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Artnet News
Nov. 3, 2005 

A special eBay auction of donated artwork to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina has been organized by Cheim & Read Gallery, Christian Patterson of the Eggleston Artistic Trust and Livet Reichard Company, Inc. The auction runs Nov. 5-15, 2005, and is held via the "eBay Giving Works" program, which charges no commissions or fees. Proceeds of the benefit are earmarked for Project Heal of the Arcadiana Arts Council, which supports artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Participating artists include Donald Baechler, Chuck Close, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman and William Wegman, among others. To access the auction, click here (starting Nov. 5), or go to eBay and search for "Katrina art auction." Contact for further info.

New York City is getting a new art fair devoted to modern and contemporary art, courtesy Thomas Blackman Associates, the organizer of Art Chicago and the San Francisco International Art Exposition. Dubbed Art New York at Pier 94, Feb. 24-27, 2006, the new fair is scheduled to coincide with the famed Art Show of the Art Dealers Association of America, Feb. 23-27, 2006. Located at 12th Avenue and 54th Street, Pier 94 is two blocks north of the piers that house the Armory Show, which is slated for Mar. 10-13, 2006.

The logic of the new fair seems clear enough -- the exclusive Art Show is a highlight of the winter art calendar, yet its relatively small exhibition space at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue can house only 70 U.S. dealers. "Pier 94 allows for both very large and small-scale installations, which are critical for the exhibition of contemporary art," said Thomas Blackman, president of Thomas Blackman Associates, Inc. "The fair will be able to present the full scope of contemporary art, whether it is oversized paintings and sculpture or more intimate theaters for video art."  For further info, contact Charlotte Webb at artnypier94 @ 

After spending five years catering to the super-wealthy, the Bush administration has apparently realized that art collectors, though in the right tax bracket, nevertheless tend to vote Democratic. According to a report in the New York Times, the new tax overhaul proposed by Bush’s nine-member advisory commission on taxes, chaired by Florida Republican Connie Mack, raises taxes for everyone but the top one percent of taxpayers -- but it taxes capital gains from art sales at the same rate as wages. According to the Times, a $1 million profit in an art sale, currently taxed to the tune of $150,000, would incur $330,000 in taxes under the new plan.

On the other hand, the scheme suggests that the deduction for charitable giving be extended to all taxpayers (currently it is available only to those who itemize their deductions) -- though only for contributions exceeding one percent of income. The proposed overhaul would also allow people to sell property and donate the proceeds to a charity and then take a charitable deduction. The effect these provisions would have on the art world is not immediately clear. In any case, the report$s recommendations have already been called impractical for its other provisions, which include limiting deductions for mortgage interest, erasing deductions for state and local income and property taxes and restricting tax-free employer-paid health insurance.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to shut down the subway’s L train line, which carries passengers between midtown Manhattan and stops in Williamsburg and other neighborhoods, for eight weekends in early 2006 -- a move that is "killing Williamsburg," according to Karen Marston, a boardmember of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Nurtureart. In an open letter published in the local L Magazine, Marston claimed that the move would significantly harm the area’s 52 art galleries. An estimated 75 percent of business to the district comes from weekend traffic from Manhattan.

Marston found out about the as-yet-unannounced closures by accident, when she discovered that an upcoming performance art festival, "Williamsburg Celebrates Performa05," sponsored by Nurtureart along with Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery, Galería Galou, Goliath Visual Artspace, Jack the Pelican, Momenta and Parker’s Box, coincided with a scheduled L shutdown on Nov. 12, 2005. Phoning the MTA, Marston says that assistant director of community relations, Andy Inglesby, informed her that the closure could not be rescheduled because of the large amount of work the MTA was planning for the line -- including the eight weekends in 2006. The MTA plans to provide bus service to take up the slack. "Williamsburg Celebrates Performa05" was rescheduled for Nov. 4-5, 2005.

