NYC SEX IN PRINT
The catalogue for "NYC Sex: How New York Transformed Sex in America," the premiere show at the new Museum of Sex in New York, is hot off the presses (Scala, $25). The 224-page book boats 150 color illustrations, from 19th-century drawings and historical photographs to film stills and images from the collection of the Kinsey Institute. Contributors include porn pioneers Vanessa del Rio and Annie Sprinkle, Happy Hooker Xavier Hollander, sex-work activist Tracey Quan, yam artist Karen Finley, counterculture writers Legs McNeil and Luc Sante, and Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, among others. The exhibition itself bows at the Fifth Avenue museum on Sept. 23, 2002.
TREASURE HUNT AT SWISS MUSEUM
Swiss conceptual-art prankster Christoph Büchel, who auctioned off his spot in this summer's "Manifesta 4" exhibition on eBay for $15,000 to "Free Biennial" artist Sal Randolph, is at it again. He has teamed up with Gianni Motti for an exhibition at the Helmhaus Zürich called "Capital Affair," Aug. 23-Sept. 29, 2002, in which the two artists aren't exhibiting work, but rather have hidden the show's ca. $33,000 budget somewhere in the galleries -- with the cash trove going to whomever finds it. "Visitors do not find themselves confronted with a work of art, which has a use and exchange value," the artists write, "but rather with the actual production costs, that is, the budget of the exhibition: a work of art that is not there." If nothing else, the show should break attendance records.
ROBERT INDIANA IN ASIA
This summer saw the first-ever show of Robert Indiana in Asia at the Shanghai Art Museum, July 5-Aug. 10, 2002. The exhibition featured 110 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, and was accompanied by a 206-page catalogue. "Chinese society is currently experiencing massive consumerism," said curator Pascal de Sarthe, "and many people tried to sneak photos posing in front of the artist's LOVE sculpture." The exhibition was a great success, bringing record attendance to the museum, and may now travel to Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei.
QUIET TIMES FOR VIGGO
The film career of matinee idol Viggo Mortensen is taking off -- most recently, he snagged a recurring role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy -- but his fine art career is somewhat more sedate. His second show at Robert Mann Gallery over in New York's Chelsea district rated only the deep summer slot, July 20-Aug. 23, and closed without much fanfare. The gallery reports no Hollywood star sightings to speak of, and though the work is said to be "selling quite well," only a few of the 38 color and black-and-white pix sported the telling red dot -- one a romantic Self-Portrait for $600 and another a grainy b&w panorama of an elf-eared figure in the deep woods, Chetwood Forest #3, priced at $1,250. Mortensen's prices, which range from $600 to $5,000 for a large, rather gory color image of a dead, disemboweled deer in the desert, are quite reasonable, though the photos come in relatively large editions of 25. Other subjects include delicate images of leaves in the snow, and sun-streaked shots of kids in the woods.
The 43-year-old actor has more than 30 films to his credit, usually as a creepy but sexy bad guy, with roles in Peter Weir's Witness (1985), Sean Penn's Indian Runner (1991), Brian DePalma's Carlito's Way (1993), Tony Scott's Crimson Tide (1995) and Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane (1997), as well as the more recent 28 Days (2000), as Sandra Bullock's love interest). He also played a photographer in the 1998 stinker A Perfect Murder (starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow), making the big S&M photos himself.
NEW FACE AT NASHER CENTER
The Nasher Sculpture Center, currently under construction next to the Dallas Museum of Art in downtown Dallas, has appointed Dakin Hart as its first assistant director. He has been artistic director of the Montalvo cultural center in Saratoga, Cal. The Nasher center, directed by Steven Nash, is slated to open its $50-million, 54,000-square-foot Renzo Piano-designed facility in 2003.