GEARING UP FOR THE ARMORY SHOW 2007
New York’s own "art fair weekend" is now visible on the horizon -- it’s 30 days and counting until the 2007 editions of the Armory Show, the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show, Pulse New York, Scope New York, LA Art in New York, DiVA New York and the Red Dot Fair roll into town. That’s seven art fairs, if you’re counting, and no doubt we’ve missed one or two more.
By far the largest of the lot is Armory Show 2007, Feb. 23-26, 2007, now assembled under one roof at Pier 94, which is located at ground level at 12th Avenue at 55th Street. The new space is more communal, according to Armory Show director Katelijne De Backer, with three "arms" extending from a center area (formerly, the fair was installed on two long piers, Piers 90 and 92, just south of the current site). What’s more, for the first time the show has a restaurant and café that it can be proud of, courtesy of New York restaurateur Danny Meyer’s catering company.
The lineup for the fair includes 150 galleries from 39 cities in 22 countries. Almost half of the exhibitors come from Europe, a third are from New York City and another 16 come from other U.S. cities. Seven dealers are from Asia. A total of 29 galleries are exhibiting for the first time, including Michael Stevenson Contemporary from Cape Town and Plan B from Transylvania. One highlight promises to be the 12-ton garbage truck in the booth of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, courtesy of "maintenance" artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles.
Total art sales in 2006 were estimated at $62 million, and the 2007 show could well be on track to break $100 million.
The 550 applicants for the 150 spots were screened by a committee of art dealers that included Ciléne Andréhn (Stockholm), Mathias Arndt (Berlin/Zurich), Marc Foxx (Los Angeles), Anton Kern (New York), Emmanuel Perrotin (Paris) and Stuart Shave (London).
The Feb. 22 gala preview benefits the Museum of Modern Art. Tickets begin at $250; to purchase online, click here. Regular admission is $20; a fair catalogue, which has just been published, costs $20 as well.
Other events and openings during "Armory Week" include the reception for a retrospective of lightbox photos by Jeff Wall at the Museum of Modern Art, the U.S. premiere of Eve Sussman’s Rape of the Sabine Women at the IFC Theatre in Greenwich Village, a three-day-long art performance event called Sound Art in a Limo and a continuous screening of British artist Mark Wallinger’s film Sleeper at Anthology Film Archives.
WARHOL CONQUERS THE SLOPES
More in the ever-expanding roster of Andy Warhol licenses: Burton Snowboards in Burlington, Vt., is unveiling a line of Warhol-themed snowboards, men’s and women’s outerwear, boots, bindings, thermal gear and a travel bag. "As ardent admirers of Warhol’s work and legacy, we were very honored when the Andy Warhol Foundation sought us out to collaborate on a snowboard collection," said Burton VP Greg Dacyshyn. The Warhol Foundation declined to detail the financial terms of the deal, though licensing director Michael Hermann said that he believes the snowboarding line attests to Andy’s "universality."
PAPA BUSH TAKES ART TO CHINA
Current president George W. Bush’s recent high-level economic mission to China was widely deemed a failure in terms of obtaining any trade concessions -- but this hasn’t stopped his father, George H.W. Bush, from signing on as honorary chair of "Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation," a giant-sized blast of cultural diplomacy co-organized by the Guggenheim Foundation with Chicago’s Terra Foundation.
Billed as the first survey of American art ever in China, the show features ca. 130 works of art, and premieres at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, Feb. 10-Apr. 5, 2007, before traveling to Shanghai, where it is to be installed at the Shanghai Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, May 1-June 30, 2007.
The exhibition is organized into six categories: "Colonization and Rebellion (1700-1830)"; "Expansion and Fragmentation (1830-80)"; "Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism (1880-1915)"; "Modernism and Regionalism (1915-45)"; "Prosperity and Disillusionment (1945-80)"; and "Multiculturalism and Globalization (1980–present)." Works in the show range from Benjamin West’s Penn’s Treaty with the Indians (1771-72), lent by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Charles Willson Peale’s George Washington (ca. 1780–82), from the Walton Family Foundation, to Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle from the Gugg and John Currin’s Thanksgiving (2003) from the Tate in London.
