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Back to Reviews 96

Jeanne Dunning
Untitled, 1991-93 

Andy Warhol
Van Heusen
(Ronald Reagan)

Richard Prince
Untitled, 1993

Christopher Wool
Untitled, 1996 

Peter Halley
Installation view
Kohn Turner Gallery,


Peter Halley
Installation view
Kohn Turner Gallery,

Charles Long
"Our Bodies -
Our Shelves"

letter from L.A. 

by Jane Hart

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art

has always cultivated close ties to its

artist constituency--ties that can prove

useful at fundraising time. MOCA's June 8

Biennial Art Auction is a highlight

of the season as usual. This year

the event will be held for the first time

at the Bergamot Station gallery complex in

Santa Monica. This gala evening

includes both the auction of

nearly 300 artworks by leading

contemporary artists and could raise

$500,000 for the museum. The list

of artists whose work will be auctioned

reads like a Who's Who of new and senior

contemporary masters, from Artschwager,

Baldessari and Bourgeois to Stockholder,

Thater and Wool. Sotheby's chairman

Christopher Burge will conduct. Tickets to

the gala, sponsored in part by Ian Schrager

Hotels, go for $250 and $400.

The Schrager Hotel Group, celebrated for

its ultra-trendy Morgans, Royalton and

Paramount hotels in New York; and for it's white-

hot Delano Hotel in Miami Beach, has recently

purchased Los Angeles' sagging and

dated-looking Mondrian Hotel, whose facade

some might remember was painted in the mid-

80s by Yaacov Agam as an homage to Piet

Mondrian. Schrager paid $17.4 million for

the Mondrian earlier this year and plans to

spend another $15 million to completely

transform it under the creative direction

of designer Philippe Starck (who also did

the Royalton, Paramount and Delano). The

Mondrian is scheduled to reopen Nov. 1,

1996, and promises to be a primary

destination for the hip and haute


Says Starck of his vision "I think the

interesting thing of the city is that you

will never know it completely. It's too big,

and its like ...a labyrinth, a mystery.

But mainly mystery is dark, and for me this one

is completely white. A white mystery. The hotel

will be a white mystery." In addition to Starck,

a major contemporary artist will be involved

with the project. No one is saying who,

though one clue is that the artist was

recently the subject of a MOCA exhibition.

And if you guessed Claes Oldenburg you

would be wrong. The hotel will acquire a

fresh name with its new persona, but that

is a detail which has, as of yet, not been


Down the block from the Mondrian on the

Sunset Strip, at Bar Marmont, artist and

now publisher Peter Halley recently hosted

a party for his new magazine Index, edited

by writer and curator Bob Nickas and

designed by Laura Genniger. Many of the

L.A. art world's hippest, including Clyde

Beswick, Shaun Caley, Christopher Grimes,

Michael Kohn, Barbara Kruger, Stephen

Prina, Jeff Poe, Bill Radawec, Tom Solomon

and James Welling, were in attendance. The

intimate event honored the cover boy of

Index No. 3, actor Udo Kier. Halley wants

his magazine to have a bare bones look, in

contrast to the present glut of periodicals

that look like they've run amok on the

Mac. Halley was in town recently installing

a group of new, gorgeously colorful works

at Kohn/Turner.

L.A.'s long hot summer should be enlivened

by the L.A. Freewaves 5th Celebration of

Independent Video Etc., a landmark series

of events and installations founded by

Freewaves director Anne Bray. The festival

kicks off with Private TV, Public Living

Rooms , a weekend-long series at MOCA's

recently renamed Geffen Contemporary [see

"The Endless Column" in ArtNet Magazine's

news section for details] running from Fri.

Aug. 9 to Sun. Aug. 11. The series

of events promises videos, CD-ROMs,

Web sites and installations by over 140

artists, assembled by Abe Ferrer, Joe Lewis

and a team of 12 curators. After its

premiere, the festival will disperse to

several other sites and institutions

throughout Southern California, including

the Long Beach Museum of Art, L.A.C.E.,

the Santa Monica Museum, Watts Tower

Arts Center, the Armory Center for the

Arts, the Huntington Beach Art Center,

Laguna Art Museum Annex at South Coast

Plaza and Self-Help Graphics. Also, watch

that dial. The festival includes five half-

hour programs of video art to be aired on

32 public-access cable stations across the


Other news from around town: Fran Seegull,

the standout curator of the Peter and

Eileen Norton Family Foundation for over five

years, has resigned to seek an MBA.

She's to start at either Harvard or

Stanford in the fall. Is her departure from

the art world permanent? Who knows, but for

the time being she will be shifting her

focus from the business of art to the art

of business. Her successor at the Norton

Family Foundation has not yet been named.

Connie Butler, formerly curator at the

Neuberger Museum in Purchase, New York and

Artists Space in New York City, has

recently joined the staff of the L.A MOCA.

Her duties include oversight of MOCA's recent

bequest of the Marcia Weisman collection of works

on paper. The Weisman gift includes funds to

establish a study center at the museum

(scheduled to open in 1997) and also

provides for acquisitions of works on


After 23 years in business, Dorothy Goldeen

has decided to close her gallery. She

started at San Francisco's Hansen Fuller

Gallery, which went on to become Fuller

Goldeen, and subsequently owned her own

gallery, operating in a number of different

spaces since moving to L.A. in 1987. Among

the artists she has shown are Paik,

Abakanowicz, Alan Rath, Chihuly, Adam Ross,

Diana Thater and Jennifer Steinkamp. She

will be launching a new business called

Goldeen, Services in the Fine Arts, to

advise collectors, artists, corporations,

and institutions.

The recent solo show of new work by Rachel

Lachowicz at Shoshana Wayne Gallery in

Santa Monica sold out for the most part in

short order. Including a number of her

signature works using make-up, the

exhibition featured a large-scale, multi-

colored sculptural wall relief homage to

Donald Judd. Shoshana Wayne presently

features a show entitled "Our Bodies Our

Shelves" by New York artist Charles Long--a

highly imaginative and articulate body of work.

Some feminists protested the show's title--

a play on the title of the landmark

feminist self-help book of the 1970s, Our

Bodies Our Selves--charging that a white

male has encroached upon exclusive

territory of women's exploration. Long's

art addresses the blurring of sexual

identity within the core of the self and is

sensitive and enlightening. Hey ladies,

let's lighten up.

Jane Hart is a director of Muse X Editions

in L.A., a new contemporary art publishing

firm specializing in digital technology.