Cultured Magazine

Summer 2012

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domesticity Feigning Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, the dealer behind the project space Salon 94, is participating in Design Miami/ for the first time, featuring work by Rick Owens and Betty Woodman. Carol Kino tries to figure out what makes her sensibility tick. PORTRAIT BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN It was a glorious spring afternoon in New York, and Salon 94, the jewel-box-like project space that the gallerist Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn runs in her home, was humming with activity. Upstairs, in the reception rooms where Greenberg Rohatyn hosts dinners after openings, her youngest daughter was coloring with a nanny. Downstairs, in the sleek ground-floor of- fice, an assistant buzzed about, assembling slides for a lecture Greenberg Rohatyn was giving at Vassar the next day and organizing her trip to Paris the following week. But Greenberg Rohatyn herself was entirely focused on the gallery space, a light-filled room where she had installed a preview of her upcoming booth at Design Miami/, where she will pair the massive primitivist vessels of Betty Woodman with the giant-sized Brutalist furniture of Rick Owens. (Greenberg Rohatyn introduced Owens' furniture to the U.S. two years ago; she represents him jointly with Rodman Primack.) "I always build fairs in a really precise way," Greenberg Rohatyn ex- plains, "because I use them as exhibitions." And because this will be her first time showing at Design Miami/, she has decided to zero in on what Art Basel has always meant to her—the meeting point of contemporary and modern. "I wanted to riff and play on that idea," she says, "and these were the two artists I thought could handle it the best." Take an idea and riff on it: that pretty much describes Greenberg Ro- hatyn's overall approach to showing art. Raised in St. Louis, the daughter 68 CULTURED of an art dealer and an art writer, she grew up in a house filled with furniture by Diego Giacometti and Donald Judd and where artists were always pass- ing through. "A lot of my getting to know artists was at home rather than in the gallery," she explains. "They would stay with us, and we would talk." Even as a child, she was fascinated by legendary salonistes like Gertrude Stein and Florine Stettheimer. Surprisingly, though, Greenberg Rohatyn spent her early years as a cu- rator and art consultant working on splashy public projects, including Casino 2001, an exhibition with 60 artists that took place in Ghent, Belgium, and a show by Damien Hirst, among others, in a terminal at John F. Kennedy In- ternational Airport. But after marrying the financier Nicolas Rohatyn and having her first child, she realized things had to change. "I had to figure out a way to do what I loved doing, but in a practical manner where I could also be a mom and a wife." She found the answer in Salon 94, a concept she dreamed up while she and her husband were renovating a former orphanage on East 94th Street with the architect Rafael Viñoly. The space, which opened in 2003 with a horror-movie-inspired instal- lation by the video artist Aïda Ruilova, manages to strike a savvy balance between the intimacy of a home and the more expansive possibilities of a traditional white cube. With its curtain wall made from curved panes of glass and its elegant burled walnut staircase, Salon 94 does a good job of

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