BASEL ART FAIR DEBUTS IN MIAMI
The international art world briefly moves to Florida next month, with the debut of Art Basel Miami Beach, Dec 5-8, 2002. On hand are more than 100 top galleries (about evenly split between the U.S. and Europe, with a tiny percentage from Asia, Latin America and Africa) at the Miami Beach Convention Center, plus an "Art Statements" section of 20 younger artists and, in converted cargo containers right on the beach itself, another 20 galleries in an "Art Positions" section. The fair is accompanied by a public art installation in Collins Park at the Bass Museum, organized by Art Institute of Chicago curator James Rondeau, and a "video lounge" designed by New York architects Lo/Tek in the rotunda of the Miami Beach Public Library.
Artists in the "Art Statements" section (and their sponsoring galleries) are: Candice Breitz (Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milano), Björn Dahlem (Luis Campaña, Köln), Chris Finley (Jack Tilton/Anna Kustera Gallery, N.Y.), Mark Handforth (Gavin Brown's Enterprise, N.Y.), Hanspeter Hofmann (Tony Wuethrich Galerie, Basel), Jim Lambie (Modern Institute, Glasgow), Jonathan Meese (Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin), Jason Middlebrook (Sara Meltzer Gallery, N.Y.), MR (Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo), Tim Noble + Sue Webster (Modern Art, London), Odili Donald Odita (Florence Lynch Gallery, N.Y.), Jenny Perlin (Annet Gellink Gallery, Amsterdam), Alessandro Pessoli (Anton Kern Gallery, N.Y.), Santiago Sierra (Peter Kilchmann, Zürich), Eliezier Sonnenschein (Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv), Elisa Sighicelli (Galleria Giò Marconi, Milano), Hiroshi Sugito (Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, N.Y.), Javier Téllez (Serge Ziegler Galerie, Zürich), David Thorpe (Maureen Paley/Interim Art, London), Costa Vece (Galleria Franco Noero, Torino), Amir Zaki (James Harris Gallery, Seattle).
The galleries in the "Art Positions" section on the beach include Air de Paris, Paris; Catherine Bastide H & R Projects, Brussels; Carlier Gebauer, Berlin; China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles; Cohan Leslie and Browne, New York; Galería Espacio Mínimo, Madrid; F A Projects, London; Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco; Galerie Martin Janda Raum aktueller Kunst, Vienna; Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin; Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, New York; Maccarone, Inc., New York; Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe; Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo; Rare Art Properties, Inc., New York; Sandroni Rey, Venice, Ca.; Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin; Vedanta Gallery, Chicago; Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam.
It seems like all of Florida has mobilized to mount exhibitions in conjunction with the fair. The week begins at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art in Lake Worth, about an hour north of Miami, with the Dec. 2 opening of "The Smiths: Tony, Kiki and Seton." On Dec. 3, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami unveils special projects by Julian LaVerdiere, Christian Marclay and Sarah Morris, while on Dec. 4 the Bass Museum of Art debuts its Yayoi Kusama survey. On Dec. 5, the Miami Art Museum hosts a reception for "Miami Currents: Linking Collection and Community" and an installation of new work by Teresita Fernandez. The same day the Miami Design District hosts a group of exhibitions and events (including one organized by Kenny Schachter in the Jalan Jalan showroom, and "Interplay," a group show of local artists in the Moore Building). And the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum in Miami Beach unveils several shows on Dec. 6.
Also on tap is the Scope Miami art fair, Dec. 5-8, 2002, at the TownHouse Hotel, located on 20th Street at Collins Avenue. About 25 galleries have signed up, including Carrie Secrist, Finesilver, Mark Moore, Nikolai, Priska Juscka, Richard Heller, The Proposition, Caren Golden, Cynthia Broan, Muller deChiara, Paul Rodgers, Rare and more.
BASQUIAT FORGER PLEADS GUILTY
Artist Alfredo Martinez, charged by the U.S. Attorney with forging drawings by the famed graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, interrupted his trial last week to enter a guilty plea. According to the case outlined by prosecutors, Martinez based his fakes on genuine Basquiat drawings that he borrowed from the East Village photographer Tom Warren (who obtained a trove of Basquiat drawings back in the '80s, retrieving them from the trash outside the artist's Crosby Street loft). The guilty plea came after Warren mentioned at the trial that Martinez had confessed the forgery to him. According to the plea, Soho dealer Leo Malca had paid $7,000 to Martinez for a pair of bogus drawings.
