SECRETS OF THE WHITE CUBE
A complete photographic guide to the high-key graphics and transgressive content of the "Young British Artists" movement is provided by White Cube, the new two-volume, slipcased history of ten years of exhibitions at London superdealer Jay Jopling's tiny White Cube gallery in London's tony West End. Opened in May 1993 in a minimalist space designed by architect Claudio Silvestrin, White Cube mounted 75 exhibitions over the next 10 years. On hand here are the talented generation of British artists -- Tracey Emin, Marcus Harvey, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sarah Lucas, Sarah Morris, Marc Quinn, Sam Taylor-Wood and Gavin Turk -- who conquered the art market with the help of advertising mogul Charles Saatchi, interspersed with a literal who's who of the global contemporary art scene. In addition to the historic color photos, the book includes an evocative essay by Liam Gillick (based on Alain Robbe-Grillet's Snapshots) and entries on the artists' exhibitions by Annushka Shani, Chloe Kinsman and Alexandra Bradley. The tome is priced at $88 on www.artbook.com.
PANAMARENKO INAUGURATES NEW KEWENIG SPACE IN COLOGNE
The Kewenig Galerie has inaugurated its new exhibition space in the Cologne city center with an exhibition of new works by the Belgian artist Panamarenko. For this show, the utopian engineer has produced two unlikely vehicles: the Thermo Photovoltaic Energy Convertor, a life-size aerodynamic car covered with a desert-camouflage pattern -- anticipating the race for oil in the Middle East, perhaps? -- and a spider-like Aragna vehicle designed not to unnerve viewers (as was Louise Bourgeois' Spider) but rather to allow them to ride along the walls in its wicker seat. The exhibition also includes drawings, prints and other works on paper.
Located at Appellhofplatz 21, close to the train station and adjacent to the Daniel Buchholtz gallery, the new Kewenig space is large for German galleries, featuring a main exhibition room, a smaller library and exhibition space and a large basement gallery suitable for installation works using projection (such as those of Christian Boltanski or Tony Oursler, for instance) as well as video and film works. Coming up next at Kewenig is an exhibition by Ulrich Rückriem that is to feature four sculptures and a wall piece custom-made for the gallery. For more info, contact email@example.com.
BLUE BUTTONS FOR PEACE
The artist Nancy Hwang is distributing thousands of symbolic plain blue buttons as a sign of opposition to the coming war with Iraq. Launched late last year in the spirit of the AIDS ribbon, which was also rooted in the New York arts community, the blue buttons are meant to evoke "the need to ask questions, educate oneself and engage in dialogue." Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, gave his support to the project, saying in the press release that "it is a very poignant symbol. As one of the original founders of the Visual AIDS organization that created the Red Ribbon Project, I am thrilled that a similar energy and thoughtfulness is being utilized in the current situation." New York galleries began distributing the buttons, which were designed in collaboration with activist James Wagner, on Feb. 13; for more info, see www.bluebutton.info.
COLLECTORS WANT WTC MEADOW
While New York's real estate and civic powerhouses are determined to build a new skyscraper complex on the site of the 2001 World Trade Center disaster, a pair of the city's top art collectors are promoting a dramatically different idea. Hubert Neumann and George Petrides are leading a group that wants to replace the WTC with a huge grassy lawn dubbed Blue Meadow Memorial Park. The 20-acre greensward would be planed with 2,800 trees, one for each of the people killed in the attack. The footprints of the towers could be preserved as well by groves of trees or reflecting pools. "Tall structures are no longer appropriate for this sacred ground," writes the group on its website. What's more, "We believe that the part will create a more vital commercial and residential area than would result from a replacement of lost office space." The group has launched a petition drive for its project, with the goal of a public referendum on the idea.
ASIAN ART MUSEUM BOWS IN SAN FRANCISCO
Fireworks and free admission mark the grand opening of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco's new facility at the city's Civic Center on Mar. 20, 2003. The event marks architect Gae Aulenti's eight-year, $160.5-million renovation of the San Francisco Main Library, a 1917 Beaux Arts structure. The literal unveiling -- a 22,000-square-foot fabric drape, printed with images from the museum collection, is to be raised to reveal the new museum facade -- is sponsored by Samsung (which has also lent its name to the former library's card catalogue room, now known as Samsung Hall). The new galleries house nearly 2,500 art works.
