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Artnet News
Nov. 22, 2006 

Add still another stop to the madness of Art Basel Miami Beach -- "Fountain," the mini-fair with a guerilla spirit started by a league of Williamsburg galleries to coincide with the Armory Show earlier this year [see Artnet News, Mar. 2, 2006] is set to join the fray in Miami, and has secured a spot at 2825 NW 2nd Ave in the Wynwood Arts District, Dec. 7–11, 2006. Galleries participating are Capla Kesting Fine Art, Front Room Gallery, Glowlab, Janet Kurnatowski, McCaig-Welles Gallery, Myth of EKTE, Neil Stevenson Gallery and Steve Gagnon. Organizers promise, among other things, to launch a viral art project to infiltrate the other fairs, taking off from Fountain headquarters, courtesy of an anonymous Brooklyn/San Francisco artist known only as The Sams. See for details.

With the new fair, Miami boasts a "baker's dozen" of 13 different art fairs. Having difficulty keeping track of all the events? Be sure to check out Artnet Magazine’s just-launched interactive map, pinpointing the various and sundry fairs, from the giants to the scrappy independents, perfect for plotting a route in advance! Enjoy!

Controversy continues to grow around the sale of Thomas EakinsThe Gross Clinic by Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In response to popular outrage at the possible departure of the iconic painting, a number of Philadelphia individuals and institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, have joined together to try and raise funds to top the current $68 million bid from the National Gallery and Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges museum. And last week, Philadelphia mayor John F. Street proposed to define the painting as a "historic object" under the city’s landmark preservation guidelines.

The university has struck back, releasing what the Inquirer described as a "blunt, unsigned statement" attacking the city for attempting to limit its control over its property, accusing the mayor of pursuing actions that might artificially limit the price that the school could get for the landmark work of art. Designation of the painting as historic would not affect the institution’s right to sell it -- but it would mean that any attempt to move it would have to be approved by Philly’s Historical Commission, which could result in a legal fight.

U.S. president George W. Bush has just completed his visit to Vietnam, but he’s missing the opening of a massive, two-year-long art exhibition. Titled "Saigon Open City," the event kicks off with an exhibition called "Liberation," Nov. 26, 2006-Jan. 31, 2007. Organized by Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and Thai curator Gridthiya Gaweewong, the show features works by 40 artists dating from 1946 to the present. Westerners in the show include Liam Gillick, John Giorno, Martha Rosler, Nancy Spero and Mary Stevenson, while the host of Vietnamese and other Asian artists in the show includes Dinh Q. Le and Montien Boonma. The exhibition takes place at four locations throughout Saigon: the War Remnants Museum, the Southern Women Museum, the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum and the Ton Duc Thang Museum.

Future shows in the three-part exhibition focus on themes of "Unification" and "(Re)construction." A special show of works by Yoko Ono is guest curated by David Ross. More information is available at

The Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute has set its fall gala for May 7, 2007 -- known as "the party of the year" in socialite circles -- and the event celebrates the opening of "Paul Poiret, Visionary Artist-Couturier of Early 20th Century," May 9-Aug. 5, 2007. Known as the "King of Fashion," Poiret (1879-1944) was a Belle Epoque designer who is now celebrated for embracing bright colors, disdaining the corset, developing the modern brassiere, popularizing both sheath and sack dresses, and for launching his own perfume. As for the party, chairman of the gala is François-Henri Pinault, along with co-chairs Cate Blanchett, Nicolas Ghesquière and Anna Wintour. Get your ensemble ready!

Now in its 12th year, Artwalk NY -- the annual auction of donated art benefiting the Coalitin for the Homeless -- is set for Nov. 29, 2006. Co-chairs are Richard Gere and his wife, actress Carey Lowell, along with Kayce Freed Jennings, the widow of long-time Artwalk supporter Peter Jennings. The artist honoree is Julian Schnabel. The dozens of artists who have donated works to the live and silent auction range from Louise Bourgeois and Olaf Breuning to Lane Twitchell and William Wegman; one notable work comes from Joseph Kosuth, who has collaborated with a Venice fabric house on a work described as a "conceptual sofa." The benefit takes place at the Puck Building at 295 Lafayette Street, beginning at 6:30 pm. Tickets begin at $125; for more info, call (212) 776-2056.

