SEX, FORGERY CLAIMS IN GETTY SCANDAL
Former J. Paul Getty Museum drawings curator Nicholas Turner has filed suit against the Getty and his predecessor as curator there, George Goldner (now drawings curator at the Metropolitan Museum), reports B.J. Palermo in the National Law Journal. In his lawsuit, Turner charges Goldner and the Getty with suppressing publication of his catalogue of the Getty's drawing collection, which Turner worked on for four years, because it asserts in an appendix that six Getty drawings are forgeries (Turner suggests they were done by the contemporary English master forger, Eric Hebborn). The drawings in question were acquired by the museum while Goldner was curator. Turner was curator at the British Museum for 20 years before moving to the Getty in 1994.
Turner first sued the Getty in 1997, claiming that he had been harassed by his secretary, with whom he had an affair, and that the Getty ignored his complaints. As part of the confidential out-of-court settlement, according to the Law Journal, the Getty agreed to publish Turner's research. But now a museum attorney has cited the prospect of a defamation case by Goldner as a reason for not publishing the manuscript. Goldner denies threatening to sue, but says, "People generally don't publish allegations about forgeries as the result of agreements about sexual harassment." The Getty says Turner's claims regarding the drawings are mistaken. The case has now moved to arbitration, according to Turner's lawyer. Stay tuned.
DOT-COMS DISPLACE ARTISTS IN SAN FRANCISCO...
The invasion of cash-rich internet companies into San Francisco's famed Mission District and Potrero Hill arts district has precipitated a crisis in artist's housing. Among the displaced (or about to be displaced) groups are the American Indian Contemporary Art Group, the Joe Goode Performance Group and S.F. Camerawork. In one recent protest, ten dancers from Dancers' Group were arrested after they illegally occupied their long-time studio to protest their eviction after the rent was raised from $3,000 to $15,500 a month. San Francisco mayor Willie Brown and a coalition of housing activists have introduced ballot measures to halt the incursion, according to ArtsWire. Brown's proposal calls for a two-year moratorium on new Internet companies in the art districts, while the coalition wants the city to prohibit the conversion of existing live/works units to office space.
...WHILE BOSTON ARTISTS BUY BUILDINGS
Meanwhile, in Boston, the Fort Point Cultural Coalition hopes to buy or lease as many as eight buildings in the city's Fort Point Channel Arts District, which has been home to artist studios, small nonprofit groups and commercial arts businesses for more than 25 years. Rising prices have recently tempted the Boston real estate development firm Beacon Capital Partners to acquire 800,000 square feet of space in the warehouse area, reports the Boston Herald. The coalition hopes to develop as many as 300 artists' lofts to help preserve the arts in the neighborhood.
STRIKE HEATS UP AT MOMA
As the strike by the Professional and Administrative Staff Association of Museum of Modern Art (PASTA-MOMA) enters its 17th week, the union is focusing its efforts on construction of the museum expansion. Last week, Teamsters carrying concrete barriers for the job were turned away after strikers set up 24-hour pickets. And the union is urging its supporters to lobby the Manhattan Borough Board, which meets tonight, Aug. 24, to consider the museum's application for zoning variances for the expansion. The New York State AFL-CIO is calling for a rally in front of the museum to support the strikers on Aug. 28, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
And the downtown nightclub Tonic is holding a benefit for the Museum of Modern Art Striker Hardship Fund on Aug. 30 at 8:00 p.m. The evening features performances by Krakatoa, Marc Ribot and members of Los Cubanos Postizos and an unplugged set by Kirk Kelly. Tonic is located at 107 Norfolk St., near Rivington; tickets are $18. You can also send a check directly to the fund to Local 2110/MoMA Striker Hardship Fund, 113 University Place, Fifth Floor, New York City 10003; call (212) 387-0220 for more information.
ARTIST CAN DRAW TIGER: REPORTERS
The Society of Professional Journalists is asking a federal appeals court to reject golf master Tiger Woods' lawsuit against sport artist Rick Rush for violations of trademark and right of publicity, reports USA Today. Woods hopes to block Rush's publishing company, Jireh, from using the golfer's image on a serigraph. The reporters' group says that Woods' position threatens the First Ammendment by asserting that rights of publicity have priority over the newsgathering process. An Ohio judge has ruled that Rush's use of Woods' image was not trademark infringement and the use of the athlete's name constituted fair use. The company formed to market products using Woods' name and image, ETW Corp., is appealing, claiming that Rush's series of prints cause "consumer confusion" and violate the golfer's trademark.
