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Dec. 9, 2010

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Well, itís the end of the year, 2010 that is, a time when all good pundits thoroughly survey the headline events of the preceding 12 months, carefully weigh their positives and negatives, and finally deliver forth a verdict . . . that we should forget about the whole thing and go shopping. Is it just me, or are more art-world types getting into the seasonal gift business than ever? A selection:

* Art We Love is debuting a new edition by Los Angeles artist Francesca Gabbiani at prices that canít be denied: $50 for 14 x 11 in., $200 for 20 x 16 in. The print isnít signed but comes with a signed certificate of authenticity -- and check out the YouTube studio visit with the artist. Scroll through the site to browse the dozens of other low-cost editions.

* Counter Editions, the British publisher that can be relied on for hip, not-too-expensive editions, has a new photograph by Mario Testino of Julianne Moore at the Crillon Hotel, Paris, that gives the celebrated actress the full "hotcha" treatment. Itís an edition of 175, signed and numbered, for £650, with free delivery if you live in the UK.

* Deck the Walls at the New York Academy of Art is a one-day party and fundraiser with small artworks available for $200, $300 and $400. The event starts at 6:30 pm on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, at 111 Franklin Street in New Yorkís Tribeca neighborhood.

* Ecoartspace Soho Holiday Store, open Dec. 4-12, 2010, at 53 Mercer Street (3rd floor), offers an unbelievable assortment of benefit artworks for $150 each, by artists including Theresa Hackett, Susan Silas, Robert Lobe, Chuck Agro, Thomas Eller and many others.

* Exhibition A, the new editioned print-on-canvas operation launched by Half Gallery owner Bill Powers and his wife, designer Cynthia Rowley, among others, has so far released one work -- a rather fetching cityscape of extinguished candles by Hanna Liden. The price is $200, and though the work isn’t signed or numbered (it’s "stamped"), it will be available only for a limited time. Forthcoming editions are by Duncan Hannah and Richard Phillips, among others.

* Iconoclast Editions offers Ryan McGinnessí Women, a black-flocked fluorescent silkscreen -- best viewed in black light -- produced for his one-night show at the Club Madonna strip club in South Beach during Art Basel Miami Beach. Signed and numbered in an edition of 300, the print is $200 -- though it has one minor drawback: itís more of an announcement poster than an artwork.

* Matthew Marks Gallery opens the Poster Shop on the second floor of 526 West 22nd Street on Dec. 10, 2010, an "emporium" of artworks, posters, catalogues and other ephemera by artists ranging from Robert Adams, Darren Almond and David Armstrong to Josh Smith, Tony Smith and Terry Winters.

* And a personal favorite, Printed Matter, newly under the calm and capable leadership of Catherine Krudy, has an inventory as fascinating as it is deep. One recent arrival is a Josh Smith poster for his Luhring Augustine exhibition ($20); other wares include Kathe Burkhartís Ask Me about Being a Dominant Woman bumper sticker ($5), a 1959 announcement for a "Claes O." show at the Judson Gallery ($350), and several decks of cards designed by Tauba Auerbach ($175 each).

Add one more curiosity to the hullaballoo surrounding this yearís Miami Art Week. The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach opens "Now What?" Dec. 15, 2010-Mar. 13, 2011, a show of contemporary art selected from the art on view at Art Basel Miami Beach and some 15 other local fairs by curators Cheryl Brutvan and Charlie Stainback. Whatís more, a theme emerged, one of "information, how it is manipulated, shared, denied and manufactured."

About 20 artists are included, some with several works. The fair breakdown is like this: Art Basel (5), Pulse (5), NADA (4), Seven (3), Scope (1), Art Miami (1). Participants (and their lenders) are John Bankston (Walter Maciel Gallery), Luke Butler (Silverman Gallery), Nick Cave (Jack Shainman Gallery), Mark Dion (Graphicstudio/USF, Tampa), Bryan Drury (Dean Project), Scott Daniel Ellison (ClampArt), James Esber (Pierogi), Teresita FernŠndez (Anthony Meier Fine Arts), Richard Galpin (Hales Gallery), Jason Loebs (Renwick), Isaac Layman (Elizabeth Leach Gallery), Liza Lou (L&M Arts), Sam Messenger (Davidson Contemporary), Julian Montague (Black & White Gallery), Roxy Paine (James Cohan Gallery), Kim Rugg (Mark Moore Gallery), Christopher Russell (Luis de Jesus), David Shapiro (Pierogi), Kate Shepherd (Anthony Meier Fine Arts), Allyson Strafella (Von Lintel Gallery) and Mickalene Thomas (Collection of Doreen and Gilbert Bassin).

Aiming to replicate the prowess of the prestigious Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), a group of 30 Miami galleries recently hatched the nonprofit Miami Art Dealers Association (MADA). "This new association fills a vital gap by representing a group of distinctive dealers to promote South Florida as a year-end destination," says Eric Charest-Weinberg, whose eponymous gallery is located in the Wynwood Arts District.

Just as the Miami Art Week, led by Art Basel Miami Beach, has expanded, so too has the local gallery scene. Five years ago, only a few commercial galleries were open in Wynwood. Today, there are close to 50 with more in the cityís Design District.

The new dealer association promises to promote standards of connoisseurship and awareness of the visual arts, advocate ethical practices and develop joint marketing programs while lobbying governmental agencies. Negotiating fees for advertising and other expenses is on the MADA docket.

In addition to Charest Weinberg, MADA members include Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Calix Gustav Gallery, Dina Mitrani Gallery and Chelsea Gallery. Among MADA sponsors is Lee Ann Lester, who with her husband David Lester founded the Miami International Art Fair, whose next iteration is slated for Jan. 14-17, 2011, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

-- Brook S. Mason

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