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ARTNET NEWS

June 17, 2011

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BROOKLN OPEN STUDIOS AT NORTHSIDE FEST
The artist-dense streets of Brooklyn's new bohemia should be near impenetrable this weekend as the four-day Northside Festival, June 16-19, 2011, descends on the Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Aside from an impressive 270 bands (including Guided By Voices and Beirut), film screenings (the Do-It-Yourself Film Festival, Sundance Selects, BAM Presents), food and “ideas” panels (“Building a Creative Community”), Northside Open Studios brings a packed roster of gallery exhibitions, artist talks and, of course, more than 100 open studios.

You can go hear a panel on “Art & Real Estate: the Love/Hate Relationship” at Causey Contemporary; check out Art 21’s presentation of its new New York Close Up series at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah; visit a 100-foot-long Street Art cityscape, titled Last Exit to Skewville, painted on a wall at 82 N. 11th Street; and attend the India Street Arts Festival party-within-a-party, featuring waterfront sculptural installations, a live painting with Julie Torres and a performance by the Annie Sailer Dance Company.

Almost all of the neighborhood's galleries are taking part. Shows include collaborative works by the drawing collective sumi ink at Rawson Projects; recent Virginia Commonwealth University MFA graduates at The Boiler, Pierogi; and the Ugly Art Room presents Scott Chasse’s paintings of Burt Reynolds, an exhibition on “cutting” in art and a show highlighting low-fi cell phone pictures. Bring a map.

DOG ART AT LAUMEIER SCULPTURE PARK
It’s one of only two accredited museums in the U.S. that allows dogs, so where better than the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis to show “Dog Days of Summer,” June 25-Oct. 2, 2011, an exhibition exploring the history of humans’ interactions with dogs, from the 18th century to the present?

“Millennia of evolution have domesticated the dog, which has become so deeply intertwined in our lives it is only natural that they have found their way into our artwork,” said exhibition co-curator Kim Humphries in a statement.

Artists include Jeff Koons, William Wegman and Robert Chambers, and the show includes historic works on loan from the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog. One big attraction is Finnish artist Tea Mäkipää’s new permanent nature trail, Not without My Dog, installed with six “multi-sensory” stations for self-guided dog walks. In one, a neighborhood of doghouses has been designed in a series of humanoid architectural styles -- a McMansion, a high rise, a trailer, a mid-century home and a burned-down shack. In another is what is being called "dog karaoke." A blues melody, recorded at a pitch only dogs can hear, prompts the canine audience to bark and howl along with the musical accompaniment.

TULSA MUSEUM PLANS EXPANSION
The art world's connections to Tulsa, Oklahoma, are well known to insiders: photographer Larry Clark, of course; the "Tulsa School" of poets including Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett and artist Joe Brainard; and Ed Ruscha's Rorschach mountain palindrome painting from 2002, Tulsa Slut, in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Plus, David Salle comes from nearby Stillwater (and Artnet Magazine editor Walter Robinson attended Tulsa's Thomas Edison High School). 

And now, the contemporary art crowd is getting a hip, warehouse-style museum space in downtown Tulsa. This week, Philbrook Museum of Art director Randall Suffolk rolled into NYC with his team for a presentation at Christie's New York of plans for the development of a 30,000-square-foot satellite facility in the former Mathews Warehouse in Tulsa's historic Brady District of brick warehouses, just north of the city's downtown business district. The first floor of the satellite space, designed by Gluckman Mayner Architects, is devoted to galleries for modern and contemporary art and design, while the second floor holds the Eugene B. Adkins Collection & Study Center for Native American and Southwestern Art. The facility is slated to open in fall 2012.

It's all made possible through the generosity of the Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation, which has provided $18 million for the transformation of the entire area into a cultural nexus. The expansion serves to highlight two significant art gifts to the Philbrook Museum: The Adkins center includes nearly 1,800 objects, which, when combined with Philbrook's own holdings, adds up to one of the best in the nation; and the George R. Kravis II Design Collection, more than 250 works of 20th- and 21st-century design donated to the museum since 2008.

JOHN W. SMITH TO HEAD RISD MUSEUM
After a nasty dispute two years ago led to the resignation of Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum director Hope Alswang, the institution has finally named a successor. The new director is John W. Smith, a veteran of the Andy Warhol Museum and, most recently, the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.

Smith fills the role Alswang was pressured to leave after she clashed with RISD’s then president, John Maeda, over, among other things, whether or not the museum should sell artworks to raise money for the school (she said absolutely not). Maeda, who has been a lightning rod for controversy at RISD with his plans to reorganize the faculty, has since been relegated to the board, where he no longer directly oversees the museum director.

RISD praised Smith’s efforts in digitizing the Smithsonian’s archives as well as the $15 million he raised for the institution. He also had a history with the museum from his traveling 2002 exhibition, “Possession Obsession: Andy Warhol and Collection,” which made a stop at RISD.

Smith told the Globe that “he has met with Maeda once and anticipates working well with him.” He may not really have to, however -- he will report to William Tsiaras, chairman of the museum’s board of governors, instead.

BRITISH MUSEUM WINS ART FUND PRIZE
The British Museum in London won the annual £100,000 “Museum of the Year” Art Fund Prize for its exhibition “A History of the World.” Singled out was the museum’s partnership with the BBC for its series, “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” in which director Neil MacGregor described 100 artifacts that symbolized historic milestones in the last two million years.

Typically the prize goes to much smaller museums, like the other shortlisted candidates, the Cambridge Polar Museum, the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Scotland and the Roman Baths Museum. In previous years, the Ulster Museum in Belfast and the Wedgwood Museum in Stoke took home the prize. MacGregor told The Guardian that the prize money would be used “to pay for a series of spotlight tours, lending highlights from the museum's collection across the country.”


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