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Artnet News
Dec. 11, 2008 

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has offered an impressive list of ready-to-go infrastructure projects for president-elect Barack Obama’s proposed economic recovery program, which involves funding public works on a massive scale. The mayors’ list includes more than 11,000 projects in 427 cities, priced at a total of over $73 billion and producing more than 847,000 jobs. The list ranges from new sewers and street improvements to new schools, parks and dog pounds -- and also includes two major museum projects.

One is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is earmarked for $80 million for the reconstruction of its loading docks and other infrastructure improvements, an undertaking that would result in the creation of an estimated 889 jobs. Philadelphia is also ready to spend $20 million on its "Avenue of the Arts" streetscape, producing 222 jobs.

The second big museum project is in Miami, where the Miami Art Museum has launched plans for a new $87-million facility sited on a 29-acre park on Biscayne Bay. The city is seeking $70 million for construction of the park, a project that would create 1,400 jobs.

For the complete "ready to go" report, see

Attorney Marc Dreier, a Yale-grad litigator who founded  the New York law firm Dreier LLP in 1996, is accused of bilking investors out of $380 million, according to U.S. prosecutors. He’s also a big art collector, with millions of dollars of artworks at his office and home. According to one insider, Dreier worked with Larry Gagosian, Jeffrey Deitch and other art dealers to amass a collection that includes an Andy Warhol blue Jackie, a red and brown Mark Rothko painting, a Damien Hirst dot painting, a Robert Indiana "Love" sculpture and works by Dale Chihuly, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Prince, among others. In a bizarre incident, Dreier was first arrested in Canada last week, after he attempted to impersonate another lawyer to do a deal in the offices of a Canadian pension fund. His client roster includes rock star Jon Bon Jovi and football player Michael Strahan, according to published reports.

The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow (CGCC), the new art center opened in September by the glamorous 20-something art patron Dasha Zhukova, is taking its arts programming to the billboards -- that is, to a huge video screen on the top of Moscow’s Mosenergo building opposite the Kremlin. "Moscow on the Move," as it is called, runs to Dec. 22, 2008, and features vids by top artists, including AES-F, Doug Aitken, Pipilotti Rist, Yang Fudong and Agnes Varda. "I thought this would be a great way for people on their way to work to get a glimpse of these beautiful works," said Zhukova.

The vids are presented in collaboration with the Serpentine Gallery in London, and selected by Serpentine co-curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. Next up at GCCC: works from the François Pinault Collection, opening Feb. 19, 2009.

Moscow’s historic Red October Chocolate Factory, which recently was the site of an exhibition organized by the Gagosian Gallery [see Artnet News, July 31, 2008], has now been reborn as Baibakov Art Projects, a noncommercial exhibition space sponsored by Maria Baibakova, a 23-year-old Barnard College alum who once interned for Mike Weiss Gallery in Chelsea (her father is a Moscow mining and real-estate executive). The new space, which boasts (occasional Artnet Magazine contributor) Kate Sutton as curator, opens with "Invasion: Evasion," Dec. 13, 2008-Feb. 1, 2009, featuring over 20 site-specific commissions.

North America sees its first retrospective of Kees Van Dongen (1877-1968) when the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents "Van Dongen -- A Fauve in the City," Jan. 22-Apr. 19, 2009. The exhibition presents over 100 paintings, 40 drawings, prints and archival documents and photographs, along with a dozen Fauvist ceramics, some 200 items in all. The show is organized by MMFA director and chief curator Nathalie Bondil and Centre Pompidou curator Jean-Michel Bouhours, with a team of their colleagues. The show premieres at the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco and subsequently appears at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.

Get ready for another blast of Japanese pop culture next spring, as Japan Society in New York presents "Krazy!: The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games," Mar. 12-June 14, 2009. The exhibition includes excerpts from Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime Akira, as well as works by animae artists Mamoru Ishii, Ichiro Itano, Masaaki Yuasa, Makoto Shinkai and Ushio Tazawa. The manga section includes works by Taiyo Matsumoto, Mamoru Nagano, Junko Mizuno and Takashi Okazaki. Video game artists include Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man) and Shigeru Miyamoto (Super Mario World). Adapted from an exhibition that premiered at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada last spring, the show is presented here in spaces designed to evoke "Tokyo’s clamorous cityscape" by the Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow.

Artists Space, the veteran nonprofit art gallery located at 38 Greene Street in SoHo, holds its celebrated "Night of 1,000 Drawings" benefit sale on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 3-8 pm. The show features works by over 800 artists, presented anonymously, and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis for either $50 or $100. (The prices, which used to be as low as $25 and $35, may strike some observers as pre-deflationary.) Admission at the door is $10.

The hip Chelsea gallery Taxter & Spengemann, which represents Lutz Bacher, Frank Benson, Xavier Cha, Kalup Linzy, Max Schumann and other artists, is moving from its West 21st Street headquarters all the way across town to the East Village, to a new space at 123 East 12th Street. The first exhibition at the new space, Matt Johnson’s "Super System," opens on Jan. 10, 2009.

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