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Armory shows attract Beyonce, Solange, Jay-Z, VIPS, Foie Gras
The Mazzoleni Arte Moderna gallery booth displays postwar Italian art at the Armory Show at Pier 92 in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The Armory Show, held at Pier 92 and Pier 94, runs through March 10. Photographer: Katya Kazakina/Bloomberg.

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG).- As wet snow started falling around 11 p.m. yesterday, an art party was just ending at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan with the help of a performer who calls himself Jealous Orgasm.

Clad in leggings with suspenders over his naked torso, he gyrated, twirled and hopped for the crowd.

The Armory Show always attracts its share of nutty entertainers as it spreads out over two piers in the Hudson River and an exhausting number of sites and galleries filled with hundreds of dealers and customers.

It all stops late Sunday when the main players collapse.

“Let’s go to Norwood!” said the fair’s executive director, Noah Horowitz, as Jealous Orgasm was winding down.

Off he went with writer Anthony Haden-Guest and Sebastian Cwilich, president of Artsy, the fair’s online partner.

Access to Norwood, a private club on West 14th Street, is one of the perks the Armory Show offers its VIP clients, along with visits to collectors’ art-filled apartments, private museum tours and a performance by Solange Knowles at the Museum of Modern Art.

“There have been a million parties,” said Alberto Mugrabi, whose family owns one of the largest private Andy Warhol collections in the world. “It becomes too much.”

Exclusive Event
Monday evening brought “Chosen,” an exclusive event organized by Paul Morris, a private art dealer and the Armory Show’s co-founder.

Open only to hand-picked collectors, curators and dealers, it took place at a historic downtown mansion, which housed a $30 million Lucian Freud painting and offered sustenance by Ferran Adria’s brother Albert.

On Tuesday night, Warhol’s $5 million “Mao” paintings and Jean Arp’s totemic $1 million sculpture drew collectors to the Park Avenue Armory during the opening of the Art Show, an annual fair organized by the Art Dealers Association of America.

The event, which raised about $1 million for the Henry Street Settlement, attracted actress Leelee Sobieski, cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder, KKR & Co. co-chairman Henry Kravis, RFR Holding president Aby Rosen, newsprint magnate Peter Brant and Jonathan Tisch, co-chairman of Loews Corp.

Guests gravitated to foie gras macaroons and piled gravlax onto potato chips.

“Oh my god, who is this artist?” a man asked his bejeweled female companion, walking by Pace gallery’s booth, where Kiki Smith’s bronze sculptures of birds, stars and wolves shimmered on pastel-blue walls (and were almost all sold at prices ranging from $35,000 to $150,000). “She should be doing ‘Peter and the Wolf.’”

On Piers
By Wednesday, the proceedings moved to the VIP opening on the piers which drew Tischman Speyer Properties LP Chairman Jerry Speyer, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and filmmaker John Waters.

Later, Richard Fitzburgh, Royal Bank of Canada’s senior vice president of wealth management, hosted a cocktail reception for his clients underneath crystal chandeliers of the St. Regis hotel’s Fontainebleau suite.

“This room is like Versailles,” said Sharon Phair Fortenbaugh, a private dealer at Chowaiki & Co gallery, that stood out among some 200 Armory Show exhibitors.

A block south, MoMA hosted the fair’s opening party in the evening where Jessica Biel paused at Wolfgang Laib’s sprawling confection of buttery yellow pollen sprinkled across the atrium floor. Beyonce and Jay-Z arrived in a Maybach to see Knowles’s steamy performance.

“It’s all about selling art,” said artist Deborah Kass, who attended the Ace Hotel party yesterday. “Everything else supports it.”

Private Viewing
Yesterday, collectors hopped from an opening of the Independent fair in Chelsea to a private viewing of David Zwirner’s new, huge gallery to a dinner hosted by Mana Contemporary, a giant art-storage facility in Jersey City, at the Milk Studios penthouse.

After the main course of pan seared bass and leeks risotto, the evening’s honoree, artist Marina Abramovic, was interviewed by Charlie Rose on a small stage. Another highlight was a live dance performance by eight young members of Armitage Gone! Dance, who twisted and leaped about in beige underwear.

“The best thing I’ve done was staying at home and watching a Mets game,” said an exhausted Mugrabi.

Today's News

March 9, 2013

Exhibition of sculptures, paintings and drawings by William Turnbull opens at Chatsworth

Los Angeles County Museum of Art proposes merging with Museum of Contemporary Art

Warner Bros. donates Hollywood movie artifacts to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Sotheby's London to offer 141 works from the celebrated collection of Dr. Gustav Rau

Middelheim Museum unveils a new addition to its permanent collection by Antony Gormley

First major touring exhibition of Garry Winogrand's work in 25 years debuts at SFMOMA

Major exhibition devoted to Helen Frankenthaler's paintings from the 1950s opens at Gagosian

Sotheby's New York to offer important carpets from The Collection of William A. Clark

Andy Warhol Brillo Box Pouf created by Quinze & Milan; available for pre-sale now

Swiss Institute in New York opens The Web: An immersive installation by Jon Kessler

Frankfurter Kunstverein brings together artists whose work explores different forms of weather

James Cohan Gallery in Shanghai opens group exhibition featuring eight artists from New York

New handbook of California design, 1930-1965: Craftspeople, Designers, Manufacturers

Armory shows attract Beyonce, Solange, Jay-Z, VIPS, Foie Gras

Bonhams to sell contents of Trelissick House, home of many outstanding works of art

Barry Friedman Ltd. presents Wang Wusheng's "Celestial Realm"

Cherry and Martin opens first exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist T. Kelly Mason

Arizona State Museum names new director

Dates announced for Pinta London 2013

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