ART ON THE AVENUE: MADISON ON DISPLAY

Byline: Peter Braunstein

NEW YORK — From April 30 to May 12, more than 60 Madison Avenue boutiques and over 40 galleries will combine forces to produce the second annual “Madison Avenue: Where Fashion Meets Art” happening.
Organized by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, it comprises numerous art-meets-fashion exhibitions that will run from East 57th to 86th Streets at such retailers as Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Chloe, DKNY, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, Krizia, Ralph Lauren, Sonia Rykiel and Versace. The high point of this 29-block party will take place May 3, when participants will host private receptions for their customers as well as silent auctions of items donated by the retailers, the proceeds of which will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. That same evening, Barneys New York will host a special silent auction of donated celebrity art.
“Madison Avenue BID, and all the merchants involved, wanted to make a common effort to promote Madison Avenue as the world’s most famous destination for fashion and art,” said Sylvie Mousseron of Sonia Rykiel, who serves as event committee chairwoman. “As individuals, all of the companies involved are strong — we represent the top luxury brands in the world.”
Each retailer has chosen works of art from a Madison Avenue gallery that is, in some way, compatible with the designer’s sensibility. Calvin Klein, for instance, selected works by noted photographer Christopher Makos for their “purity of space combined with the openness of the urban landscape — graphic but sensual.”
Sonia Rykiel will be displaying a Matisse entitled “Woman in a Transparent Blouse” — a figure who, according to a spokeswoman for the event, “dresses a lot like Jennifer Lopez.”
Barneys is taking a particularly active role in the event. The in-store auction on May 3 will include works by Dennis Hopper, Gary Trudeau and Jane Seymour.

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