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Artnet News
Has the Internet revolution claimed its first art magazine? Sources tell Artnet News that Art & Auction magazine, the art-business biweekly edited by Bruce Wolmer, has been unable to work out merger terms with the start-up gallery website eArtGroup. "Each side thought the other had money," chortled one insider. "And neither did." The deal may have been the last and best hope of the respected art mag, which has lost a publisher and more than a dozen staffers over the last 18 months. Another industry source said, "The chances of Art & Auction generating any kind of real income as a stand-alone or as an emag are as likely as a camel fitting through the eye of a needle." Art & Auction did not respond to multiple calls and eArtGroup had no comment.

By way of personal disclosure, we should point out that this month's issue of Art & Auction features a hatchet job on entitled "Does Christie's Want to Buy Artnet? Does Anybody?" We seem to remember from our psych classes in college that this sort of thing is called "projection."

The FBI wants to know how "Canyon Suite," the now-infamous set of 28 watercolors once thought to be by Georgia O'Keeffe, got to the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, reports Daniel Costello in the Wall Street Journal. Gerald Peters, the dealer who sold them, says that in 1918 O'Keeffe gave them to a lover, Ted Reid, and the works lay undiscovered until family members found them in 1987, a year after O'Keeffe's death. The family members sold them to Peters for more than $1 million, and the art dealer then sold the works to Kansas City art patron R. Crosby Kemper Jr. in 1993 for $5 million. But Jackie Suazo, a former student of O'Keeffe's, has told the FBI he may have made the so-called "Canyon Suite" watercolors back in the 1940s and '50s when he lived with her, a claim Peters disputes. According to the report, Peters originally contacted the FBI to request that they test the works' authenticity, but the bureau instead decided to probe the works' history after the National Gallery ruled them bogus.

Sotheby's and Christie's are involved in talks with plaintiff's lawyers to reach a speedy settlement to the civil antitrust lawsuits spawned by the ongoing U.S. Justice Department price-fixing investigation, the Wall Street Journal reports. Talks are being conducted separately by lawyers from both auction houses with a committee of six plaintiffs' lawyers. A quick resolution would save the auction houses millions of dollars in litigation costs.

The news on the other side of the ocean was a little brighter for the embattled auctioneers, as Britain's Office of Fair Trading announced that its investigation into both houses was closed because the introduction of a new law designed to bring Britain into line with European Union; the Competition Act, which came into force yesterday, does not allow retrospective investigations.

"Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America," the collection of photographs and postcards documenting lynchings throughout America that caused a sensation when it was first exhibited at the Roth Horwitz Gallery on the upper West Side of Manhattan, is now going on view at the New-York Historical Society, Mar. 14-June 18. The collection was compiled by collector/dealer James Allen and John Littlefield.

Film-maker/photographer Leni Riefenstahl, 97, broke her ribs in a plane crash on her way to Khartoum in Sudan on Feb. 29. Riefenstahl, best known for her Nazi propaganda documentary, Triumph of the Will (1935), was in Sudan looking for friends she made when she worked in her photography books, The Last of the Nuba (1973) and The People of Kau (1976).

"Andy Warhol: A Retrospective" travels to the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania, Mar. 10-Apr. 16, as part of a joint effort by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The exhibition of 55 works, curated by Warhol Museum director Thomas Sokolowski, opened Jan. 8 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and will be presented at 12 Eastern and Southern Europe museums during 2000 and 2001 under the auspices of the U.S. Embassy in each country. Other venues include the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, as well as national museums in the Slovak Republic, and in contemporary museums in countries including Greece, Estonia and Croatia.

Atlanta's High Museum of Art presents "Building a Collection: Recent Photography Acquisitions in the High Museum of Art," Mar. 11-June 24, featuring highlights from the past two years of photography acquisitions. The exhibition also features Richard Misrach's studies of "Cancer Alley," the museum's latest addition to its ambitious acquisition project, the "Picturing the South" commissions, and also includes pieces from earlier commissions by Dawoud Bey, Sally Mann and Alex Webb.

Guggenheim Museum director Thomas Krens and art critic Michael Brenson examine the worldwide museum boom for "The Museum Complex: Art's Place in the New Century," part of the Neuberger Museum's Biennial Yaseen Lecture Series. Krens speaks Mar. 5 at 2 p.m. and Brenson Mar. 26 at 2 p.m. at Purchase College, SUNY. Individual tickets are $15, and group rates are available. For more information on the lectures, call (914) 251-6100, to order tickets call (914) 251-6200.

The School of Visual Arts presents a discussion with New York photographer and critic Max Kozloff on his upcoming book of collected writings on Modern Art, Cultivated Impasses: the Waning of the Avant-Garde, 1960-1980, (co-published by SVA and Marsilio Publishers, $18.95 in paperback) at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South (between Park and Third Ave.) on Mar. 13 at 6 p.m. Admission is free; call (212) 592-2010 for more information.

Hirschl and Adler Galleries present the first major exhibition in 40 years of the work of Ross Braught, the now-largely forgotten painter and lithographer whom Thomas Hart Benton once described as "the greatest living American draftsman," Mar. 16-Apr. 22. The exhibition, "Ross Braught (1898-1983): A Visual Diary," features over 45 oils, drawings and lithographs from 1921 to 1960 culled from the artist's estate, private lenders and museum collections.

Pioneering SoHo dealer Holly Solomon has closed her Mercer Street gallery and opened a temporary office in the legendary Chelsea Hotel. The address there is 222 West 23rd St., Rm. #425, where she is conducting business as usual.

Artist and writer Suzanne Anker has been named chair of the art history department at the School of Visual Arts, succeeding Jeanne Siegel, who remains as BFA chair of fine arts. Anker has taught at SVA for six years.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech