For the celebration of an artist as quintessentially L.A. as John Baldessari, one would be hard-pressed to find a night more typically New York City than Wednesday evening. As rain whipped midtown, Baldessari himself debuted his latest show—a series called “Movie Scripts/Art” now on view at Marian Goodman on West Fifty-Seventh Street. Simultaneously, Visionaire cofounders Cecilia Dean and James Kaliardos, in partnership with Samsung, toasted their collaboration with the white-bearded legend on the 64th iteration of their iconoclastic publication in the lobby of the Chrysler Building.
Perhaps because of the building’s iconic appeal—to say nothing of Baldessari’s own draw—the crowd seemed to be entirely comprised of expats in New York. There was Marina Abramović, from Belgrade; Maurizio Cattelan, the New Museum’s Massimiliano Gioni and his wife, the High Line curator Cecilia Alemani of Italy; model Tali Lennox and 12 Years a Slave director and visual artist Steve McQueen, both hailing from London; the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels; MoMA PS1’s German director Klaus Biesenbach; the Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens; and a French delegation comprised of Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Jean Pigozzi, and Constance Jablonski. The late addition of Nicolas Ghesquière, fresh off the plane from the Fondation Louis Vuitton inaugural cocktail in Paris earlier this week, rounded out the group of culturati. It was a good thing that Baldessari’s installation actively encouraged selfie-taking—after all, his Visionaire project was a compilation of painted-over celebrity selfies—otherwise, people might just have been too busy saying hello in a variety of languages to take in the art.
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