LongHouse Reserve honored Julian Schnabel and Donna Karan at their Summer Benefit this weekend. The evening’s theme was la vie en rose. Guests meandered through dunes strewn with pink and red rose petals, and had been gifted rose-colored sunglasses to sport during the evening. More than 500 people gathered for cocktails, and more than 300 for dinner. The evening raised in excess of $800,000.
In accepting the Leadership Award, Donna Karan said, “I wanted to be an artist, but they didn’t think I was good enough. I wanted to be a singer like Barbara Streisand. I wanted to do a movie with her and she said that I can’t remember any lines. I finally did do a collection for her and it was amazing. Dreams do come true. So my dream tonight is to be here at LongHouse.” Julian Schnabel, upon receiving the LongHouse Award, modestly remarked, “What Benjamin Saint-Clementine would play on the piano would be much more profound than anything I could say.” Laurie Anderson explained, “Watching Julian paint was like a monumental movie being shot and edited in front of you. It’s also watching someone completely free. It was breathtaking.” LongHouse Founder and Artistic Director Jack Lenor Larsen, as well as Board Chairman Dianne Benson and Executive Director Matko Tomicic, also spoke. The festive dinner beneath outdoor crystal chandeliers was followed by Laurie Anderson’s performance. A Silent Auction of 94 lots included works by Alice Aycock, Basquiat, Dale Chihuly, Joel Grey, Peter Hujar, Horst P. Horst, Kiki Smith, Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, Robert Wilson, and more. Furniture by Larsen was included, too.
Julian Schnabel was accompanied by his wife, Louise Kugelberg, as well as his children, Vito, Olmo and Cy. Donna Karan brought her daughter, Gabby Karan de Felice, who said, “My mom is my mentor, best friend, soul mate and an inspiration.”
The Benefit’s Chairs were Dorothy Lichtenstein and Neda Young. Honorary Chairs were Bill T. Jones and Bjorn Amelan, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Dale and Leslie Chihuly, Gabby KaranDe Felice and Gianpaolo De Felice, Helmut Lang; Fern Mallis Vito Schnabel, Robert Wilson; Axel Vervoordt, Larry Warsh, Coleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee.
The Benefit Committee included Dianne Benson, Dr. Stacey Collé, Nick Martin, Mia Ljungberg Nevado, Selena Rothwell, and Wendy Van Deusen.
LongHouse has recently installed two monumental sculptures by Julian Schnabel. Both sculptures are raw and earthy, his use of plaster over burlap gives them a textural feel as if the forms are clothed. Their human-like forms are a strong presence. Both their titles are evocative of classical art. Balzac, with sprouting branches, looks completely at home in our garden setting while Gradiva is situated on a large expanse of lawn between the Black Mirror and Yoko Ono’s, Play it by Trust. Gradiva is a reference to the novella Gradiva by the German author Wilhelm Jensen. Julian Schnabel calls her, “a modern 20th century mythological figure, the woman who walks. Sprung out of the imagination of a fictional character, she may be considered unreal twice over”.