The Scene: Opening night reception Thursday for PaceWildenstein Los Angeles (actually, in Beverly Hills), the West Coast outpost of the prestigious New York modern and contemporary art gallery.
Trend Watch: Recent seekers of event venues are taking to the streets. Earlier in the month, Planet Hollywood's party planners carpeted North Rodeo Drive in red for their soiree for 2,000 merrymakers. PaceWildenstein, opting for white floor covering, secured South Rodeo Drive. The head count was 950. And we won't even talk about the ensuing traffic gnarl-ups or the unlucky folks who live in the neighborhood.
Quoted: "This is home. This is the place they want to look at art. When they're in New York, we get them for 15 minutes," Arne Glimcher, the gallery's president and co-owner, said by way of explaining that as half his clientele is in the entertainment business, it was important to open in Los Angeles.
Noted: "It's going to open up a lot of new horizons, especially in sculpture. Everyone here has gardens," observed gallery co-owner Alec Wildenstein.
Who Was There: In addition to a small retinue of Hollywood folks (Dustin Hoffman, Michael Ovitz, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Leonard Goldberg, Sandy Gallin, Ivan Reitman, Lynda Obst), there was a major showing from the local arts community, including Skirball Museum Director Nancy Berman, Max Palevsky, Billie Weisman, Caroline Ahmanson and artists David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Chuck Arnoldi and Laddie Dill. PaceWildenstein artists Chuck Close and William Wegman, whose work was exhibited, were also in attendance, as were gallery artists Lucas Samaras, Saul Steinberg, Jim Dine, John Chamberlain, Julian Schnabel and George Condo. Bernard Picasso, whose famous grandfather's estate is represented by the gallery, was also there, along with PaceWildenstein Director Marc Selwyn and Associate Director Michele De Angelus.
Overheard: "There are really two great cities in America, New York and L.A. Where else would you live?" Glimcher asked Schnabel. "I think it'd be great to live in Montana," Schnabel replied. "Would you live there for more than 10 minutes?" asked Glimcher.
The Buzz: "Incredible," and variations thereof, to describe the dramatic 10,000-square-foot space designed by Charles Gwathmey. "It's fabulous!" said City National Bank Chairman Bram Goldsmith. "It looks like it must be successful," said Sidney Felsen, co-owner of Gemini G.E.L. gallery. "It's right that this is happening. Anything that happens for little old art in these times has got to be good, even though it's not affecting me directly," Ruscha allowed.
Hit: The topless white tent designed by Along Came Mary's Mary Micucci, who also catered the event with Matsuhisa restaurant. Banners bearing enlarged black and white portraits of PaceWildenstein artists were draped over the tent walls. Carrying out the spare, gallery-like feeling were chairs and tables slipcovered in white.