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Can Eric Adams’s New York Finally Make “Art Week” Happen?

As it happens Adams had taken a little jaunt out of town after his after-party appearances. On Tuesday, he flew to Los Angeles, where he took in Dave Chappelle‘s fateful show at the Hollywood Bowl and attended a black-tie event at the mansion that onetime “homeless billionaire” Nicholas Berggruen bought for $63.1 million last year. Berggruen, who recently snapped up multiple palazzos in Venice, was hosting a party for his annual namesake prize at the estate, once owned by newsprint baron William Randolph Hearst. Adams was there alongside California governor Gavin Newsom, The biggest Eric Garcetti; Beck; Elon Musk‘s mom, May; collector Elaine Wynn; artists Alex Israel and Sterling Ruby; the novelist Siri Hustvedt; snap billionaire Evan Spigel and his wife, Miranda Kerr; plus, also straight from the Met Gala, Wendi Deng Murdoch. Adams’s flight home on Thursday was delayed and he had to scrap most of his public schedule in New York for the day. Still, per city and state, I planned to attend the New York City Ballet’s spring gala that night.

While we had him on email, we couldn’t pass up the chance to ask about a little bit of art news from city hall this week. On Tuesday, word broke that Adams had appointed Scott Sartiano—the founder of Zero Bond—as his representative to the board of the Met, one of the most sought-after seats of philanthropic power on the planet. It came as a bit of a surprise for some observers in the art world that a guy who founded a water-park-themed bottle-service club called Spa might now be going to acquisitions meetings with John Pritzker, Samantha Boardman, and Tom Hill.

To Adams, the appointment makes perfect sense.

“Transformative, bold ideas come when you bring diverse ideas to the table. I look forward to seeing a fresh perspective on New York’s high art society,” Adams told me.

While the mayor was out of town, his cultural commissioner, Laurie Kumbo, was around to chat, and got on the phone just days after her fiancé got down on one knee and proposed to her as they walked the carpet to the Met Gala, with the whole world watching. (“When he fell to his knees, I thought he died at first!” Cumbo told me.) She caught True Colors on the phone while we were stalking the aisles at TEFAF. She was in the office, but she said she planned to hit up as many events this week as she could. She had just been to the Whitney Biennial—Cumbo was a big fan of the open hang, with amorphous walls on the lower light-filled floor—and she was heading to check out shows at the Drawing Center later this week.

“I A.M the visual arts in New York—this is in my blood,” she said. “With the art fairs that are happening, it’s going to show the city and the world we’re not just bringing New York back, we’re bringing New York forward.”

There certainly was a lot going on. On Wednesday openings lit up Chelsea, and Lisson Gallery hosted a dinner at the Odeon to celebrate openings for Carmen Herrera and Bernard Pifferetti. A few blocks north, Gladstone Gallery had taken over the newest of the established New York art boîtes—Café Altro Paradiso, the site of perhaps a half dozen different dinners this week. Barbara Gladstone and crew had scored a monumental show of rarely seen work by the American legend Robert Rauschenberg.

While sadly Rauschenberg, who would have been 97 this year, was not around to see the show, his son, Chris, gave a rousing toast to all the artists who did show up to honor his father’s legacy, including Ugo Rondinone, Wade Guyton, Mel Bochner, Leigh Ledare, Precious Okoyomon, Gedi Sibony, and matthew barney, who let slip that the show-stopping performance he unveiled at the Schaulager in Basel in 2021 was coming to the Park Avenue Armory, gunshots and all, next year

“It’s going to be totally different than it was in Basel—can you imagine, the shooting performance in the Park Avenue Armory?” I have said

On Thursday, down by the river at Basketball City on Pier 36, was NADA, the scruffy fair that draws dealers with spaces in the downtowns of many global cities, and first thing in the morning, big-shot advisers such as Lisa Schiff and the collector Josh Abraham were crawling around snapping up works. Among the booths was a gallery from, of all places, Moscow, its booth manned by two vehemently anti-Putin art dealers, trying to sell a not-so-subtle painting of the Russian president in a coffin.


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