WHICH TWIN HAS THE TONI?
Most museums wouldnt mount a jewel-box exhibition featuring multiple casts of the same statues. But then the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas isnt like most other institutions. It dares to be different. The Nashers architecture as well as its collection are top notch. The grounds outside double the capacity to show the sort of breathtaking sculpture on view in the exquisite galleries indoors.
Currently, "Variable States: Three Masterworks of Modern Sculpture" marks the first anniversary of the Renzo Piano-designed, Steven Nash-directed center. The show features five versions of Auguste Rodins Age of Bronze, including casts made during the artists lifetime, shortly after he died and years later, as well as a weathered bronze that has stood outside; three versions of Alberto Giacomettis Bust of Diego, one of which is painted; and two versions of Jeff Koons stainless steel Louis XIV hold court in the special display room on the museums lower level.
Art lovers with extra super-saver miles may want to cash them in for a quick trip to Texas for this exhibition. Among other things, its a show about artists intentions, conservators approaches, curators connoisseurship and viewers perceptions. Summaries of discussions of each sculpture from a recent conference will be posted in December on www.nashersculpturecenter.org.
-- Phyllis Tuchman
BMW MINIS FOR MORI MUSEUM
The Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Richard Gluckman-designed museum located on the top two floors of Tokyos tallest skyscraper, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a special charity auction of five BMW Mini cars decorated by Japanese artists. Yayoi Kusama has customized her Mini with her trademark "infinity net" pattern of spots in yellow and black, while Yoshitomo Naras car features one of his angry child figures and the slogan "rock n roll will never die!" Artists Katsuhiko Hibino, Tetsuya Nakamura and Mika Ninagawa have also made customized cars, which are to be auctioned to support charities including the Special Olympics, the Kids Earth Fund and the Japan Alliance for Humanitarian De-Mining Support.
The auction also includes artworks donated by Takashi Murakami, Cai Guo Qiang, Tatsuo Miyajima, Yoko Ono, Hiroshi Sugimoto and 20 other Japanese artists, which are being sold to fund grants to artists by the Asian Cultural Foundation. The sale is being conducted by Sothebys Japan at a gala charity event at the Mori Art Museum on Dec. 3, 2004. For more info, see www.mori.art.museum/auction.
ARTWALK NY 2004
One of the New York art worlds favorite charity events is coming up fast -- Artwalk NY for 2004, which benefits the Coalition for the Homeless and takes place on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Monday, Nov. 22, 2004. First up is the signature interview of a top artist by newscaster Peter Jennings; this year the star is Pop artist Ed Ruscha, and the event takes place at Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street, at noon on Saturday. Admission is free.
Following the Ruscha interview are the walking tours of artists studios, led by luminaries who include Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman, Creative Time president Anne Pasternak and Studio Museum in Harlem director Lowery Stokes Sims. Tours depart at 2 pm, and tickets are $125; call (212) 608-5999 for info.
That evening is a party at Sothebys, 7-10:30 pm, featuring music, hors doeuvres and dessert as well as a silent auction of dozens of artworks by artists ranging from Joe Andoe, Elliott Arkin and Hope Atherton to Franz West, Kehinde Wiley and Randy Wray. Tickets to the party are $100 (or $175 when purchased with a walking tour ticket).
On Monday is the gala and live auction, also at Sothebys, beginning with cocktails at 6:30 pm, continuing with dinner at 7:30 pm and culminating at 8:30 pm with a live auction of works by Richard Avedon, Louise Bourgeois, Torben Giehler, Roni Horn and other artists, conducted by ace auctioneer Jamie Niven. Tickets for the gala begin at $500, while VIPs can take an entire table for $10,000. As above, call (212) 608-5999 for more info.
GUERRILLA GIRLS, BACK IN NEW YORK
New York art lovers can once again contemplate the "F word" -- Feminism -- at "Guerrilla Girls: The Art World and Beyond," Nov. 11-Dec. 23, 2004, at the Printed Matter bookstore in New Yorks Chelsea art district. The exhibition of posters, stickers and other projects made since 1985 is accompanied by a new publication, The Guerrilla Girls Art Museum Activity Book, billed as "an artrageous look at the world of New York City museums." The new book, published by Printed Matter, is available for $10 at www.printedmatter.org.
COLOR IN SCULPTURE AT HUFKENS
Xavier Hufkens Gallery in Brussels opens a new show devoted to the use of color in works by three U.S. sculptors, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, Nov. 19, 2004-Jan. 8, 2005. The exhibition takes its lead from Judd by focusing on color as "a phenomenon, an immediate sensation." The show features works from the 60s through the 80s by all three artists, as well as more recent works by Chamberlain. Upstairs, on the gallerys second floor, is the solo debut of French artist Pierre Malphettes, whose installations combine color and light with Arte Povera-style building materials. For more info, see www.xavierhufkens.com.
