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Artnet News
Jan. 17, 2008 

Photographer William Christenberry’s Klan Room Tableau (1962-96) is coming to "Ole Miss" -- aka the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., the infamous segregation holdout of yesteryear -- next summer. Klan Room Tableau is a longtime focus of the Alabama-born, Washington-based Christenberry, 71, and consists of 200-plus hooded dolls, some covered with wax, along with dozens of drawings, photographs, cages and other structures in a dark, funereal space. The installation is part of "Site/ Possession," a traveling exhibition of the artist’s work that appears in Oxford, July 21-Sept. 20, 2008. 

Christenberry, who is white, began Klan Room Tableau in 1962 as a D.C. studio project, but an unknown intruder stole all but one doll in 1979. The artist remade the sculpture and finally exhibited it in 1982 and again in 1996 as it neared completion. It has been shown several times, but only once in the Deep South, in New Orleans. The Ole Miss showing, a new addition to the exhibition tour, is said to have been brokered by novelist and alumnus John Grisham.

Yankees -- and politicians -- can see the exhibition sooner, when it appears next month at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C., Feb. 5-Mar. 23, 2008. Perhaps the intruder from 29 years ago will fess up and return the goods. 

-- Sidney Lawrence

"Master Drawings New York 2008," Jan 18-26, 2008, features specially coordinated exhibitions at 18 galleries on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in the second annual version of the show that began in London in 2001. Among the highlights: Paolo Veronese’s study of a black boy eating at Mia N. Weiner (exhibiting at L’Antiquaire and the Connoisseur); Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione’s Noah Guiding the Animals into the Ark at Trinity Fine Art; Jacopo Ligozzi’s Allegory of Gluttony (1590) at Jean-Luc Baroni; and Christ in the House of the Pharisee Simon - Mary Magdalene Anointing the Feet of Christ (1548) at C. G. Boerner.  For more info and an illustrated map, see 

The 5th Berlin Biennial, Apr. 5-June 15, 2008, organized by Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic, promises to "divide its time between day and night" via a course of lectures, performances, concerts, films and "other nocturnal acts" launched at sunset at sites throughout the German capital city. The show takes a more conventional form during the day, with works of 40-plus artists on view at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the Neue Nationalgalerie, and the outdoor space known as the Skulpturenpark Berlin Zentrum, an area of 60 weed-filled empty lots along the site of the Berlin Wall. The show also has its own docents, called "Secret Service," whose job is "to open up some insider perspective on the artworks." No word on the participating artists as yet. For more info, see

The Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, N.Y., opens "Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie," Jan. 20-Apr. 13, 2008, a survey of works by more than 50 artists who, "like flâneurs (‘strollers’ or ‘browsers’)" -- a notion introduced by Edgar Allen Poe in his 1940 short story The Man of the Crowd -- "take their work to the streets." The exhibition is organized by Neuberger Museum director Thom Collins.

Artists in the show are Marina Abramovič, Vito Acconci, Franz Ackermann, Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alÿs, Arman, Eleanor Antin, Desmond Beach, Sanford Biggers, Chakaia Booker, Stanley Brouwn, Ingrid Calame, Sophie Calle, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Guy Debord, Valie Export, Sylvie Fleury, Kendell Geers, Guerilla Girls, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, David Hammons, Keith Haring, Lynn Hershman, Hi Red Center, Jenny Holzer, Tim Hyde, Allan Kaprow, Kimsooja, Yves Klein, Charles LaBelle, Moshekwa Langa, Lee Mingwei, Nikki S. Lee, George Maciunas, Larry Mantello, Annette Messager, Donald Moffett, Mariko Mori, OHO group, Hélio Oiticica, Claes Oldenburg, Jefferson Pinder, Adrian Piper, William Pope.L, Robert Rauschenberg, Christy Rupp, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Arthur Simms, Song Dong, Tehching Hsieh, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Ben Vautier, Jacques Villeglé, Nari Ward, Gillian Wearing, Krzysztof Wodiczko, David Wojnarowicz, Xu Bing, Yin Xiuzhen, Zhang Huan, and Zhao Liang.   

The touring retrospective of the Ghana-born, Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui (b. 1944), whose huge tapestry made of cast-off food tins and metal foil from liquor bottles decorated the façade of the Palazzo Fortuny during the 2006 Venice Biennale, closes out its run this spring at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.  Called "El Anatsui: Gawu" -- "gawu" means "metal" and "a fashioned cloak" in the Ewe language -- the show goes on view in D.C. Mar. 12-Sept. 7, 2008. The exhibition was organized by Martin Barlow for the Oriel Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno, Wales, and traveled to several additional museums in the U.K. and the U.S. before reachng its final stop at the NMAA. 

A professor at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka since 1975, El Anatsui has a high profile in New York City at present. The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently acquired and installed Between Earth and Heaven, a tapestry piece from 2006, and an exhibition of El Anatsui’s new tapestry works, titled "Zebra Crossing," Jan. 4-Feb. 2, 2007, is currently on view at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York’s Chelsea art district.

Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. has purchased the Toronto International Art Fair from Universal Fine Arts Expositions for an undisclosed sum. Merchandise Mart now has a wealth of contemporary art fairs -- Art Chicago, the Armory Show, the Volta Art Fair and the new Next fair, slated to bow in Chicago alongside Art Chicago this spring. The Toronto fair typically takes place in the fall.

The next installment of Art Chicago, Apr. 25-28, 2008, boasts more than 180 galleries, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune, up from 132 in 2007. Among the former exhibitors who have been lured back to the revitalized fair are Greenberg Van Doren, Hales Gallery, Knoedler & Co., Yvon Lambert, Sikkema Jenkins, Timothy Taylor, Donald Young and Zwirner & Wirth.  

Artists Space has moved to expand its programming -- and those producing it -- with its new Blue Room, a flexible area within the gallery dedicated to "improvisational discourse." Artists, curators, writers and other members of the Artists Space community are invited to propose events for the Blue Room; for more info, contact Coming up in the new space: A History of Performance in 20 Minutes, a "lecture performance" by Guillaume Désanges, at 5:30 pm on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008 (rsvp to

The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, a $13-million limestone and glass minimalist building designed by Kyu Sung Woo Architects of Cambridge, has opened on the campus of Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kans. Said to be the only contemporary art museum in the state, the Nerman Museum boasts 11,000 square feet of exhibition space as well as classrooms and a 200-seat auditorium. The museum collection includes works by Uta Barth, Kerry James Marshall, Dana Schutz, Do-Ho Suh and Kehinde Wiley, and a LED display by Leo Villareal on the façade. The museum’s opening exhibitions are "American Soil," "Allusive Abstraction" and "You know what’s real."

Poet and art critic Carter Ratcliff’s book-length poem, Arrivederci, Modernismo (1974), described as "a love poem on a large scale" that is "grand and witty, drenched in the exaltations of melancholy," is now back in print. The publisher is Libellum, a press founded in 2004 by Vincent Katz, and the book is available for $24 from Small Press Distribution at A reading from the poem is scheduled for the Cue Art Foundation on West 25th Street in Chelsea, at 6:30-8 pm on Jan. 24, 2008.

The Ferregut Tower Gallery in Southampton, N.Y., managed since 2005 by painter Yolanda Merchant, is opening an office and exhibition space in Beijing. The gallery in China debuts with "American Icons I: Warhol, Lichtenstein, Pollock and de Kooning," and also plans to show Chinese contemporary art as well as work by Connie Fox, William King, Sydney Butchkes, Strong Cuervas and other American artists. The Southampton gallery is presently closed, with plans to reopen at a new location in the summer of 2008. For more info, see

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has made $25,000 grants to 25 painters and sculptors for 2007. The winners are Douglas Bourgeois, Iona Rozeal Brown, Margarita Cabrera, Alexander Couwenberg, Dahlia Elsayed, Nancy Evans, Chris Garofalo, Guy Goodwin, Deborah Grant, Rashawn Griffin, Pedro Lasch, Miguel Luciano, David Bunn Martine, Wangechi Mutu, Fran O’Neill, Karyn Olivier, German Pitre, Dario Robleto, Alex Rubio, Michael Sarich, Ward Shelley, T.L. Solien, Roy Staab, Yuken Teruya, and Susan York. Grantees are selected by an anonymous jury from artists nominated by curators, art educators and artists. For more details, see

Art scribe Lindsay Pollock moderates a panel of art dealers and auction specialists at the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday morning, Feb. 23, 2008. Titled "Art Dealers and Auction Houses: A Cultural Divide," the panel includes Amy Cappellazzo of Christie’s, Simon de Pury of Phillips, de Pury & Co., and Anthony Grant of Sotheby’s, along with Acquavella Galleries director Michael Findlay and dealers Andrea Rosen and David Zwirner. The panel is sponsored by the Art Dealers Association of America, and admission is $40. To register, call (212) 488-5550.

The venerable Knoedler & Co. at 19 East 70th Street, which handles works by senior abstractionists like Milton Avery, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell and Frank Stella, has launched a new "project space" in its newly renovated downstairs gallery. First up is "Migration," Feb. 7-Mar. 29, 2008, an installation by New York artist Heather Cox. Curator of the project space is Marella Consolini, former director of the Skowhegan School and former chief of staff at theWhitney Museum.

After many years on East 78th Street, Winston Wächter Fine Art is moving to the street-level space at 530 West 25th Street in Chelsea. Formerly the home of Feature gallery (now moving to the Lower East Side), the 2,600-square-foot Winston Wächter space has been renovated by Haynes/Roberts architects. The gallery opens with an exhibition of new work by photographer Seton Smith, Jan. 31-Mar. 4, 2008. Next up is "Divine Unrest," a show of paintings by Betsy Eby, Mar. 6-Apr. 12, 2008.

Cincinnati Art Museum director Aaron Betsky, former head of the Netherlands Architecture Institute and design curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has been appointed curator of the Venice Biennale’s 11th International Architecture Show, Sept. 14-Nov. 23, 2008.

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