Glen Helfand reports on Norman and Norah Stone’s annual Napa Valley party which seems to have been the beneficiary of these troubled times as more people stay local during their Summer holidays.
Or to quote Helfland: “It’s funny how pleasant people can be when they’re not making money. How refreshing it was, too, that not once during this warm evening of eating, drinking, swimming, and art viewing did I hear mention of the Venice Biennale.” More from his Artforum.com Scene & Herd column below:
Nearly two hundred guests flocked to the town of Calistoga to catch the second installation of works in the Stones’ “Art Cave”—a full-fledged gallery bored into the side of a wooded hill; most of those who came from distant cities were probably taking advantage of cheap flights, though some had enjoyed a leisurely drive up the coast from Los Angeles. Angelenos made up a sizable portion of the party, with dealers such as Marc Foxx, Rodney Hill, Lisa Overduin, and Kristina Kite; curators like Shamim Momin and LA MoCA’s Paul Schimmel; and artist Sterling Ruby, who has work in the cave, in attendance. Walker Art Center director Olga Viso flew in from Minneapolis, apparently to check in with members of her board, many of whom have Valley homes. Chicago dealer Rowley Kennerk showed up for the weekend, and there were even a few San Francisco dealers, including Claudia Altman-Siegel, Chris Perez of Ratio 3, Margaret Tedesco of 2nd Floor Projects, and Matthew Marks West Coast director Sabrina Buell. SF MoMA was well represented, with nearly the entire curatorial staff present, as well as director Neal Benezra, who planned to spend the next day bicycling. It was more of a question of who wasn’t there. […]
The works inside the cave—a cross between a subway tunnel and a Chelsea superspace—were mostly by younger artists working in scrappy mode, with inexpensive materials and unmonumental swagger. A Buren-like Styrofoam and MDF sculpture by Canadian artist Scott Lyall was gilded with a few gold sequins and flattened muffin cups placed on the floor. One work by Sean Paul featured a balloon tethered to a shrink-wrapped stack of Paris Match magazine.
With a few exceptions (Jorge Pardo, Jamie Isenstein . . . not to mention the deceased), nearly all the artists were in attendance, and everyone had the opportunity to chat over mojitos, wine, and oysters, either on a lawn down the hill or by the pool, which itself consists of two James Turrell structures titled Stone Sky. The pathway to the cocktails was accented with an audio piece by Alex Waterman, a series of speakers sunk into the earth that broadcast the recorded sounds of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, bringing a little city to the bucolic wine country. (In a performance later in the evening, he added live cello accompaniment.)
Scene & Herd: Sharin’ Stones(ArtForum)