Lead curator of "Art in America" is Thomas Krens, who is collaborating with Susan Davidson, Elizabeth Kennedy and Nancy Mowll Matthews. U.S. ambassador to China Clark T. Randt, Chinese cultural minister Sun Jiazheng and China’s U.S. ambassador Zhou Wenzhong all sit beside ex-president Bush on the exhibition’s honorary committee. Major corporate bucks come from the Alcoa Foundation the Henry Luce Foundation, as well as the Ford Motor Company Fund and law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. The Beijing show is sponsored by Cadillac, while the Shanghai presentation is made possible by Hugo Boss. Now that is globalization.
DALÍ GOES TO SHANGHAI
Shanghai Daily reports that Salvador Dalí’s sculpture The Nobility of Time -- a large bronze version of the Spanish artist’s signature melting clock motif -- is heading to the Chinese city. The Shanghai Cross Ocean Property Development Company has inked a $1 million deal with Florence’s FYR Arte Contemporanea to snag the sculpture for a location on prosperous Nanjing West Road. The sculpture is one of an edition of two, the other being a proven attention-getter in London’s Dalí Universe sculpture park, a short distance from the London Eye Ferris wheel.
HAWKINSON AT THE GETTY
The J. Paul Getty Center is pressing ahead with its "selective, but very creative commitment to contemporary art" with "Zoopsia: New Works by Tim Hawkinson," Mar. 6-Sept. 9, 2007. The show, curated by assistant director for education and interpretive programs Peggy Fogelman, features four newly commissioned pieces involving the forms of an octopus, a bat and a brontosaurus, as well as the installation of Hawkinson’s Überorgan, the artist’s ever-popular "self-playing, walk-in organ" made from giant balloons, previously shown at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., and in New York at the Ace Gallery and the IBM atrium. It is to be installed in the Getty’s entrance hall.
HAMMERSLEY AT POMONA
The Pomona College Museum of Art has just opened "Hunches, Geometrics, Organics: Paintings by Frederick Hammersley," an exhibition of 128 works by one of the deans of California hard-edge painting. Organized by Kathleen Howe and Rebecca McGrew, the show traces the entire course of the artist’s entire career, including rarities like his experiments with computer drawings. Hammersley taught painting at Pomona from 1953 to 1962.
DORÉ AT THE DAHESH
The new exhibition at the Dahesh Museum, everyone’s favorite New York museum of academic 19th-century art, is "Fantasy and Faith: The Art of Gustave Doré," Jan. 23-Apr. 1, 2007, a small show of paintings, drawings and sculptures by the celebrated Second Empire illustrator of everything from Don Quixote to the Bible. Highlighted at the Dahesh are the artist’s efforts to gain recognition not as an illustrator by as a fine artist: The Massacre of Innocents (ca. 1869-72), Moses before the Pharoah (ca. 1878), The Black Eagle of Prussia and more. The museum presentation corresponds with the publication of a book of the same name, featuring essays by Dr. Eric Zafran, Dahesh associate curator Lisa Small and the late Robert Rosenblum. In what is one of his final essays, Rosenblum begins by noting that Doré’s life spans dates identical to those of Edouard Manet (1832-1883).
Also on view at the Dahesh is the popular "Napoleon on the Nile," which is being extended to Apr. 1, 2007. Word is, by the way, that the Dahesh is in transition, and may soon be leaving its leased space at 56th Street and Madison Avenue for a permanent home. Stay tuned.
ART IN GENERAL UNVEILS NEW SPACE
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the pioneering Tribeca alternative space Art in General unveils its renovated 2,500-square-foot facility at 79 Walker Street in Manhattan with an exhibition by eteam and a new commission by Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Jan. 27-Mar. 31, 2007. The modernization was done by Steven Learner Studio. Almanza Pereda, who was born in Mexico City in 1977 and now lives and works in Brooklyn, is celebrated for sometimes perilous sculptural installations made with household appliances, fixtures and fluorescent lights. Eteam, the New York-based art collective established by Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger, is presenting a three-screen projection about its International Airport Montello, a kind of ongoing, collaborative performance with the residents of tiny Montello, Nevada.
Art in General’s new executive director is Anne J. Barlow, who formerly was curator of education and media programs at the New Museum. She succeeds Holly Block, who was named executive director of the Bronx Museum of Arts.
