STAFF SHAKEUP AT WHITNEY
New Whitney Museum chief Maxwell Anderson has moved to put his own organizational imprint on the famously non-hierarchical Whitney staff, for the first time assigning individual curators to head specific departments in a search for "clarity" and "responsibility." The upshot -- longtime Whitney curators Thelma Golden and Elisabeth Sussman are out. Golden passed on the opportunity to finish her work on the next Whitney Biennial when told she would have to share curatorial responsibility with her colleagues, rather than being in charge -- an obvious demotion. Sussman has a couple of shows in the works, but whether they will appear at the Whitney or elsewhere remains to be seen.
The departure of Golden has led to rumors that her patron on the Whitney board, software magnate Peter Norton, would also resign. So far, however, he's still a trustee. Another rumor has golden moving downtown to be director of the Drawing Center in SoHo. This too is unconfirmed.
The current Whitney lineup includes Barbara Haskell, pre-war; Lisa Phillips, contemporary; David Kiehl, prints; and Janie C. Lee, drawings. As announced last week, permanent collection curator Adam Weinberg is leaving to head up the Addison Gallery in Andover, Mass. His successor is Eugenie Tsai, who has been in charge of the Whitney branch museums.
SALTZ TO VOICE
New York bon vivant Jerry Saltz has been named new art critic for the Village Voice, succeeding Peter Schjeldahl. Saltz is a contributing editor to Art in America and has recently been writing for Time Out in New York.
SHAFRAZI'S BIG SCORE
Tout le New York artworld sought entry to the exclusive Francis Bacon opening at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in SoHo on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31. Among those in attendance were Metropolitan Museum curator William Lieberman, Lou Reed and Donald Trump. The exhibition includes nine of 17 recently discovered works, several of which had been rolled up in the artist's studio or at Bacon's local frame shop. "Two are absolute masterpieces," said Bacon expert David Sylvester to Carol Vogel in the New York Times.
ArtNet Magazine "Artist Diary" correspondent Robert Goldman had this brief report: "It's Tony's big score -- it notches him up to a whole other level! The screaming purple Pope is a masterpiece, and the meanest painting is a kind of pig stretched on a metal rack."
SCALPING VAN GOGH
The Washington Post reports that the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is having trouble with scalpers for tickets to its popular exhibition, "Van Gogh's Van Goghs: Masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam," Oct. 4, 1998-Jan. 3, 1999. Apparently, winos and others with free time line up in the morning for the day's allotment of six free tickets, which they then sell for around $15 each to agents for the city's hotels or to line latecomers who would rather pony up the dough than wait.
ART COLOGNE 1998
The 32nd International Cologne Art Fair gets under way at the Cologne fairgrounds, Nov. 8-15, 1998. Over 250 galleries from 22 countries are taking part. This year's DM 20,000 Art Cologne Prize goes to senior gallerist Gerhard F. Reinz, in recognition of his role as chairman of the Federal Association of German Galleries (sponsor of Art Cologne) from 1984 to '97. Tune into ArtNet Magazine for daily coverage.
ARTISTS' BOOKS '98
A new fair featuring artists' books and recent print and multiple editions -- Artists' Books '98 and Editions '98 -- opens this weekend, Nov. 6-8, 1998, at two locations in SoHo. The book section is at Printed Matter (77 Wooster St.) and prints and multiples are at Brooke Alexander Gallery (59 Wooster St.). Look for new stuff by Uta Barth, Allan McCollum, Kiki Smith, Jason Rhoades, Richard Tuttle and others. The fair is organized by Susan Inglett, Carolina Nitsch and David Platzker.
TANG MUSEUM AT SKIDMORE
Albuquerque architect Antoine Predock has been named designer of the new $10-million, 34,000-square-foot Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Predock's museum is a cluster of angled forms finished in stone and silver metal, and is marked by two long staircases (one measuring 140 feet and the other 120 feet) that meet on a rooftop deck.
New museum chief Charles Stainback, former head of the International Center of Photography in New York, says the Tang will be particularly interdisciplinary, dismantling the conventional departmental barriers and combining all kinds of media from different eras. His first show is "S.O.S./Scenes of Sound," focusing on sound art. Groundbreaking for the museum -- the city's first -- is next spring; completion is scheduled for the fall of 2000.
Funding comes in part from Oscar Tang, who also donated the Frances Young Tang Galleries to the Metropolitan Museum in honor of his late wife, Frances Young Tang, a member of Skidmore's class of 1961.
JAY GRIMM OPENS IN CHELSEA
Time to add another stop to your round of Chelsea galleries. Jay Grimm Gallery opens at 505 West 28th Street with a show of wall-mounted sculpture by Vickie Arndt on Nov. 6, 1998. Grimm, 31, was assistant to the president at PaceWildenstein for the past three years and is currently editor-in-chief of the online art journal Critical Review. For more info call (212) 564-7662.
SWANN ART ON PAPER
Swann Galleries in New York holds its fall auction of works of art on paper on Nov. 12, 1998. Among the offerings are a complete set of 12 woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, The Large Passion (1511) (est. $10,000-$15,000) and a strong impression of Rembrandt's Christ Preaching (La Petite Tombe) (ca. 1652) (est. $4,000-$6,000). Among the contemporary lots are a color screenprint by Jasper Johns, Target with Four Faces (1968) (est. $14,000-$18,000) and Andy Warhol's scandalous group of six screenprints, Sex Parts (1978) (est. $15,000-$25,000).
DICK HIGGINS, 1938-1998
Dick Higgins, 60, Fluxus artist and concrete poet, who founded and ran Something Else Press from 1964 to '75, died in his sleep of a heart attack while attending the "Art Action 1958-1988" in Quebec City. In the 1960s he coined the term "intermedia" to describe interdisciplinary art works. He lived in New York and Barrytown, N.Y.