Scene Last Night: Ganek at Guggenheim; Jets Owner in the Park

Guggenheim International Gala
Guests make their way to dinner. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Private investor David Ganek, in pin stripes and a yellow tie, made his way up the Guggenheim’s ramp last night with art adviser Sandy Heller.

“It’s hard to look and talk at the same time,” Ganek said, as he paused to view some of the 128 works that Maurizio Cattelan has suspended from the ceiling for his retrospective “All.”

These include a horse and Hitler.

Ganek and Heller found dinner off the third ramp: For the 2011 Guggenheim International Gala, the museum turned all the bays into dining alcoves.

There were 31 tables, set with white tablecloths and white flowers. The white walls were bare.

Anyone starved for color only had to look down: the antipasti plate resembled an artist’s palette with dabs of red pepper and yellow tomatoes. The main course was a beautiful composition of celeriac puree, bronzino, sauteed kale and purple cauliflower.

Before dessert, Cattelan took a long stem from the table and presented it to his dining companion, artist Marilyn Minter.

Every diner had a gift at their place: a Formica matchbox with a little hand pump attached. Mika Rottenberg made her limited-edition “PonytailGirl Matchbox” for the gala.

Inside the mirrored box are three compartments. One is empty, one has matches in it and the third has the head of a ponytailed girl, face down.

“You pump here, and the ponytails move up and down,” Rottenberg said in a tableside demonstration.

Downstairs the museum had started selling $20 MGMT posters to the younger set, arriving for the Young Collectors Council after-party. The band MGMT performed later.

Central Park Conservancy

Central Park lost nearly 1,000 trees two weeks ago when a freak storm hit Manhattan. Last night, nature was cooperative as the Central Park Conservancy held its Autumn in Central Park gala dinner.

A tent with a clear ceiling provided views of auburn, yellow and orange leaves. The interior featured gorgeously autumnal chandeliers and a grove of live trees that will be planted in the park.

The event raised $1.1 million, which is a little more than the amount the park says it will take to clean up storm damage and replace the 1,000 trees lost.

Suzanne Johnson danced all night long while her husband, Jets owner Woody Johnson, talked with friends. The couple had taken a walk in the park together just two days before to enjoy the crisp air and the “buzz of fall,” she said.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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