Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas with his impressive  installation made of clay. Photo ©


NEW YORK - On Tuesday night, I attended the preview of The Ungovernables, the second edition of the New Museum’s Triennial, which is devoted to emerging artists around the world who are shaping the current discourse of contemporary art.  With blood orange Milagro margaritas in hand, we had a walkthrough with curator Eungie Joo, the Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, who joked that she was asked to be on the team for the exhibition, and found herself in charge. I think she did a fantastic job.

Left: London-based Lynette Yiadom-Boakye in front of one of her paintings. Photo © Right: Payam Sharifi  and I hang out on one of the exhibition’s most popular artworks, PrayWay, by the Eurasian collective Slavs and Tatars, which Payam co-founded. Photo ©


The standouts for me included Dahn Vo, whose We the People is an abstract installation of curved copper elements, meant to replicate elements of the Statue of Liberty. The idea came to him when he learned that the skin of this quintessential New York monument is only as thick as two pennies. I was also taken with Julia Dault’s Untitled 17 (11:00 am – 4:00 pm, January 20, 2011), a temporal sculpture of bent Formica and plastic pieces, held together with Everlast body wraps, and with Lynette  Yiadom-Boakye’s  extraordinarily powerful paintings, which have the bravura quality of the best of Manet and Goya. I thought Adrián Villar Rojas’s work was among the best I saw at last summer’s Venice Biennale, and was happy to find him represented here with the site-specific monumental clay sculpture, A Person Loved Me.

Installations by Dahn Vo and Julia Dault (Dault Photo: Benoit Pailley.).


It was a great crowd, with museum directors and curators from all the New Museum’s sister institutions in the city – Richard Armstrong and Nancy Spector from the Guggenheim; Klaus Biesenbach from MoMA; and Thelma Golden from the Studio Museum.





The Standard Grill’s excellent swordfish (via Fooditka).


The after party was at the Standard Hotel’s Boom Boom Room, but first I had dinner at the Standard Grill with the President of the New Museum’s board, Saul Dennison (he also happens to be my father).  The food was incredibly good – I had a great marinated swordfish with a Morrocan chermoula on a bed of crunchy tabbouleh (the dish is so great, it inspired this entertaining post on Fooditka, a foodie blog). Then we went upstairs to continue celebrating with the artists and others, where the conversation was less about art and more about Jeremy Lin. I caught up with New Museum director Lisa Phillips, who was munching on a great looking cheeseburger, and wearing a fabulous skirt by exhibition sponsor Joe Fresh. To my delight, we left with party bags from Joe Fresh – orange neoprene, with a cool orange t-shirt and striped scarf.

New Museum Director Lisa Phillips and Board President Saul Dennison at the after party. Photo ©