CORNELL GOES HIGH TECH
Hot new coffee-table book for the art set is the perplexingly titled Joseph Cornell Shadowplay. . . Eterniday (Thames & Hudson, 272 pp., $60 clothbound), featuring 205 lavish full-color illustrations of over 75 boxes and collages -- as well as a companion DVD-ROM containing an encyclopedic compendium of the artist's works and lots of other info. The book boasts an essay by Art in America editor Richard Vine on Eterniday: Cornell's Christian Science "Metaphysique," commentary by Walter Hopps and Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, and Living with Cornell: A Collector's View by Robert Lehrman. Publication of the book celebrates the centennial of Cornell's birth.
Also celebrating the Cornell centennial, by the way, is "Joseph Cornell: The 100th Birthday" at Richard L. Feigen & Co., 34 East 69th Street, Oct. 28, 2003-Jan. 16, 2004. The show features important early works by Cornell on loan from the Robert Lehrman Art Trust, as well as works by Cornell's fellow artist and kindred spirit Ray Johnson.
The Cornell celebrations continue in downtown Manhattan at the Anthology Film Archives with a four-day screening of films from Cornell's private collection, Dec. 18-21, 2003. For more info, see www.anthologyfilmarchives.org.
"KARAMBOLAGE" FROM ARNOLD ODERMATT
During a 40-year career as a police officer in the Swiss canton of Nidwalden, Arnold Odermatt (b. 1925) photographed automobile accident scenes. The dramatic results of this extensive record of drunk driving, carelessness and property damage have now been collected in Karambolage, an oversized 400-page book of black-and-white photos published by Steidl this fall ($65 hardcover). Presented almost completely without accompanying text, this incredible procession of crashes and smash-ups, captured after the people have been cleared away, is a most curious document indeed. Most recently Odermatt's photographs have been included in the 49th Venice Biennial in 2001 and at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002.
ART CAMEO ON SEX & THE CITY
Art-world fans of the Sex & the City television show, now in its sixth season on the HBO network, may have been surprised to see in the latest episode the series' star and narrator, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) walk into the Sean Kelly Gallery on West 29th Street, where she made eye contact with her new love interest, a Russian artist (played by Mikhail Baryshnikov). Disconcertingly to art lovers, the two seemed to be watching Marina Abramovic's epic 12-day performance from last November, The House with the Ocean View [see Charlie Finch, "Sean on Marina," Nov. 20, 2002].
Only it wasn't the real Marina or her performance, but rather a replica -- or should one say travesty -- shot over a two-week period last summer. The artist and the gallery had script approval -- and, from this vantage, were notably open-minded in their assent to the project. Carrie makes the kind of callow joke that is appropriate to her character (something about giving the fasting artist a sandwich), and as for Abramovic's stand-in -- well, just say that real Body Art involves something more than merely posing naked. Abramovic, who was in Sri Lanka when the segment was filmed, has yet to see her TV portrayal. Stay tuned for further lopsided looks at the New York art scene on Sex & the City as the fictional romance plays out over coming episodes.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Sean Kelly is presenting "Robert Mapplethorpe: Eye to Eye," Sept. 13-Oct. 13, 2003, a show of approximately 60 works dating from 1975 to '88 selected from the holdings of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation by Cindy Sherman.
"BRICKS OF ART" BENEFIT FOR ART STUDENTS LEAGUE
Salander-O'Reilly Galleries at 20 East 79th Street is hosting the ingenious "Bricks of Art" benefit sale on Sept. 23, 2003, 6-8 pm, to help raise funds for New York's venerable Art Students League. Nearly 200 paintings on brick-like 4 x 8 in. panels are offered at $200 each -- though tickets to the event are an additional $75. Participating artists include Will Barnet, Harvey Dinnerstein, Mimi Gross, Steven Harvey, Paul Jenkins, Knox Martin, Philip Pearlstein, Paul Resika, May Stevens and others. For more info, call (212) 247-4510 ext. 106.
"RUINS OF THE FUTURE" IN PERU
Nine contemporary artists have made special installations in scenic Arequipa, Peru, for a venturesome art exhibition titled "Ruins of the Future," Sept. 1-Nov. 6, 2003. Organized by "art promoter" Marjan van Mourik and artist and Antwerp real estate magnate Pierre Mertens, the project is sponsored by Rotterdam's Target Foundation. The artists are Anish Kapoor, Mario Merz, Niele Toroni, Claes Oldenburg, Christo, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth and Richard Long. The works, which are intended to address issues of cultural identity and global politics, are sited among the dramatic, traditional brick ovens in Peru's Arequipa valley.
