Grimes performing at the Guggenheim International Gala pre-party, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo Scott Rudd/BFA.


November 04, 2015 @ Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

On a circular stage within the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's rotunda, synth-pop princess Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) let loose her best metal scream as the Veuve Clicquot sipping, Dior-clad crowd bopped along the spiraled balcony of Frank Lloyd Wright's snail shell structure. The Guggenheim's 2015 International Gala pre-party was sponsored by Dior, and the French fashion house's soon-to-be-ex head designer Raf Simons could be seen winding through the gala among a bevy of models, celebrities and Dior execs, many clad in the season's sequin turtlenecks.

Against the backdrop of the museum's current show, "Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting," on view through Jan. 6, 2016, A.i.A. spotted rapper A$AP Rocky gamely taking pictures with fans, Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka teetering down the ramp in her stilettos, and boy-about-town Harry Brant dancing with supermodel pal Hanne Gaby Odiele. For the glittering crowd, Burri's influential, process-driven paintings took a backseat to interest in the photo booths installed on multiple levels.

Bathed in Turrell-esque neon lights, a cabal of modish musicians like Dev Hynes, Sadaf H. Nava and twins TK Wonder and Cipriana Quann made the party's vibe more art rock than art. Grimes's fourth album, by the way, fittingly titled Art Angels, drops tomorrow. In fact, nary a fine artist was to be found among the attendees, save for Wyatt Kahn and Mr. Brainwash.

The glitzy affair, however, was only a precursor to the main event, taking place tonight. Honoring artists On Kawara, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and Doris Salcedo—all subjects of retrospectives at the museum this year—this evening's gala will feature NYC Ballet dancers performing an excerpt from Tom Gold Dance's revival of November Steps. And next Tuesday, Nov. 10, a benefit auction containing donated artworks by Pawel Althamer, Ryan McGinley and Haegue Yang will be held to raise funds for the Guggenheim's exhibitions and educational programming.