KAHLO TOPS AT SOTHEBY'S LATIN AMERICAN
Sotheby's New York sale of Latin American art on May 31,2001, sold 43 of 55 lots offered, or 78 percent, for a total of $7,189,075. Sotheby's new Latin American expert, Kirsten Hammer, who was overseeing her first sale, called the market "buoyant." Top lot was Frida Kahlo's Portrait of Cristina, My Sister (1928), an early, formal picture that went for $1,655,750 (est. $900,000-$1,200,000). The Kahlo, Hammer said, had sold for $198,000 in 1988 -- and the new result was a sign of "how very far this market has come in the past ten years."
Other top lots included Rufino Tamayo's Serenata a la Luna (1949), a prime example of the artist's mature style, which sold to a South American private collector for $599,750 (est. $600,000-$800,000). Competitive bidding greeted Prueba de Nuevo (Try Again), an oil and collage on panel by the Argentinian artist Jorge de la Vega. It sold for $335,750, rather more than the $80,000 high estimate and a new auction record for the artist. De Nuevo, a member of the Nueva Figuración group, died at age 41 in 1970.
Records were also set at the sale for a Tamayo work on paper ($87,000) and for a work by Manel Cabre ($148,750).
ART IN MADISON SQUARE PARK
The Public Art Fund and Target Stores unveiled this summer's installment of the "Target Art in the Park" project at Madison Square Park in New York with a festive reception on Thursday, May 31, 2001. Speakers included Parks Department honcho Henry J. Stern and Public Art Fund chief Susan Freedman, with photo ops provided by the three artists -- Navin Rawanchaikul, Teresita Fernandez and Tobias Rehberger. The installations go all out -- Rawanchaikul has made three "taxi cafes" -- a gaily painted group of benches with NYC skyline backrests and sprawling taxi-shaped awnings, and has also crafted a 48-page black-and-white comic book about life as a taxi driver that is to be distributed throughout the city. Elsewhere in the park, Fernandez has sited a Bamboo Cinema, a maze of eight-foot-tall, green plastic poles, and Rehberger has crafted a scenic Japanese landscape, complete with bench, lonesome pine, jutting stone and actual snow. Funded to the tune of $1 million by the hip mass-market retailer -- which still has no stores in the Big Apple -- this installation is part two of a three-year project.
GYPSY HOLOCAUST MONUMENT IN BERLIN
Israeli artist Dani Karavan has been selected to design a new monument in Berlin for the slain Roma and Sinti (gypsies) of the Nazi era, according to a report in the Frankfurter Rundschau. The proposal calls for the memorial to be sited between the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, within sight of the field of columns that will memorialize the Jewish Holocaust. Both monuments are slated to open in early 2004.
ONE MILLION YEARS AT DIA
Famed "I am still alive" conceptual artist On Kawara is the subject of the first summer reading at the Dia Art Center in New York's Chelsea district. Dia plans a 24-hour reading of Kawara's One Million Years (Future), beginning at noon on Wednesday, June 20. Volunteer readers -- the text consists of numbers, from 2002 on up -- are being sought; for info contact Karen Kelly at email@example.com. Hurry -- "tons" of people are signing up. Part of the One Million Years project was exhibited at Dia in 1993 and more recently at David Zwirner Gallery in SoHo.
Art, fashion and hip hop mix with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the Bronx Museum of the Arts "The Bronx Keeps Creating" benefit, Tuesday, June 5, 2001, starting at 6 p.m. at the Doubles Club in the Sherry Netherland Hotel on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Music is by DJ Kool Herc with a performance by Sarah Jones on the schedule. Tickets are $175 each; for more info call (718) 681-6000 ext. 133.
2,500 RECORD ALBUMS AT EXIT ART
We've had motorcycles. We've had fashions. How about a few -- record album covers, 2,500 in fact. "The LP Show" opens at Exit Art in SoHo, June 9-Aug. 17, 2001, organized by Carlo McCormick with loans from a vast roster of djs, old hippies and record collectors.
JOLLY RANCHER COLLECTION TO DENVER MUSEUM
The Denver Art Museum has been promised the entire collection of more than 3,000 Western art works of Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, Colorado natives and avid collectors who founded the Jolly Rancher Candy Company. The holding ranges from paintings and sculptures by Remington, Russell and Catlin to members of the "Taos Ten" and American Indian rugs, textiles, baskets and pottery. An exhibition of selections from the new acquisition is slated for this coming fall.
WACHS TO WARHOL
After decades as a left-coast politico art patron, 62-year-old lawyer and Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs was named president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York, effective Oct. 1, 2001. He succeeds founding president Arch Gillies, who has held the post for 12 years.
2,000 PHOTOS TO PHILADELPHIA
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has boosted its photography holdings by about 2,000 works with the acquisition of the collection of legendary Surrealist art dealer Julien Levy. The multimillion-dollar collection includes hundreds of works by Eugene Atget, plus photographs by Charles Sheeler and Max Ernst. The acquisition is partly a gift of Levy's widow, Jean Farley Levy, and partly a purchase by philanthropists Lynne and Harold Honickman.