’s Tribeca Ball. Courtesy of BFA.

Here’s a rundown of some of this week’s art-scene highlights.

Tribeca Ball at the New York Academy of Art
The New York Academy of Art always knows how to throw a party, and they certainly did not disappoint with this year’s Tribeca Ball, held April 3. In a tribute to honoree Will Cotton, an outlandishly dressed model in ruffled pink greeted guests at the door with sugary-sweet cotton candy.

Martha Stewart was there to support Cotton, a longtime friend, but she also spotted some art that she enjoyed, telling artnet News that she particularly enjoyed the “Animalia” exhibit on the top floor. There, alumni artwork was exhibited alongside live avian models including a spirited African pied crow, posing in their nests for former students ready with sketchbook and easel.

Other celebrity guests in attendance included Brooke Shields and Naomi Watts, both big-time supporters of the academy; Alan Cumming; Donna Karan; and Countess Luann de Lesseps, of The Real Housewives of New York fame, who told artnet News that it her was her first time attending the annual affair.

Following the cocktail hour spent roaming the artist studios, VIPs enjoyed a dinner from chef Daniel Boulud. During the meal, the school announced a new Will Cotton Scholarship fund, for which attendees dutifully donated $55,000. All told, the evening, which welcomed 900 guests, raised $860,000.

Brooklyn Artists’ Ball at the Brooklyn Museum

On April 3, more than 1,200 guests attended the sold-out Brooklyn Artists Ball at the Brooklyn Museum. Luminaries from the art, fashion, finance, and social circuits  flocked to the Museum to celebrate this year’s husband-and-wife honorees, Alicia Keys and trustee Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean.


The dress code was a nod to the year-long museum exhibition, “Infinite Blue,” and while not all of the guests displayed the commitment of photographer Adam Fuss’s cobalt coiffure, Swoon’s Pearly Beauty Shop was set up for an extra dose of glam. Notable attendees included Marilyn Minter, Mickalene Thomas, Dustin Yellin, Hank Willis Thomas, Derrick Adams and KAWS (who hosted the raucous after-dinner dance party).

New Museum 40th Anniversary Spring Gala at Cipriani Wall Street 

The New Museum hosted its 40th anniversary spring gala on April 4, honoring Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili. Museum director Lisa Phillips also gave a salute to Allan Schwartzman, the institution’s first curator, while art collector and incoming New Museum president James Keith Brown toasted Saul Dennison, who has held the role since 1999.

English musician Jacob Banks gave a live performance, and Mick offered an after-dinner DJ set. Guests, dressed to the theme of “trainers and tuxes,” included David Adjaye, George Condo, John Currin and Rachel Feinstein, Simon de Pury, Marcel Dzama, Nicole Eisenman, Renée Fleming, Massimiliano Gioni and Cecilia Alemani, Jeff Koons, Glenn Ligon, Maya Lin, Brice and Helen Marden, Marilyn Minter, Raymond Pettibon, Bill Powers and Cynthia Rowley, Ugo Rondinone, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Michael Stipe, Sarah Sze, Mickalene Thomas, John Waters, and David Zwirner.

Dallas Art Fair Opening Night Gala 

April 6 was the opening night for the ninth edition of the Dallas Art Fair, with roughly 2,000 guests stopping by the Fashion Industry Gallery to see the wares of 95 galleries hailing from 16 countries. Notable attendees included fair co-founder John Sughrue, Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, and collectors Howard Rachofsky, Janelle and Alden Pinnell, and Joyce and Kenny Goss.

As champagne reserves ran dry toward the end of the night, the party moved on to Dallas boutique Forty-Five Ten, where the Ruinart was once again freely flowing. Party goers hit the dance floor, and enjoyed an exhibition of photographs by Juergen Teller.

Art in General Annual Gala at 26 Bridge Street

Art in General held its 2017 Visionary Awards on April 5, honoring curator Xiaoyu Weng, artist Xaviera Simmons, and gallerist Candice Madey of New York’s On Stellar Rays.

The awards were presented by curator and writer Isolde Brielmaier, Prem Krishnamurthy of Project Projects, and artists Ryan Mrozowski and Alix Pearlstein. Paul Chan, Nan Goldin, and Martine Gutierrez were among the artists who contributed works to the silent benefit auction.

