LAST-MINUTE SHOPPING FOR ART LOVERS
Christmas is just around the corner and the email in-box is loaded with all kinds of gift suggestions from our friends in the art world. So for those of you who still need suggestions for your holiday gift-giving -- though, as Mr. Natural told the grandma when she asked what "doo-wah-diddy" meant, "If you don’t know by now, it’s too late" -- herewith, a brief rundown.
* The Party’s Over Giftwrap, by the art team of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, is on sale at Printed Matter in Chelsea for a modest $7 a sheet. The silver and gold foil giftwrap is printed with copies of Bush Administration ephemera, such as Jack Abramoff’s expense records, Lewis "Scooter" Libby’s indictment, email from Michael "Brownie" Brown, checks from Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay, and more. Printed Matter is presenting a survey of over a dozen Ligorano/Reese works in "The Pure Products of America: 1992-2006," Dec. 2, 2006-Jan. 3, 2007.
* "$100 and Under" at Jim Kempner Fine Art in Chelsea, featuring an assortment of inexpensive multiples, like Momoyo Torimitsu’s ceramic Bunny Rabbit Cookie Jar (2003) for $100. Also featured is a "wall of affordably priced prints." See www.jimkempnerfineart.com
* The Noguchi Museum Store in Long Island City reminds shoppers that it is the only place in the world that offers the full line of Isamu Noguchi’s famous Akari Light Sculptures, otherwise known as "Noguchi lamps" -- some 120 sculptures in all, ranging in price from $75 to $1,000. The shop also carries furniture by Noguchi and kindred designers, Japanese items, Akari prints and more. For details, see www.noguchi.org
* Location One at 26 Greene Street in SoHo, which specializes in New York residencies for artists from around the world, will sell you a "Location One Chain Gang" dog tag, a souvenir of Leesa & Nicole Abahuni’s "In the Sky," a fun-house installation of 12,000 strands of ball chain currently on view, for $5. See www.location1.org.
* Documenta 12 gift vouchers, good for admission to the famed exhibition in Kassel that opens June 16, 2007, can be purchased online at www.documenta12.de. Day tickets are 18 euros each.
* And last but not least, the Museum of Modern Art is offering a special "Members Shopping Day" with 20 percent off on all purchases at the MoMA gift shop for one day only -- today, Dec. 19, 2006. Wares range from an Aeron Chair ($999) to collapsible cardboard MUJI speakers ($45). It’s for members only. To join -- for as low as $75 a year -- see www.moma.org.
PHOTOCRAZED FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
Need still another last-minute gift for your art-loving loved ones? What about a portrayal of their own faces, stretched on a canvas in the style of Andy Warhol or Chuck Close? Such is the vocation of PhotoCrazed, a website that allows users to upload a jpg of their own and receive a canvas in the mail in the art style of their choice. Aside from the Warhol and Close styles, there is also "Crazed Comic Style" (Benday dots and talking balloons), "Crazed Painting Feel" (advertised as mixing Vincent van Gogh and Jasper Johns) and "Crazed Bucket of Paint" (heavy impasto).
THE DEFINITIVE BECKHAM PORTRAIT
Described as "the definitive portrait of David Beckham," Sacha Jafri’s colorful 7 x 6 ft. semi-abstract canvas A Celebration has everything you’d want to pay homage to the soccer megastar -- footprints of Beckham and the handprints of several of his famous comrades, mini-depictions of 12 of his greatest goals and figures featuring a variety of the original metrosexual’s famous hairstyles (notably absent from the canvas is any reference to his wife, Posh Spice). The painting was auctioned off to an anonymous bidder for £125,000 at a charity event at the London nightclub Ministry of Sound, Dec. 14, 2006. Proceeds went to benefit the education charity Shine and Beckham’s own state-of-the-art soccer academies for kids in London and L.A. Jafri is represented by London’s Kings Road Gallery.
