ART STARS COME OUT FOR ART CRITICS’ AWARDS
Call it the art world’s version of the Golden Globes -- the annual awards conferred by the American chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA/USA). This year’s ceremony takes place at the Jewish Museum on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, at 6:30 pm. Emceeing the event is New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman. Among the illustrious guests on the program are veteran art critic John Russell, 87, chief critic of the London Sunday Times (1949-74) and the New York Times (1982-91) and author of The Meanings of Modern Art (1980), who receives a special award for "distinguished contribution to the field of art criticism." The prize is being presented by critics Irving Sandler and Phyllis Tuchman.
In all, AICA/USA gives out 20 awards in 13 different categories, making the proceedings an art-star-studded event. Among the artists expected to appear are Takashi Murakami, whose exhibition, "Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture," organized for Japan Society, won the AICA/USA award for "Best Thematic Museum Show in New York City," and Allen Ruppersberg, whose web project, The New Five-Foot Shelf, sponsored by the Dia Center for the Arts, won "Best Exhibition of Art Using the Internet." Also on the program are Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005 won for "Best Project in a Public Space."
Curators on hand include Eugenie Tsai, who organized the "Robert Smithson" retrospective, which AICA/USA named as the "Best Monographic Museum Show Nationally." She is accepting the award along with her co-curator, Cornelia Butler of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and Smithson’s widow, the artist Nancy Holt. Other curators taking part are Christopher Miles, whose "Thing: New Sculpture from Los Angeles" at the Hammer Museum won the award for "Best Thematic Museum Show Nationally," and Laura Hoptman, organizer of the "54th Carnegie International," which tied for second place in the "Best Thematic Museum Show Nationally" category.
The awards are selected by a vote of AICA/USA’s 400 members. The award ceremony is open to the public, but seats must be reserved; RSVP at email@example.com. For a complete list of the winners, and further details, see www.aicausa.orgMALE FASHION MODELS MAKE CONCEPTUAL ART
Los Angeles artist Joe Sola has enlisted five male fashion models to make art during the Jan. 26, 2006, opening of his exhibition at the Atlanta College of Art Gallery. Titled "Male Fashion Models Make Conceptual Art," the event promises several hours of spectacle during which the models, provided by Elite Model Management of Atlanta, construct a collaborative sculpture of wood, paint, cardboard, fabric and foil. The exhibition itself includes the resulting sculpture and "recent videos and watercolors that explore masculine fears and fantasies." MEDIEVAL TREASURES AT BLUMKA GALLERY
More than 125 rare medieval and Renaissance art objects have gone on view at Blumka Gallery at 209 East 72nd Street in Manhattan in the fifth in a series of biennial exhibitions. Titled "Collecting Treasures of the Past V," Jan. 24-Feb. 10, 2006, the show is organized by the gallery’s Anthony Blumka and Florian Eitle-Böhler of Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler in Munich. Among the highlights are a gilt bronze Angel of the Annunciation from South Germany, ca. 1480; a 17th century alabaster sculpture of Adam and Eve by Leonhard Kern (similar to another Kern work shown in the third "Treasures" show and now in the Metropolitan Museum; and a gilt bronze German crucifix from the 12th century. Prices of the objects range from $1,000 to $1,000,000. LUCIO POZZI RETROSPECTIVE IN GENOA
Lucio Pozzi, the Italian-American artist whose performances, systemic watercolors, abstract paintings and other artworks are well-known to SoHo insiders of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s -- he is also publisher of the magazine, New Observations -- is having a major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce in Genova, Italy. "Lucio Pozzi: Paper Trail, Works on Paper 1951-2005," Feb. 16-Mar. 19, 2006, features approximately 260 drawings, watercolors, gouaches, oils and collages. The works "reveal Pozzi as an experimenter, iconoclast, polymorph and sensualist -- and a pioneer of the now-widespread artistic tendency to work in varied and disparate mediums and styles," writes curator Robert Knafo, editor of www.studiovisit.net. SPECIFIC OBJECT SEEKS AWARD NOMINATIONS
Specific Object, the organization founded by David Platzker to study and promote artists’ publications, has issued a call for entries for the Specific Object Publication of the Year Award. Books, audio CDs, catalogues, monographs, periodicals or any other published work made by an artist during calendar 2005 are eligible for the prize, which comes with a $500 award. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 3, 2006. For further details, see www.specificobject.com NEW CURATOR FOR P.S.1
Eugenie Tsai has been named director of curatorial affairs at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. A freelance curator who organized the "Robert Smithson" retrospective for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, she served as curator at the Whitney Museum from 1994 to 2000, and also organized "Threshold: Byron Kim" for the Berkeley Art Museum in 2004. DIRECTOR EMERITUS AT DALLAS MUSEUM
Harry S. Parker III, former director of the Dallas Museum of Art (1974-1987) and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1987-2005), has been named director emeritus of the Dallas Museum. The museum has also named a curatorial position after Parker and his wife, the Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Curator of the Arts of the Americas and the Pacific, a post held by longtime Dallas Museum curator Carol Robbins.
TEMPORARY PHOTO CHIEF FOR LACMA
Tim B. Wride has become interim photo curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art following the death last July of long-time LACMA photo curator Robert A. Sobieszek. Wride, who had worked with Sobieszek for 12 years at the museum, is currently executive director of the philanthropic No Strings Foundation, which makes grants to photo artists, a post which he continues to hold.
Rudolf Frieling has been appointed curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, effective in the summer of 2006. Since 1994, Frieling has been on the staff of the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. WILLIAM RUBIN, 1927-2006
William Rubin, 78, art historian and influential director of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, died in Pound Ridge, N.Y., on Jan. 22. Rubin taught art history at Sarah Lawrence and CUNY before organizing shows at the Museum of Modern Art of André Masson (1957) and Dada and Surrealism (1968). He jointed MoMA’s curatorial staff in 1967 and became director of the painting and sculpture department in 1973. Among his exhibitions were "Frank Stella" (1970), "Anthony Caro" (1975), "Cézanne: The Late Work" (1977), "Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective" (1980), "Primitivism in 20th Century Art" (1984), "Frank Stella: Works from 1970 to 1987" (1987) and "Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism" (1989). Rubin authored a comprehensive study, Les Demoiselles D’avignon (1995), among many other publications. He secured many notable additions to the museum collection, including Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950 and Barnett Newman’s Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950-51). He became director emeritus of MoMA’s painting and sculpture department in 1988.
BILL RICE, 1931-2006
Bill Rice, 74, Lower East Side Renaissance man and New York painter whose dark-hued works often took up erotic subjects, died of complications from lung cancer in Manhattan on Jan. 23. Born in Vermont, Rice came to New York in the 1950s. He exhibited with Patrick Fox Gallery in the East Village in the 1980s; more recently, his work was shown at Sidney Janis Gallery in an exhibition organized by Richard Milazzo in 1995, and last fall at Mitchell Algus Gallery in Chelsea. Rice began acting in theater and movies in the 1970s; his film credits range from Richard Kern’s Manhattan Love Suicides (1985) to Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes (2004). He also undertook extensive scholarship on the works of Gertrude Stein, participated in several publications on her, and made a long study of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’avignon, which remains unpublished.
contact wrobinson @ artnet.com