Artist Juanli Carrion was responsible for the cocktail hour food and drink, which he personally served up from the cart he designed for a 2017 AiG installation. Restaurant La Esquina handled the seated dinner portion of the evening, and experimental artist Rachel Mason performed at the after party, before DJ Tara Shanahan kicked off the dance party.

New York Foundation for the Arts 2017 Hall of Fame Benefit at 583 Park Avenue

The annual New York Foundation for the Arts’ Hall of Fame Benefit drew a diverse crowd of cultural leaders on April 4, to honor this year’s inductees: sculptor, painter and filmmaker Ida Applebroog; longtime patron of the arts and former president of the DC Board of Education, Peggy Cooper Cafritz; choreographer, dancer, and playwright Christopher d’Amboise; and award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.

The honorees were especially au courant. Applebroog is the focus of an upcoming solo show at Hauser & Wirth in London, and Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat is enjoying its Broadway debut. In their remarks, each mentioned the importance of the NYFA grants in validating their career goals, and supporting their artistic endeavors—Ida Applebroog ended her speech by exclaiming, “we will survive, all of us, and hallelujah we will survive!”

The evening was co-chaired by Elia Alba and Mary Lang, who each sit on NYFA’s Board of Trustees; and speakers included Judith K. Brodsky, board chair, and executive director Michael L. Royce, both of whom underscored the importance of federal arts funding, to which the audience heartily applauded.

ArtTable’s 24th Annual Benefit and Award Ceremony at 583 Park Avenue

On April 6, ArtTable hosted its 24th Benefit luncheon to honor professional women in the arts. Public historian and activist Elizabeth Sackler presented this year’s Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts Award to Lowery Stokes Sims, a founding member of ArtTable who has dedicated over 40 years to the arts across the country, including stints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Museum of Arts and Design.

Sims credited her parents with instilling a profound appreciation for the arts in her at a young age, and echoed the sentiments of keynote speaker Emily K. Rafferty—president emerita of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—who said “the language that is carrying the day is culture.”

Lauren Cornell, curator and associate director of technology at the New Museum, was presented with the New Leadership Award by Sara Raza, last years’ recipient. Cornell ended her speech by thanking her parents, saying, “you always said I was bossy, but apparently I’m just a new leader.”

Nasher Prize Award Gala at Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas 

Down in Texas on April 1, in a foliage-draped tent inspired by his work, Pierre Huyghe was honored at the Nasher Sculpture Center with the 2017 Nasher Prize. Collectors and philanthropists Deedie Rose and Sharon Young introduced the evening—which they co-sponsored with JP Morgan Chase & Co.—alongside Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick.

Over 300 guests attended the ceremony, including artists Piero Golia, Nancy Rubins, and Tom Sachs, along with gallerists, curators, and international art patrons. Following the dinner, Nancy Nasher delivered remarks and conferred the award to Huyghe, presenting him with a Renzo-Piano-designed award-object.

El Museo’s Pre-Gala at Omar’s 

As if an annual gala isn’t enough, El Museo del Barrio celebrated its upcoming fundraiser, set to take place at the Plaza Hotel on May 11, with a warm up party on April 5. The evening was characteristically festive, with food and drink at Omar’s.

Art of the Party at the Pérez Art Museum Miami

The third annual Art of the Party fundraiser took place on April 1 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, attracting over 1,000 art-loving guests. The evening, which raised more than $1.1 million for the museum education program, was presented by Valentino, and honored acclaimed conceptual photographer and painter Lorna Simpson.

The three-tiered party featured an intimate “Chef’s Table” seated dinner, a “Supper Club” lounge, and a “Remix” after party. There was a Julio Le Parc-themed photobooth—inspired by the recent hit exhibition—and dancing late into the night. Museum director Franklin Sirmans played host to hip hop star Usher, tennis star Martina Navratilova, architect David Adjaye, and artists Chuck Close, Glenn Ligon, and Rashid Johnson, among many others.


Jayson Jackson, Jessica Sirmans, Franklin Sirmans, Usher & Jaha Johnson at PAMM Art of the Party presented by Valentino. Photo courtesy of Getty.
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