Magazine Home  |  News  |  Features  |  Reviews  |  Books  |  People  |  Horoscope  
Artnet News

The Museum of Modern Art is about halfway through its "inaugural year" in its new Yoshio Taniguchi building, and it recently invited the press to partake of a high-carb breakfast buffet and listen to a report on current and future doings. Despite some carping criticisms when MoMA opened its new building, the museum is clearly pleased with the status quo. The capital campaign has raised $840 million of its $858-million goal, according to museum director Glenn Lowry, and about 1.2 million visitors have streamed through the doors since the opening last November.

As for exhibitions, the museum plans to put together more topical shows, like the current "The High Line," Apr. 20-Oct. 31, 2005 [see]. Among the other shows on the lineup:

* "Friedlander," June 5-Aug. 29, 2005, organized by Peter Galassi, surveys the long career of the prolific American photographer Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) via more than 500 works organized into about 75 groups -- possibly the largest photo show ever. Several years ago, MoMA acquired 1,000 works from Friedlander, selecting 868 and taking a rain check for the remaining 132. "I have a feeling the final works are about to be chosen," Galassi said. "And then we'll be behind again."

* "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865-1885," June 26-Sept. 12, 2005, organized by Joachim Pissarro, presents approximately 45 works by each artist from the period when the two artists worked side-by-side in Pontoise and Auvers. The show travels to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

* "New Work/New Acquisitions," June 29-Sept. 26, 2005, organized by Ann Temkin in collaboration with the museum curatorial staff, features approximately 20 works purchased with the 21st Century Fund, recently established by the museum trustees to buy new art (putting an upper limit of $50,000 on any single acquisition). Among the artists on view are Paul Chan, Mark Grotjahn, Fan Lijun, Rivane Neuenschwander, Neo Rauch, Thomas Scheibitz, Gillian Wearing and Andrea Zittel.

* "Safe: Design Takes on Risk," Oct. 16, 2005-Jan. 2, 2006, organized by Paola Antonelli, presents some 300 objects, from lifeguard stations to band-aids, that are designed to respond to emergencies or to protect the body and mind from danger or stress. Originally conceived with the working title "Emergency," the show was recast after the events of 9/11.

* "Elizabeth Murray," Oct. 23, 2005-Jan. 9., 2006, organized by Robert Storr, features about 75 works by the pioneering New Image painter.

* "Beyond the Visible: The Art of Odilon Redon," Oct. 30, 2005-Jan. 23, 2006, organized by Jodi Hauptman, highlighting the Ian Woodner Family Collection's 2000 gift to the museum of more than 100 works by the artist.

* "Pixar," Dec. 14, 2005-Feb. 6, 2006, organized by Steven Higgins and Ron Magliozzi, features the original artworks that go into making the animated films of the celebrated digital studio. All six Pixar features, from Toy Story (1995) to The Incredibles (2004) are to be screened in the MoMA theater.

Further into the future are an Edvard Munch retrospective, a huge Dada survey, a Brice Marden retrospective and a show of "Comic Abstraction."

At the press breakfast, the museum also announced the appointment of Peter Reed, curator in the department of architecture and design, to the post of senior deputy director for curatorial affairs, a new permanent position that is designed to provide liaison between MoMA's curatorial and administrative departments.

Finally, in response to a question from Lee Rosenbaum, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Lowry noted that during the construction of its new building MoMA had purchased several contiguous plots of land to the west of the museum; MoMA now owns a block-through lot that includes Connelly's, a pub on West 54th Street, but that is otherwise empty.

Several developers have approached the museum with building proposals that would provide MoMA with still more gallery space in a commercial or residential skyscraper. Lowry pointed out that Taniguchi had anticipated this possibility in his MoMA design, and made provisions for possible growth westward -- but Lowry also indicated that the museum was in no hurry to embark on still another expansion.

Bicoastal art dealer Christian Haye opens his rechristened New York gallery, Projectile, tonight, May 5, 2005, with an exhibition of drawings by Julie Mehretu. Works by the Ethiopian-born artist are much in demand -- prices for paintings can range from $25,000 to well above $100,000 -- and sales are likely to be brisk, but it doesn't look like any of the proceeds will go to Haye. Under a tentative agreement worked out with Jean-Pierre Lehmann, the collector who won a $1.7 million judgment against Haye in a lawsuit two months ago [see "Artnet News," Mar. 3, 2005] , Haye's share of sales -- typically 50 percent -- goes into an escrow account earmarked for settlement of the claim.

