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In his career as an art dealer, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld has been one of the more visible practitioners of the pop-up exhibit, eschewing a permanent gallery for more temporary spaces. So it was a slightly different look on Thursday night to see the crowd of jet set cronies that often flock to his openings — his mother, Carine Roitfeld; Stavros Niarchos and Jessica Hart; Stephen Gan; Giovanna Battaglia; Sante D’Orazio, etc. — at Sotheby’s on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The auction house has commissioned Roitfeld to curate “Hue & Cry,” a two-week exhibition of Abstract Expressionism and its contemporary legacy, which collected works by artists such as Robert Melee, Nicolas Pol, Wendy White and Angel Otero in a second floor gallery. There was an air of permanence at the opening party that one just doesn’t get at a foreclosed townhouse or downtow post-retail space.
“It’s good; it’s good to do a little bit of everything, you know?” Restoin Roitfeld said of the space. “Working with such an important institution for me is a huge opportunity.”
And what of that slightly vexing title?
“It’s all about powerful brush strokes and distinctive works and looking at them can have a very strong emotional reaction,” Restoin Roitfeld said before offering a brief lesson in Middle English. “Many many years ago you could ‘hue’ of joy, and you can also cry of joy. It’s about playing with the terms. When you’re looking at it, it’s so beautiful that you can hue or you can cry.”
For the record, on Thursday, no party attendees appeared to do either.