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L.A. artist Doug Aitken has received the International Award at the 48th Venice Biennale for his video installation Electric Earth "because he recuperates the narrative form and the experimental research of cinema negated by the economic values of the commerical film industry." Other awards went to New York-based Chinese sculptor Cai Guo-Qiang and Iran-born filmmaker and photographer Shirin Neshat. The Golden Lion for the best national participation went to the Italian Pavilion, where works by Monica Bonvicini, Bruna Esposito, Luisa Lambri, Paola Pivi and Grazia Toderi were on view. Honorable mentions went to Georges Adéagbo, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Katarzyna Kozyra and Lee Bul. The unofficial prize for the promotion of arts went to Ghada Amer.
SCULPTURE IN STAMFORD
Go to Stamford, Conn., for the Stamford Sculpture Walk 1999, on view from June 1 till Aug. 31 on downtown streets and plazas as well as in the Stamford Town Center Mall. "Important Sculptors of the Late 20th Century" includes works by all the heavy hitters, from Magdalena Abakanowicz and Carl Andre to Kenneth Snelson and William Tucker. Snelson's EC Tower is sited in Rippowam Park, while Jim Dine's Weathered Venus (1990) is in front of the library. In the Mall, Tom Otterness' Queen (1997) faces Abercrombie & Fitch and Tony Smith's New Piece (1966) is by Filene's. The exhibition of some 35 works is sponsored by city agencies and Cavalier Galleries.
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT ART 30 BASEL
Art 30 Basel, June 16-21, 1999, reported record attendance of over 52,000 visitors. Fair management reports record sales, though no specific information was released. The fair's catalogue sold out its 12,000-copy print run. As for Art 31 Basel, it's slated for June 21-26, 2000.
AFRICAN ART AT SOTHEBY'S
The ever-expanding auction market expanded a bit further with Sotheby's June 24 sale of contemporary African art in London. Of the 57 lots offered, 56 were sold. The works come from photographer and collector Jean Pigozzi, a Geneva-based businessman who specializes in venture capital for digital enterprises. Top lot was South African artist Willie Bester's Semekazi (Migrant Miseries), which went for $18,300. Congolese artist Francois Thango's La Chasse Sauvage sold for $16,600, and Cheri Samba's Une vie non ratée went for $14,640. Part of the sale proceeds go to establish the Jean Pigozzi Prize for Contemporary African Art, for an outstanding sub-Saharan African painter, sculptor or photographer. Sotheby's also donated 40 percent of its premium proceeds in the sale to Unicef.
ABSOLUT VISION CHICAGO 4
The Chicago Art Dealer's Association (CADA) opens its fourth annual "Absolute Vision Chicago" celebration on July 16 with a street party, raffle and more than two dozen openings at member galleries, 5-8 pm. For more info contact CADAChgo@aol.com.
FRANK FOUNDATION AWARDS
The Andrea Frank Foundation, founded in 1995 by photographer Robert Frank to support photography and other visual art projects, has announced a total of $693,500 in grants for the last year. In honor of the artist Sanyu (1901-66), the foundation established the Sanyu Scholarship Fund at Yale University School of Art with a grant of $500,000 to support Yale MFA students from Taiwan or mainland China. Another $100,000 was provided to assist with the conservation of 49 works by Sanyu in the collection of the National Museum of History, Taiwan. Four artists received individual grants totaling $33,500: Burt Bar, Spring Ulmer, Wang Yazhong and Swavo Zulawinski. Eight young women moviemakers shared $60,000: N. Claire Adas, Sadie Bening, Suki Hawley, Miranda July, Anne Kugler, Kristin Lucas, Jennifer Reeves and Elisabeth Subrin. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
FRANKLIN FURNACE GRANTS
The Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art has announced the winners of its $2,500 grants for 1999. Recipients are a.k.a., Ann Carlson, Patty Chang, Susana Cook, Aleta Hayes, Peculiar Works Project, Standard & Poor, Julie Tolentino, Phillip Warnell and Mariano Weinstein. Panelists were Grisha Coleman, Deborah Edmeades, Brinkmann-Zhang Ga, Lorraine O'Grady, Carolina Cruz Santiago and Pamela Sneed. For more info contact email@example.com.
APPEL GETS CITIBANK AWARD
Kevin Appel has received the Emerging Artist Award from the Los Angeles Museum of Contermporary Art and the Citibank Private Bank. The $30,000 award goes to a Southern California artist who has not previously had a solo museum show; a portion of the prize is devoted to the purchase of work by the artist for MOCA's permanent collection.
EMMY FOR CITY ARTS
Independent art-tv producers Kathy Brew and Robert Guerra were awarded an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Fine Arts Programming for a segment on the Long Island City alternative-space mecca P.S.1. that aired on the "City Arts" program on PBS in New York.
RHOADS DONE AT SANTA MONICA MUSEUM
Thomas Rhoads, founding director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art, has announced his plan to step down next year. He has been executive director of the museum for 12 years.
ALEXANDER TO BALTIMORE
Kristi L. Alexander has been named deputy director for exhibitions and collections at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She has been manager of collections and registration at the Frank H. McClung Museum in Knoxville.
POOP PAINTING IN FRANKFURT
German bad boy Anton Henning has made the tabloids by exhibiting an abstract painting made with his own feces, currently on view at the Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art. Henning said he had eaten a large meal to obtain sufficient art supplies for the work. According to Reuters, the picture depicts brown, egg-like shapes and doesn't smell because it is coated with resin.