LONDON PRINT FAIR UNDER WAY The London Original Print Fair opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in London this weekend, Apr. 22-25, 2004, located for the first time in the RA's new space in Burlington Gardens. More than 30 dealers are on hand, including Emanuel von Baeyer, C.G. Boerner, Alan Cristea, Dolan/Maxwell, Graphic Studio Dublin, Frederick Mulder, Paragon Press, Pratt Contemporary Art and Sims Reed. The Apr. 22 opening gala benefited the Elton Johns AIDS Foundation, for which Bridget Riley made a new benefit print, and the Apr. 23 "young collector's evening" benefits the Institute of Cancer Research. General admission is 7; for more info, see www.londonprintfair.comSOTHEBY'S EYES MOVE: TABLOID New York Post real estate columnist Steve Cuozzo reports that Sotheby's may be considering a move of its New York headquarters to Rockefeller Center or Columbus Circle. According to the pro-development scribe, Sotheby's is looking at Time Warner's 560,000 square feet at 75 Rockefeller Plaza, and also at space in Time Warner's new headquarters building on Columbus Circle. Cuozzo reports that an unnamed hospital -- Sotheby's is next door to both New York Hospital and Sloan-Kettering on York Avenue -- is interested in subleasing its glamorous 10-story headquarters building. Art-world insiders note that the auction house hasn't been able to use all of its York Avenue space since the demise of its internet unit. Stay tuned.
THING BENEFIT AUCTION ONLINE The Thing, the nonprofit artist-run website that hosts web projects by artists as well as galleries like Janet Borden and I-20, is holding its annual benefit art auction. Artists who have donated works to the cause include Mariko Mori, John Miller, Daniel Pflumm, Julia Scher, Beat Streuli and others. The auction ends May 4, 2004. To view the lots and bid, visit http://auction.thing.net.
"BIG APPLE FEST" PROMISES BIG APPLES IN NEW YORK
Something called "Big Apple Fest" plans to install 300 four-foot-tall apple sculptures, decorated by artists, throughout New York city this summer, Aug. 15-Oct. 15, 2004. The scheme calls for the apples to be auctioned at Sotheby's in October to benefit City Harvest, the Police Athletic League and other charities. Artists Charles Fazzino, Romero Britto and Marco have already signed on to paint apples, but other artists are being sought. A $1,500 honorarium is promised; for info, see www.bigapplefest.orgKURT SCHWITTERS IN BASEL
The Museum Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland, is premiering a major retrospective of Kurt Schwitters this spring. "Kurt Schwitters: Merz -- a Total Vision of the World," May 1-Aug. 22, 2004, features approximately 150 works by the pioneering Dada artist. Centerpiece of the exhibition is a walk-in reconstruction of the artist's Merzbau, which he began building in 1923 and which was destroyed in 1943 during World War II. At the same time, the Kunstmuseum Basel is presenting "Schwitters Arp," May 1-Aug. 22, 2004, an exhibition of some 140 collages, reliefs, sculptures and assemblages by the two modern artists whose artistic exchange began when they performed together at Dada events in 1922 and collaborated on both driftwood reliefs and a novel in 1923.
CUTS THREATEN CALI PHOTO MUSEUM
The 30-year-old California Museum of Photography may become a victim of budget cuts at the University of California Riverside. Chancellor France Cordova wants to trim the museum's $375,000 annual budget by 40 percent, cutting it to $225,000 and eliminating three of six staff positions -- which would result in shutting down the museum, according to museum director Jonathan Green. Currently on view at the museum is a retrospective of photographer Kevin Jon Boyle, through May 16, 2004; a show on "the fragmented and disembodied" called "Bits and Pieces," Apr. 24-July 4, 2004; and a show of four California artists called "Broad Territories: Images of Identity," Apr. 24, 2004-July 4, 2005. The museum holds the Keystone-Mast Collection and the Fiat Lux Collection of Ansel Adams photos.
LIBESKIND MEMORIAL IS KITSCH: CRITIC Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin was opened in 2001 and last week, in anticipation of Libeskind's work on a Ground Zero memorial in New York, New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman visited the Berlin museum and pronounced it "the epitome of kitsch." In an article headlined "Shattered Shapes: Architect's Rhetoric of Suffering," Kimmelman takes note of Libeskind's "shattered, quasi-religious shapes and voids" and the museum's "exhaustingly packaged" permanent display with its "state-of-the-art technology." But in the end, he writes, "the architecture and the exhibition trivialize and overwhelm history," and "panders" to a middlebrow audience. "New York, take note," the critic warns at the closing of his essay. "Substance trumps spectacle, or at least it should."
