Thursday, September 04, 2014

Adios, Campagnolo

Have you ever eaten at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York?  Not to be confused with the Four Seasons Hotel, home, if it's still there, of L'Atelier du Joël Robuchon.

[long pause]

Which it isn't, but man, when it was ...

Anyway, I've eaten at the Four Seasons, or had drinks at the bar, between five and ten times.  All of which occurred quite a while ago, when I had an actual job.

The general plan is that you enter through a modest door on East 52nd Street (much the way, in fantastical literature, one enters a magical world through an unassuming portal), establish your bona fides at the host stand, and are then led down some stairs, if I remember correctly, and into a massive hall.  At the end of which you either turn left to go to the Pool Room or right into the Grill Room and the bar but, as often as not, before you do, you stop and stare at the bad boy pictured below.  Sometimes to the host's annoyance, it should probably be noted, although they've been trained to appear as if this is not so.

Picasso's Le Tricorne ...

Not to be confused with these things ...

Anyway, Le Tricorn is heading out the door on Sunday night (one marvels in anticipation of seeing that door)  All of which makes me want to get to New York and grab a bite at the bar, have a couple of $15 martinis, if only to see the thing in all its grandeur one last time.

Remain calm.  It's not like the thing was Picasso's greatest ever.  Or even top 100.  But there was something about it, there.

It. There.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  You with me?  It's related, tangentially, to the notion that Deion Sanders should never have been a Redskin.

[Editorial note:  If we hadn't just had a bunch of Byrds videos I'd insert a version of Turn, Turn, Turn here]

And now they're dragging it out the door.  I bet Richard Serra can relate.

Anyway, it's not like they're throwing it out.  They're sending it to the New York Historical Society.  And it's not like they're going to have a big -- I mean BIG -- bare wall either.  The guy who owns the building, Aby Rosen, has several hundred million bucks worth of paintings he can slap up there, many of which are almost certainly better works of art than Le Tricorne.

It was, after all, painted as a stage curtain for the Ballets Russes.  So we're not talking The Whores of Avignon.

Here's a better shot ...

In times like this, one turns to Vanity Fair for complete clarity.  Here's an article that explains the uproar that will subside on Sunday -- unless they rip the thing apart trying to carry it out.  It's supposed to be quite delicate.

The rap on Rosen is that, even though he claims the wall behind the tapestry needs repair (an excuse thought by many to be a load of guff), he's really moving it so he can put up his own stuff.  Which is fine, most of the time.  But who wants the Great Hall (my term) at the Four Seasons looking like the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel?

Which is a smashing place for a drink, and full of great art, including a pretty good Picasso, but isn't the Four Seasons.

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