The Real Deal New York

Feeling blue: Seagram Building Picasso facing destruction

February 04, 2014 05:40PM

Picasso’s “Le Tricorne,” a 19-foot high canvas that has called the Four Seasons Restaurant lobby home for more than 50 years, is in danger of destruction.

The limestone wall behind the artwork is in desperate need of repairs, according to RFR Holding, which owns the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue. Because the wall could collapse unless it is repaired, the firm told the New York Times, the art is in danger as it is currently situated.

But removing the canvas, which New York Landmarks Conservancy President Peg Breen calls “brittle and fragile,” would destroy it to begin with, she told the Times.

The conservancy owns the artwork, and says it would “crack like a potato chip,” if removed. Breen also told the Times that she suspects the real force at work is RFR founder Aby Rosen’s rumored dislike of “Le Tricorne,” and that the wall repairs are merely an excuse to get rid of it for good.

Neither Rosen, in whose hands the fate of “Le Tricorne” is thought to rest, nor anyone else at RFR returned the Times’ calls requesting comment.

Though the Four Seasons’ interior was granted landmark status in 1989, the Picasso in question was left off the designation because it was owned separately and could therefore be moved.

“It does not fall under LPC jurisdiction, and LPC does not need to be consulted on its removal,” the commission’s spokesperson wrote to the Times. [NYT]Julie Strickland