Allan McCollum’s replicas of dinosaur bones at the booth of the Friedrich Petzel Gallery had an ironic placement last night, next to a buffet station offering real chicken, swordfish and lamb satay.
The gala preview of the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show, located at the Park Avenue Armory, offered a variety of feasts, from the art at 72 booths to the catering (including sushi in the back) to the people-watching.
J. Tomilson Hill and Byron Wien, vice chairmen of Blackstone Group LP, Peter Kraus, chairman and chief executive of AllianceBernstein LP, and Glenn Fuhrman, co-managing partner and co-founder of MSD Capital LP, perused the aisles. (In celebration of a week filled with art fairs, Fuhrman’s Flag Art Foundation in Chelsea will host a Coolhaus ice-cream truck Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.)
Pete Ruegger, chairman of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, stuck close to the entrance of the fair, mainly to thank people for supporting the Henry Street Settlement (ticket proceeds benefit the Lower East Side social-services agency).
Thomas Tisch, Four Partners managing partner and chancellor of Brown University, looked happy to have found a successor to Ruth Simmons as president of Brown; last week the university named Christina Hull Paxson, dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, to the position.
Collectors Eli Broad and Don Marron matched in gray suits and red ties. Easily the most fashionable man at the fair was Ben Genocchio, editor of Art + Auction, in a vintage Tom Ford- for-Gucci jacket with slightly flared sleeves, embroidered with a design resembling arm tattoos of the Pacific Islands.
Two hours into the preview, David Zwirner had sold out nine abstract paintings by Suzan Frecon at prices ranging from $40,000 to $100,000.
“Pays for dinner,” Zwirner said. “Hopefully we’ll repeat this at the Armory tomorrow.”
(He did. Less than half an hour into the VIP opening of the Armory Show, the Zwirner gallery booth sold all its works.)
Click here for a guide to art fairs taking place this week in New York.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)