BLACK SMOKE RAINBOWS FROM CAI GUO-QIANG
The Chinese-born New York artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who is currently overseeing the installation of the first Chinese Pavilion at the 51st installment of the Venice Biennale, took time last month to open a retrospective survey of his work at IVAM, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art in Valencia, Spain, May 20-June 12, 2005. Highlighting the opening was the May 22 presentation of Black Rainbow, a special pyrotechnic performance in which a series of black rainbows were drawn in the daytime sky over the city with novel black smoke fireworks (specially devised by the artist and his fireworks consultants). The project is both a response to the events of 9/11 -- "On a perfectly nice day, something dark and ominous can be hanging over us," said Cai -- and a reference to Valencia's status as the Spanish fireworks capital. Another Black Rainbow is planned as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in July 2005.
O'KEEFFE FOUNDATION ASSETS TO GO TO O'KEEFFE MUSEUM
The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation has announced plans to transfer its assets to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M. The trove includes more than 1,000 artworks and extensive archival materials, plus O'Keeffe's house and studio in Abiquiu, N.M. The foundation board is chaired by Raymond Krueger, a grandnephew of the artist, and includes Juan Hamilton, O'Keeffe's friend and associate during her final years, as well as National Gallery of Art director Earl A. Powell III, Philadelphia Museum director Anne D'Harnoncourt and June O'Keeffe Sebring, niece of the artist. The foundation was originally established with the idea that it would transfer its assets to the museum on the 20th anniversary of O'Keeffe's death, which occurred in 1986.
GAGOSIAN ROME OFFICE OPENS WITH RUSCHA SHOW
Gagosian Gallery opens its new Rome office in the Palazzo Borghese with an exhibition of new drawings by Ed Ruscha, June 4-Aug. 6, 2005 -- a show that is mounted in part in recognition of Ruscha's installation at the U.S. Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale. According to Gagosian Gallery director Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, the space lends itself to small exhibitions, and is overseen by Umiko di Fabio. The gallery plans to have other exhibitions there from time to time. For more info, contact the gallery at Largo Fontanella Borghese 19, Rome 00186; tel. 39 06 6889 13712.
LEON BLACK BOUGHT BRANCUSI: PAPER
American financier Leon D. Black, founder of the Apollo Advisers investment firm and trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was the buyer of Constantin Brancusi's long-lost gray marble Bird in Space (1922-23) at Christie's New York on May 4, 2005, according to reporter Colin Gleadell in the London Telegraph. For more info, see "Art Market Watch," May 5, 2005.
GOLDEN LION TO BARBARA KRUGER
U.S. artist Barbara Kruger has won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the 51st Venice Biennale, to be held June 12-Nov. 6, 2005. Kruger's contribution to the exposition is a new "wall tattoo" installation for the faade of the Italian pavilion in the Giardini, part of "The Experience of Art" exhibition organized by Mara de Corral, co-director of the biennale with Rosa Martnez. Additional awards for the best national participation and for work by a young artist (under 35) are to be announced at the biennale on June 10.
PEW FELLOWSHIPS 2005
The $50,000 Pew Fellowships in the Arts have gone to 13 Philadelphia-area artists working in the categories of fiction/creative nonfiction, media arts and works on paper. The winners in the visual arts include Astrid Bowlby, who has exhibited her room-sized installations of thousands of ink drawings at Gallery Joe in Philadelphia and Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York; Pablo Colapinto, a digital artist who keeps a notebook-style website at www.wolftype.com; Gerald Cyrus, Jr., a documentary photographer known for his extensive chronicles of black identity; M. Ho, a visual artist known for collages made from the New York Times "Nation at War" section; Joshua Mosley, an artist who has showed his video animations at Donald Young Gallery in Chicago and the Philadelphia ICA; and Zoe Strauss, a photographer known for large-scale public projects involving hundreds of photographs. For more info, see www.pewarts.org
FIRST LOOK AT NEW BROOKLYN ICA
The nascent Brooklyn Institute of Contemporary Art, founded by Isolde Brielmaier and Trevor Schoonmaker, promises to be a venue "where art meets global culture." Scheduled to open in the fall of 2007 in an as-yet-undetermined space -- possibly in Brooklyn's BAM cultural district -- the BICA is nonetheless debuting its program at the Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea later this month. Opening there is "Living for the City," June 30-Aug. 5, 2005, an extended meditation on their urban origins by more than 15 artists from around the world, including Kader Attia (Paris/Algiers), Dario Escobar (Guatemala City), Theo Eshetu (Rome/Addis Ababa), Alexis Esquivel (Havana), Satch Hoyt (New York/London), Thomas Rapai (Detroit), Sa'dia Rehman (New York/Islamabad) and Lila Subramanian (New York/Mumbai). For more details, see www.bicany.org
ART IN THE SUBWAYS AT UBS GALLERY
Some of the artworks that ornament New York City's mass transit system come above ground this month, as the UBS Gallery in midtown Manhattan opens "Along the Way: MTA Arts for Transit, Celebrating 10 Years of Public Art," June 30-Sept. 9, 2005. The show features original drawings, photographs and models of an astonishing 150 projects, highlighting works by Roy Lichtenstein (his Times Square Mural, a 16-panel depiction of a New York skyline done in porcelain enamel on steel in 2000 for Times Square), Jacob Lawrence (a glass mosaic mural, New York in Transit, also installed in Times Square, in 2001), Eric Fischl (whose Garden of Circus Delights was installed in Penn Station in 2001), Elizabeth Murray (a mosaic installed on the Court Square stop of the G line in 2001) and about 35 other artists.
