I recently got a rare peek into what has got to be one of the city’s most visually stimulating apartments: the home of Manuela and Iwan Wirth directly above Zwirner & Wirth Gallery on East 69th Street. The occasion was a dinner that Hauser & Wirth and 303 Gallery were hosting in honor of artist Mary Heilmann.
Narrow Lane #2
The five-story townhouse, renovated by Annabelle Selldorf, has been outfitted to the hilt by the art world decorating guru Ricky Clifton. The inimitable Ricky, who was there that night, told me that the whole place was inspired by Mary’s work. Flanking the patio’s French doors were colorful horizontally striped drapes that recalled Mary’s 2002 “Serape Panel.” Feeling a chill, I wanted nothing more than to throw the fabric over my head, cut a hole in the top and wear it as a Mexican-styled poncho (Mary, a child of the Sixties and fashion plate herself would surely approve). The whole place had a strong Seventies vibe, like a cross between Greg Brady’s attic bedroom and the home of Austina Powers, International Woman of Mystery.
The apartment, naturally, is filled with major contemporary art pieces. Aside from the handful of Mary’s paintings, I spied two slick John McCracken wall reliefs (one black, one white), a Paul McCarthy “Santa With Butt Plug” sculpture and a Jason Rhoades chandelier, which spiraled down the center of the main staircase, painted a show-stopping Heilmann chartreuse.
Read W‘s article on Paul McCarthy from the November 2007 issue.