RENZO PIANO DESIGNS WHITNEY ADDITION
After two previous, ill-fated expansion attempts, the Whitney Museum is moving ahead with plans for an expansion designed by busy architect Renzo Piano, who is also crafting new facilities for the Morgan Library, Columbia University, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Art Institute of Chicago and the New York Times. Pianos preliminary design is notably self-effacing -- wisely so, considering the vigilance of Upper East Side preservationists. It calls for retaining the existing row of brownstones on the Whitneys south side and constructing what Piano calls a "little tower" of nine stories (174 feet tall) around the corner from the museum on East 74th Street. The new building and the Breuer structure would be distinct, barely touching with what the architect called "a kiss."
Pianos preliminary design does remove one of brownstones -- the one closest to the museum, which happens not to be landmarked -- for an airy new entrance space that the architect likens to a piazza. Piano hopes to add one more floor to the Whitneys signature Marcel Breuer building, which would provide new skylit galleries and be set back from the edge of the existing museum so as to be invisible from the street.
Overall, the new construction adds 124,000 square feet to the present facility, which now totals 54,000 square feet. It nearly doubles exhibition space, adding approximately 8,000 square feet of galleries. The design provides for a new 260-seat auditorium (something the Whitney has never had before) and a new library. Currently, the Whitney collection numbers about 15,000 works; it tallies about 600,000 visitors a year.
According to new museum director Adam Weinberg, the Whitney hasnt yet come up cost figure for the expansion. Also on the schedule: obtaining necessary approval from community and city planning boards.
MET BUYS DUCCIO MADONNA AND CHILD
Move over Juan de Pareja (the Velzquez portrait that the Metropolitan Museum notoriously purchased in 1971 for a then-astronomical $5 million) -- the new big-ticket acquisition at the Met is a 14th-century Madonna and Child by Duccio di Buoninsegna (active by 1278; died 1319). Done in tempera and gold on wood, the work -- known as the Stroganoff Madonna, after its first recorded owner, Count Grigorii Stroganoff -- measures 8 x 11 in. and was purchased by the museum for more than $45 million, the most costly art acquisition in the museums history, according to a report by Carol Vogel in the New York Times. The Met paid $20 million for Jasper Johns White Flag (1955) in 1999. The Duccio, which is being sold by heirs of the Belgian industrialist Adolphe Stoclet, is currently in London awaiting an export license, but could be on view at the Met in a few weeks.
$25 MILLION FOR SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM
The Smithsonian Institution has received a gift of $25 million from Washington art collectors Robert and Arlene Kogod for the renovation of the historic Patent Office Building in downtown Washington that houses the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. In recognition of the gift, the enclosed courtyard designed by Norman Foster is being named after the Kogods. Robert Kogod is a major real estate developer (who is acting as special advisor on the Patent Office Building renovation); his wife is a counselor who works with teenage girls in public schools. The renovated museum is slated to reopen in July 2006.
CLARK ART INSTITUTE LAUNCHES ARTS WRITING PRIZE
The best news weve heard all year is that the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., is launching the Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing, a new annual award designed to recognize art criticism that has broad audience appeal while remaining grounded in scholarship. The prize carries a $10,000 honorarium and an award designed by Tadao Ando; the first winner is to be announced in spring 2006.
The new prize is part of a broad series of initiatives by the Clark that celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2005-06. Other highlights include a national tour of Impressionsit works from the collection and an exhibition of the post-revolutionary work of Jacques-Louis David.
SEATOR FOUNDATION LAUNCHED
12 Duffield: The Glen Seator Foundation has been established to promote the work of artist Glen Seator, who died at age 46 in 2002 after a fall from the roof of his house -- at 12 Duffield Street -- in Brooklyns Clinton Hill neighborhood. The foundation plans to publish a catalogue raisonn of Seators work in conjunction with Steidl Publishers in 2007, and hopes to organize a retrospective exhibition of his work in New York. The foundation wont hold or sell the artists works. Artistic director is Nina Holland; its headquarters are at 66 Madison Avenue, Suite 12i, New York, N.Y. 10016. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
OPIE WINS ALDRICH AWARD
Photographer Catherine Opie has won the 12th annual Larry Aldrich Award from the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn. The prize includes a $25,000 purse and an exhibition at the Aldrich.
BENZAKEN TAKES DUCHAMP PRIZE
French artist Carole Benzaken has been named the winner of the 35,000 Marcel Duchamp Prize for 2004, awarded by the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art. An exhibition of her work goes on view at the Centre Pompidou, Dec. 8, 2004-Feb. 7, 2005.