The early bird VIPs at ADAA's The Art Show Gala preview on March 1, 2016 slipped through the massive portals of the Park Avenue Armory at 5:30 p.m. sharp. The top tickets, up to $10,000 per head, gave collectors first dibs on major works by Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, James Brooks, Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, Fernand Leger and others. It also benefited the Henry Street Settlement.

An hour later, the next wave of opening night crowd, many of whom had sipped champagne at the David Yurman sculpture show in an anteroom that became a holding pen, was flowing through the aisles to the open bar, and sharp elbows were needed at the dumpling and meatball stations.

In keeping with the high level of art on view—from local powerhouse dealers such as the Mnuchin Gallery, David Zwirner and Pace as well as San Francisco’s John Berggruen and Chicago’s Richard Gray—the crowd, though large, was A-list. From the museum world, Richard Armstrong of the Guggenheim looked hard at several of the strong exhibitions, mainly of avant-garde work, while celebrated new curator Steve Martin, more interested in realism, was harried through the aisles by phone-waving fans.

East End filmmaker Amei Wallach lingered at Galerie Lelong, where a particularly engaging show of McArthur Binion’s works from the 1970s were on view, with the artist in attendance.

By 8 p.m. the effects of the champagne had slowed the frantic pace of the early traffic, and many had decamped to the opening of the Met Breuer just a few blocks uptown on Madison. The evening settled into quiet groups in front of the work of favorite artists, such as the terrific Stella show hosted by Dominique Levy with Marianne Boesky.

The Art Show is open daily through March 6, 2016 at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue.

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Adrienne Bon Haes with work by McArthur Binion at Galerie Lelong. Photo by Keming Liu.

Adrienne Bon Haes with work by McArthur Binion at Galerie Lelong. Photo by Keming Liu.

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Dominique Levy and Asher Edelman with a Frank Stella collage in the background. Photo by Keming Liu.

Dominique Levy and Asher Edelman with a Frank Stella collage in the background. Photo by Keming Liu.

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Yung Hee Kim with a collage by Frank Stella in the background at Dominique Levy. Photo by Keming Liu.

Yung Hee Kim with a collage by Frank Stella in the background at Dominique Levy. Photo by Keming Liu.

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Steve Martin on the move. Photo by Keming Liu.

Steve Martin on the move. Photo by Keming Liu.

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Amei Wallach and Martha Wilson in front of works by McArthur Binion at Galerie Lelong. Photo by Keming Liu.

Amei Wallach and Martha Wilson in front of works by McArthur Binion at Galerie Lelong. Photo by Keming Liu.

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Denise Bowen with works by Beauford Delaney at Michael Rosenfeld booth. Photo by Keming Liu.

Denise Bowen with works by Beauford Delaney at Michael Rosenfeld booth. Photo by Keming Liu.

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BASIC FACTS: ADAA's The Art Show 2016 takes place from March 2 to 6, 2016 at Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065. www.artdealers.org.

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Copyright 2016 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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