PALM BEACH ART & ANTIQUE FAIR GETS UNDERWAY
The sixth annual installment of the luxurious Palm Beach International Art & Antique Fair opens this weekend, Jan. 30-Feb. 9, 2003, at the International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches in sunny West Palm Beach, Fla. More than 30 top dealers are on hand for the tony event, ranging from Adelson Galleries, Ariadne Galleries and Berry-Hill Galleries (New York) to Steinitz (Paris), M. F. Toninelli Art Moderne (Monaco), Axel Vervoordt (Gravenwezel, Belgium) and Wartski (London). Ther vernissage benefits the Norton Museum of Art; tickets begin at $250. Adding a dash of scandal to the proceedings is the unexpected absence of London dealer Richard Green, a fact that was jumped upon by art & money reporters for both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times (who hypothesized that the ongoing sales-tax-evasion case against former Tyco CEO (and onetime Green client) Dennis Kozlowski might have something to do with it). General admission to the fair is $12.
GROUNDBREAKING OUTSIDER AUCTION
Someone let the dogs out at the first major New York auction devoted to Outsider Art, featuring the collection of advertising mogul Robert M. Greenberg and held at Christie's New York on Jan. 27, 2003. In all, 94 of 120 lots, or 78 percent, sold for a total of $1,146,603, with six of the top 10 lots setting new auction records for the artists. Prices include the buyer's premium of 19.5 percent on sales of $100,000 and less.
Top lot was Alamentosa (ca. 1953) by Martin Ramirez, which sold to a South American buyer for $95,600 (est. $55,000-$80,000), a new record. A panoramic scene of young girls by Henry Darger, While Inside They Await Developments. . ., sold for a record $89,625 (est. $50,000-$70,000). Other new artist's records were set for Drossos P. Skyllas ($65,725), Augustin Lesage ($53,775), William Hawkins ($41,825) and Morton Bartlett ($35,850).
Among the works that failed to find buyers was William Edmondson's Untitled (Ark), which received a bit of notably bad presale publicity when its estimate of $400,000-$600,000 was ridiculed as too high in a story in the New York Times.
PLAYBOY'S DALI AT AUCTION IN LONDON
One of the highlights of Sotheby's Impressionist and modern art sale in London on Feb. 4, 2003, is Salvador Dalí's notorious Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of her Own Chastity (1954) from the Playboy Collection in Beverly Hills. The picture, which carries a presale estimate of £1,300,000-£1,800,000, is one of the artist's more erotic efforts, showing a young woman leaning suggestively over a balcony (an image inspired by a photo in a skin magazine) surrounded by swirling phallic and rhino-horn shapes.
"We bought the piece in 1971 from Bud Holland, one of Chicago's most distinguished dealers," said Playboy executive Richard Rosenzweig, who is a collector and museum trustee in his own right. "It was constantly being requested for exhibitions, but usually we don't lend things from the mansion." Rosenzweig said the London houses showed more interest in the painting than the New York auctioneers, and also noted that Playboy was selling the work now because "we felt the market was right for it."
Over the years, Playboy has assembled a collection of approximately 5,000 works that are on display in its New York, Chicago and Beverly Hills offices. Expect some kind of a celebration of "The Art of Playboy" when the magazine rings in its 50th anniversary in 2004.
"TREADING ON KINGS" FROM JOEL STERNFELD
Famed American photojournalist Joel Sternfeld has published diaristic photo essay on the protest last summer for the global G8 economic summit in Genoa, Italy. Treading on Kings: Protesting the G8 in Genoa (Steidl, $30) features telling portraits of individual protesters with their comments on what brought them to the international event and what happened there, plus a special section on the death of the 23-year-old demonstrator Carlo Giuliani and the nighttime police attack on sleeping protestors at the Genoa Social Forum. The book also includes brief eye-witness accounts of the events by writers Alexander Stille and Stefamoa Galante.
"READY FOR WAR" IN ILLINOIS
The University Galleries of Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., has put out a "call for entries" for a show titled "Ready for War," Feb. 18-Mar. 18, 2003. Among the suggested targets for this esthetic combat are "terrorism, poverty, environmental protection, privacy, racism, civil liberties, drugs and reproductive rights." All works are accepted; high-tech artists must provide their own equipment. The show is "my way of 'acting locally'," said gallery director Barry Blinderman, "offering as many artists as possible a forum for expressing their sentiments about the grave state our country is in at the moment." The show is to be posted on the gallery website and exhibited in the museum; for more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"RECESSION 2003" IN CHELSEA
Chelsea art dealer Cynthia Broan has teamed up with artist Tim Thyzel to present "Recession 2003, the $99 Bargain Store" at the Cynthia Broan Gallery, Feb. 1-Mar. 10, 2003. All items are priced at $99 and under, on a "cash and carry" basis, and include paintings and photographs as well as books, t-shirts and other objects. Over 150 artists are participating, including Nils Folke Anderson, Burberry Gyrl, DeWitt Cheng, Eric Doeringer, Christoph Draeger, Jonathan Feldschuh, Emmanuelle Gauthier, Andrew Guenther, Cynthia Hartling, Bodo Korsig, Lisa Levy, Pia Lindman, Joe Ovelman, Bill Plympton, Christian Schumann, Jeanne Silverthorne, Taro Suzuki and Christine Wang. The gallery is located at 423 West 14th Street.
"FREE MONEY" ON PARK AVENUE
The newest sculpture to appear in the heart of New York's midtown art district at Park Avenue and 57th Street is Tom Otterness' nine-foot-tall bronze, Free Money, which depicts a couple dancing atop a sack of money. The installation is sponsored by Marlborough Gallery and the City of New York Parks & Recreation Department, and is on view till Apr. 13, 2003.
WHISTLER IN THE STACKS
The New York Public Library has opened "Poetry of Sight: The Prints of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)," Jan. 24-May 10, 2003, a show of more than 130 etchings, drypoints and lithographs commemorating the centenary of the artist's death. Curated by Nicole Simpson and Elizabeth Wyckoff, the show features three self-portraits made over 21 years plus etchings from the "French Set" (1858), the "Thames Set" (1871), the "First Venice Set" (1881) and the "Second Venice Set" (1886).
GEE'S BEND ON THE ROAD
"The Quilts of Gee's Bend," the exhibition of quilts made by several generations of black women in Gee's Bend, Ala., has been such a hit that it's about to embark on an extensive national tour. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Mar. 9, 2003), the exhibition now tours to the Mobile Museum of Art (June 14-Aug. 31, 2003), the Milwaukee Art Museum (Sept. 27, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004), the Corcoran Gallery (Feb. 14-May 17, 2003), the Cleveland Museum (June 12-Sept. 14, 2004), the Chrysler Museum (Oct. 14, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005), the Memphis Brooks Museum, (Feb. 13-May 8, 2004), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (June-August 2005) and the High Museum (December 2005-February 2006).