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EXPANSION PAINS FOR MOMA|
The Museum of Modern Art won't close its doors for its vaunted renovation and expansion plan till 2002, but already the scheme is running into trouble, reports Dan Costello in the Wall Street Journal. The project's original $200-million budget for a 30 percent expansion has swollen to a staggering $800 million for a 50 percent increase, and so far the museum has only about half that figure in pledges. To make matters worse, MoMA had hoped to remain open during the 18-month construction period, but now has decided to move until 2004 to a temporary building in Queens. The Swingline Factory, as it is being called after its previous tenant, will be able to accommodate a quarter of the museum's current attendance, significantly cutting into its income. Furthermore, there are fears that MoMA's new 53rd Street quarters will not be able to draw the million new annual visitors it hopes to attract.
The Wall Street Journal report states that the museum has been leaning on its trustees for help, allegedly switching its traditional requirement to join its prestigious 40-member board from the promise of donating a top-notch art collection to the contribution of $3 million-$4 million. Another potential source of funding is its e-business venture with London's Tate Gallery (which recently underwent a highly-touted expansion of its own), but the enterprise has raised more than a few eyebrows -- profits from internet merchandising can be quite elusive, and MoMA's own president Agnes Gund admits that the venture "could demean the integrity of the institution."
To cut costs, the museum has trimmed $50 million from the construction budget, and Gund, who says she is leaving her longtime post for reasons unrelated to the renovation, reveals that the museum has reduced the quality of its construction materials to save money.
NEW ART IN BASEL
Basel's Liste 2000 art fair, which was founded five years ago to present younger, newer art at the same time as the city's vaunted Basel Art Fair, opens June 20-25 with 40 dealers from 15 countries showcasing more than 200 artists. Mounted in the former Wartek Brewery just down the road from the Basel Art Fair (which opens June 21-26), Liste has previously proven to be a springboard to its more established companion for about a third of its participants. This year's special guests include Fri-Art, the Kunsthalle from Fribourg, which has invited several freelance curators to organize shows, and Zurich artist Maurus Gmür, who presents his examination of the regional art scene.
Exhibitors include Aidan (Moscow), Bochynek (Düsseldorf), Paula Böttcher (Berlin), Spencer Brownstone (New York), Chicago Project Room (Chicago), China Art Objects (Los Angeles), De Praktijk (Amsterdam), Flach (Stockholm), Foksal Foundation (Warsaw), Annet Gelink (Amsterdam), Hales (London), Jack Hanley (San Francisco), Kapinos (Berlin), Magnus Karlsson (Stockholm), Annette de Keyser (Antwerp), Leo Koenig Inc. (New York), Tomio Koyama (Tokyo), Andrew Kreps (New York), Lombard-Freid Fine Art (New York), Loop-Raum Für Aktuelle Kunst (Berlin), Tommy Lund (Copenhagen), Mezzanin (Vienna), Modern Art Inc. (London), the Modern Institute (Glasgow), Andrew Mummery (London), Franco Noero (Torino), Emmanuel Perrotin (Paris), Francesca Pia (Berne), Side 2 (Tokyo), Cokkie Snoei (Rotterdam), Sommer Contemporary Art (Tel-Aviv), Nils Staerk (Copenhagen), Stalke (Copenhagen), Schaper Sundberg (Stockholm), Barbara Thumm (Berlin), Emily Tsingou (London), Chez Valentin (Paris), Walcheturm (Zurich), Anton Weller (Paris) and Enja Wonneberger (Kiel).
VIOLA MEETS NINE INCH NAILS
L.A. artist Bill Viola has teamed-up with industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails, reports Artnet contributor Hunter Drohojowska-Philp. Band leader Trent Reznor approached the MacArthur Award winning video magician with a simple request: "We play very intense music and there has to be a counterpoint to that." Viola responded with three videotapes featuring his trademark water and fire imagery to accompany the songs La Mer, The Great Below and The Mark Has Been Made. The artworks are projected on 17-foot-tall video screens during a break in the middle of the band's set. You can catch the collaboration in concert during Nine Inch Nail's continuing nationwide tour, "Fragility V2.0," Apr. 29-June 18.
LAST CHANCE AT DIA
You have till June 18 to check out this season's exhibitions at the Dia Center for the Arts before the gallery closes for the summer. On view right now are Rodney Graham and Vera Lutter's "Time Traced," an exhibition of pinhole camera works; Robert Irwin's Excursus: Homage to the Square³, featuring variously colored fluorescent lights in 18 chambers defined by scrims; and Donald Judd's Untitled, a work comprised of 15 plywood boxes acquired earlier this year from the late artist's Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Tex. Admission is $6; call (212) 989-5566 for more details.
HEAVY ENERGY MACHINE AT MOMENTA ART
Brooklyn gallery Momenta Art presents Heavy Energy Machine 2: Imperialist Games, a performance by Edy Ferguson, on June 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Inspired by the happenings of the '60s, the piece features performers of different disciplines improvising freely accompanied by footage of Vietnam veterans riding motorcycles through Washington, D.C., video from protests against the World Trade Organization and footage from the Vietnam War. The performance is a sequel to the original Heavy Energy Machine performed last December at Manhattan's Judson Church. Call (718) 218-8058 for more info.
AUGUSTUS WASHINGTON AT THE ICP
The International Center of Photography presents "A Durable Memento," the first major exhibition of the work of accomplished 19th-century African American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington, June 24-Sept. 24. Organized by Ann Shumard, assistant curator in the department of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, the show includes over 30 rare daguerreotype portraits, including one of abolitionist John Brown, as well as broadsides and letters tracing Washington's career and subsequent political involvement in the back to Africa movement.
ROBERT WILLSON, 1922-2000
Robert Willson, 88, considered the founder of the modern movement in glass sculpture, died on June 1 of congestive heart failure in his home in San Antonio. Willson taught at the University of Mexico, where in the 1930s he created the first course on Mexico's modern art. His work was featured in the Venice Biennale in 1972.
LEONARD BASKIN, 1933-2000
Leonard Baskin, 77, sculptor known for works depicting the suffering of the Holocaust, died of undisclosed causes on June 3. He founded and operated the Gehenna Press, which produced illustrated books, many of them containing his own wood engravings, and taught at Smith College in Northampton and at Hampshire College in Amherst. The artist had received a number of prestigious awards, including the Gold Medal of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Gold Medal of the National Academy of Design.
-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech