RICHELIEU TAKES MONTREAL
It's final -- New Yorkers will go to Montreal to see a major museum exhibition. "Richelieu: Art and Power," the blockbuster that opened at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Sept. 18, 2002-Jan. 5, 2003, has garnered praises from both New York Times art critic John Russell ("original and provocative, panoramic and full of surprises") and New York Observer scribe Hilton Kramer "almost too much of a feast for the eye and them mind"). An overview of French court culture 1624-1642, the show is organized by MMFA curator Hilliard T. Goldfarb. In addition to its lineup of nearly 200 great works, including prints by Jacques Callot and paintings by Georges de La Tour and Nicolas Poussin, the show provides a telling lesson in the ways that art can be used to glorify the state and constitute national identity. Unfortunately for those in the lower 50, the show's only other venue is at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Jan. 31-Apr. 20, 2003, but an extensive, fully-illustrated catalogue with 11 essays is available in French and English for $75.
FARRAH AS ART OBJECT
First, Matthew Barney spotlighted senior glamour actress Ursula Andress in his Cremaster glam-art epic. Now, Hollywood FX artist Keith Edmier unveils his two-year collaboration with 1970s TV superstar Farrah Fawcett at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov. 21, 2002-Feb. 17, 2003. Centerpiece of "Contemporary Projects 7: Keith Edmier and Farrah Fawcett 2000" is a kitsch-romantic life-size marble of a young Farrah en deshabile mated with a standing bronze of Edmier. Other works in the show, selected as collaborations between artists and models, are by Ulises Carion, Man Ray, Auguste Rodin and Alfred Stieglitz. The Edmier-Fawcett sculpture is being produced in an edition of six with ancillary photos, drawings and a book by Yvonne Force's Art Production Fund. Farrah has long had an interest in art, and posed alongside of her own body-print paintings in a famous Playboy magazine layout in 1997.
DIANE KEATON, CLOWN COLLECTOR
Were the actor, writer and photographer Diane Keaton not a major celebrity, she could easily pass for an avant-gardist -- witness her latest project, a new picture book called Clown Paintings (Powerhouse Books, $29.95). The 128-page book features 65 full-color illustrations of amateur paintings of clowns (from the collections of Keaton and Santa Monica art dealer Robert Berman) along with an incredible collection of texts by top comedians relating how clowns had affected their lives. Martin Short grew up with a clown named Happy Hugo living down the street. "He was one of the most depressed people I've ever met." Garry Shandling tells of a day as a boy when a rodeo clown in Tucson convinced him to crawl into a barrel on top of him. "This isn't my style of comedy," he remembers screaming. The book's other essayists range from Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard to Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, John Waters and Robin Williams. Los Angeles art lovers can visit an exhibition of paintings from the book at Robert Berman Gallery, opening Oct. 18, 2002.
"VERNACULAR BIENNIAL" FROM RICCO & MARESCA
The contemporary art world has dozens of "biennials" that promise to bring viewers the best of new contemporary art. Now, Chelsea Outsider Art dealers Frank Maresca and Roger Ricco have put together a kind of "vernacular biennial in a book," titled American Vernacular: New Discoveries in Folk, Self-Taught and Outsider Sculpture (Bulfinch, 2002). Featuring an introduction by former Museum of Modern Art curator Margit Rowell and an essay by Newark Museum curator Joseph Jacobs, the copiously illustrated, 304-page survey includes an impressive range of newly identified folk art and artifacts, from carnival figures to religious totems, antique trade signs to weather vanes and whirligigs. Highlights include turn-of-the-century wood and polychrome exorcism tableau from Michigan, a white-painted trade figure of a crawling toddler dating from 1925-30 and Morton Bartlett's uncanny polychrome plaster female figures from ca. 1950-60. The book is $75; for more info see www.bulfinchpress.com.
LATIN AMERICAN BIENNIAL IN NEW YORK El Museum del Barrio opens "The (S) Files 2002," a biennial showcase of new art by 30 Latin American artists living and working in the New York area, Oct. 24, 2002-Feb. 16, 2003. Among the venturesome works are a publicity campaign and look-alike contest by Paco Cao, a roving pirate radio station by neuroTransmitter, an "ideal art-viewing environment" by Nicolás Guagnini, a pilgrimage on a bicycle with a potato by Nicolás Dumit Estévez, and a 30-foot robot by Chico MacMurtie. The show -- dubbed "S" for "select" -- spreads from the museum galleries to the building roof and courtyard and venues throughout el barrio, the Spanish-speaking East Harlem neighborhood that gave the museum its name. The show is organized by El Museo curator Deborah Cullen and Victoria Noorthoorn, curator of the MALBA in Buenos Aires. For a complete list of participating artists, see www.elmuseo.org.
