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Artnet News
8/2/01


NAMING OPPORTUNITY AT ART IN GENERAL
Patrons are wanted at Art in General, the pioneering alternative space located at 79 Walker Street in Manhattan's Tribeca art district. As part of its 20th-anniversary celebrations, the gallery is planning to centralize all of its educational programs into a new, $50,000 education center to be constructed in fourth-floor space currently used for storage. "There's definitely a naming opportunity there," said Rebecca Myles, Art in General's development director. The 1,000 square foot space, donated by building landlord General Hardware Manufacturing Company, will accomodate 36 students at one sitting.

Each year, Art in General serves some 3,000 kids from 200 schools in nearby Chinatown, the Lower East Side and all across the city; it also runs a printmaking workshop for teenage first-offenders as part of a city rehab program. The 20th-anniversary celebration, which kicks off on Oct. 9, 2001, includes "Art in General on Canal," the installation of a group of commissioned, site-specific works made for the famed downtown shopping street, and "Looking for Mr. Fluxus: In the Footsteps of George Maciunas." For more info, email artingen@rcn.com.

CATALOGUING KLINE
Art historian Stephen C. Foster, who organized the Franz Kline retrospective that toured several European museums during 1994-95, now plans to put together a comprehensive catalogue and monograph covering the artist's work from the late '40s through his death in 1962. Kline collectors, friends and acquaintances are invited to contact Foster through his new website, www.franzkline.org.

DE KOONING SCULPTURE SPURNED
After 14 years in the plaza of the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne, Australia, Willem de Kooning's massive bronze sculpture, Standing Figure, is soon to be standing elsewhere. VAC chief Tim Jacobs wants the de Kooning moved "as soon as possible" and replaced with a work by a native Australian -- Clement Meadmore's Dervish. According to a story in the Melbourne Age, the de Kooning won't be missed -- it has been referred to as "The Dog Turd" by locals. Standing Figure will probably end up in the refurbished garden of the National Gallery of Victoria, which actually owns the work, having gotten it as a gift from the National Australia Bank in 1986, when its value was $375,000. The 72-year-old Meadmore, by the way, has lived in the U.S. for the last 30 years.

MOFFATT RECORD AT AUSTRALIAN AUCTION
An Australian private collector paid a record $74,000 (Australian) for a photograph by Tracey Moffatt at Phillips modern and contemporary art sale in Sydney, Australia, on July 30. The work in question, Something More No. 1, is one of Moffatt's better known images, showing a wistful young girl in a red dress standing in front of an outback shanty. It had never been offered at auction before, and carried a presale estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

COLLECTOR CONVICTED IN $17.5-MILLION ART SCAM
A 56-year-old Beverly Hills eye doctor was sentenced to 37 months in prison after being nabbed in a $17.5-million art-insurance scam, according to the California U.S. attorney's office. Steven Cooperman was convicted of faking the 1992 theft of two art works, Pablo Picasso's Nude before a Mirror and Claude Monet's The Customs Officer's Cabin in Pourville, and collecting $17.5 million from his insurance companies. Cooperman established the value of the works by lending them to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and getting a receipt with the value pegged at $12.5 million.

In fact, Cooperman's friend, a former attorney named James Tierney, took the paintings from Cooperman's house while he was on vacation. According to Reuters, Tierney then gave the artworks to another associate, James Little, who stashed them in a rented storage unit. Cooperman and Tierney brainstormed about what to do with the pictures, the U.S. attorney said, discussing putting them in a dumpster, destroying them with garden shears or putting them through a shredder. In the end, Little threatened to sell the paintings, and his girlfriend told the Feds where they were. The paintings were recovered in Cleveland in 1997.

GERMAN ART VANDAL BACK IN CUSTODY
German art museums went on alert on July 31 after the country's notorious serial art vandal, Hans-Joachim Bohlmann, escaped from the Hamburg psychiatric ward where he had been confined. The 63-year-old Bohlmann's criminal career began in 1977 when he terrorized galleries in several German cities by throwing acid on Old Master paintings, including three Rembrandts to which he caused over $20-million worth of damage. After serving a five-year prison sentence for his actions, Bohlmann was released, but continued his escapades in 1988 when he ruined three Dürer pictures in Munich. He was then sentenced to two years in prison, followed by institutionalization in a mental hospital. The museum alert was short-lived, as Bohlmann turned himself in after only a day's absence. He explained upon his return that he simply wanted visit places he hadn't seen in a long time.

RUSSIANS AT WILSON BENEFIT
This weekend's event for art lovers in the Hamptons is the ninth-annual summer benefit for Robert Wilson's Byrd Hoffman Foundation Watermill Center in Water Mill, Long Island, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2001. The get-together features cocktails, dinner and dancing, an art auction and installations on the center's wooded grounds by six Russian artists. The artists, who collaborated with Wilson on works for the recent Bienal de Valencia in Spain, are Vadim Fishkin, Dmitri Gutov, Alexandre Liachenko, Anatoly Osmolovski and the team of Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexandre Vinogradov. Among the art-world movers and shakers who have lent their names to the event are Doris Amman, Heiner Bastian, Bob Colacello, Paula Cooper, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Renee Fotouhi, Ashton Hawkins, Dorothy Lichtenstein, David Maupin and Simon de Pury. Tickets are $125 (dessert and dancing), $500 (dinner) and $1,000 (patron); contact (212) 253-7484.

CURATOR FOR ORANGE COUNTY MUSEUM
Irene E. Hofmann has been named curator of contemporary art at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, Ca., effective in October 2001. Hofmann is currently curator at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The Orange County Museum recently began discussions about moving to larger quarters near the Orange County Performing Arts Center and South Coast Repertory theater in downtown Costa Mesa, Ca.

ITALO SCANGA, 1932-2001
Italo Scanga, 69, Italian-born sculptor who specialized in witty Pop assemblages, died of a heart attack at his home in San Diego on July 27, 2001. Born in Calabria in Italy, Scanga came to the U.S. in 1947 and served in the army in the '50s before launching his art career. He taught at U. Cal. San Diego since 1978. In 1988 the city of San Jose commissioned, Figure Holding Sun, for the plaza in front of the San Jose Museum of Art. His most recent exhibitions were at Bryan Ohno Gallery in Seattle and Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, where he exhibited elegant, cast bronze sculptures of a variety of objects (candlesticks, animal figures, vases) perched one on top of the other.

-- compiled by Evonne Gambrell, Lily Kim and the Artnet Magazine staff.





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