The eyes of the international art world tend to be on Switzerland only once per year, in June, when the grand Basel Art Fair opens and the Zurich galleries host larger-than-usual dinners and openings. But this January, New York-based curator Neville Wakefield and his girlfriend, artist Olympia Scarry, are aiming to draw attention to a Swiss locale not exactly known for its art cred: Gstaad, the luxurious vacation village in the surrounding Alps. They plan to open an ambitious exhibition called “Elevation 1049,” sponsored by Swiss patron Maja Hoffmann’s LUMA& Foundation. The first edition of what they conceived as a roving biennial, it will feature Swiss artists making site-specific works throughout the idyllic town.
The Art Newspaper reports that nonprofit organization Word Above the Street has signed up a bevy of artists for a 12-week project to transform 300 of New York’s water towers into public artworks. Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Marilyn Minter, E.V. Day, Tony Conrad, Andy Goldsworthy and Tony Oursler, as well as rapper Jay-Z are just some of the artists on board with the aptly named Water Tank Project, an effort to increase public awareness of the need to conserve water.
Quality restaurant art is nothing new, especially in New York. When it opened in the late ’50s, the Four Seasons Restaurant, in the iconic Seagrams Building, had art by Picasso, Miró and Jackson Pollock on the walls. (The dining room was meant to get a series by Mark Rothko, but he pulled out of the project, and the paintings now hang in three museums.) The food/art nexus may have culminated with the freewheeling 1970s, when Gordon Matta-Clark had his restaurant, Food, in Soho—compared with that, most restaurant offerings seem pretty staid. These days, you can go to Casa Lever, in the architecturally groovy Lever House, and gaze at myriad Warhol prints of celebrities—Hitchcock, Sly Stallone—while you’re eating your $52 “Costata” T-bone steak. And if you’re looking for something a bit more classical, there’s always Maxfield Parrish’s monumental mural, Old King Cole, which hangs elegantly above the bar in the St. Regis Hotel. But a new joint set to open by the end of the year is bringing New York restaurant art to a whole new level of downtown hipness.