JANET CARDIFF SOUND PIECE BACK IN CENTRAL PARK
One of the art hits of summer 2004 in New York City was sound artist Janet Cardiffs 45-minute-long audio tour of Central Park, which combined a guide to the parks historic sites and pathways with an enigmatic, psychologically charged narrative and an assortment of other sound effects. Dubbed Her Long Black Hair, the tour is back for this summer, June 16-Sept. 11, 2005. Headsets are to be available free, Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 3:30 pm, at a kiosk at the Sixth Avenue and Central Park South entrance to the park. No reservations are necessary. The project is sponsored by the Public Art Fund.
"MUNCH BY HIMSELF" IN LONDON
London's Royal Academy of Arts plans a major survey of self-portraits by modernist Norwegian master Edvard Munch with "Edvard Munch by Himself," Oct. 1-Dec. 11, 2005. Organized by Iris Mller-Westermann, the show includes 150 self-portrait paintings, drawings and little-seen photographs, ranging from his experimental works from the 1880s to his development as a major 20th-century symbolist.
SCHIELE SURVEY IN NEW YORK
Next fall, the Neue Galerie in New York is presenting a survey of 150 paintings and drawings by Viennese Expressionist Egon Schiele. Organized by Neue Galerie director Rene Price, "Egon Schiele" opens Oct. 21, 2005-Feb. 20, 2006, and brings together the two collections of Neue Galerie co-founders Ronald Lauder and the late art dealer Serge Sabarsky. The show fills the museum, and does not travel.
SUMMER IS FREE AT THE HAMMER
The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in Los Angeles has abolished admission frees for the summer, June 7-Sept. 4, 2005. Among the attractions of "Hammer Summer 2005," as it is called, are exhibitions of works by photographer Stephen Shore and video artists Patty Chang and Fiona Tan. Also drawing crowds into the Hammer courtyard is "Also I Like to Rock," an ongoing showcase of new San Francisco and L.A. bands, including Space Mtn, Monsters are Waiting, The Ebb & Flow, Bedroom Walls, Club Unicornio and My Barbarian.
DRAWING COLLECTION TO MOMA
Call it an offer that was too good to refuse. The Museum of Modern Art has accepted the gift of nearly 2,600 drawings by more than 640 artists assembled in a whirlwind two-year buying spree by Harvey S. Shipley Miller. The purchases made Miller and his assistant, Andr Schlechtriem, especially welcome visitors to art galleries everywhere. The funds -- estimated to be about $10 million -- came from the Judith Rothschild Foundation, for which Miller is sole trustee (he is also a MoMA trustee). The size of the collection and the speed with which it was assembled could suggest that the curator has an exceptional "eye" or, alternately, that considerations of connoisseurship are pass in the age of the market-driven art museum.
Works in the new collection range in date from the 1930s to 2004, and include drawings by Kai Althoff, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero e Boetti, Lee Bontecou, Vija Celmins, Philip Guston, Richard Hamilton, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Ray Johnson, Anish Kapoor, Ellsworth Kelly, Martin Kippenberger, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Elizabeth Murray, Neo Rauch, Cy Twombly, Franz West and Hannah Wilke. A number of the artists in the Rothschild gift are new to MoMA's drawings department, including Robert Bechtle, Robert Crumb, Isa Genzken, Jess, Imi Knoebel, Ree Morton, Adrian Piper and John Wesley, as well as "self-taught" artists Henry Darger, Ele D'Artagnan and Pearl Blauvelt.
STANFORD ACQUIRES HERSHMAN
The libraries of Stanford University in California have just acquired the archive of Bay Area multimedia-art pioneer Lynn Hershman. The trove includes material related to the artist's interactive laser disk project Lorna (1979-83), which is considered the first interactive video art installation, as well as to her feature film projects Conceiving Ada (1995-1997) and Teknolust (1999-2002), both staring actress Tilda Swinton. The acquisition also establishes an endowment to fund researchers on the Hershman archive.
MAX DEAN WINS ISKOWITZ PRIZE
The British-born Canadian artist Max Dean has won the 2005 Gershon Iskowitz Foundation prize, which honors Canadian artists with a cash award of $25,000 Canadian. Previous recipients include Gathie Falk, Betty Goodwin, Rodney Graham, Janet Cardiff and the art collective General Idea.
ARNOLFINI SEEKS NEW DIRECTOR
The Arnolfini center for contemporary arts in Bristol is seeking a new director, following the departure of Caroline Collier, who headed the institution for the past six years. The job includes oversight of the Arnolfini's ongoing £12.5 million expansion and renovation. Apply by June 6, 2005; for more info, contact email@example.com
BILL RICE ON EAST 4TH STREET
Art-world insiders are making their way to a special exhibition and sale of works by stalwart East Village painter Bill Rice, who is also a theater veteran whose credits range from classic 1980s underground films by Richard Kern to Jim Jarmuschs 2004 Coffee and Cigarettes. Rices paintings and drawings capture the gray netherworld of the Lower East Side. Prices range from as little as $25 to $6,000 for major works. The show and sale takes place at Ageloff Towers, 172 East 4th Street at Avenue A, Apt. 8F, 1-7 pm, June 4-5, 2005.
Contact wrobinson @ artnet.com