GUGGENHEIM LAS VEGAS UPDATES PLANS
The uncertain situation at the Guggenheim Foundation's two outposts in Las Vegas has recently become a bit clearer. The rusted-steel jewel-box Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum at the Venetian hotel there, once celebrated as a collaboration showcasing the treasures of the Guggenheim Museum and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, now plans to target the tourists with "American Pop Icons," which is scheduled to open sometime after the current exhibition, "Art through the Ages: Masterpieces of Painting from Titian to Picasso," closes on May 4. As for the much larger Guggenheim Las Vegas space, which drew only half the number of visitors to its "The Art of the Motorcycle" exhibition that were deemed necessary to support the project, the Venetian is looking at big-name musicals like the Phantom of the Opera to fill the space, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
ONLINE ART AUCTION AT THE THING
Wolfgang Staehle's pioneering Internet art site, The Thing, has launched its annual online benefit art auction, visible at http://auction.thing.net. Among the donated artworks for sale are Christopher Draeger's emblematic (and timely) Catastrophe #2 photo (bidding starts at $1,600), Daniel Pflumm's untitled "pupsi.com" lightbox (bidding starts at $1,000) and a computer-generated drawing of a Gulliverian stick figure by Miltos Manetas (bidding starts at $500). Other participating artists are Francisco Clemente, Ellen Harvey, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Steven Parrino, Erwin Redl, Judy Rifka and Beat Streuli. The auction ends on Mar. 25, 2003.
APEX ART TO COLLABORATE WITH KASSEL FREDERICIANUM
Apexart, the Tribeca nonprofit art space that has become known for its unusually intelligent program of thematic group exhibitions organized by leading (and up-and-coming) international curators -- currently on view at the Church Street storefront is "Between the Lines," organized by Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt -- has arranged an ongoing collaboration with the Museum Fredericianum in Kassel, home to the celebrated "Documenta" exhibitions. Two exhibitions from Apexart's "unsolicited proposals program" are traveling each year to the Kassel museum for the next four years. First up is "Shadow Cabinets in a Bright Country," an exhibition of progressive social proposals from several artists' collaboratives, organized in response to George W. Bush's inaugural address by Oakland art prof Ted Purves, and "Walking in the City," a show of "street art" by Valie Export, Yayoi Kusama, Adrian Piper, Kim Soo-ja, David Wojnarowicz and others organized by Melissa Brookhart Beyer and Jill Dawsley, both going on view at the Fredericianum on Mar. 30. Apexart's unsolicited proposals program selects two exhibitions from one-page proposals submitted by anyone, and juried by 12 of Apexart's past curators in a blind process, with no discussion.
MONEY FOR MUSEUM DIRECTORS
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently weighed in with a survey of the salaries paid to the directors of ten top local museums and arts institutions, basing its data on 2002 tax returns, which are public information. Minneapolis Institute of Arts director Evan Maurer made $598,032 in total compensation, a 24 percent raise over his 2001 pay, despite a stock-slump-induced slide in the museum's gross revenue of $12.8 million from the previous year. Walker Art Center director Kathy Halbreich, whose "pay has risen steadily as the museum's endowment fortunes have risen and fallen with the stock market," according to the paper, received $358,064. And leaving the hometown beat, the report noted that Philippe de Montebello of the Metropolitan Museum took a pay freeze in 2002, though his total yearly compensation of $854,055, including a $255,547 expense account, "still raises eyebrows."
NEW GALLERY IN LITTLE ITALY
The newest stop on your SoHo gallery tour is Jen Bekman, which opened in Manhattan's Little Italy district (just east of SoHo) at 6 Spring Street on Mar. 15, 2003, with an inaugural show of color photographs by Mara Bodis Wollner, Dana Miller and Tema Stauffer. "My goal is to present emerging artists in a warm inviting atmosphere," says Bekman. The opening show runs till Apr. 12; for more info, try firstname.lastname@example.org.
A.I.R BIENNIAL IN CHELSEA
The venerable women's cooperative gallery A.I.R. is in the midst of its "5th Biennial Exhibition," Mar. 4-29, 2003, selected from an open-call submission of slides by Whitney Museum curator Shamim Momin. The participants include Adrienne Abseck, Jacie Lee Almira, Francesca Azzara, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Megan Biddle, Janet Bloch, JoAnn Boehmer, Christine Buckton, Judy Cooper, Susan D'Amato, C. Finley, Abby Goodman, Debra Hampton, Meredith Hedges, Kay Hwang, Tamiko Kawata, Emily Keyishian, Hye Kyung Kim, Elizabeth Knowles, Susan Magnus, Corinne McManemin, Diane Meyer, Kyoko Nakamoto, Fidelma O'Neill, Jill Parisi, Sheila Ross and M.G. Shapiro. A.I.R is located at 511 West 25th Street.
ARTISTS LAUNCH NEW ART SITES
No serious professional artist can go without a presence on the World Wide Web -- witness the Artist Index on Artnet, a special database function of Artnet's online galleries. But increasing numbers of artists are also setting up their own websites, all the better to showcase their various activities. Graffiti artist Christopher Ellis, otherwise known as Daze, has established a new website at www.dazeworld.com, with info on many of his recent projects, which include a show of his "agenda paintings" in Paris at Speerstra gallery, a mural commission in Switzerland and a series of guitars designed for Eric Clapton and Fender. And the postmodernist painter Charles Clough has relaunched his website at www.clufff.com, including collected essays by the artist and his critics dating from 1972 to the present, and also featuring a section where images of new works are posted as they're completed.