PERUVIAN ARTIST HITS NEW YORK
The lush and fantastical paintings of Peruvian artist Moico Yaker are well known to habitues of the Latin American art scene -- from showings at the Havana Bienal and the São Paolo Bienal, and in his retrospective at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Monterrey, Mexico. "The canvases by Yaker I've admired over the years are filled with disoriented conquistadors, mulattos, ladinos and Orthodox Jews dancing to a syncopated rhythm of their erotic appetite," author Ilan Stavans commented in the catalogue for Yaker's recent show at Sicardi Gallery in Houston. This month, Yaker has turned up in New York, where he is working out of a studio in the Chelsea Market. He is opening the space to the public on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's on the 5th floor, no. 5, and is accessible by the elevator at the end of the ramp in front of Sarabeth's Bakery. For info call (917) 428-3653.
BOHEMIA ON CD Artpix, a nonprofit organization that specializes in contemporary art CDs, has issued Billy Sullivan Photographs, a two-disc CD-ROM and DVD project that includes 260 photographs by the New York painter and photographer Billy Sullivan. Sullivan's distinctly bohemian eye catches the denizens of the Manhattan art world from the 1970s to the present as they hang out in clubs, galleries, parties and bathrooms. The CD includes an essay by New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl, who calls Sullivan's snapshot mode "circumstantial portraiture." The CD is the inaugural title of Artpix's new Notebooks imprimatur, intended as an artist's sketchbook or diary that reveals the creative process. Individual CDs are $30, with annual subscriptions (two CDs) going for $50; for info see www.artpix.com.
NEW LITERARY MAG FOR DOWNTOWN CULTURE
Two avatars of Manhattan's hip culture, essayist Glenn O'Brien and poet Max Blagg, have unveiled the first issue of Bald Ego, a new literary magazine that promises to "strip search the soul." The sleek tome includes writing by Larry Clark, Douglas Coupland, Adrian Dannat, Patrick McGrath and Eileen Myles, artworks by Duncan Hannah, James Nares, Richard Prince, Billy Sullivan and Donald Sullivan, and some exceptional black-and-white photos of Pamela Anderson by Sante d'Orazio. Subscriptions are $27 per year from Bald Ego Publishing, 21 Bond Street, New York, N.Y. 10012.
PRINT CACHE FOR RUTGERS
Legendary art-print pioneer June Wayne, who worked with scores of top artists at her Tamarind Lithography Workshop in California in the 1960s, has donated artworks valued at $5.47 million to the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J. The gift includes 766 works by 128 artists and 2,555 by Wayne herself. At the same time, Wayne is joining the school's art faculty. In conjunction with Wayne's gift, Judith K. Brodsky, founder of the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper has donated $500,000 and will help raise another $500,000 to create an endowment for the center. To this end, some 200 prints go on sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on Nov. 21.
CRAFT MUSEUM CHANGES NAME
Has the high-octane art business outgrown homely notions of craft? It seems so, at least judging by the American Craft Museum's abrupt change of its name to the Museum of Contemporary Arts and Design. "Craft is associated with . . . cheap trinkets," said Alan Siegel, a branding marketer who sits on the museum's board, to New York Times art scribe Carol Vogel. With the name change, the craft museum stakes a claim to esthetic territory previously shared by the Museum of Modern Art's design department and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (which also recently changed its name, and is rumored to be considering abandoning the "Cooper-Hewitt" moniker as well). Under powerhouse director Holly Hotchner, the craft museum has begun to renovate the landmark 54,000-square-foot E. D. Stone museum building on Columbus Circle as a new home.
FROST & REED IN NEW YORK
Another London dealer is setting up shop in New York City. Frost & Reed, which opened its doors in London in 1808 and now has quarters at 2-4 King Street in St. James's, unveils its New York gallery at 21 East 67th Street on Oct. 15, 2002, with an inaugural exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. The gallery occupies a total of 3,500 square feet on the first two floors of the building, which is located between Madison and Fifth Avenues.
CARBERRY IN CHICAGO
Chicago has a new art venue -- the Valerie Carberry Gallery, which opens in the John Hancock Building on Michigan Avenue with an exhibition of works by José de Rivera on Nov. 1, 2002. Carberry, the former director of Robert Henry Adams Fine Art, specializes in American artists from the 1920-60 period; the gallery plans a show of works from the 1930s by Adolph Gottlieb in March 2003 (the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth) and is also the exclusive representative of the estate of John Storrs. Address is 875 N. Michigan, Suite 2510; phone is (312) 397-9990. For more info, contact Aimee Dolby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SELLERS OUT AT WADSWORTH Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art director Kate M. Sellers has resigned after less than two years on the job. The 50-year-old museum chief, the museum's first woman director, told the Hartford Courant that she was leaving to relocate closer to her family following the events of 9/11. The museum in is the midst of a $120-million fundraising and expansion plan.
NEW CURATOR FOR WEXNER Helen Molesworth has been appointed chief curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Oh. She has been curator of contemporary art at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where her exhibitions have included "BodySpace," a group show exploring the legacy of Minimalism in contemporary art, and "Work Ethic" a forthcoming survey of post-1960s art that deals with ideas of artistic labor. She succeeds Carlos Basualdo, who resigned in March.