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Artnet News
2/24/04


DRAWING CENTER TO WORLD TRADE CENTER?
The Drawing Center, founded in 1977 and located in SoHo since 1986, may be headed to the new World Trade Center cultural complex. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation wants to include cultural institutions at the site to make downtown "an even more vibrant global hub of culture and commerce," as New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has put it, and has left space for a new performing arts center, an underground Memorial Center as part of the memorial site proper, and two additional cultural buildings adjacent to the memorial site. Four institutions -- the Drawing Center, the Children's Museum of the Arts, the New York Hall of Science and something called the Freedom Museum -- have been asked to refine their proposals, with a final decision due as soon as April. The actual museum project is scheduled for completion in 2009.

"It's very exciting, a fantastic chance to introduce what we do to a much larger audience," said Drawing Center president George Negroponte. The projected space of 25,000-30,000 square feet would double the Drawing Center's capacity, and also double its $1.7 million annual budget. "We're working carefully to visualize what the programming could be, and looking carefully at the financial implications." But Negroponte didn't rule out the possibility of some kind of collaboration with both the science and children's museums. "It's a very dynamic moment," he said. "I see a chance for a synergy that could take the site to a different place." Hmmm -- next up at the Drawing Center is "Ocean Flowers," a "natural sciences" exhibition organized by Drawing Center director Catherine de Zegher and art historian Carol Armstrong that compares the use of illustrations and cameraless photographs in the 1850s and 1860s.

PHOTOS "SEEN AT MOMA" NOW SEEN IN BERLIN
The Neue Nationalgalerie isn't the only Berlin art space celebrating the holdings of the Museum of Modern Art in New York [see "Berlin, Starstruck," Feb. 23, 2004]. The Galerie Kicken at Linienstrasse 155 is currently boasting "Seen at MoMA," a two-part selection of approximately 40 photographs that were exhibited at the museum since its founding in 1929. The list of photographers in the show ranges from Manuel Alvarez-Bravo, Ansel Adams and Diane Arbus to Stephen Shore, Alfred Stieglitz and Weegee. Part one is on view Feb. 18-May 8, 2004; part two remains on view through the fall. For more info, see www.kicken-gallery.com

POSTMODERN HERETICS IN PRINT
Art in America contributing editor Eleanor Heartney's Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic imagination in Contemporary Art has just been published by Midmarch Arts Press. The $25 paperback is billed as the "first book to take an in depth look at the impact of Catholicism on contemporary art," positing an "incarnational consciousness" in the "Catholic imagination" that has been particularly visible in the provocations of the culture wars via the work of artists ranging from Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano to Kiki Smith and Janine Antoni. "Brave and urgently needed," blurbs fellow critic Arthur Danto.

MIKE GLIER MURALS IN CAMBRIDGE CITY HALL
The 1871 City Hall Annex building in Cambridge, Mass., has gone "green," with a just-completed renovation project that features insulated windows, a "ground-source heat pump" and photovoltaic solar panels on the roof -- not to mention new murals throughout the historic building by artist Mike Glier that conceptually tie into green themes of "transparency, flow, growth and pleasure." Glier's "Town Green" wall-works feature literal bird's-eye views of flowering trees, foliage and pedestrians by the Williams College art prof (and husband of digital artist Jenny Holzer), who became known in the 1970s and 80s for his deft drawings, often with political content. The murals stretch all around the interior of the building's two-story atrium, and are placed as well in behind the parking-ticket windows and elsewhere in the facility. The Cambridge Arts Council supervised the $60,000 commission as part of its percent-for-art program (about 15 other projects are in the works now -- for details, see www.cambridgeartscouncil.org). The renovation also provided a new gallery for the CAC, which is debuting with a show of paintings by Glier, Feb. 23-Apr. 30, 2004.

MEL CHIN DESIGNS BLANTON MUSEUM PLAZA
Ecological artist Mel Chin and the architect Peter Walker have been selected to collaborate on a public plaza and garden for the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. The 72,000-square-foot plaza forms a "village green" for the Blanton's new $83.5-million museum complex, slated to be completed in late 2005. Walker, who designed a sculpture garden for the new Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, was recently chosen to collaborate with Michael Arad on the World Trade Center memorial. Groundbreaking for the Blanton plaza is scheduled for later this year.

NOGUCHI MUSEUM POSTPONES REOPENING
Renovation of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City is going slower than expected -- originally scheduled to reopen in April, the museum now plans to debut on June 12, 2004. The new museum bows with "Isamu Noguchi, Sculptural Design," June 12-Oct. 4, 2004, the first large-scale Noguchi show in New York in nearly 25 years; the exhibition is designed by theater impresario Robert Wilson and organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany.

NEW MEMBERS IN AMERICAN ACADEMY
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has elected nine new members, including artists Lee Bontecou and Lester Johnson, writers Isabel Allende, Paula Fox, Jamaica Kincaid, James Tate and Lanford Wilson, and composers Robert Beaser and Bernard Rands.

CARTER FOSTER GETS LACMA JOB
Carter Foster, a curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art, has been appointed curator of drawings and prints at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He shares department-head duties with LACMA curator Kevin Salatino. At Cleveland, Foster co-organized "Jasper Johns: Numbers" and also had a hand in "French Master Drawings from the Collection of Muriel Butkin" and "Drawing Modern: Works from the Agnes Gund Collection."