WOMEN: A Loan Exhibition From The Collection of Steven and Alexandra Cohen
Sometimes the best art in New York can be seen, free, at the city’s great auction houses. Sotheby’s and Christie’s, among others, offer a revolving feast of paintings, photographs, books, jewels and collectable treasures, from fine French furniture to wines and watches. They also offer a glimpse of wealthy collectors from around the world who cruise the objects on display—art advisors at their elbow—debating whether to purchase this Picasso or that Warhol. Weekend exhibitions often attract power couples who collect, such as Wall Street financier Henry Kravitz and his wife, and the entire “scene,” a mix of artists, patrons, curators, dealers and just plain folks who like looking at art, is as fascinating as any invitation-only opening at MOMA or the Met.
Increasingly, too, auction houses are offering curated exhibitions of art not for sale, the hope being, of course, that they will be chosen to preside over their dispersal, if or when they are auctioned off.
This month’s case in point at Sotheby’s (corner of 72nd Street and York Avenue) is WOMEN: A Loan Exhibition from the collection of Steven and Alexandra Cohen, on view from April 2 through 14. The Cohens, who only began collecting during the past decade, have assembled a vast array of iconic works of art, a portion of which are focused on or are about “women.”
The twenty works on display (paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photographs) are well worth a visit. While they mostly reflect the male gaze of such world- renown artists as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Modigliani, Munch, Warhol, and de Kooning, three works by Cindy Sherman, Marlene Dumas and Lisa Yuskavage reflect the female gaze, as well. You will see well-known images, such as Warhol’s Turquoise Marilyn, and lesser known ones, such as Dumas’s The Visitor.
The exhibit is on the 10th floor of Sotheby’s. If you want to grab a cup of coffee or have a light lunch, there is a pleasant cafeteria-style dining area on the same floor, with impressive views of the New York skyline. If you’d like a more serious lunch or dinner in a quiet setting, try Petaluma, at 71stnd and First Avenue. It’s been in business for several decades and is a hangout for the Sotheby’s auction crowd.