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Artnet News
9/10/99
 
     
  YOUR OWN PRIVATE BEATLEMANIA
Art lovers can experience their own personal "Beatlemania" from noon to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 12, at Thread Waxing Space in New York's SoHo art district. For the modest price of $5, gallery goers can have the experience of true celebrity -- five pre-teen girls act as shrieking fans, hysterically pursuing their subject around the gallery and seeking autographs. The so-called Fan-a-grams are actually an artwork by London bad-girl artist Jessica Voorsanger, who first made waves by stealing Live Aid hero Bob Geldof's garbage and exhibiting it in an English gallery. She's also made concrete casts of the feet of all the members of the Liverpool Football Club. Voorsanger is in fact a New York native -- represented in New York by Brooklyn's own Modern Culture gallery -- who studied art at Goldsmiths in London and is now married to the (male) British artist known as Bob and Roberta Smith. Voorsanger seems to think that gallery-goers will treat a friend to her Beatlemania-type assault as a kind of surprise prank. Knowing the SoHo scene, we suspect they'll be buying Fan-a-grams for themselves!

FREE STUDIOS IN NEW YORK!
Visual artists 21 years of age and older are invited to submit proposals for 14 rent-free studio spaces in New York City to the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents, and not in school at the time of the residency. Studios are available beginning Sept. 1, 2000, for periods of up to one year. Artists who presently have a studio larger than 400 square feet in New York are not eligible. Proposals should include eight 35 mm slides of recent work, a resume and a statement; for more information, contact The Space Program, Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, 711 North Tejon Street, Suite B, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80903. (719) 635-3220.

And while you're at it, get A Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning, a comprehensive 278-page handbook published by the Sharpe Foundation. It's $10, including shipping and handling.

REMBRANDT ON CELLULOID
Klaus Maria Brandauer plays the title role in the new French-language movie Rembrandt, released Sept. 8 in Paris. Directed by Charles Matton, who is also a sculptor, the film faithfully depicts the life of the famous 17th-century Dutch painter. "I think reality is stronger than anything else," said Matton. "I refused to take liberties with the story." Filmed in Holland and Germany, the movie exhales some extraordinary beauty. Brandauer is a very convincing Rembrandt, with a striking resemblance to the artist. The film depicts the street life of Renaissance-era Amsterdam, and also shows the artist at work in his studio, in love with his wife, rich and happy and then grieving after her death before trying to find some consolation in the arms of his maidservants. Banished by the Calvinist society, Rembrandt is shown staggering but still certain of his genius. The paintings in the movie were done by Serge Clément, Marina Kamena and other artists.

-- Adrian Darmon

HOLOCAUST BOOTY TO WYNN
No sooner did the Seattle Art Museum return Henri Matisse's 1928 painting Odalisque to heirs of collector Paul Rosenberg than the work turned up on the walls of Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn's Bellagio Gallery of Art. A Wynn spokesman wouldn't comment on details of the sale, according to Seattle Post-Intelligencer art critic Regina Hackett, who first reported the story. The $2-million painting is believed to have been stolen from Rosenberg by the Nazis during World War II and inadvertently acquired by the Seattle Museum in 1991. It's return to the heirs was prompted by a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle by Elaine Rosenberg of New York, widow of Paul Rosenberg's son, and Micheline Nanette Sinclair of Paris, Rosenberg's daughter. "It belongs to them; they can do with it as they chose," said Seattle Art Museum director Mimi Gates.

STOLEN ART TRADE RIVALS DRUG BIZ
Stolen art is probably the third largest illegal trade in the world, after illicit drugs and arms, according to Adam Graycar, director of the Australian Institute of Criminology. Graycar estimated annual art theft to total between $500 million and $1 billion. "The illegal market is global in operation," he said. "Some criminals study art with the aim of stealing it."

BEST OF THE SEASON
Is the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Conn., getting a little uppity? First it takes the "Nude in Contemporary Art" show that the Whitney Museum dropped from its schedule and turns it into a summer blockbuster (closing Sept. 12, 1999). Next, the Aldrich is mounting "Best of the Season: Selected Work from the 1998-99 Manhattan Exhibition Season," Sept. 26, 1999-Jan. 9, 2000 -- a clear move into the void once filled by the famous Whitney Annuals. The stars of the year, according to Aldrich director Harry Philbrick, are Janine Antoni, Jean Blackburn, Mat Collishaw, Bonnie Collura, Petah Coyne, Thomas Demand, Emily Eveleth, Roland Flexner, Graham Gillmore, Tim Hawkinson, Alexei Hay, Justine Parsons, John Kalymnios, Micah Lexier, Winifred Lutz, Loren Madsen, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Barry McGee, Ernesto Neto, Rachel Neubauer, Roxy Paine, Matthew Ritchie, Michelle Rollman, Alyson Shotz, Claude Simard, Robin Tewes, Momoyo Torimitsu, Stephen Westfall and Zhang Huan.

PHOTOS FROM CHINA
"China: 50 Years inside the People's Republic" opens at the Asia Society in New York, Oct. 8, 1999-Jan. 2, 2000. Organized by Aperture, the exhibition features 160 photographs by 33 photographers and is accompanied by a 204-page hardcover book. Among the selections: a 1949 black-and-white portrait of the young Mao by U.S. diplomat Owen Lattimore plus dozens of pictures by native Chinese photographers.

AMAZONS OF THE AVANT-GARDE
Somebody at the Royal Academy of Arts in London knows how to title art exhibitions. Coming up is "Amazons of the Avant-Garde," Nov. 13, 1999-Feb. 6, 2000, featuring 60 works by Russian Cubo-Futurist and Suprematist women artists. The show focuses on paintings and works on paper by Alexandra Exter, Natalia Goncharova, Liubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Varvara Stepanova and Nadezhda Udaltsova. The show is organized by USC prof John E. Bowlt, Puskin Museum curator Zelfira Tregulova and Guggenheim curator Matthew Drutt. The show has already appeared at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin (to Oct. 3) and after the Royal Academy comes to the Guggenheim Museum in Venice (Feb. 29-May 28, 2000) and the Guggenheim in New York (June 21-Oct. 1, 2000). As it turns out, it wasn't a RA marketing wiz who came up with the title, but avant-garde poet Benedikt Livshits who called the women artists "real Amazons, Scythian riders."

ELIZABETH FOUNDATION GRANTS
The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts has announced its grants to individual artists for 1999. The 13 grants range in amount from $4,500 to $12,000. Recipients are Heiner Blumenthal, Stephen Hendee, Arturo Herrera, Gary Komarin, Esa Laurema, Tracy Miller, Garry Nichols, Ruth Pastine, Stephen J. Riedell, Carleen Sheehan, Anthony Viti and Jean Wolff. Named for the late Iowa-born art patron Elizabeth Stanley, the nonprofit charity has several programs; for more info contact grants@efa1.org. The foundation is also sponsoring the exhibition "Towards a Society for All Ages: World Artists at the Millennium," Sept. 11-Oct. 18, 1999, at the Visitors Lobby of the United Nations. The show features works by 35 artists over 60 years of age, and celebrates the "U.N. International Year of Older Persons."

JUNKER TO CARTER MUSEUM
Patricia Junker has been appointed curator of paintings and sculpture at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. She was previously associate curator of American art at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco.

FRIIS-HANSEN TO AUSTIN
Dana Friis-Hansen, senior curator of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, has become chief curator of the Austin Museum of Art, effective Jan. 31, 2000.