Spotlight on Asia

What’s a hot topic in the world of art? This season, it’s Asia, and the action begins on March 13 with Asia Week, with the year’s most incredible art finds in galleries, museums, and big sales at the major New York auction houses. As 2015 is also the 100th anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Asian Art, this focus on the East will continue through the year, highlighted in May by the opening of the Met’s costume gallery ‘s latest blockbuster exhibit. The celebrated Vogue magazine editor, Anna Wintour, for whom the  Institute’s exhibit space has been renamed, has gone to Beijing herself, to bring attention to China: Through the Looking Glass, the upcoming show which will chart China’s contribution to fashion, from antiquity to today.

Here’s the keynote image for the upcoming exhibition, which will run from May 7 through August 15, with a celebrity-studded gala on May 4, co-chaired by such boldface names as Jennifer Lawrence and Marissa Mayer. It’s Roberto Cavalli’s fashionable interpretation of the blue and white Chinese porcelain that is a worldwide collectible:

Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli. Photo: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography © Platon

Evening dress, Roberto Cavalli

But let’s start with this week. Until March 21st, gallerists from around the world are showing beautiful things in their own Manhattan spaces, or borrowing space from fellow dealers to show the best of the best in Asian art.  Most of the galleries are concentrated on the Upper East Side, so it’s an easy trek to explore a dozen galleries in the course of a day.  If your particular design taste runs to contemporary, you will surely find plenty to raise your heartbeat at the gallery of Joan Mirviss, an esteemed expert in contemporary Japanese ceramics. Here’s a preview of what’s to be seen in the coming week at her beautiful space on East 78th Street:

Many of the galleries are intimate spaces in beautiful brownstones in the East 60s, 70s, and 80s, with a few exceptions, including the Nancy Wiener Gallery, located in the fabled Ansonia at 74th Street and Broadway on the West Side. Her offerings, a diverse group of rare and beautiful things Asian, are not to be missed.

Where to eat: Why not try an exquisite combination of art and fine food? Check out Kappo Masa, the combined culinary venture of two superstars: chef Masayoshi Takayama and gallery owner Larry Gagosian. It’s a great way to top off a day of gallery hopping; the sushi is amazing.


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