ART FOG IN TRIBECA
New York artist Matthew Geller is presenting Foggy Day in a section of Cortlandt Alley between White and Walker Streets in Lower Manhattan, Oct. 3-Nov. 14, 2003. The "urban earthwork," as the artist terms it, shrouds the street in fog at selected times during the day, with "a regular pea-souper that grows and dissipates as wind and weather conditions change." The picturesque Cortlandt Alley has frequently served as a set for film and photo shoots; in Geller's real-life version, the alley is enhanced with translucent rubber puddles on the sidewalk and trees growing from building niches, turning "a normal walk through the city into a kind of temporary cinema." The mysterious fog is activated at lunch and early evening; for more info see the artist's website.
REDCAT GALLERY LAUNCHES AT NEW DISNEY THEATER
Everyone knows that the spectacular new Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Gehry, begins its programming in earnest next month. But in addition to being home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the new complex also includes something called Redcat, a showcase for experimental performance and art, which itself includes the Gallery at Redcat, headed by curator and gallery director Eungie Joo. The 3,000-square-foot gallery space debuts on Nov. 15 with a survey of work by the late Los Angeles Abstract Expressionist painter Emerson Woelffer, a show organized by Ed Ruscha, Woelffer's student and longtime friend. Next up are exhibitions of California Community Foundation grantees (Jan. 18-18, 2004), Mark Bradford and Glenn Kaino (Feb. 5-Mar. 21, 2004), Superflex (Apr. 14-May 16, 2004) and Julie Mehretu (May 27-July 18, 2004).
NEW PLANS FOR WADSWORTH ATHENEUM
The museum world's rising star, new Wadsworth Atheneum director Willard Holmes, recently made an appearance in the "Public Lives" column of the New York Times, where he struck notes of fiscal prudence and community outreach. Holmes has temporarily shelved an ambitious expansion plan, and instead is looking to increase the museum endowment to $100 million from $60 million. Though the museum is sited in a relatively poor neighborhood, Holmes pointed out that the communities within eight miles of the museum comprise "one of the richest areas in the nation." Holmes also wants to reach out to the local neighborhood, in part through two shows, "Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back" and "Kid Size: The Material World of Childhood."
SANDLER MEMOIR ON TAP
The "balayeur des artistes," as poet Frank O'Hara once called indefatigable art critic and historian Irving Sandler, is publishing a memoir of 50 years in the New York art world. Due out this fall from Thames & Hudson, A Sweeper-Up after Artists: A Memoir, chronicles the writer's encounters with de Kooning and Newman, Greenberg and Rosenberg, Stella, Rauschenberg and Johns and more. A co-founder of Artists Space in New York and current chairman of the advisory committee of the Sharpe Foundation, Sandler is author of a four-volume history of postwar American art. The 353-page book, with 20 illustrations, is priced at $29.95 clothbound.
SAM FRANCIS IN BEVERLY HILLS
"Sam Francis: Special Proofs, 1963-1989" goes on view at Timothy Yarger Fine Arts in Beverly Hills, opening Sept. 20, 2003. The show, which includes 10 paintings on canvas and paper and 38 special proofs of the artist's prints, focuses on Francis' inventive experiments with color and other variables in the printing process. What's more, the exhibition features works from the estate that Francis had kept for himself. For more info, see www.yargerfineart.com.
COOPER UNION SELLS PRINTS
New York's celebrated, tuition-free college of art, architecture and engineering in the East Village, Cooper Union, is selling a selection of nine works from its art collection at Sotheby's New York to raise funds for scholarships. Top lot is an untitled work by Cooper Union alumna Eva Hesse (presale est. $50,000-$70,000) that goes on the block in the contemporary art part II sale on Nov. 13. Sotheby's Oct. 31-Nov. 1 sale of prints includes four Cooper Union lots -- Jasper Johns' 1962 lithograph False Start (est. $40,000-$60,000) and works by Robert Rauschenberg and Joan Mir. And a work by Angel Botello is included in Sotheby's Nov. 20 sale of Latin American art and a self-portrait by Raphael Soyer is featured in the Dec. 19 American Arcade Paintings sale. The total presale high estimate for all Cooper Union lots is $214,000.
MOMA PRINTS AT AXA GALLERY
While it builds its new $800-million midtown Manhattan museum, the Museum of Modern Art has been sending its collection on the road in a series of special shows, including an exhibition of 200 masterworks that just opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and travels this winter in altered form to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. But New Yorkers also have a chance to sample MoMA's collection, without leaving Manhattan, at the AXA Gallery on Seventh Avenue when "Artists and Prints: Masterworks from the Museum of Modern Art," Oct. 9, 2003-Jan. 24, 2004. Organized by MoMA print maestro Deborah Wye, the show features nearly 90 prints by Toulouse-Lautrec, Munch, Nolde, Picasso, Johns, Lichtenstein, Baselitz and Louise Bourgeois.