SOFA IN NEW YORK
The fourth international exposition of sculpture, objects and functional art -- otherwise known as SOFA New York 2001 -- opens at the Seventh Regiment Armory at Park Avenue and 67th Street in New York, May 31-June 4. Over 50 dealers participate in the show, which averages $10 million in annual sales, according to the show's producer, Mark Lyman, president of Expressions of Culture, Inc. This year's installment features the debut of a new body of work by ceramic sculptor Ken Price at the booth of Franklin Parrasch Gallery as well as works by ceramic artist Peter Voulkos at both Parrasch and Donna Schneier Fine Arts, sculptures by Robert Arneson at John Natsoulas Gallery, Ann Nathan Gallery and Parrasch, glass works by Harvey K. Littleton at Maurine Littleton Gallery and by Howard Ben Tré at Heller Gallery, metalsmithy by Albert Paley at Leo Kaplan Modern, and much more. The show's opening night gala -- tonight, May 30 -- benefits the American Craft Museum. Regular admission to the show is $16, and includes a copy of the catalogue.
TATE POSTS TURNER SHORTLIST
The Tate Gallery's Patrons of New Art group has announced the shortlist for the 2001 Turner Prize, and the always-controversial award to honor new art in Britain has already prompted criticism -- the list is all male and includes no painters. The contenders for the £20,000 award are photographer Richard Billingham, celebrated for his casual snapshot-style photos of his lower-class parents; Martin Creed, whose whimsical, conceptual "anti-art" pieces include rooms full of balloons and neon signs spelling out nonsense phrases; installation artist Mike Nelson, whose obsessive, theatrical works have appeared at Matt's Gallery in London and elsewhere in Britain; and filmmaker Isaac Julien, whose works address issues of race and sex. Jurors for the prize included Tate director Nicholas Serota, Art Monthly editor Patricia Bickers, Hayward Gallery director Susan Ferleger Brades, art critic Michael Archer and Greville Worthington, a representative of the Patrons of New Art. An exhibition of works by the Turner Prize finalists goes on view at Tate Britain, Nov. 17, 2001, with an announcement of the winner due on Dec. 9.
MOSCOW PAYS HOMAGE TO WARHOL
Moscow, the city in which Andy Warhol declared he could find no beauty because it had no McDonald's (according to Warhol Museum director Tom Sokolowski), is honoring the Pop artist in a weeklong tribute at the Pushkin Museum, May 29-July 3, 2001. Approximately 70 photographs and paintings from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh will be on view, including renderings of Mao Zedong, Marilyn Monroe, Jaqueline Kennedy and Warhol himself. In addition, 14 of the artist's films will be screened and 30 Russian artists will exhibit Warhol-inspired work.
ZAHA HADID BREAKS AMERICAN GROUND
On May 24, 2001, the Contemporary Art Center of Cincinnati officially broke ground for its 80,000-square-foot, $34.1-million Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, a concrete, glass and metal structure by London deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid. The new facility, Hadid's first building in the U.S., is sited on a 11,000-square-foot parcel at Walnut and East 6th Street, and will feature 20,000 square feet of gallery space, a 200-seat performance space and an education center dubbed the "UnMuseum." The structure is also said to be the first American art museum to be designed by a woman. The CAC has occupied the second floor of a downtown office building since 1970.
AFRICAN LIBERATION AT MCA CHICAGO
Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicating next season's fall exhibition to a political history of post-war Africa, Sept. 8-Dec. 30, 2001. Including art, film, literature, graphics, music and theater, "The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994" is bracketed by the 1954 call by the Pan-African Congress for self-determination in Africa and the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. In between, the show focuses on the Negritude Movement, Pan-Africanism, Pan-Arabism and the rise of Arab Nationalism and wars of independence in Algeria, Mozambique and Angola. Artists in the show include Georges Adeagbo, Jane Alexander, Ghada Amer, Oladele Bamgboye, Georgina Beier, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Gebre Kristo Desta, Uzo Egonu, Dumile Feni, Kendell Geers, Seydou Keita, William Kentridge, Vincent Kofi, Rachid Koraichi, Ernest Mancoba, John Muafangejo, Valente Malangatana Ngwenya, Antonio Olé, Ouattara, Ibrahim El Salahi, Gerard Sekoto, Susan Wenger and Sue Williamson. The exhibition is organized by Okwui Enwezor for the Villa Stuck in Munich, where it premiered, and appears at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York after its Chicago showing. It is accompanied by a 400-page illustrated catalogue ($75 hardcover).
OLYMPIA LONDON SUMMER FAIR
Whether its an antique diamond bracelet worn by Madonna at her wedding to Guy Ritchie or a 3,000-year old mummy, the place to find it is the Olympia London Summer Fine Art and Antiques Fair at the Grand Hall of Olympia, West London, June 7-17, 2001. This year's installment boasts more than 500,000 items from over 400 international dealers. Theme is a Victorian-era "Echoes of the Empire," containing furniture, textiles, paintings and jewelry ranging in price from £100 to over £500,000. Basic admission is £15 and includes access to the Antiquarian Book Fair and the HALI Antique Carpet and Textile Art Fair. Visit www.olympia-antiques.com for more info.
CARTER MUSEUM ACQUIRES HARTLEY
The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Tx., has finally acquired Marsden Hartley's 1914 American Indian Symbols after years of pursuit. The painting is one of four in the "Amerika" series created by the artist in Berlin, and was the last to remain in private hands. Despite being closed for construction until Oct. 21, 2001, the Carter has continued to actively increase its holdings.
DESIGN TEAM TAKES ON HAMMER MUSEUM
The UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles has announced plans for a $25-million renovation and expansion that will increase gallery space by 25 percent and add a 288-seat theater. The design team for the job includes L.A. architect Michael Maltzan, Toronto graphic designer Bruce Mau and Amsterdam landscape and interior designer Petra Blaisse. An initial $2-million gift has been made by the Peter Norton Family Foundation and UCLA grad Eileen Harris Norton. Construction commences early 2002 and is expected to be complete in early 2003.
NEW AT THE MET
Visitors to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art can take in several new shows for the month of June. Returning for the eighth year is the installation of 53 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works from the collection of Walter H. Annenberg, May 24-Nov. 25, 2001. Also new is an installation of 70 recent acquisitions of African, Oceanic and ancient American art over in the museum's Michael C. Rockefeller wing. Meanwhile, up at the Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park, the Met has installed a new café, serving sandwiches, coffee and dessert. The Cloisters also gives its visitors a chance to walk off those calories with a new Audio Guide tour that takes visitors through as many as 75 stops and lasts up to two hours. The small, lightweight Audio Guide MP3 player can be rented for $5.
LEWIS TO F.I.T.
Artist Joe Lewis, the New York native who has been chair of the art department at Cal State Northridge for the last six years and was a founder of Fashion Moda in the Bronx back in the 1970s, has been appointed dean of the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. Lewis recently showed his photo-based mixed medium works at the University of Kutztown in Pennsylvania.