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Artnet News
Nov. 14, 2007 

Set your calendars -- Nov. 27, 2007, is the date for the 13th-annual Artwalk NY benefit for New York City Coalition for the Homeless. According to the organization, homelessness in New York has reached a new record, with more than 35,000 people, including 14,000 children, sleeping in emergency shelters every night. All proceeds from Artwalk NY directly fund programs provided by the coalition.

The 2007 guest of honor is painter Donald Baechler, and co-chairs are actors Richard Gere and Carey Lowell, along with Mary Brosnahan Sullivan, executive director of the organization. The benefit takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street, and includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music and dancing, as well as silent and live auctions. Auctioneer is Stephanie Landess. Among the many artists who have donated work are Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Torben Giehler, Jenny Holzer, Jim Lambie, Aida Ruilova, Ed Ruscha and Simone Shubuck. Tickets are $125 and $250; for further info, see

In previous years, Artwalk also raised money with walking tours of artist’s studios, led by art-world insiders. This year, the tours take place on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007, and are being offered for free, though reservations are required; call (212) 776-2056. The tours:

* Art advisor Lowell Pettit offers a peek at West Chelsea, including visits to the studios of artists Sarah Sze and Vera Lutter, as well as to Antony Gormley’s solo exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery.

* Participant Inc. founder Lia Gangitano leads the Lower East Side tour, including visits to Eileen Quinlan’s show at Miguel Abreau gallery, the studios of Katharine Finneran, Inka Essenhigh and Steve Mumford, and the performance collaboration of Tom Cole and Lovett/Codagnone at Participant Inc. (see below).

* Arts advisor Simon Watson takes visitors on a walk around greater Chelsea, showing off the studios of Donald Baechler, Peter Halley and James Nares.

The Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York is set to release a 210-page report titled Above Ground: Information on Artists III: Special Focus New York City Aging Artists. Claiming to be the first-ever study to examine the lives of elderly artists in New York, the report is based on information gathered from 213 New York-area artists, ages 62-97 (146 of these were professional artists), on everything ranging from health insurance and legacy planning to identity, satisfaction and professionalism. The conclusion? That older artists "are passionate about their work and experience joy, introspection and humor in relation to it," are high in self-esteem (91 percent say they’d choose to be an artist if they could go back in time) and tuned it (77 percent say they communicate with other artists on a weekly basis). The report is due to be officially released Sotheby’s headquarters at 1334 York Avenue from 3 to 5 pm on Dec. 3, 2007. All 213 participating artists have been invited to attend.

Irrepressible American artist Richard Prince is debuting a new body of work at the luxury Eden Rock Hotel on St. Bart’s, recently named the best hotel in the Caribbean by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Dubbed the "Eden Rock" collection, on view Dec. 18, 2007-Feb. 28, 2008, and organized in conjunction with Gagosian Gallery, the show features in excess of 10 new paintings in the vein of Iceblood (Deathlands #34), an acrylic on canvas depicting the back of a man in combat boots with a gun, from the neck down, on a brushy white background. Winter rates at the Eden Rock start at a little less than $1,000 per night for double occupancy, including breakfast, transport from the airport and taxes.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is set to unveil its six-year-long, $158.2-million expansion and renovation of its original 1927 Beaux-Arts museum, plus its two modernist wings (added in 1966 and 1971), with a 32-hour-long party that begins on Nov. 23, 2007. "We are thrilled to invite the public and the museum community to experience the results of the museum’s transformation," said museum director Graham W. J. Beal. More than 5,000 objects from the museum collection have been reinstalled in galleries totaling 152,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The new three-story South Wing addition, designed by Michael Graves and Associates in collaboration with the Smith Group architects of Detroit, features more than 31,000 square feet of space. Inaugural exhibitions include "Julie Mehretu: City Sitings," Nov. 23, 2007-Mar. 20, 2008, and "The Best of the Best: Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the DIA Collection," Nov. 23, 2007-Mar. 2, 2008.

Who’s counting? The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is, according to a recent promotion. Carolina Pamplona and Juan Carlos Pérez, a couple from the Spanish province of Zaragoza, were the 10,000,000th and 10,000,001st visitors to the Basque country museum. They won a five-day visit to New York. It has been 10 years since the Frank Gehry-designed landmark opened in the Basque capital, launching a new era in "destination architecture" for major museums.

Participant Inc., the sophisticated Lower East Side nonprofit directed by Lia Gangitano, has moved from its former home on Rivington Street to a new location at 253 East Houston Street (between Norfolk and Suffolk Streets). To christen the new space, the gallery is teaming up with Performa 07, the ongoing performance art festival, to present Erase, an installation/theatrical work based on the "true story of a victim whose willing involvement in a violent murder and cannibalization garnered international headlines." The show is conceived by Tom Cole, who did the book, and the team of Lovett/Codagnone, who made the installation which serves as the backdrop. Jim Fletcher, Stephanie Fischette and Susan Bowen perform, while costumes are designed by Pleasure Principle. Performances are Nov. 28, 29 and 30, and Dec. 1 and 2. See for more info.

New York art dealer Carolina Nitsch, who has operated a by-appointment gallery on Greenwich Street, is now going public. The Carolina Nitsch Project Room opens at 534 West 22nd Street (the former Sandra Gering gallery space) with Hours of the Day (2006), an installation by Louise Bourgeois. Conceived as a 25-cloth panel installation, the project was also published as a limited-edition book by Nitsch and Lison Edition, New York. Next up in the project space is a work by Olaf Nicolai. For more details, contact

Look for "Looking Back" at White Columns in New York, Nov. 16-Dec. 21, 2007, the stalwart nonprofit’s second "White Columns Annual." This year, the show is organized by freelance curator and dealer Clarissa Dalrymple, and includes works by Mark Barrow, Sadie Benning, Paul Bloodgood, Nancy Brooks Brody, Angus Cook and Jonathan Caplan, Shannon Ebner, Jay Heikes, Adam Helms, Peterson Laurent, Julian Lethbridge, Andrew Lord, Richard Maxwell, Dave Mckenzie, Blinky Palermo, Nicolas Rule and Miroslav Tichy. See for more info.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has awarded its annual Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists, dedicated to supporting artists in the Milwaukee area. From a field of 155 applicants, seven winners were selected. John Gresl, Mark Klassen and Daniel Ollman received $15,000 "established artist" fellowships, and Annie Killelea, Faythe Levine, Colin Matthes and Kevin Miyazaki win "emerging artist" awards worth $5,000 apiece.

The Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin, Italy, has awarded its 2007 Fellowship for Young Italian Artists, a €20,000 prize, to the Milanese artist Christian Frosi (b. 1973). Frosi has exhibited at Galleria Zero in Milan, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie in Berlin and Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle in Munich.

ABRAM LERNER, 1913-2007
Abram "Al" Lerner, 94, founding director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., died on Oct. 31 in Canaan, Conn. A WPA-seasoned painter who later directed New York’s ACA Galleries, he was collector Joseph Hirshhorn’s personal curator from 1957 to 1966 and then, as director of a museum-to-be, helped create a Smithsonian showcase for modern art with the mining magnate’s 6,000-piece collection as its nucleus. The Hirshhorn opened in 1974, and Lerner oversaw some 40 loan shows, among them an exploration of John Quinn’s eye as a collector, a Bicentennial show celebrating artist-immigrants, and the first incarnation of "Directions" as a recurring contemporary series. After retiring in 1984, Lerner settled with his wife Pauline in their summer house in Southampton, N.Y., and started painting again. He is survived by a daughter, Aline Libassi.

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