26 February 2007 (~10:30 p.m.)
Taboon (at 10th and 52nd – see somebody was actually telling the truth!) feels more like a wine bar than a whiskey bar – but fortunately they serve both. More specifically, they serve Middle Eastern food; and over a plate of truly excellent foccacia bread and hummus, we re-hash the last frenzied minutes of the Armory Show’s closing day. I want to know what the collector has bought; but he’s very cagey about disclosing anything. (Why? Building a secret collection? Has he found an emerging artist whose market he wants to corner or at least control? Most of the artists seen on Pier 94’s precincts are, in one way or another, at least as ‘established’ as they are emerging; and if they haven’t been ‘around’ much before this past week-end, they are now – so the word is out.) I’m guessing that the artist or at least the gallery is French. They’re intrigued by the fact I’m from L.A. (although one guy’s buddy keeps insisting my accent marks me as native to Connecticut – an absurd and painful reminder that I won’t be making it up to Yale to see the newly renovated Louis Kahn galleries); and we chat a bit about a few of the L.A. spaces – China Art Objects (who I think also showed some Mindy Shapero – or was it Anna Helwing), David Kordansky, Angles, Blum & Poe. The chronic logistical nightmare of L.A.’s urban/suburban sprawl is borne out by the fact that this trip has marked my first visit to a Kordansky space. (But it definitely won’t be my last. I can’t wait to see what they show next.) The L.A. chat seems to intersect with what everyone picks out as emerging trends: composite actuality – expressed in both abstract and figurative/representational contexts, a greater coherence among sculptural objects – a transition from a slightly raw bricolage kind of process or presentation to a more seamlessly hybridized object (which also brings up a certain schizziness (or at least ambivalence) about the aesthetic issues relative to these kinds of decisions), narrative, resurgent (though inchoate) feminism; also violence. And I’m reminded again of the Blum & Poe space (17 scary Hoebers and 1 Durant named Sam). It was hard not to be struck by at least one of the ‘storyboard’ type panels in that space – and we all seem to have our favorites. I pick the “Take A Walk Motherfucker” panel – with its deft relation between the Kim Novak/Madeleine French twist (from Hitchcock’s Vertigo) and an astral galaxy or supernova. The collector picks the “arousal/negation”/”elements of conflict “ panels – which we both agree is both hard to look at and hard to pull away from (which of course is the point of the thing: the last panel – “There’s no end. It’s always me!” – sums it up.) The Vertigo reference leads inevitably to movie chat – Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth, Little Miss Sunshine, Academy Award talk; and it’s somewhat disconcerting to learn that the man sitting next to me is David Denby. For some reason he doesn’t look anything like I thought he would – but maybe it’s the whiskey and wine. I couldn’t decide which red I wanted – the merlot or the cabernet, both of which were excellent (and reasonably priced), so of course I had both. I’m deep into a bowl of mussels and the cabernet when I learn that this David Denby is actually the car dealer across from the Pier. (That was his Lincoln that got us here?) I’m tempted to see what kind of a deal I can get on a replacement for my aging Volvo back in Los Angeles – or in my ideal, motorized Manhattan life, perhaps a Jaguar (he recommends the XJ); but all the L.A. chat suddenly alerts me to the “L.A.” event of the evening – the Kelleys, McCarthys and Shaws that are about to go on the block at Rockefeller Center. I look at my cell phone. It’s 7:00 p.m. NOW and I STILL haven’t called Kathleen back. As I go from freeway obliviousness to panic in 60 seconds, I pay the check, pull my coat on and head for the door. I need a Doris Day cab again and the odds are against me.
MORE TO COME (Christie's -- Kelley, McCarthy, etc.)