Brooklyn assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol has joined Marston, issuing a statement calling on the MTA for greater transparency and accountability to the community, and alleging that the closures are part of the MTA’s controversial L train upgrade, already more than one year behind schedule and massively over budget, something that could explain why the MTA is attempting to cram the work into full weekend shutdowns instead of working with partial stoppages at night. The Williamsburg art community currently awaits the announcement of the exact dates in order to plan its winter season.

The art world has long been roiled by issues of copyright and "fair use." Now, the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association is addressing the topic with "Transforming Art: Fair Use Issues," a panel of legal and art experts scheduled for Nov. 10, 2005, at the association’s headquarters at 42 West 44th Street. Panelists include Lawrence Lessig, author of Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity (2004); William F. Patry, author of The Fair Use Privilege in Copyright Law (1995); New York Times art critic Roberta Smith; freelance Museum of Modern Art curator Robert Storr; Brian Wallis, chief curator of the International Center for Photography; and Joel Wachs, president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Presenters include lawyers Robert W. Clarida, Roy Kaufman, Scott Shagin and the event’s organizers, Virginia Rutledge (Cravath, Swaine & Moore) and Paul A. Winick (Thelen Reid & Priest). Admission is free, but seating is limited; reserve in advance by emailing

The international scandal involving looted antiquities that has hit the Getty museum in Los Angeles [see "Artnet News," Oct. 27, 2005] has now gone bi-coastal, with Italian authorities claiming they have proof that items at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Princeton University Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art were illegally excavated or smuggled. The new claims also point the finger at eight pieces in the private collection amassed by Met board member Shelby White who, with her late husband Leon Levy, is a major patron who gave $20 million to the Met for a Roman and Greek court to hold their collection.

The allegedly illicit items at the Met include the famous, 2,500-year-old "Euphronios krater," a 12-gallon painted terracotta bowl with a scene from the Trojan War, currently the centerpiece of the Met’s Greek galleries. Admittedly, no one should be surprised about the dubious provenance of the krater -- former Met director Thomas Hoving dubbed the piece the "hot pot" in 2001, describing Robert Hecht, the dealer who sold the krater to the museum (now indicted for illegal antiquities trafficking in Italy), as "a numismatic genius, a tennis addict and the world's hottest purveyor of Italian and Turkish antiquities who is rumored to have contacts with the mafia in southern Italy."

Also from the Met’s collection is a 15-piece set of Hellenistic silver, claimed by the Italians to have been looted from Sicily, and two amphoras painted with red figures. Among the 22 items under suspicion in Boston is a 2,500-year-old vase depicting leaping athletes, considered an important part of the MFA’s Greek collection. Cleveland and Princeton are caught with one item each: an oil jar, or lekythos, painted with black figures, and vase for cooling wine, or psykter, respectively.

The new revelations result from a trove of photos seized from a Swiss warehouse as part of the long investigation of Hecht and Roman antiquities trafficker Giacomo Medici.

Everyone’s favorite Chelsea art fair, Editions/Artists’ Books ’05, opens at the Starrett Lehigh Building at 601 West 26th Street in Chelsea, Nov. 3-6, 2005. Now in its eighth year, the fair includes approximately 40 dealers and publishers from around the world, including Brooke Alexander Editions (New York), Michele Didier (Brussels), Yvon Lambert (Paris & New York), Parkett Editions (Zurich & New York) and U.L.A.E. (Bay Shore, L.I.). A $150 ticket to the Nov. 3 gala, which benefits Printed Matter, includes a special limited edition work by Vik Muniz. For further details, see Editions/Artists’ Books ’05.

Pontus Hultén
, the legendary Swedish art museum director, has donated his collection of approximately 700 works of contemporary and modern art to Moderna Museet in Stockholm. To be housed in a special "open stacks" building designed by Renzo Piano, the collection includes works by artists ranging from Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst to Claes Oldenburg, Niki de Saint Phalle and Andy Warhol. Hultén was founding director of the Moderna Museet in 1961 and the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1981, and also helped launch MoCA in Los Angeles, the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and the Museum Jean Tinguely in Basel.

