Is pioneering Pop art dealer LEO CASTELLI,
who recently celebrated his 90th birthday
(though he says he's only 89)[see Out and
About], going to close his gallery?
Insiders say that the answer is yes, that
by November the famed home of Rauschenberg,
Johns, etc. will be shuttered. Central to
the decision is the sale of 600 West
Broadway--home of Castelli, Sonnabend,
Charles Cowles--and one vacant floor,
formerly site of Hirschl & Adler. Leo
himself recently told the New York Times,
which had reported that a Japanese company
wanted to open a department store there,
that he's not selling. Rumormongers note
that Cowles has been ready to sell for
years and that Sonnabend is the hold-out.
But why move? The group bought the building
eons ago so their month-to-month facility
cost is low. And how much could liquidating
the building--say at a top price of $15
million--bring per floor? A mere $2 million
or $3 million? They're all quite well off,
and could retire any time. Wait for the
second generation to make the decisions--
Antonio Honem at Sonnabend and Patty and
Susan Brundage at Castelli.
SoHoites have fond memories of Italian art
dealer SALVATORE ALA, who reigned over a
vast and beautiful space at 560 Broadway
for many seasons, presenting New Yorkers
with pristine shows of Italian modernists
like Carla Accardi as well as New York-
based abstractionists like Stephen Ellis.
He seemed made of money, but the market
eventually turned, and Ala in turn turned
to art factors Rosenberg & Rosenberg. When
Ala couldn't make his payments, his
inventory was liquidated--with many of his
works by KEITH HARING, a good handful or
so, making their way into Tony Shafrazi's
The MUSEE GUSTAVE COURBET in Ornans, the
charming museum set up in the house where
the great realist was born in 1819, is hard
at work on a new edition of the Courbet
catalogue raissoné. Jean-Jacques Fernier,
head of the museum, was in New York
recently looking at paintings for inclusion
in the new catalogue. One was The Bull
Calf, 1873, held by a New York private collector.
Another work, Peasant Girl with a Goat
(1860), which shows the influence of
Caravaggio in the young woman's
seductive expression, was bought for the
museum collection for $400,000.
Contributions for the acquisition may be
sent to Fernier at the museum director's
official address in Paris: 3 Rue le Notre,
Musée Courbet, Paris 75016. And when you're
in France, be sure to stop in this lovely
village and visit the Musée Courbet. If you
hurry you may catch "Courbet L'Amour..."
(to Oct. 28, 1996), featuring 50 works on
New York City STREET ARTISTS, exemplified
in the person of artist ROBERT LEDERMAN,
have won their fight to be allowed to sell
their works on the streets of the city
without a license. The Second Circuit
Federal Appeals court issued its ruling in
Lederman v. City of New York on Oct. 11,
1996. The ruling noted that the marketing of
art work on the street "is in fact a part
of the message" of the art, and that street
display "reaches people who might not chose
to go into a gallery or museum or who might
feel excluded or alienated from these
forms." The city requirement that artists
be licensed to sell their work "constitutes
an unconstitutional infringement of their
First Amendment rights," the court ruled,
also noting that the city had failed to
demonstrate that art displays on city
streets inhibited the need to ensure street
safety and the lack of congestion. Over 350
artists had been arrested since 1993 for
selling their works on city streets.
VIRTUAL CULTURE, a symposium sponsored by
ECHONYC at P.S. 122 (150 First Ave. at 9th
St.) kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday Oct. 20.
Admission is free so arrive early. Theme is
"Sexuality and Cyberspace: The Politics of
the Digital Body," and is co-sponsored by
Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist
Theory. Sounds juicy. For more info, (212)
The HOBOKEN 1996 ARTISTS STUDIO TOUR is
Sunday Oct. 20 from noon to 6 p.m. It
features over 100 participating artists!
For maps and info, call (201) 600-2207.
EUROPEAN ART FORUM BERLIN is a new art fair
organized by the Messe Berlin and 120
leading galleries, Oct. 30-Nov. 11, 1996.
Did CHICAGO contribute to the visual arts?
This is the question asked by the city's
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART in "Art in
Chicago, 1945-1995," Nov. 16, 1996-Mar. 23,
1997, a show billed as "the first
exhibition to offer a comprehensive,
historical survey of art made and collected
in Chicago since World War II. The show,
organized by curator Lynne Warren, features
more than 200 works made by 150 artists,
including Moholy-Nagy, Leon Golub, Harry
Callahan, Ivan Albright, H.C. Westermann,
Nancy Spero, Roger Brown, Ed Paschke,
Gladys Nilsson, Rober Heinecken, Martin
Puryear, Kay Rosen, Jeanne Dunning and
Kerry James Marshall. The show is sponsored
by our favorite purveyor of tobacco
products, Philip Morris.
ART DAILY has launched as the first "art news" source
on the net. A good idea, Art Daily compiles
art stories from various news agencies and
puts them up in an attractive newspaper
format. Of course for continued inside
information on art-world doings you will be
coming here, to the Endless Column.
The UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM and PACIFIC FILM
ARCHIVE at U.Cal.Berkeley has added
"Berkeley" to its name at the
behest of an anonymous civic booster
who gave a $5-million matching grant to the
museum's endowment drive if it would name
itself after the city. The museum, whose
programming has been among the most
adventurous in the country in recent years,
will now be known as the University of
California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific
The BROOKLYN MUSEUM unveils its reinstalled
Chinese Galleries on Nov. 7, 1996, with
"The Arts of China," featuring some 120
works. Check out the museum Web site.
The FOGG ART MUSEUM opens its reinstalled
Renaissance galleries on Nov. 1, 1996,
featuring works from one of the foremost
collections of early Italian Renaissance
paintings in North America--Fra Angelico,
Taddeo Gaddi, Fra Filippo Lippi,
Botticelli. "Investigating the
Renaissance," organized by Fogg curator
Ivan Gaskell and intern Stephan Wolohojian,
occupies three new exhibition galleries in
space that had served as temporary offices.
The SAN FRANCISCO MOMA has changed its
schedule and is now the only museum in the
Bay Area open on MONDAY. It's closed
Wednesday, just like the MOMA in New York.
American expatriate painter and British
resident R.B. KITAJ has received the award
as commander in the Order of Arts and
Reuters reports that Ding Guangen, a
Chinese Communist Party Central Committe
propaganda chief, has called on his
nation's artists to produce MORE GOOD ART.
The new drive calls for the creation of one
good book, one good opera, one good film,
one good television drama and one or more
good articles each year, according to the
Xinhua news agency.
RIO DE JANEIRO has a new CONTEMPORARY ART
MUSEUM, designed by architect Oscar
Niemeyer in the town of Niteroi. The $5.3-
million facility features the 1,000-piece
collection of Joao Sattamini.
They're restoring the BERLIN WALL MURALS, a
mosaic of works by over 100 artists
painting in 1990 on a 1.6-km-long section
of the wall. Artist Kani Alavi is leading
the international team who has undertaken
the job without funding from the city, and
in opposition to many local politicians who
want to tear the wall down.