MILES DAVIS, ARTIST
The Forum for Contemporary Art in St. Louis plans a show of 50 works on paper by famed jazz musician Miles Davis (1926-1991), May 28-July 28. 2001. In early 1982, Davis suffered a mild stroke, and at the suggestion of his doctor began to draw as therapy to regain strength and flexibility in his partially paralyzed right hand. He drew vibrant images of elongated, African-styled figures, mostly of women, using Bic pens, markers and pastels on a range of materials, including hotel notepads and shirt cardboards as well as sketchpads. His style is "both fluid and aggressive, epitomizing his musical as well as his personal attitude," according to FCA curator Mel Watkin.
Davis had several exhibitions during 1989-91 at the since-closed Joanne Nerlino Gallery in SoHo, and also produced a number of serigraph editions. "We set up shows all over the world," Nerlino told Artnet News, "to coincide with his international concert tours." Nerlino estimates that prices for Davis serigraphs range from $300 to $1,200, while original drawings go for $3,000-$12,000. Davis also made paintings, which featured his figures on an abstract background; these work are rare and sell for $10,000 up to $100,000. "Miles Draws: The Art of Miles Davis" is part of a citywide celebration of the native St. Louisan's 75th birthday.
LAST SUPPER PARODY, CHICAGO STYLE
The Brooklyn Museum isn't the only art institution having trouble with Catholic sensitivities. The Chicago Atheneum in Schaumburg, Ill., says that more than 100 callers have complained about The Last Pancake Breakfast by artist Dick Detzner, a painting that parodies the Last Supper by depicting breakfast cartoon characters partaking of pancakes with Mrs. Butterworth in the role of Jesus. The piece is part of "Art Scene Chicago," an exhibition of emerging artists that opened Feb. 16, coincidentally the same day as the Brooklyn Museum of Art's "Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers," which features the controversial Yo Mama's Last Supper by Renée Cox.
So is Schaumberg mayor Al Larson up in arms and clamoring for decency committees? Not quite, reports the Chicago Tribune -- Larson has told curator Julie Reichert-Marton that he is "not the town censor." As for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, its director of environment and art Rev. Phil Horrigan said he was amused, adding, "my devotion and faith are bigger than any single piece of art." Definitely not New York City. "Art Scene Chicago" is up through Apr. 8, 2001.
SOTHEBY'S SELLS TOULOUSE-LAUTREC
A trove of art works by the greatest chronicler of bohemian Paris nightlife is coming to the auction block. Sotheby's New York is dedicating an entire sale to French post-Impressionist graphic artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on Mar. 23, 2001. Up on the block are 170 lots of prints, posters, manuscripts, books, drawings and photographs by or associated with the artist, all originally assembled by New York collector Herbert Schimmel from the 1950s through the '70s. The sale has many things to set bidders' paddles aquiver. Toulouse-Lautrec's 1806 "Elles" suite of color lithographs (est. $700,000-$1,000,000) shows prostitutes engaged in their everyday activities. A rare first-printing of Moulin Rouge -- La Goulue (1891) (est. $100,000-$120,000) bears the famous image of variety star Louise Weber in her erotic solo dance. The sale also includes a number of works by other artists from the Belle Époque, among them a charcoal drawing of Artistide Bruant by Théophile Steinlen (est. $3,000-$5,000) and six of the eight pastels of American dancer Loïe Fuller by Charles Maurin (est. $3,000-$4,000 each).
WHITNEY ENTERS BIT-WORLD
"Data Dynamics," a show of five new works that is being billed as "the Whitney Museum's first exhibition dedicated to Internet art," is slated to go on view -- both in the museum and online at www.whitney.org -- Mar. 22-June 10, 2001. The show features works by Marek Walczak and Martin Wattenberg, Mark Napier, Maciej Wisniewski, Beth Stryker and Sawad Brooks, and Adrianne Wortzel that create visual models for representing a continuously changing flow of data, says Whitney new media arts curator Christiane Paul. The Web exhibition is part of "BitStreams," a larger show of digital art by over 50 artists, including Jeremy Blake, Jeff Elrod, Carl Fudge, Lot/ek, DJ Spooky, Paul Pfeiffer, Marina Rosenfeld and Diana Thater. Both shows are sponsored by France Telecom North America.
TRIBAL ANTIQUES FAIR
The New York International Tribal Antiques Show, "Fine Arts of Native Cultures," is scheduled to bring 58 dealers and galleries to the Seventh Regiment Armory, May 20-23, 2001. Among the participants are Joan Barist Primitive Art, Jeffrey Meyers, Judith Small Nash, Merton D. Simpson, Eric Robertson, Tambaran Gallery, Throckmorton Fine Art (New York), Lost Nation, (Chicago), Malcom Grimmer, Ron Messick Fine Arts (Santa Fe), Earl W. Duncan (Denver), Joel Cooner Gallery (Dallas), Phillipe Guimiot (Brussels), Oumar Keinde African Art (Senegal), James Willis (San Francisco), Diamondstein Tribal Arts, Stendahl Galleries (Los Angeles) and William Wright (Belle Meade, N.J.). The show's gala preview on May 19 benefits the AIDS service agency, GMHC. For more info call (212) 376, 1514.
MAGICAL ELF PANTIES, ETC.
New York beatniks are flooding to the box office to obtain tickets to Magical Elf Panties and Rats, two new plays by Saint Reverend Jen that are having their premieres at 10 p.m. on Fri., Mar. 2, and Fri., Mar. 9, at Collective Unconscious, 145 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side. Jen herself promises to enact the role of the dog-wizard Dogdeca, as well as to perform the musical number Bad Ass Rat Rap, with lyrics like "Yo! Bitch! Get me a piece of cheese!" The show also includes an intermission screening of Doo-Doo: Exile in Teletubbyland, a documentary about the exiled fifth Teletubby. Admission is $5.