"TERRORVISION" AT EXIT ART Exit Art, the nonprofit contemporary art center over on 10th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, is grappling with the effects of terror in contemporary society in its latest show. "Terrorism," May 1-July 31, 2004, includes 36 artworks and 18 videotapes by 59 artists, assembled from an open call by the Exit Art staff (over 650 entries were received).
Painters, sculptors and installation artists in the show are Yochai Avrahami, Francisca Benitez, Barbara Broughel, Gabriel Camnitzer, Uri Dotan, Christoph Draeger, Joy Garnett, Gideon Gechtman, Cheo Goya, Michal Heiman, Robert Hickman, Saoirse Higgins, Gary Keown, Fawad Khan, Kosyo, Peter Kuper, Gillian Laub, Flash Light, Reuben Lorch-Miller, Jason Lujan, Dennis K. McGinnis, Arnaldo Morales, Joel Murphy, Iván Navarro, Lior Neiger, Kevin Noble, Rodrigo Piza, Frank Raczkowski, Simon Schiessl, Tamar Schori, Ariela Shavid, Mike Peter Smith, Florin Tudor, Liselot van der Heijden, Mona Vatamanu, Gal Weinstein, Paul Wirhun, Pavel Wohlberg, Francois Zelif.
Video artists: Laurie Halsey Brown, Norman Cowie, Carina Gosselé, Mark Gould, Michael Hermann, Bill Jones, Naomie Kremer, Michael Laird, Elahue Massumi, Ben Neill, Nurit Newman, Predrag Pajdic, Jayce Salloum, Martin Sastre, Michal Sedaka, Doron Solomons, Millette Tapiador, Claudia X. Valdes, Michael Zansky, Anabela Zigova.
RENOVATION BEGINS AT YALE U. ART GALLERY Polshek Parnership Architects, fresh off of its triumphant overhaul of the Brooklyn Museum entrance hall, now turns its attention on the Yale University Art Gallery, designed by American architect Louis I. Kahn in 1953. In addition to an overall technical and esthetic refurbishing, the $29 million, two-year-long renovation of the Kahn wing is to replace administrative offices with exhibition space and add classrooms on the first floor The Kahn building is slated to reopen in 2006; in the meantime, several exhibitions drawn from the collection go on tour (including works from the Société Anonyme donation and a retrospective of aerial photos by Emmet Gowin), and selections from the art gallery collection go on view at the gallery's 1928 Gothic Swartout wing.
On the personnel front, the gallery has appointed Pamela Franks as curator of academic initiatives: Frank formerly organized "The Tiger's Eye: The Art of the Magazine" at the museum in 2002.
WARHOL ON WINE LABELS
The Andy Warhol Foundation has expanded its licensing of the Warhol brand exponentially in recent years, with new licensed products ranging from pricey haute-couture hats by Irish designer Philip Treacy to linens, coffee cups and soap sets sold at upscale outlets like Bed, Bath & Beyond. Now, Warhol's name goes on the label of a line of Napa valley wines called Amer*Icon, along with a silver and black image of Warhol's print of an American eagle. A total of 1,800 cases of a new Chardonnay, red Meritage blend, Estate Cabernet and Estate Merlot were bottled. The wines are produced by Knightsbridge Fine Wines.
PICASSO AT WARTIME IN COCONUT GROVE
A fictionalized version of Pablo Picasso's doings in wartime Paris are the subject of a hot new play currently on the boards at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida. According to Playbill, the play, titled A Picasso and written by Jeffrey Hatcher (Tuesdays with Morrie), features character actor Michael Goetz as the artist and Lucie Arnaz as a mysterious Gestapo agent who interrogates him about three paintings left behind by refugees from the Nazis. The show, which won an award in Philadelphia in 2003, is on view in Coconut Grove, Apr. 16-May 2 -- but may move to Manhattan.
LUCELIA ARTIST AWARD TO KARA WALKER
Artist Kara Walker has received the fourth annual Lucelia Artist Award, a $25,000 prize, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Walker was selected by a panel that included Artforum editor-at-large Jack Bankowsky, Museum of Modern Art drawings curator Garry Garrels, Joslyn Art Museum adjunct curator Klaus Kertess, Houston MFA photo curator Anne Wilkes Tucker and artist Richard Tuttle.