Also drawn into the case -- though spared from testifying by the sudden guilty plea -- were dealers Leo Koenig and Pearl Albino, both of whom had been approached by Martinez as part of his effort to find buyers for the fake Basquiats. Martinez, who had gained a modest reputation in the downtown Manhattan art world for militaristic works involving guns (real and ersatz) as well as for organizing sprawling group shows in vacant spaces, has been in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center since last June -- and is likely to stay there until sentencing. Federal guidelines call for 33 to 41 months for wire fraud, the charge that Martinez was facing, and in the federal system that's no picnic.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON STARTS
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, could the holiday shopping season be far off? Artist and curator Robin Kahn presents "The Holiday Shopping Show," Dec. 5-23, 2002, at the new Wallspace gallery at 453 West 17th Street, a "welcoming gesture towards December's intersection of spirituality and consumerism" that features multiples by more than 50 artist priced at $300 or less. Among the participants: AA Bronson, Mary Beth Edelson, Barbara Ess, Marcia Hafif, Carter Kustera, Larry Miller, Marilyn Minter, Peter Nadin, Cara Perlman, Rodney Ripps, Carolee Schneemann, Max Schumann, Jeanne Silverthorne, Robin Tewes and Jim Torok.
Out west in Chicago, the "Chicago Arts District Holiday Show" goes on view at 2003 S. Halsted Street, Dec. 7-8, with "smalls" made especially by local artists for holiday gift-giving. Most items are priced at $100 and under. For more info, see www.chicagoartsdistrict.org.
GRACHOS TO ALBRIGHT-KNOX Louis Grachos, director of SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico, has been appointed director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. He succeeds Douglas G. Schultz, who is retiring after 19 years as the museum's director. The Albright-Knox wants to return to its contemporary-arts roots, insiders say, and sees value in Grachos' experience overseeing the hip SITE Santa Fe biennials of 1997, 1999 and 2001.
MARCEL DYF IN NEW YORK
The first substantial survey in New York of works by the French artist Marcel Dyf (1899-1985) is unveiled next month at Frost & Reed, the venerable London gallery that recently opened an outpost on Madison Avenue. Dyf spent his early years in Arles and Paris, fleeing the Nazis on a bicycle before joining the Resistance. After the war he set up his studio first in St Paul de Vence and later in Cannes. The collection of about 15 paintings goes on view at Frost & Reed, Dec. 7, 2002-Jan. 15, 2003. Frost & Reed exhibits work by 19th- and 20th-century modernists, including Marc Chagall, Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Jean Metzinger and Suzanne Valadon.
INDIANA IN NEW YORK
Pop iconophile Robert Indiana returns to New York after a 20-year absence with a pair of concurrent exhibitions running Feb. 13-Mar. 2, 2003. C & M Arts presents "Robert Indiana: Letters, Words and Numbers," a show of works from the 1960s, while Paul Kasmin Gallery shows "Robert Indiana: Recent Paintings." The new paintings include US 66 (US Cities) and US 66 (US States), as well as the political Terror in November from 2000, a reference to the Florida election debacle that put George W. Bush in the White House. Indiana has been living in rural Maine since 1978.
FINAL WEEK FOR DIGITAL SHOW
Last chance to view the first group exhibition of Eyebeam's artists-in-residence program, which features works by dozens of emerging digital artists, including Cory Arcangel, Jem Cohen, Alex Galloway, Yael Kanarek with Bnode, John Klima and others. The show remains on view through Dec. 2, 1001, at Eyebeam's Chelsea facility at 540 West 21st Street. For more info see www.eyebeam.org.
West Chelsea's smallest and best-loved art gallery, Kravets/Wehby, is moving a few doors down from its current location at 529 West 21st Street to 521 West 21st Street. The new space is inaugurated on Dec. 15, 2002, with "New Wave," a group show organized by Franklin Sirmans and including Sanford Biggers, Iona Brown, William Cordova, Luis Gispert, Jeff Sonhouse, Josh Taylor/DJ Language and Kehinde Wiley.
VENUE CHANGES FOR ART LONDON Art London, the annual get-together of some 70 top British art dealers, has moved its dates back to its usual time, June 4-8, 2003; the fair was held in May this year to accommodate the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in June. The venue for the fair has also shifted, but by only about 50 yards, moving from a temporary structure at the Duke of York's HQ in Chelsea to a temporary structure in Burton Court in Chelsea.