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Artnet News
Nov. 9, 2006 

The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Tex. -- the modernist temple created by architects Phillip Johnson, Howard Barstone and Eugene Aubrey in collaboration with Mark Rothko) -- is getting its first new work of art, courtesy New York-based new media artist Michael Somoroff. Illumination 1, as the work is called, is what Somoroff dubs a "Photoplastik," a work that combines photography and sculpture. It consists of swooping, rippling, 20-foot-high, 37-foot-long sculpture made of fiberglass, resin and lime, that evokes the form of light falling through the windows of a mosque. The piece is on view Nov. 2006-Jan. 2007. An unveiling on Nov. 12, 2006, features former National Gallery of Art curator E. A. Carmean, Jr.

The new, $10 million, 17,000-square-foot expansion of the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. opens this Sunday, Nov. 12, 2006. The inaugural exhibit is titled "Wrestle," focusing on 150 works by artists who tackle issues of self and other drawn from the collection of museum patron Marieluise Hessel, ranging from Vanessa Beecroft and Cindy Sherman to Isaac Julien and Jason Rhoades.

Set to run through May 27, 2007, the Hessel exhibit is helmed by Trevor Smith, an independent curator, and Tom Eccles, the former head of New York's Public Art Fund who now oversees Bard’s curatorial studies program. Noting that the Hessel collection has served, over the years, as material for the center’s budding curators to test their chops, the curators focus on the "unexpected juxtapositions" informed by the "contradictory forces that emerged in the selection of works."

Spain’s Balearic Islands are a hotspot for tourism, particularly German tourism -- in some parts, German is more spoken than Spanish -- so it is the fitting that Palma de Mallorca is the chosen spot for a new franchise of the Art Cologne fair, dubbed, appropriately, Art Cologne Palma de Mallorca, Sept. 19-23, 2007. The fair features 60 galleries and has much the same program as the original Art Cologne, focusing on modern and contemporary art. For those on holiday, the event will take place at the 8,000-square-foot Terminal A of the city’s airport, putting visitors just a short flight away from the club mecca of neighboring Ibiza.

The Chicago-based Wright auction house specializes in high-end modern design, so it’s fitting that it has chosen Philip Johnson and Annabelle Selldorf’s Urban Glass House (Johnson’s last project) at 330 Prince St. in SoHo for an exclusive New York city preview of lots from their upcoming season. The preview runs Nov. 14-17, 3-7 pm, and Nov. 18-19, 12-5 pm, and occupies three apartments in the building.

The exclusive installation is curated by auction house owner Julie Thoma Wright, and is set to feature selections from all of the auction house’s sales, including "Post War + Contemporary Art," Nov. 21, 2006; "Important 20th Century Design," Dec. 3, 2006; and "Important Italian design," Dec. 5, 2006. Wright has also taken its first step into the sale of architecture, and is putting Pierre Koenig’s landmark L.A. Case Study House #21 (est. $2.5 million-$3.5 million) on the block Dec. 3. For more info, visit

The Cincinnati Art Museum has announced a partnership with the Bistro Group -- a restaurant consortium that operates 30 T.G.I. Friday's as well as CAM’s Terrance Café -- to form Cincinnati Art Museum Catering, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier. The newly minted catering enterprise aims to offer "an artistic dining experience" via dishes from chef David Cook along with favorites from the museum’s café, for private parties or corporate events. Service can be scheduled through CAM -- call 513-639-2956.

London’s Martin MacLeish Fine Paintings inaugurates its new headquarters in a fabulous renovated 1709 Georgian building at 13 Dover Street with "Collecting through the Centuries," Nov. 14-Dec. 22, 2006. The selling show features 100 paintings, from Old Masters to Modern British, including works by Sir Terry Frost, Dame Laura Knight, Sir John Lavery, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Henri Lebasque, Martyn Richardson Mackrill, Benjamin Marshall, Peter Monamy, Jan Mortel, Edward Seago, Dorothea Sharp, John William Waterhouse and Joseph Wright of Derby.

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta is organizing a major touring show of works by Cecilia Beaux (1855–1942), the Belle Époque artist once considered the equal of John Singer Sergeant. "Cecilia Beaux, American Figure Painter" -- which runs May 12-Sept. 9, 2007, before touring to the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Wa., and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts -- features 85 works, including oils, works on paper and decorative objects, organized chronologically to showcase all aspects of Beaux’s 40-year-career, including her relationships with figures such as Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt and Ida Tarbell.

It’s about time artists got their own action figures! Seattle-based artist Michael Leavitt has created a limited edition "ArtArmy" line of artist-themed toys. His selection of heroes is charmingly quirky, from icons like Dale Chihuly, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol to more cultish contemporary figures like "hooker painter" Natalie Fabia, guerilla billboard artist Ron English and "Andre the Giant" tagger Shephard Fairey (with some other celebrities like Johnny Cash and Billy Holiday thrown in there for good measure). Most of the figures are already sold out, but Leavitt’s website also features links to stop-motion animation he has done with them, for good fun.

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