"BIG FINGER" PAINTINGS IN CONNECTICUT
New York postmodernist painter Charles Clough is presenting a survey of his popular "big finger" abstractions from the late 1980s and ‘90s at the Norwich Arts Council Gallery in Norwich, Conn., Feb. 2-24, 2007. Made with sign painters enamel using a custom-made tool that the artist called the "Big Finger," the faux Ab-Ex compositions were shown at American Fine Arts and Trisha Collins Grand Salon, among other venues. The exhibition also includes later gestural abstractions, which the artist obsessively documents in photographs, gathering as many as 300 pictures of successive states of each painting. For more details, see www.norwicharts.org
OKSHTEYN RETRO IN RUSSIA
This is the year for Russian Photorealist artist Shimon Okshteyn, who is known for large graphite drawings on canvas depicting both humble objects in great detail and sections of Old Master paintings. The Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester mounts "After Lifes: Recent Work by Shimon Okshteyn," Apr. 1-May 27, 2007. Later in the spring, the Kolodzei Art Foundation presents a 30-year retrospective of his work at the Contemporary Art Center in Moscow, opening May 17, 2007 and at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, opening in June 2007. Okshteyn lives and works in New York and Southampton, and is husband to Tatyana Okshteyn, founder of the Black & White Gallery.
CUE VISUAL ARTS BENEFIT
The four-year-old CUE Art Foundation in Chelsea, which specializes in mounting curated exhibitions of work by two worthy artists each month, is having its first benefit art auction and cocktail party on Jan. 30, 2007, with proceeds earmarked for the foundation’s 2007-08 exhibition season. The auction includes works by Polly Apfelbaum, Christopher Brown, Cameron Martin, Bruce Nauman, Thomas Nozkowski, Gary Panter, Susan Rothenberg, Art Spiegelman, Kiki Smith, Trevor Winkfield and more, priced between $500 and $28,000 (a preview is available online at www.cueartfoundation.org). Tickets are $75. Doors open at 6:30.
NEW SPACE FOR YVON LAMBERT
Veteran Paris dealer Yvon Lambert, who opened his first New York gallery on West 25th Street in Chelsea in 2003, inaugurates a new and improved space at 550 West 21st Street with an exhibition of new works by Richard Jackson on Feb. 23, 2007 (a date that coincides with the run of the Art Show and the Armory Show). The debut features two large installations, titled The Delivery Room and the War Room. Located on the former site of the trendy nightclub Lot 61, the new space is designed by Gluckman Mayner Architects in collaboration with Thomas Zolli, a renovation that is specifically inspired by the Lambert gallery on rue Vieille-du-Temple in the Marais in Paris.
COLOGNE GALLERIES MERGE
Two Cologne galleries that specialize in contemporary art have decided to merge. Galerie Martin Kudlek and Van der Grinten Galerie, which is directed by Nadia and Franz van der Grinten, are now doing business together as Kudlek van der Grinten Galerie. The new firm is operating out of Schaafenstrasse 25 (formerly the Van der Grinten space) and keeping Schaafenstraase 8 (Kudlek’s former space) as an office and temporary showroom. Inaugurating the new partnership is an exhibition of works on paper by Alexander Gorlizki. Both galleries were launched in 1999, and have collaborated in art-fair presentations in the past.
NASH TO PALM SPRINGS
Steven A. Nash, director of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, has been appointed executive director of the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, Ca. Nash organized exhibitions of work by Alberto Giacometti and David Smith at the Dallas museum, which opened in late 2003.
DAN CHRISTENSEN, 1943-2007
Dan Christensen, 64, New York painter known for luminous color abstractions, died at his home in Easthampton on Jan. 20. The cause of death was polymyositis, a progressive muscle disease that Christensen had been living with for many years, according to his brother, the artist and musician Don Christensen. A graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Dan Christensen moved to New York in 1965 and quickly became a member of the group of post-Minimalist artists associated with Lyrical Abstraction and Color Field painting. He made his first splash with a series of "loop pictures," calligraphic grid-based paintings made with a spray gun, that have "a delicate surface charge, giving the illusion of a high keyed, supra-landscape space," according to curator and critic James Monte. In his later works, Christensen experimented with a range of other tools, including squeegees, paint rollers and sticks, and explored other modes of "pure abstraction," including hard-edge geometry, biomorphism and plaid patterning. Christensen had over 60 solo exhibitions, beginning with shows in the ‘60s and ‘70s at Andre Emmerich in New York, Nicholas Wilder in L.A. and Rolf Ricke in Cologne. A retrospective of his paintings is currently on view at Spanierman Modern on West 58th Street in Manhattan, Jan. 9-Feb. 17, 2007. The Jan. 18 reception for the exhibition was a great success, with many of the artist’s old friends stopping by to say hello. For more details, see www.danchristensen.com.