VENICE MEDALS TO SCHUTTE, MESSAGER, GALINDO, MORE
The Venice Biennale has announced the winners of the awards for the 51st International Art Exhibition. German sculptor Thomas Schütte won a Golden Lion for his contribution to the "The Experience of Art" in the Italian pavilion. According to the prize jury, which included Hendrik Driessen, Kathy Halbreich, Geeta Kapur and Ousseynou Wade, Schütte's installation of several large-scale sculptures of female nudes and a group of drawings "rejuvinates classical methods while maintaining a critical distance to the heroic tradition." Guatemalan artist Regina José Galindo, whose trio of video projections mixing Body Art and political protest, included in "Always a Little Further" in the Arsenale, was awarded the Golden Lion for a young artist.
The French pavilion, with its installation by Annette Messager, received the Golden Lion for best national pavilion. The award for young Italian art 2004-05 went to video artist Lara Favaretto. And a special Golden Lion was posthumously given to Harald Szeemann, who organized the visual arts exhibitions at Venice in 1998 and 2001. As was previously announced, Barbara Kruger won the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. The jury for the national pavilions included Dan Cameron, Udo Kittelmann, Llilian Llanes and Fumio Nanjo. Both juries were overseen by biennale president Ida Gianelli.
L.A. TIMES REPORT TARGETS GETTY CENTER CHIEF J. Paul Getty Center may have $5 billion in the bank, but not everything is coming up roses for Getty CEO Barry Munitz, 63, who took over at the Los Angeles art complex in 1998. Last fall, Getty Museum director DeborahGribbon resigned, citing insurmountable differences with her boss, and more recently Italian authorities have demanded that Getty Villa director Marion True show up in Rome in July to stand trial on criminal charges of receiving stolen ancient artifacts.
And as if that weren't enough, last week the Los Angeles Times published a lengthy investigative report that paints Munitz as a spendthrift of "grand appetites." Written by Jason Felch, Robin Fields and Louise Roug and published on June 10, the story is a remarkably rare and penetrating look into the ordinarily hush-hush inner circles of the art-world's upper stratosphere. Not only does Munitz pull down a salary of $1.2 million (including benefits), more than double the pay of top museum directors, the paper reports, but he also received from the Getty a brand new $72,000 Porsche Cayenne SUV during a period that the organization was otherwise cutting staff.
Other apparent financial indiscretions include $1 million in payments to "senior advisors," a group of Munitz cronies who reported directly to him; a $10-million "President's Opportunity Fund" controlled by Munitz's office; and an $18,000 grant to furnish a former Getty Center executive's new office -- at another organization. Munitz and his wife, Anne T. Munitz, are portrayed as exceptionally fond of first-class travel at Getty expense. One eight-day trip to Tuscany cost the Getty over $35,000, according to the paper, including $466 for wine. For a six-day trip to Hawaii in 2001, the trust paid for Munitz and his wife's airfare, and picked up half of their hotel costs, which totaled around $1,000 per night.
Most disturbing of all, the report indicates that Munitz's controversial style has transformed the once-indomitable institution into "a bitter, divided place that has hemorrhaged talent." Stay tuned.
BARNES DIRECTOR OUT
It stands to reason that if you can't manage a small house museum in the outskirts of Philadelphia, you're not going to get the job running a new $100-million facility on the Main Line. Kimberly Camp, president and CEO of the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pa., since 1998, has announced her resignation. Camp's 2003 salary was over $170,000, according to public documents.
After many years of quixotic management (to say the least), the Barnes is now moving to transform itself into a major player on the Philadelphia culture scene. Lincoln University, the historically black school that had overseen the Barnes for so long, has been pushed aside, and the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Annenberg Foundation and cable billionaire Gerry Lenfest's LenfestFoundation are joining together to move the Barnes to a new site on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Flanked by the Rodin Museum and the Free Library (under renovation by Moshe Safdie), the Barnes site is near the Philadelphia Museum and the planned Calder Museum. According to the Architectural Record, Renzo Piano is rumored to be the favorite to design the new facility.
NORTEN TO DESIGN GUADALAJARA GUGG
Mexican architect Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos has been chosen to prepare a preliminary design for the proposed Guggenheim Museum in Guadalajara, Mexico [see "Artnet News," Jan. 13, 2005]. Norten's plan features a glass-skinned vertical tower containing a stack of differently configured white steel boxes that serve as galleries. "It's almost like a 3D Tetris," Norten said. The scheme also includes a plaza, a roof garden and elevators attached to the exterior of the structure.
