TURNER PRIZE TO GILLIAN WEARING
Video artist Gillian Wearing has won the 1997 Turner Prize of £20,000 (about $33,700) awarded by London's Tate Gallery. The 34-year-old artist is known for a 60-minute video of police officers posing in silence for a group photo, and a videotape of children perfectly lip-synching tales of depravity in adult voices. The four finalists for this year's prize were all women, a first: Christine Borland, known for figurative sculptures inspired by forensic science; Angela Bullock, who makes interactive bean-bag chairs; and Cornelia Parker, the 2-1 favorite of British bookmakers, whose sculpture in the prize exhibition is innumerable bits of charred wood from a church struck by lightning, hanging by invisible strings in the middle of the gallery space.
BIKERS AT THE GUGG
The Guggenheim Museum has put its long-anticipated show, "The Art of the Motorcycle," on the schedule for next summer, June 26-Sept. 12, 1998. About 90 bikes will be included in the Gugg's BMW-sponsored survey of "the motorcycle as both cultural icon and design and technical achievement." Curator Thomas Krens and catalogue editor Matthew Drutt are both big-time bikers. But will they actually ride down Wright's famous ramp?
THE DEVIL MADE THEM DO IT
Sculptor Frederick Hart, who designed the statue of three soldiers that was added to Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial after protests by right-wingers, now says that Time Warner stole one of his works for the kinky finale of the movie The Devil's Advocate, according to the New York Post. In the movie, the devil (Al Pacino) tempts a young lawyer (Keanu Reeves) with the help of a big marble bas-relief of nude figures, which come alive in a swirling, writhing orgy. Hart says the movie prop is a perversion of his sacred sculpture Ex Nihilo, installed in 1982 over the entrance to the Washington National Cathedral. He's filed suit.
CANDLE IN THE WIND
The original lyrics to Candle in the Wind 1997, three hand-written, annotated and typed pages by lyricist Bernie Taupin for the song that came to be the focal point of world mourning for Princess Diana, will be auctioned by Christie's in Los Angeles on Feb. 11, 1998, to benefit the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. The manuscript goes on a worldwide tour with stops in London (at Christie's, Dec. 14-18, 1997), Tokyo (Jan. 10-11, 1998), New York (Christie's East, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 1998) and L.A. (Christie's, Feb. 8-10, 1998). The gala fund-raiser is to be held at Cicada, the L.A. restaurant owned by Stephanie Taupin, Bernie's wife. Tickets to the auction are $100; for more info call (310) 385-2646.
GO-AHEAD FOR VIENNA "LOUVRE"
After 10 years of controversy, the city of Vienna has broken ground on the "mega-project" referred to as the Vienna "Louvre." The $160-million, 45,000-square-meter project, designed by architect Laurids Ortner, calls for renovation and expansion of the former court stables in the city's historical Baroque district, the Hofburg. The as-yet-unnamed cultural center will containe a kunsthalle, a Leopold museum, a center for new media, studios for artists and dancers, a tobacco museum, a facility for the Foundation Ludwig, theaters, concert halls, cafes and shops and, finally, the ecological department of the Natural History Museum.
New York private dealer and avant-garde powerhouse Sara Meltzer is going public with a namesake "salon"-type gallery called Sara Meltzer's On View... The 1,000-square-foot space at 584 Broadway, designed by architect Andrew Ong, opens on Feb. 5, 1997, with work by SVA grad Stephen Sollins.
MILWAUKEE BREAKS GROUND
The Milwaukee Art Museum has broken ground for a $50-million expansion, designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, that will nearly double the size of the lakefront museum. The project features a translucent parabola-shaped hall, a cabled pedestrian bridge and 11,000 square feet for exhibitions. Kicking off the fund-raising was Quad/Graphics founders Betty and Harry Quadracci, who gave $10 million; the museum received a dozen other gifts of $1 million and above. Completion of the expansion is slated for the year 2000.
CLOSKY AT DIA Claude Closky has unveiled the seventh of the Dia Center for the Arts projects on the World Wide Web. The French artist's work, titled Do you want love or lust?, presents a seemingly endless series of questions that are "meant to suggest the seductive, yet necessarily inconclusive and even futile tenor" of engagement with the mass-media world.
NEW HEAD AT LACE
New director of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions is Irene Tsatsos, former executive director of N.A.M.E. who worked on the Whitney Museum's 1997 Biennial.
CRAMER BOON FOR TATE
California art collector Douglas Cramer has given the Tate Gallery in London Roy Lichtenstein's Interior with Waterlilies (1991), worth a reported £1 million. Cramer said that the artist had requested that the work end up at the museum.