Get ready for London's newest measure of the contemporary art scene. "Days Like These," the second Tate Triennial exhibition of contemporary British art, opens to the public at Tate Britain, Feb. 26-May 26, 2003. A counterpart to the Turner Prize, the triennial features 23 artists and is curated by Ikon Gallery director Jonathan Watkins and Judith Nesbitt, head of exhibitions at Tate Britain.
Participating artists are Kutlug Ataman, Margaret Barron, David Batchelor, Nathan Coley, Gillian Carnegie, David Cunningham, Dexter Dalwood, Ian Davenport, Richard Deacon, Peter Doig, Ceal Floyer, Richard Hamilton, Tim Head, Jim Lambie, Sarah Morris, Paul Noble, Cornelia Parker, Nick Relph and Oliver Payne, Susan Philipsz, Mike Marshall, George Shaw, Rachel Whiteread and Shizuka Yokomizo.
THREE WOMEN FOR NEXT WHITNEY BIENNIAL
The Whitney Museum of American Art has tapped three women to organize the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and all three are curators at the museum. The team for the 72nd installment of the art-world’s favorite museum show is Chrissie Iles, curator of film and video; Shamim M. Momin, branch director and curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris; and Debra Singer, associate curator of contemporary art.
VITO ACCONCI ISLAND UNVEILED
Famed Body Artist-turned-architect Vito Acconci is about to open his biggest project ever, an artificial island in the middle of Austria's Mur River by the city of Graz. Made up of an organically twisted, 320-ton latticework of two shell-like forms, the island has an amphitheatre, café and playground and can hold 350 visitors at one time. Details are on view in "Acconci Studio: The Making of an Island," organized by Austrian curator Robert Punkenhofer at the Austrian Cultural Forum on East 54th Street in Manhattan, Dec. 5-20, 2002. The actual island opens on Jan. 11, 2003, and is the focus of the contemporary arts festival Graz 2003/Cultural Capital of Europe.
FIRST OKAY FOR CHRISTO'S "GATES"
New York's Central Park Conservancy has given its approval to a scaled-down version of Christo's The Gates project, which would frame the 26 miles of Central Park walkways with some 7,500 15-foot-tall metal frames hung with yellow fabric. The project was first proposed in 1981 and rejected. This time around it has the support of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. With approval from the NYC Parks Department and barring other obstacles, the project could be up in the park for two weeks in February 2003.
ARTISTS AND WAR AT CHICAGO MCA
In what is the first major museum exhibition to address today's militaristic U.S. mood (however obliquely), the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art starts off the new year with "War (What Is It Good For?)," Jan. 18-May 18, 2003. Billed as an examination of artists' responses to war and the politics of war, the show, which is organized by MCA assistant curator Michael Rooks, includes works by Enrico Baj, Paul Delvaux, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Barnaby Furnas, Leon Golub, Alfredo Jaar, Mike Kelley, Malcolm Morley, Michal Rovner, Peter Saul, Ben Shahn, Jim Shaw, Andy Warhol, H.C. Westermann and others.
IMMENDORFF DOES OPERA
Sensation of Berlin's fall opera season has been Neo-Ex painter Jörg Immendorff's production of the opera The Nose by Dimitri Shostakovich at the Staatsoper, one of the city's three major houses. According to Alex Ross in the New Yorker, the orchestra dresses as space aliens while the soloists are garbed as figures from Middle Eastern politics, including Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Immendorff apparently expected scandal, but the premiere was greeted with "tepid applause," according to Ross.
ARTIST CRAFTS NEW MANDELA SYMBOL
Artist and Artnet Magazine contributor Elliott Arkin has crafted a new symbol for South African human rights activist Nelson Mandela, who is taking his global battle for AIDS awareness to the stage in a Feb. 2 benefit concert on Robben Island off Cape Town, where Mandela spent nearly two decades as a prisoner of the apartheid regime. The Mandela Human Rights Logo, as it is called, reflects the 84-year-old crusader's idea that HIV/AIDS is no longer just a health issue, but is now a human rights crisis. "It is a fairly simple design concept," Arkin explains. "The symbol for AIDS is a ribbon, and the symbol for human rights is barbed wire, so the new symbol is a barbed wire in the shape of a ribbon." The pin was unveiled on Dec. 6 in Cape Town at a press conference attended by Oprah Winfrey and Bishop Desmond Tutu.
The Saul Steinberg Foundation has launched a website (www.saulsteinbergfoundation.org) featuring info on the famed artist and illustrator as well as a picture gallery. Future plans for the artist include a traveling retrospective organized by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, slated to open in the fall of 2004, and a project to publish in the Cartoon Bank (www.cartoonbank.com) all of the artist's 85 New Yorker covers and the 642 other drawings he made for the magazine during his 60-year career. The foundation is also seeking to put together a database on the present whereabouts of Steinberg's works; owners are urged to contact foundation executive director Sheila Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE LILLY LARGESSE
Pharmaceutical heir Ruth Lilly, who made headlines last month with a gift of $100 million to Poetry Magazine, has done it again. Lilly is giving $120 million over 30 years to Americans for the Arts, a middle-of-the-road arts advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. Americans for the Arts currently has a staff of 38 and an annual budget of around $8 million, president Robert L. Lynch told the Washington Post. Lilly, 87, lives in Indianapolis, and is the last surviving great-grandchild of drug-company founder Eli Lilly. Most recently Eli Lilly & Co., the maker of Prozac, has been embroiled in a scandal involving the mysterious insertion into the Homeland Security Bill of a clause restricting the right of patients to sue the company over vaccines that many parents of autistic children believe caused that condition.