Norten has previously worked with the Guggenheim -- he came up with the ingenious installation of the museum's recent "Aztec Empire" exhibition. The new Gugg satellite isn't a sure thing, of course; a feasibility study determining costs and potential revenues is due in August.
KRUGER DOES WINE LABEL
Fresh from winning the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 51st Venice Biennale, artist Barbara Kruger is also making news for designing the label for a new wine from Bedell Cellars on Long Island, a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer that is being released on July 1, 2005. Done in Kruger's signature style, the black-and-white wine label depicts a woman's face with the word "taste" printed in red in her open mouth. The wine label is the second in the special Bedell Artist Series (the first was by Eric Fischl) dreamed up by Michael Lynne, owner of Bedell Cellars -- as well as co-chairman of New Line Cienema. Only 150 cases were made; the wine retails at $25 per bottle.
ART FORTNIGHT LONDON IS BACK Art Fortnight London, the two-week-long program of events aimed at "high net worth international collectors and cultural travelers," returns to inaugurate the summer tourist season in the British capital, June 20-July 4, 2005. The fest promises a massive roster of events at 80 museums and galleries, with the first week dedicated to modern and contemporary art and the second concentrating on Old Masters and pre-20th-century art.
Highlights include "Young Masters," an exhibition curated by Flora Fairbairn and Catriona Warren, bringing together a group of contemporary artists who employ Old Master iconography in their work, and 9 Drawings for projection, a compilation of films by William Kentridge that are to be transformed into a live performance by composer Philip Miller and the Sontonga Quartet. To find out more, visit www.artfortnightlondon.com.
SMITHSON TO CIRCLE MANHATTAN
The Whitney Museum and the New York-based arts organization Minetta Brook are collaborating to bring life to Floating Island, an unrealized project from 1970 by legendary American Earthworks artist Robert Smithson. Slated for Sept. 17-18 and 24-25, 2005, and planned in conjunction with the Whitney's major retrospective of Smithson's work (opening June 23rd), the project consists of a barge filled with earth and vegetation, towed around the island of Manhattan by a tugboat.
CUBAN ARTISTS AWARDED Amalia Zarranz and Christian Curiel have been awarded the 2005 CINTAS Fellowships, dedicated to promoting the work of Cuban artists working outside of Cuba. Zarranz, a filmmaker, was cited for her 2001 short film TALLgirl, while Curiel was honored for her paintings. The $15,000 prizes are the combined gift of the CINTAS Foundation and the newly formed Emilio Sanchez Foundation for the Visual Arts. Works by both artists are on display at the Americas Society in New York, June 8-30, 2005.
NEW BOARDMEMBERS AT MOMA Robert B. Menschel has been elected chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art, succeeding Ronald S. Lauder, who has chaired the board since 1995. Menschel, a director of Goldman Sachs as well as a longtime photo collector, has been a MoMA museum trustee since 1989 and president of the museum since 2002. He is succeeded as president by Marie-Josée Kravis, a museum trustee since 1994 and a generous donor to the museum with her husband, the financier Henry Kravis.
NEFF TO HEAD ART FRANKFURT
The 37-year-old Frankfurt art dealer and collector Michael Neff has been appointed director of Art Frankfurt, the "young arts fair" that occurs every spring. Neff opened his own gallery in 2000 and is currently co-curating a collection of contemporary art for DeKaBank and organizing the corporate art program for Lufthansa.
GALERIE JUDIN, HAUNCH OF VENISON IN POWER MERGER Galerie Judin in Zurich, which was founded in 2003 by collector Juerg Judin, is merging with the London gallery Haunch of Venison, opened by Harry Blain in 2002. Judin is continuing to run the Zurich gallery, which is being renamed Haunch of Venison, Zurich, in October on the occasion of an exhibition in the space of artist Jorge Pardo. Currently on view at Galerie Judin is a survey of over 60 drawings by Carroll Dunham and a smaller show of previously unseen photographs from 1969-71 by Sigmar Polke.
D.A.P. SETS UP AT VISIONAIRE IN SOHO Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P.) is spending its summer vacation at the chic Visionaire Gallery at 11 Mercer Street in SoHo. The all-purpose art book publisher and distributor plans to convert the gallery into Artbook at Visionaire for the summer, June 22-Sept. 28, 2005. The new store promises over 400 rare and limited-edition art titles, as well as book-signings with famous artists, including Tina Barney (June 23), Jenny Holzer (July 7), Vanessa Beecroft (July 14), Alex Katz (Aug. 9) and Richard Prince (date tba).