Ruth Madoff on the Upper East Side; Koons Basketball

Ruth Madoff sports big round eyeglasses and an air of reproach. The wife of Bernie Ebbers looks frightened.

They share wall space with eight other women married to convicted crooks in a work by the Bruce High Quality Foundation arts collective.

Understandably, this is not a happy crowd. Who would want to be remembered as the spouse of Duke Cunningham, who accepted more than $2 million in bribes, or Dennis Kozlowski, the larcenous ex-CEO of Tyco International?

“The Wives” consists of ten large painted-mirror panels and is on view at Acquavella Galleries in a show of emerging artists curated by Vito Schnabel, the painter’s son.

Prices range from $10,000 to $350,000. Through March 27 at 18 E. 79th St.; +1-212-734-6300;

Here are a few more stops on the Upper East Side gallery stroll. Drop in at Sant Ambroeus (1000 Madison Ave. between 77th and 78th Streets), a favorite haunt of the art worlders.

Floating Basketball

1. East 79th Street: Jeff Koons’s Spalding basketball suspended in a tank is among the works at Skarstedt Gallery focused on the 1980s. Also represented are Richard Prince, Jenny Holzer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman and George Condo. Prices range from $200,000 to $4.5 million. Through April 6 at 20 E. 79th St.; +1-212-737-2060;

2. Madison Avenue between 78th & 79th Streets: Check out the nine abstract expressionist works on paper at Van de Weghe Fine Art. There’s a small Arshile Gorky, a Franz Kline and a Jean Dubuffet landscape. Prices range from $55,000 to $525,000 for the Gorky. Through May 24 at 1018 Madison Ave.; +1-212-744-1900;

Rejection Letter

3. Madison Avenue between 76th & 77th streets: Ed Ruscha’s first artist book, “Twentysix Gasoline Stations,” was rejected by the Library of Congress in 1963. A copy of the dismissal letter opens the show “Ed Ruscha Books & Co.,” at Gagosian Gallery. More than 100 artists pay tribute. Prices range from $25 to $175,000 for a complete set of signed first editions. Through April 27 at 980 Madison Ave.; +1-212-744-2313;

4. East 77th Street: Ten works by Italian artist Alberto Burri, a key figure of the Arte Povera movement, fill Luxembourg & Dayan’s beautiful space just off Madison Avenue. The black paintings from 1986-1987, shown for the first time in the U.S., date to the last decade of his life. Prices are around $800,000. Through April 30 at 64 E. 77th St.; +1-212-452-4646;

Frank Stella Drawings

5. East 77th Street: Drawings by Frank Stella spanning the years 1960 to 1975 are on view at Castelli Gallery. They are not for sale. Through April 6 at 18 E. 77th St.; +1-212-249-4470;

6. East 76th Street: Yashua Klos’s collages at Tilton Gallery, which when seen from afar appear to be abstract, are actually portraits of African-American men. Prices range from $2,250 to $24,000. Through March 30 at 8 E. 76th St.; +1-212-737-2221;

7. East 74th Street: In Doug Argue’s 11 abstract paintings at Edelman Arts, letters of English and Greek alphabets are compressed into thin lines and stretched out into swirling configurations. Prices range from $32,500 to $150,000. Through March 30 at 136 E. 74th St.;

8. East 69th Street: Rita Ackermann’s show at Hauser & Wirth includes “Fire by Days,” a series that started by accident: The Hungarian artist spilled some paint and mopped it up with a fire-safety poster. Prices range from $35,000 to $120,000. Through April 20 at 32 E. 69th St.; +1-212-794-4970;

(Lili Rosboch writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are her own.)

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