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is hosting the first U.S. museum exhibition of work by English potter and 2003 Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, Feb. 5-Apr. 30, 2006. The show presents more than a dozen of Perry’s signature classically shaped ceramics, the decorative designs of which treat more transgressive personal material.

It looks like the Badlands just got a little better -- or is that badder? North Dakota State University has announced the establishment of the James Rosenquist Artist Residency Program in honor of the Pop wizard, who was born in Grand Forks, N.D. Beginning this fall, the program provides studio space, equipment, stipend and accommodations for a visiting artist at the institution. Rosenquist received an honorary doctorate from NDSU in 2005.

The Georgia Museum Research Center in Santa Fe has kicked off "The 1980s," Oct. 31-Nov 13, 2005, a two-week-long, online interactive conference moderated by curator and author Maurice Berger. Some 30 artists, critics, historians and writers are taking part in a wide-ranging discussion of art in the ‘80s. Check it out at

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is presenting an exhibition devoted to print editions produced by SoHo dealer Peter Blum. "Singular Multiples: The Peter Blum Editions Archive, 1980-1994," organized by MFAH curator Barry Walker, opens in three parts, beginning Apr. 23, 2006. Artists represented in the exhibition include Louise Bourgeois, John Baldessari, Jonathan Borofsky, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, Martin Disler, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Josef Felix Muller and Rosemarie Trockel. The MFAH purchased the archive of more than 400 works, including preparatory drawings and early proofs as well as finished editions, in 1996.

The Calder Foundation has launched a new Calder Prize, a biannual $50,000 cash award whose first winner is New York artist Tara Donovan. As part of the award, the foundation also facilitates the placement of a signature work by the award winner in a public museum. Donovan, who was born in 1969, recently won a 2006 residency at the Atelier Calder in Saché, France. She was given a survey of her work at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles in 2003.

Michael Rush
, former director of the Palm Beach ICA (and an occasional contributor to Artnet Magazine), has been appointed director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. He succeeds Joseph Ketner, who became chief curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum last summer.

The Detroit Institute of Arts has selected Heather Ecker as curator of Islamic art and head of the museum’s department of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Asian art. Ecker comes to the DIA from the new Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

Art Review magazine has issued its "Power 100" list for 2005. The admittedly arbitrary ranking is headed by artist Damien Hirst, who is cited for having four studios, a full-time staff of 50, a 300-room Gothic castle and plans for a museum in London. Other members of the top ten, in descending order, are art dealer Larry Gagosian, Christie’s owner François Pinault, Tate director Nicholas Serota, Museum of Modern Art director Glenn D. Lowry, supercollector Eli Broad, Art Basel director Sam Keller, art dealer Iwan Wirth, artist Bruce Nauman and dealer David Zwirner.

There’s nothing quite like a gleaming new modern art museum as a site for a party for visiting royalty. On Nov. 1, 2005, the year-old Museum of Modern Art "morphed into a celebrity madhouse," according to the New York Post, as it played host to Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Among the 300 hotshots on hand were Tina Brown, Mario Buatta, Jay McInerney, Lily Safra, Barbara Walters and Jann Wenner. The royals were in New York for one day to dedicate a memorial garden, located at Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan, to the 67 British citizens who died on 9/11.

RAYMOND HAINS, 1926-2005
Raymond Hains, 79, Nouveau Réaliste artist who is known for works made from torn street posters, died in Paris on Oct. 28, 2005. With his colleague Jacques Villeglé, Hains invented a signature affichiste method that involved tearing tattered and overlaid street posters from city walls and converting the fragments into sign-like art works that combine Pop icons, Surrealist automatism and the energetic compositions of Abstract-Expressionism. Hains once said an art work should not be considered a world, but the world should be considered a picture (un tableau). In the 1940s Hains made abstract photographs, and devoted himself to works he called lettres éclatées (shattered letters) in the 1950s. He exhibited in the Salon des Realites in 1959 and was included in "The Art of Assemblage" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1961. His work was shown in 2002 at the Paley and Levy Galleries at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. He exhibited his work with Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris and the Mayor Gallery in London.

-- contact wrobinson @