Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I'm just about over "reality" tv. How many times can you watch d-list wannabe socialites who can't sing bicker and gossip?! But since I love art, I am going to give Bravo's new reality show Work of Art a chance. It actually features chic New Yorkers among who are Simon de Pury of Phillips de Pury Auction House; China Chow whose father is Mr. Chow and whose late mother was the super chic model and designer Tina Chow; also gallerist Bill Powers who is married to fashion designer Cynthia Rowley; and art critic Jerry Saltz. Oh, and did I mention that Sarah Jessica Parker is a producer? The person I'm most interested in seeing on camera is the uber stylish gallery owner Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. She started her first gallery Salon94 out of her townhouse on East 94th Street, both spaces are seen here, but has recently opened up two new Salon94 galleries downtown. One is located in Freemans Alley and the other is on Bowery. Jeanne is the only woman in Manhattan who could get dressed in the morning and look appropriate both uptown and down. Not an easy feat!
Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn is not some uptown socialite who one day decided to dabble in art. Her father was an art dealer in St. Louis and their home was a salon for the artists he represented. She traveled with him to art fairs around the world and has a degree in art history.
Photos by Francois Halard for Vogue
When she and her husband, Nicolas Rohatyn, were looking to renovate the townhouse, they turned to Diana Viñoly for the interiors and her husband Rafael Viñoly for the architecture. The stairwell that Rafael designed with its burled walnut veneered panels looks like it could be another sculpture in the space.
The 36-foot long Aubusson rug in the living room on the parlor floor was also designed by Rafael Viñoly and took nine months to produce.
As I mentioned, the home and art gallery share the same space so most of the rooms on the main floors are configured to allow for receptions, artist talks and other events. The photograph is by Wolfgang Tillmans.
This seating arrangement of French furniture from the 1930's and 40's allows for easy conversation during parties. The painting on the left is Decoherence (2001) by Ben Edwards and the one in the center is Dispersion (2002) by Julie Mehretu. The Puppy is of course by Jeff Koons.
The dining room features tables by Maxime Old and mid-century orchestra chairs, as well as paintings by Chris Ofili. The chandelier in the hallway was made from a basketball net by artist David Hammons.
On another wall in the dining room is a censored work by Kara Walker.
The office for the gallery features enviable floor to ceiling bookshelves and more art.
The gallery space is in the back of the townhouse on the ground floor. All of the exhibition spaces have white walls to allow for artwork.
The townhouse once housed an adoption agency but now features a glass curved curtain wall that lets the outside in. I really hope Work of Art is as inspiring as Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn's home! If it is, I might not give up on reality tv after all!