Citing specious dangers, the Seagram Building’s owner aims to remove a Picasso—and with it a piece of New York social history—this weekend.
"So what’s going on? It seems that the building’s current owners, who bought the Seagram Building in 2000, just want the Picasso painting out of there. According to the Times, Aby Rosen, co-founder and principal of RFR, reportedly referred to the curtain as a "schmatte" (Yiddish for rag). Mr. Rosen is well known as an ambitious collector of contemporary art, and I, for one, am grateful to him for the way he has used his collection to animate the plaza and lobby of the Lever House, which he also owns, across Park Avenue from the Seagram. But I would hate to see him try to "improve" the view from the Seagram lobby into the Four Seasons with a new selection of art. The Four Seasons—its finishes, furnishings, and the site-specific paintings and sculpture—is a total work of art, and Le Tricorne is as essential to the character of the place as the shimmering Richard Lippold sculpture that hovers over the bar. (Because the Picasso is theoretically a portable artwork, it regrettably could not be included in the restaurant’s interior landmark designation in 1989.) To remove Picasso’s curtain—the backdrop not just for a ballet, but for 50-plus years of New York social history—from the Four Seasons would be nothing short of vandalism; and the dubious legitimacy of the stated reasons for doing so make the act all the more egregious"
Read the full article by Belmont Freeman in ArchitecturalRecord.