Forget Frieze — The Art World Headed to Greenwich for Karen Kilimnik's Brant Foundation Opening

Artist Karen Kilimnik (center) with Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour
(Photo © BFA)

GREENWICH, Conn. — It was time for a break from Frieze as 1,000 guests ventured to the bucolic environs of the sprawling Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Conn., Sunday afternoon to celebrate the opening of publisher and art collector Peter Brant’s latest exhibition endeavor, a comprehensive survey of artist Karen Kilimnik’s whimsical work spanning over the last three decades. Being sandwiched between Frieze and this evening’s Costume Institute Gala probably didn’t hurt either, as luminaries in both worlds showed up for a casual Sunday afternoon away from the city.

In the galleries, a former apple barn-turned-art space, artist Julian Schnabel was caught lifting actor Matt Dillon in the air as he gave him a giant hug, while outside, Peter Brant Jr. told a group of women that Daphne Guinness was trying to snag a last-minute table to the Costume Institute Gala. “If Anna [Wintour] will let anybody get a last-minute table, she’ll let Daphne Guinness,” said the younger Brant. We also spotted supermodel Linda Evangelista at the buffet table (who said supermodels don’t eat?), collectors Mera and Don Rubell dining in the tent, gallerist Gavin Brown walking around with his dog, and artist Francesco Clemente chatting it up with his friends.

Kilimnik displayed her mastery of a number of disciplines, from an installation modeled after a magical Santeria shrine to a room dedicated to the cosmos (complete with a table of small sculptures based on the planets) to a Napoleon-themed field tent with paintings of the French Revolution hero and a display that encompassed a telescope, maps, miniature war figures, and a battle helmet. A fanciful Chinoiserie room covered with charming Kilimnik-designed wallpaper held paper parasols, framed fashion illustrations, and Chinese lanterns. At the entrance stood “The Fountain of Youth,” a new installation that featured a stone fountain surrounded by six feet of box hedges and topiaries, with perfume bottles and soaps scattered about the grass.

“Peter Brant offers the artists that he shows conditions that no museum can offer,” auctioneer Simon de Pury told ARTINFO. “They can totally transform the space into their wildest fantasy. You see these artists in a way that you’ve never seen them before.”

Click on the slide show to see highlights from Karen Kilimnik's opening at the Brant Foundation Study Center.