NAUMAN SLATED FOR TATES TURBINE HALL
Cowboy artist Bruce Nauman is next up for the vast Turbine Hall space of Tate Modern in London, Oct. 12, 2004-Mar. 28, 2005. No word yet on his plans, though he has his work cut out for him if hes going to do Olafur Eliasson one better. Eliassons The Weather Project (2003), complete with floating yellow sun disk and clouds of mist, turned the space into a huge otherworldly meditation center [see New London Sun, Oct. 21, 2003].
GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR PINAULT MUSEUM
French billionaire François Pinault -- owner of Christies as well as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Converse, Samsonite and the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute retail chain -- says he will break ground this November for his new 150 million, 352,000-square-foot museum. Sited on one-third of the Ile-Seguin in the Seine in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, the Pinault Foundation of Contemporary Art opens to the river like a big spaceship floating on the waters of the Seine, according to Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who has designed the building to rival Frank Gehrys Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The facility is slated to open in 2007.
MOSCOW BIENNALE PLANNED FOR 2005
The first Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art is scheduled to open on Jan. 18, 2005, according to a report in the Moscow Times. Some 50 artists from Russia and abroad are expected to take part in the publicly funded exhibition, which is headed by former culture minister Mikhail Shvydkoi and titled The Dialectics of Hope. Among the multiple venues for the exposition are the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum, the Central House of Artists, the Shchusev Architecture Museum and the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art. The report mentioned Maurizio Cattelan, Damien Hirst and Bill Viola as possible participants; a complete list of artists is due in two weeks.
STUDYING MATISSE AND RENOIR AT THE BARNES
Fledgling art historians take note. While Philadelphias cultural poobahs debate the future of the revered Barnes Collection in Merion, Pa., the famed if eccentrically installed trove of European modernist art is soliciting art historians to help research and document its collection. One $30,000 fellowship funds a study of the Barnes 59 works by Henri Matisse, under the supervision of Harvard art historian Yve-Alain Bois; the other supports research into the Barnes holding of 181 works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, under the direction of Courtauld Institute scholar John House. Apply by Aug. 15 and Aug. 1, respectively.
GO NUDE IN BUFFALO
Prance about in the altogether in snowy Buffalo? It should be downright warm up there on Aug. 15, 2004, when artist Spencer Tunick plans to stage one of his trademark installations of hundreds of nude volunteers. The performance is sited at Buffalos Central Terminal, a 1929 Art Deco landmark that has fallen into disrepair. The bodies will evoke issues of rebirth and longevity, says Tunick. The event is being happily co-sponsored by the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery -- quite a change from Tunicks early performances, which frequently resulted in his arrest. To participate, see www.albrightknox.org/tunick
LAST CHANCE AT TERRA MUSEUM
The Terra Museum of American Art is closing its facility on Michigan Avenue in Chicago [see Twelfth Hour at the Terra, Dec. 17, 2003] -- but Chicago-area museum-goers have one last chance to visit the facility. The museums final exhibition, Chicago Modern, 1893-1945: Pursuit of the New, goes on view July 17-Oct. 31, 2004. Billed as the first-ever major museum survey of paintings by Chicago artists from the early modernist period, the show features works by Francis Chapin, Richard Chase, Charles V. Davis, Frederick F. Fursman, J. Jeffrey Grant, Herman Menzel, Ramon Shiva and Rudolph Weisenborn. It is organized by Wendy Greenhouse, Daniel Schulman and Susan S. Weininger, and is a fitting tribute to the wonderful city the museum has called home for over 15 years, said Terra director Elizabeth Glassman.
SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM: TWO YEARS TO GO
The Smithsonian American Art Museum reopens its renovated main building in downtown Washington, D.C., in two years -- on July 4, 2006 -- but has its exhibition lineup all ready to go. Five shows help premiere the new galleries: Monographic exhibitions of William Wegman (guest-curated by Joan Simon), prints by William H. Johnson, and paintings, photographs and assemblages by William Christenberry, plus American ABC: Childhood in 19th-century America and History of the Patent Office Building. Opening in November 2006 is a retrospective of Joseph Cornell and a show of prints by Sean Scully. And even further down the road is a retrospective of Saul Steinberg, slated to bow in April 2007.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum (and the National Portrait Gallery, which shares the same building) has been closed since 2001 for a $216-million overhaul; the renovation provides a new underground theater, a Luce Foundation Center open storage facility, a Visible Conservation Center that allows visitors to observe art restorers at work, and a new glass courtyard atrium designed by Norman Foster.
PEW FELLOWSHIPS 2004
The $50,000 Pew Fellowships in the Arts for 2004 have gone to 12 artists from the Philadelphia region working in three categories: folk and traditional arts, painting and scriptworks. Recipients in painting are Francis G. Di Fronzo, Rebecca Rutstein, Jackie Tileston, Rebecca Westcott and Justin Witte. The winners in folk and traditional arts are Robert Crowder, Mufulu Kingambo Gilonda, Hipolito Tito Rubio, Losang Samten and Wu Peter Tang, and the winners in scriptworks are Tanya E. Hamilton and Nicholas Wardigo. Panelists for the painting grants were Walker Art Center curator Douglas Fogle, artist Jane Hammond and critic Lilly Wei. The fellowships are funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the University of the Arts; since the programs inauguration 13 years ago, 174 artists have received a total of $8.6 million in fellowships.
NEW ACRIA BENEFIT AT SEAN KELLY GALLERY
The AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA) has a new art benefit lined up for Sean Kelly Gallery in Chelsea, opening on July 28, 2004. The show, titled Unframed First Look, features approximately 50 new photographers selected from some 500 submissions by a jury that included three photographer-artists -- Adam Fuss, Jack Pierson and Cindy Sherman. One lucky photographer also wins the W Hotels Prize, a $5,000 cash award. Admission to the gala opening, which is sponsored by Alizé Bleu, is $20; the photographs can be purchased for a flat price of $200 apiece.
BELLA LEWITZKY, 1916-2004
Bella Lewitzky, 88, Los Angeles dancer, choreographer, teacher and political activist who helped lead the fight in the late 1980s against right-wing attempts to censor the National Endowment for the Arts, died of a heart attack in Pasadena on July 16. According to the New York Times, Lewitzky was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951 but refused to testify, saying I am a dancer, not a singer. She was back on the battlements in the late 1980s, when she filed a lawsuit challenging a new, Republican-inspired requirement that NEA grantees sign an anti-obscenity pledge, a rule that was found unconstitutional in 1991. Lewitzky directed the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company from 1966 to 97.