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Madison Square Park Conservancy's Mad. Sq. Art Benefit honors Martin Friedman's 60-year career in the arts
From left to right: Adam Glick, Martin Friedman, Debbie Landau. Photo: Ben Gabbe/

NEW YORK, NY.- On Thursday, May 31, more than 300 guests gathered at New York Cityʼs Prince George Ballroom to celebrate Martin Friedmanʼs lifelong commitment to contemporary art and artists. Hosted by the Madison Square Park Conservancy with event chairs Adam D. Weinberg, Agnes Gund, Chuck Close, Toby Devan Lewis, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Mark di Suvero, the evening was a reunion of artists and art world leaders whose lives and work have intersected with Martin throughout his 60-year career from his directorship at the Walker Art Center, to his ongoing role as an influential advisor of the Parkʼs Mad. Sq. Art Committee.

Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner catered by SD26 and celebrated restaurateurs Tony and Marisa May amidst a program of tributes by special guests. Madison Square Park Conservancy President Debbie Landau and Chairman of the Board David Berliner shared remarks, followed by Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art Adam D. Weinberg, artist Claes Oldenburg, Executive Director of the Walker Art Center Olga Viso, artists Frank Stella and Christo, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Richard Koshalek, and artists David Hockney, Chuck Close, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.

The evening also included a special performance by composer Philip Glass who performed Metamorphosis No. 2 as introduced by Kate D. Levin, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. An interactive light installation by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, inspired by the physical heartbeat of its participants, then closed the evening with the participation of the nightʼs honoree, Martin Friedman. One million dollars in proceeds was raised for the Martin Friedman Endowment Fund, established to provide permanent support to Mad. Sq. Art and the newly founded Martin Friedman Curator position.

More than 300 artists, curators, museum directors, philanthropists, and friends and fans of Martin Friedman came together to celebrate this historic occasion, including:

Artists: Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Jennifer Bartlett, Mel Chin, Christo, Chuck Close, Petah Coyne, Richard Deacon, Rachel Feinstein, Teresita Fernandez, Jackie Ferrara, Orly Genger, Jene Highstein, David Hockney, Bryan Hunt, Mel Kendrick, Charles Long, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Claes Oldenburg, Roxy Paine, Martin Puryear, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Alison Saar, Lucas Samaras, Paula Scher, Joel Shapiro, Judith Shea, Cindy Sherman, Pat Steir, Frank Stella, Mark di Suvero, Leo Villareal, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner.

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