POSING IN WILLIAMSBURG
Under the aegis of Brooklyn art dealer Annie Herron, famed art-world portrait photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders is turning his camera on the mushrooming art scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Earlier this week, the local artists, critics and dealers that give Brooklyn its new art spice showed up at Greenfield-Sander's East Village studio to take the famous pose of Nina Leen's famous 1950 photograph of the Abstract Expressionists, otherwise known as The Irascibles. Back in the 1980s, Greenfield-Sanders captured members of the then-burgeoning East Village scene in a similar series of pictures. No word yet on where the project might be presented.
OVITZ UNVEILS COLLECTION
The current issue of W magazine features what is billed as the first public look at the staggering art collection of Hollywood powerbroker Michael Ovitz. Though located in Brentwood, Ca., the house rather resembles the Museum of Modern Art, of which Ovitz is a trustee. Jasper Johns' White Flag (1955-1958) looms over the fireplace in a room that also contains works by Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. In the bedroom are works by Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline and Mark Rothko, while Alexander Calder sculptures are dotted throughout the abode. Ovitz admits he has turned for advice to experts like PaceWildenstein chairman Arne Glimcher and MoMA curators Robert Storr and Kirk Varnedoe, as well as his cousin, the sculptor Joel Shapiro, and friends like Chuck Close and the late Roy Lichtenstein. Museums and other collectors make no secret of their covetousness, he says. "There are two kinds of people who come through here," he says. "There are people who love art, and there are people who love art and can't wait till I die."
MEDIA_CITY SEOUL 2000
The first big art show of the new art season is set for Korea, where Media_City Seoul opens to the public, Sept. 2-Oct. 31, 2000. The international biennial focuses on new media technologies and contemporary art via five exhibitions. "Media Art 2000," organized by Museum of Modern Art curator Barbara London and Jeremy Millar from the Photography Gallery in London, presents works by Matthew Barney, Nam June Paik, Rosemarie Trockel and Jane and Louise Wilson at the Seoul Metropolitan Museum. "City Vision," organized by Hans-Ulrich Obrist, curator of the Musee d'Arte Moderne de la Ville de Paris, features short clips by Christian Boltanski, Zaha Hadid, Pipilotti Rist and 23 other artists, to be broadcast over the city's commercial advertising electronic billboards. "Subway Project," organized by independent curator Byoung Hak Ryu, presents works by Kyung-a Ham, Junmok Lee, SUPARTIST and others in subway stations. "Digital Alice," organized by art historian Shin Eui Park and presented at the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, introduces experimental educational programs to children and features contributions from Michel Jaffrennou, Danny Rozin, Samsung Entertainment Co. and Hyunjun Yu. And "Media Entertainment," presented at the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of History and curated by Chang Ik Jang of Magic I Entertainment, introduces audiences to production processes of the advanced media industry. The biennial also includes four academic forums, a series of lectures concerning the role of media in the future urban environment and a weeklong run of Matthew Barney's Cremaster 4. For more information, visit the official website at www.mediaseoul.org.
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL ART EXPO 2000
More than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the third annual San Francisco International Art Exposition, Sept. 22-25. Produced by Thomas Blackman Associates, presenters of Art Chicago, the fair features 96 international modern and contemporary galleries. General admission is $12. The fair opens with a preview benefit on Sept. 21 benefiting the San Francisco Art Institute. Tickets run $150 for the preview and $275-$1,500 for the special patron's private reception; call (415) 749-4569 to order.
NEW YALE CURATORS
Yale University Art Gallery director Jock Reynolds has named three senior curators for the museum -- former Metropolitan Museum associate curator Suzanne Boorsch is Yale's new curator of prints, drawings and photographs, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum contemporary art curator Jennifer Gross is curator of European and contemporary art, and Trinity College prof Jean Cadogan is the new consulting curator in the European and contemporary department.
THE KESSLER CHAIR
Sculptor Jon Kessler has been appointed chair of the visual arts division of Columbia University's School of the Arts. He has been a faculty member since 1994. He succeeds painter Archie Rand, who continues to teach at the school.
SAN DIEGO GETS HERTZ
Betti-Sue Hertz has been named curator of the San Diego Museum of Art. She was director of Longwood Arts Project in New York during 1992-98 and organized "Uban Mythologies: The Bronx Represented Since the 1960s" (1999) at the Bronx Museum.
A. REYNOLDS MORSE, 1914-2000
A. Reynolds Morse, 85, businessman who amassed a collection of nearly 100 paintings and over 1,000 works on paper by Salvador Dalí, died on Aug. 15 at a nursing home in Seminole, Fla. He and his wife, Eleanor Reese Morse, founded the Dalí museum in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1982.
-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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