Fledgling UK indie act The Hours is getting a little help from Damien Hirst. The band -- whose members have played in renowned British rock acts like Elastica and Black Grape -- has just released its first single on vinyl, Ali in the Jungle, and it comes packaged with a characteristically morbid cover image by Hirst, a grinning skull with clocks for eyes.

As a benefit for the ArtCenter/South Florida and LegalArt -- and as a celebration of the pure excess of Art Basel week -- the Miami-based art collective Friends With You has announced the first-ever Skywalker Art Parade, planned to kick off at 2 pm on Dec. 7, 2006, commencing at Lincoln Road on South Beach and proceeding along the shoreline to 5th Street.

The parade will feature balloons created by Friends With You, David Choe, Devil robots, Misaki Kawai, MumbleBoy, PaperRad and the team of Jim Drain and Ara Peterson, designed to represent ambassadors from outer space. Festivities conclude with a party at the Savoy Hotel on 455 Ocean Drive.

The event’s organizers are still on the lookout for "handlers," that is, volunteers to help usher the balloons along (150 are needed in all). Interested parties can contact Erika Pastoriza ( or Carolina O. Garcia ( at ArtCenter/South Florida, or call (305) 674-8278.

The Fat is in the Fire, an art piece featuring three large American flags imprinted with satirical phrases, along with 40 other smaller flags fried in peanut oil, egg batter, flour and black pepper, was been taken down just 18 hours after its opening last week at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tenn. The piece, by Austin Peay State University art student William Gentry, was meant as a commentary on bad eating habits in the U.S. -- among the phrases printed on the larger flags was "Poor people are obese because they eat poorly" -- but was taken down by museum director Ned Crouch, who claimed that disrespectful treatment of the flag could offend his constituency (Clarksville is located about ten miles from Fort Campbell army base).

For its part, the Associated Press reports that the gesture may have had the opposite effect, quoting a local Navy veteran as saying, "The museum is obligated to the citizens of the community to present art, and it totally failed in that regard." In place of the fried flags, Gentry has been allowed to post signs at the museum that state, "Censored by the Director."

The Art Dealers Association of America has announced the exhibitors for the 2007 iteration of the long-running Art Show fair, to be held at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue, Feb. 22-26, 2007. Among the list of exhibitors are several that are new to the event, including New York’s Andrea Rosen Gallery, D’Amelio Terras, Peter Freeman, Inc. and Sonnabend and Chicago’s Rhona Hoffman Gallery and Donald Young Gallery.

Polish painter Wilhelm Sasnal has won the 2006 Vincent van Gogh Biennial Award for Contemporary Art in Europe. The prize, established by the Broere Charitable Foundation in 2000, carries a purse of €50,000. An exhibition featuring works by Sasnal and the other finalists -- Cerith Wyn Evans, Urs Fischer, Andrei Monastyrski and Dan Perjovschi -- is on view at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam until Jan. 17, 2007.

French photographer Mathieu Bernard-Reymond has won the €12,000 BMW -- Paris Photo Prize for photography at the 2006 Paris Photo fair. The prize is open to artists represented by galleries exhibiting in the fair, and Bernard-Reymond won for an enigmatic image of a man in a glass box looking out over a misty sea, on view at the Paris-based Baudoin Lebon Gallery.

Susanne Pfeffer -- an art historian, curator and currently artistic director of the Künstlerhaus Bremen -- has been named the new curator at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. She assumes her duties there on Jan. 2, 2007.

Artnet CEO Hans Neuendorf has received the Medal of Honor for outstanding contribution to the visual arts from the National Arts Club. A pioneering dealer on the German art scene and one of the founders of Art Cologne, Neuendorf receives the medal at a ceremony at the National Arts Club at 15 Gramercy Park South, Dec. 11, 2006, in a ceremony featuring remarks from Dianne B. Bernhard, chair of the NAC’s visual arts department, auctioneer Simon de Pury, NAC president David P. Tunick, artist David Novros and Artnet president Bill Fine. For information on attending, see

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