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The fall auction season turned up the heat under New York’s artists and patrons who all spent the last couple of weeks running from one event to another. First came the Dia ball, where Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Helmut Lang and Rena Sindi rubbed shoulders with curator Christine Kim and artists like Francesco Clemente. “Years ago, they’d say if you dropped a bomb on the Dia gala, the whole New York art world would disappear,” said Prada’s Katherine Ross. “But now, you’d hit a few designers, too.”

At the Guggenheim Museum’s Pop Art Ball, sponsored by Hugo Boss and honoring James Rosenquist, guests, including Anh Duong and Simon de Pury, Maurizio Cattelan, Jeff Koons, Ross Bleckner, Thaddeus Ropac and Julian Schnabel, traveled the museum’s spirals, in search of action. “I was around Andy Warhol most of his career,” said Dennis Hopper, who arrived with a camera and his son, Henry. “I guess those were the original pop balls.”

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The guest of honor wore a re-creation of his famous paper suit from the Sixties, but his wife, Mimi Thompson, reminisced about another era. “The party reminds me of many nights in the 1980s when I was out very, very late,” she said.

The next night, Hugo Boss again feted the artist, inviting Lillian von Stauffenberg, Renee Rockefeller, Daniella Luxembourg and Bianca Jagger to a more intimate dinner in an East Village spot turned dreamy by Anthony Todd. Rosenquist, dressed in another paper suit, seemed to be having a hell of a time. “Last night, a woman asked me to autograph her bare thigh,” Rosenquist told Marjorie Raein.

“If I’d known,” said her husband, Reza, “I would have shaved my legs.”

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