SOTHEBY'S SELLS BUILDING -- AND LEASES IT BACK
In a financial move that has become not uncommon among big companies in need of cash, Sotheby's has sold its 10-story York Avenue headquarters but will lease the building back and continue to operate there. The $175-million sale to RFR Holdings, a commercial real estate company that also owns Lever House and the Seagrams Building, nets the auctioneer a profit of about $25 million, according to a Sotheby's spokesperson. The proceeds go to cover a $100-million note that comes due in February, fines from the recent price-fixing case and also provide additional liquidity for the company. Sotheby's had leased the property since 1980, and in 2000 bought the site for $11 million and built its new $140-million headquarters there.
NEA ANNOUNCES GRANTS
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced grants worth $25 million for 860 projects across the country. The awards constitute about one-quarter of the agency's disbursable funds, and spread across the disciplines in sums ranging from $10,000 to about $100,000. Among the winners are the Alternative Museum ($10,000 for the "emerging web curators initiative"), Art Papers, Atlanta ($32,000 to support reviews in the magazine), Asia Society ($45,000 for a Montien Boonma exhibition), the Bronx Museum ($25,000 for a Valeska Soares exhibition), the Cleveland Museum of Art ($70,000 for "Gaudi to Dali: Barcelona and Modernity, 1868-1939"), the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston ($25,000 for a Matthew Ritchie show), Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theater ($32,000 for a new play, Maestro!), L.A.C.E. ($20,000 for a "flying carpet" public sculpture by Maria Elena Gonzalez), the L.A. MOCA ($55,000 for "A Minimal Future: Art as Object 1958-68"), the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, N.Y. ($10,000 for a Constantine Nivola exhibition), Printed Matter ($20,000 for a web-based catalogue raisonne of artist's books), Socrates Sculpture Park ($40,000), the Smart Museum, Chicago ($25,000 for a Dahwoud Bey residency), the UCLA Hammer Museum ($80,000 for a Lee Bontecou exhibition), the Whitney Museum ($25,000 for its Elie Nadelman show) and the Williams College Museum of Art ($40,000 for a Kara Walker exhibition). For a complete list, visit the NEA website [http://www.nea.gov/learn/03grants/Creativity.html].
VON STUCK GRAPHICS IN MUNICH
The Villa Stuck museum in Munich has opened the first public showing of its collections of drawings by Franz von Stuck (1863-1928), the Symbolist artist celebrated for provocative paintings such as Sin and Salome. "Franz von Stuck: The Art of Seduction," Oct. 17, 2002-Jan. 6, 2003, features the artist's self-portraits as a Roman emperor and as Mephisto as well as his nudes, designs for furnishings for his own villa and his early posters and book designs.
NEW DMA ACQUISITION
The Dallas Museum of Art has acquired the Jewel Stern Collection of American Silver. The 301 objects by major 20th-century manufacturers and designers will significantly enhance the current collection -- the museum is already calling it "the finest combined 19th-and 20th-century American silver holdings in the world."
NORTON GETS CASH
The Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, Fla., has received $1,165,000 from Shirley and Miles Fiterman towards its fundraising campaign for the new Southwest wing and an increased endowment. The gift will name a gallery in the museum's main building and fund the remodeling of the existing Shirley and Miles Fiterman Museum Store (the Fitermans, who collect 20th-century art, previously donated $500,000 to the museum to re-name the store). The gift brings the campaign total to $26.75 million.
PRIZE TO "ART ON THE LINE"
Professor David H. Solkin has won the first £5,000 William M.B. Berger Prize for his exhibition and catalogue, "Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780-1836" at the Courtauld Institute Gallery, Oct. 18, 2001-Jan. 20, 2002. The annual prize is awarded by The British Art Journal in association with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colo.
Tracy Myers and Raymund Ryan have been appointed curators of the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art. Myers has been an associate curator at the center since 1997 and previously held positions at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Ryan has an architecture magazine background and was recently the Irish Commissioner for the Venice Biennale architectural exhibition.
Helaine Posner joins the American Federation of Arts as curator of exhibitions. Posner, an independent curator, was co-commissioner of the United States Pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennale.
African art scholar Barbara Thompson joins the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College as the new curator of African, Oceanic and Native American art. Thompson has also recently received a Smithsonian Institution's short term research grant from the National Museum of African Art.
GIOVANNI INTRA, 1968-2002
Giovanni Intra, 34, well-liked Los Angeles art dealer who was a partner in the China Art Objects gallery, died suddenly in New York City on Dec. 17. Although the city coroner has initially listed natural causes as the cause of death, word quickly spread through the downtown art world that the young dealer had succumbed to a drug overdose, a fate that is all the more disturbing since it is generally agreed that he was not a regular drug user. A New Zealand native, Intra studied criticism and art theory at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He exhibited his own work in several shows in New Zealand and founded a gallery there before focusing his energies on China Art Objects, which he launched in Los Angeles’ Chinatown district in 1999 with Steve Hanson and others. The gallery represents Jennifer Hollander, David Korty, J.P. Monroe, John Pylypchuk and Eric Wesley; Intra was in New York for the opening of Wesley’s exhibition at Metro Pictures. Intra also wrote for Artnet Magazine in the late 1990s.