Back in 2001, Lehmann gave Haye $75,000 in return for first choice of works by gallery artists, including Mehretu. For some reason (which continues to mystify art-world insiders), Haye never followed through on the deal, though he sold many Mehretu works to other dealers and collectors. When Lehmann finally resorted to the courts, he won an award of $1.7 million, a sum that the judge arrived at by subtracting the sale price of all the Mehretu works Lehmann could have bought from their current estimated value.

Haye said he relauched his gallery in an effort to make "a new start." Such a maneuver seems unlikely to insulate him from the court judgment, however, particularly since the new business is substantially the same as the old. Thus, the escrow account. As for Lehmann, he says that all he really wants is for Haye to sell him some major works by Mehretu.

The American Association of Museum Directors, the influential professional association of some 170 U.S. museum directors, has recently issued new guidelines for collecting archeological materials and ancient art. The field is a thorny one, especially now, with the market for such objects, which often have uncertain provenance, easily inflamed by issues of national patrimony. But the new AAMD code contains several suggestions that dealers in ancient artifacts are finding heartening.

For instance, the AAMD would approve of museum acquisitions of ancient art objects -- even with unclear provenance -- if the work is in danger of destruction, or if the acquisition might help preserve the work and allow research into its history. The new code also sets a time frame of ten years, saying that a museum could acquire an ancient artifact of uncertain provenance if it had been outside its country of origin for ten years or more. According to the AAMD, the ten-year time period is sufficiently long that it doesn't provide a direct incentive for looting or illegal excavation. For details, see the AAMD website at

Tate Liverpool is getting psychedelic for spring, opening "Summer of Love," May 27-Sept. 25, 2005, a show of artworks from the 1960s and early 70s by more than 40 artists, including Linda Benglis, Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Yayoi Kusama, John McCracken, Nam June Paik and Andy Warhol. The exhibition includes pop-culture paraphernalia like record album covers, as well as a laser light show and large multimedia installations by Mati Klarwein and Vernon Panton. The show travels to the Kunsthalle Schirn Frankfurt. For more info, see

The SculptureCenter in Long Island City, Queens, is opening a survey of recent sculpture by 28 New York-based artists. Titled "Make It Now," May 15-July 31, 2005, the show is organized by SculptureCenter director Mary Ceruti, SculptureCenter curator Anthony Huberman and independent curator Franklin Sirmans. The artists in the show are Frank Benson, Nicole Cherubini, Andrea Cohen, Charlie Foos, Luis Gispert, Guyton/Walker, Dave Hardy, Rachel Harrison, Leslie Hewitt, Klara Hobza, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Nancy Hwang, Gareth James, Vincent Mazeau, Corey McCorkle, Robert Melee, Navin June Norling, Ester Partegàs, Seth Price, Matthew Ronay, Bryan Savitz, SOL'SAX, Jean Shin, Gedi Sibony, Lisa Sigal, Roberto Visani, Pheobe Washburn and Fritz Welch.

The humble flip book officially enters the realm of high art at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf with "Daumenkino (The Flip Book Show)," opening on May 7, 2005. Curated by Christophe Schulz and Daniel Gethmann, the show features works by over 170 artists and filmmakers, and ranges from flip book prototypes that date back to 1868 -- when a flip book was first issued a patent -- to designs by contemporary artists. The show also features a section of erotic animation. Among the participants are Pedro Almodóvar, Guillame Appolinaire, Edward Gorey, Keith Haring, Dick Higgins, Karl Lagerfeld, Richard Serra, Shirley Temple and Mario Testino. For details, see

Attention digital artists! The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA) has announced an open call for a juried show of digital art, slated to open in the LACDA gallery, June 9-July 2, 2005. One problem -- the $30 entry fee, the kind of thing that serious artists usually shun. At least the cost of postage is low. Submission deadline is May 22, 2005; for details, see

The India-born artist and filmmaker Amar Kanwar has received the first annual Edvard Munch Award For Contemporary Art, a $55,000 prize presented by HM Queen Sonja of Norway on Apr. 27, 2005. The award, which also includes a six-month residency at the Munch estate in Oslo, is designed to support work that reflects on the human condition, much as Munch's did. The prize is administered by the International Board of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, directed by Ute Meta Bauer.

Contact wrobinson @