The web has made the global nature of the art business immediately apparent. And nowhere is this fact more clear than on Artnet.com, which hosts sites for galleries from all over the world -- over 280 cities in all. Listed here this week are some of the more far-flung examples with openings in March.
Beginning our brief tour halfway around the world in Australia, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in Melbourne is presenting a group of paintings by Aussie artist Jeff Makin. The show, titled "Australian Felix: Mountains, Waterfalls, Pastorals," Mar. 1-Mar 24, 2001, is nothing if not ... splashy ("felix" is Latin for "happy," and was first used in reference to the Australian landscape by the explorer Major Mitchell in the early 20th century). If you're at home down under you should drop in, or if not you can gallery hop from the comfort of your own computer.
Other Australian galleries on Artnet.com include Alcaston Gallery in Melbourne, which opened in 1989 to showcase Anthony and Beverly Knight's holdings of Australian Aboriginal art, and the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney, whose current show is work by 1993 Australian Venice Biennale representative Jenny Watson, Mar. 2-Mar. 24. Another Sydney dealer is Sherman Galleries, which represents contemporary artists from home and abroad.
Moving west, we arrive in Hong Kong, where Yu Peng, a star of the Shanghai Biennial 2000, is showing recent work at Hanart TZ Gallery. The exhibition, "Pure Exotic, Archaic and Strange New Paintings," contains Peng's otherworldly brush paintings that combine tradition with modern unsettlement. You can see these magical landscapes Mar 9-Mar. 31. Artnet.com has several other Hong Kong galleries online, including Art Scene China, China Vision and the Gallery of Contemporary Chinese Visual Arts.
One of Beijing's top galleries is the CourtYard Gallery, situated across from the East Gate of the Forbidden City. On view there Mar. 11-Apr. 11 is work by the avant-garde Gao Brothers, who are presenting photographs and digitally enhanced collages based on their cutting-edge performance art. Contemporary Chinese art looks especially striking in the gallery, which features part of the ancient wall of the legendary palace moat along with white walls and track lighting.
China's next-door neighbor is the nominal home of the online gallery Russiart, whose goal is to bring modern Russian art to the world at a click of a mouse. For two months, Mar. 1-Apr. 30, the site is reserved for Dzhabi Alexander Dikusar's first one-person show. "Woman in the Interior" features portraits of women, one to a canvas, with looks that range from intense come-hither to carefree sun lovers. And while you're in the country, stop off in Moscow and visit two of our favorites, Aidan Gallery and XL Gallery.
As one might expect, many of Artnet.com's galleries are in Europe and the U.S. In Madrid, for instance, nine galleries are on the network. At the renowned Galería Helga de Alvear are new works by Jesús Palomino. You may remember Palomino for his cool, pastel-colored house installation at Art Cologne 2000. At the Madrid gallery, you can check out his collages, which use fragmented shapes in primary colors for a joyous, Matissean effect. The show is Mar. 8-Apr. 21.
Also in Madrid, Elba Benitez Galeria has Vik Muniz, Feb. 9-Apr. 9. Galería Arnés + Röpke is showing Peter Brüning, Feb. 15-Mar. 31, and Liam Gillick is on Feb. 13-Mar. 31 at Galeria Javier López.
Stockholm's Galeri Axel Mörner is showing the humorous Commissioned Double Portrait by Mikael Askergren, Mar. 12-Apr. 1. The photo marks Axel Mörner's marriage to Anette Strandberg by fusing the pair's faces together, a trope that is reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966), in which the visages of Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann merge for a brief moment. The Morners will use the photo for their wedding announcement in two Stockholm newspapers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet. Visit Askergren's website for his essays on society, anti-Veganism and even "The Upper and Lower Classes in Swedish Wedding Photographs."
Another Stockholm gallery with Artnet.com is Wetterling Gallery, showing Niki de Saint Phalle, Feb. 13-Mar. 25.
Returning to America, from our 23rd-floor office just off Wall Street we survey the distant West and see a fabulous threesome at the Bentley Gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz. On view for the month of March are works by Vernon Fisher, Tom Ortega and Martin Mull (the show follows the smashing Jim Dine exhibition that closed Feb. 28).
Mull, as everyone knows, is a comic actor whose dry humor caught America's attention with Mary Hartman Mary Hartman and extended through his stint as Leon on television's Roseanne. Here, however, he exhibits paintings done with remarkable sincerity -- an effect that perhaps derives from the fact that his style suggests illustrations in school primers from the 1950s.
At the same time, works like A Young Magician's Routine and Best Wishes (both 2001) use the Modernist motif of multiple and fractured images to contribute to an emotive narrative. Next time you're browsing the web, head for one of his unofficial fan pages -- try http://members.aol.com/MartyFan23/Marty.html -- and tell him hello for me.