North Salem's Janis Cecil curates art installation at Chef Daniel Boulud's iconic New York City restaurant
Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud announced the installation of ten paintings and works on paper by celebrated American artist James Rosenquist at his revered New York City restaurant DANIEL. The installation was curated by North Salem resident and art advisor Janis Cecil, in collaboration with the estate of James Rosenquist and Kasmin, Gallery, NY, along with loans from generous private collectors.
“I began working with Chef Daniel around 2004 when I was a director at Marlborough Gallery on 57th Street,” said Cecil. “At the time we selected contemporary paintings and works on paper from the gallery’s international roster, which were on view at Restaurant DANIEL on 65th.” Cecil also curated artwork for Boulud’s Café Boulud at the Surrey Hotel. That installation, which remained in place until the hotel closed in 2020, featured a range of works by artists including L.C. Armstrong, Richard Estes, Robert Motherwell and Zao Wou-Ki.
In 2021, as the pandemic began to recede, Boulud decided to renovate and modernize Restaurant Daniel, and tapped Cecil to curate new art for the space.
As part of the interior renovation, Boulud and Cecil decided to create a dedicated series of biannual exhibitions to be installed throughout the restaurant. The initiative debuted with an acclaimed exhibition of large-scale landscape paintings by American artist Alex Katz and a selection of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, along with a series of works on paper by American artist Robert Motherwell (1915-1991). The choice of James Rosenquist as the second artist for the Biannual Art Program was driven by his extraordinary contribution to American art, Boulud’s great admiration for his work, and his personal relationship with the late artist.
Boulud said of Rosenquist, “he was a wonderfully funny man who loved to tell stories. His mind was always wondering with ideas and it was always a joy to be around him. I am lucky to have known him and honored to bring his paintings into the dining room at Restaurant DANIEL. As one of the founders of the pop art movement, his work will bring a lively energy that will spark conversation and be a new cultural addition to our guests’ experience.”
Mimi Thompson Rosenquist, the late artist’s wife, enthusiastically remarked on the installation of her husband’s work at Restaurant DANIEL. "I know Jim would be honored to have this group of work hanging in his friend Daniel's extraordinary restaurant. As two energetic, very creative people, they seemed to understand each other well, and they certainly had a lot of fun together. Jim had great respect for Chef Daniel's sophisticated skills, boundless energy and curiosity. It was a true friendship, and the warmth between them was very real. We are very happy they are together again on 65th Street!"