Vogue: The New Museum and Alexander McQueen Honor Laure Prouvost With a Chic Dinner
An awards dinner on a Friday? The ever avant-garde New Museum seemed to think its guests wouldn’t mind, and, of course, they didn’t. Last Friday, an artsy crowd including Rupert Friend, Aimee Mullins, Maria Sharapova, Alexander Gilkes, and Stacey Bendet Eisner gathered at Industria’s Studio Ten to celebrate the Bowery museum’s NextGen Dinner, honoring Laure Prouvost.
The evening was cohosted by Alexander McQueen, and many guests paid homage to the evening’s fashion patron of the arts (the brand’s first-ever U.S. event sponsorship) by sporting their very own McQueen frocks. The label’s signature Rorschach-like prints also decorated the walls, while tapestry panels doused color throughout the minimal space, which was enhanced by ikebana-esque floral arrangements by Flora Starkey.
Guests were welcomed at a generous cocktail hour. Selby Drummond mingled with friends Mark Guiducci and Nell Diamond. For New Museum director Lisa Phillips, the night punctuated a week filled with female-led programming. A couple days before, the museum hosted a reading with Rachel Kushner, but Friday night was all about Prouvost. As Phillips explained, it was just four years ago that Prouvost made her splashy stateside debut, “She had her first solo exhibition in the U.S. in 2014 at the New Museum.” Since then, we’ve seen the Turner Prize–winning artist create immersive mixed-media works that transform viewers into participants. Her reality-blurring moving-image installations were most recently on view at Miami Beach’s Bass museum. On view now at the New Museum, as Phillips would proudly announce just before calling Prouvost to the stage, is “an entire museum filled with women, from top to bottom . . . the New Museum has a long history of supporting women artists, more than 50 percent of the artists that we’ve shown since we were founded in 1977 have been women.”
Midway through a plant-based dinner of roasted beets and radicchio, Prouvost took to the stage to deliver a fantastical acceptance speech with a narrative not unlike those in her work. She spoke of flying to New York, the journey calling to mind memories of her grandmother, who would go flying with her grandfather in a small plane. Per Prouvost, her grandmother would get undressed and rope herself in a makeshift harness and swing from the plane, free as a bird. But back to the museum, “I think what they do is support a lot of young brains, young in all senses,” said Prouvost at cocktail hour. “And hopefully, we’re all still young at 95.” So what’s next for Prouvost? She’s going to represent France at the 2019 Venice Biennale, making her NextGen award all the more appropriate.