ISLAM AT THE MET
With the turbulent situation in the Middle East, any appearance of Islamic culture in the West is worth a second look. So take note, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting "Venice and the Islamic World," Mar. 27-July 8, 2007, an exhibition of nearly 200 works of art from more than 60 collections in what is called the first major exploration of the artistic exchanges that took place between East and West in the Mediterranean. Organized by Met Islamic Art curator Stefano Carboni, the show spans the period from 828, the year that two Venetian merchants stole Saint Mark’s body from Muslim-controlled Alexandria and brought it to their native city, to 1797, when the Venetian Republic fell to Napoleon Bonaparte.
HOPPER IN BOSTON
Edward Hopper is such a quintessential New York artist that New York natives can be forgiven for overlooking his roots in Massachusetts. Hopper-lovers can mark their calendar -- the next big Hopper retro is slated to debut at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 6-Aug. 19, 2007. "Edward Hopper" is the first comprehensive Hopper show in U.S. museums -- outside of New York City -- in more than 25 years, and includes nearly 100 works, largely dating from 1925-50. The show includes the group of Goucester watercolors that brought him fame, as well as Cape Cod Evening (1939) and another famous Truro scene, Rooms for Tourists (1945) (not to mention the recent auction room record-setter, Hotel Window). The survey is organized by the MFA, Boston, along with the National Gallery of Art, where it opens in September 2007, and the Art Institute of Chicago, which hosts the show in early 2008.
GURSKY SURVEY IN MUNICH
These days, the best contemporary artists have a museum survey every five years or so. Thus, the Düsseldorf-based photographer Andreas Gursky (b. 1955), who was given a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 2001, is the subject of a new show at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. The majority of the 50 large-format works in the show were made after the New York exhibition. The show, which is organized by Haus der Kunst chief curator Thomas Weski, tours to the Istanbul Modern, the Sharjah Art Museum, the House of Photography in Moscow, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
GRANTS FROM AMERICAN CENTER FOUNDATION
The American Center Foundation has awarded several $25,000 grants in what it calls a special, one-time initiative recognizing exceptional institutions. The 13 institutions are: Ashkal Alwan, The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut; BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht; Centro de Medios Libres, Mexico City; El Levante, Rosario, Argentina; Estación Tijuana, Tijuana; Fundacion Sociedad, Tecnología y Arte (START), Buenos Aires; Israeli Center of Digital Art, Holon, Israel; Museo del Puerto, Bahía Blanca, Argentina; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Vector Association, Iasi, Romania; Viafarini, Milan; Villa Arson, Nice; and White Columns, New York. The American Center Foundation is the residual grant-making organization of the now-defunct American Center in Paris.
TATE SEEKS CURATOR
"Jobs are like our galleries," says the Tate, "Open to all." And indeed, Tate Britain has put out a call for a curator of its 2009 Triennial exhibition, the museum’s recently established (in 2000) survey of contemporary British art. Applicants should have "authority, intellectual depth and visionary flair," at least so far as the contemporary art scene is concerned. For details, phone Judith Nesbitt, chief curator of Tate Britain, at 44 (0) 20 7887 8960.
HELP WANTED AT BARD
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., is seeking an accomplished curator, scholar or critic to direct its graduate program in curatorial studies, one of the more famous sources of young contemporary-art curators in the country. The two-year M.A. degree program is housed in the new facility that includes the Hessel Museum of Art. Salary is competitive and benefits are excellent. For further details, contact email@example.com.
CARTIER AWARD AT FRIEZE
How can a young artist living outside of the U.K. get into the prestigious Frieze Art Fair 2007, slated to take place in Regent’s Park in London, October 11-14, 2007? By winning the Cartier Award, a special prize for a new work to be realized at the fair. The Cartier Award (sponsored by Cartier, which also sponsors the fair) includes a three-month-long residency at Gasworks, a studio program in South London, product production costs of £10,000 and an artist’s fee of £1,000. The application deadline is Jan. 5, 2007; for an online application form, see www.frieze.com.
JOSEPH GRIMA TO STOREFRONT
After a six-month-long search, the Storefront for Art and Architecture in SoHo has appointed Domus magazine editor Joseph Grima as its director. Grima was co-curator of "Fiction Pyongyang," a video show at the Italian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennial, and is editor of Instant Asia, a survey of new Asian architects to be published soon.