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Artnet News
Dec. 28, 2005 

Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum goes private as of Jan. 1, 2005. Instead of being a municipal agency, the museum is to be operated by an independent foundation (the Stedelijk Museum Foundation). The change is expected to give the museum more flexibility in terms of long-range planning and generating revenues from its collection. Both the art and the building that houses it remain the property of the city. The Stedelijk Museum Foundation board of governors is chaired by Rijkman Groenink and Gijs van Tuyl is the managing director; the board also includes artist Jan Dibbets.

The Italian government is playing hardball with the Getty Trust in more ways than one. In addition to prosecuting former Getty curator Marion True for trafficking in stolen antiquities, the Italians have refused to lend a group of bronzes from the National Archeological Museum in Naples to the Getty Villa for its grand reopening on Jan. 28, 2006 -- leaving the Getty to debut its grandly refurbished facility with a show of photos from its collection of archeological digs. "If a museum buys illicit works and then asks us for loans for an exhibition, we will certainly say no," said Italian culture ministry official Giuseppe Proietti, according to a recent report by Hugh Eakin in the New York Times.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, has received $2 million from Putnam Investments, the largest corporate gift to date to the ICA’s $62-million capital campaign. In recognition of the gift, the outdoor space between the waterfront and the ICA’s new Diller Scofidio + Renfro building -- a 3,500-square-foot section of Harbor Walk that the ICA is boosting as a community gathering space -- is being named Putnam Plaza. Founded in 1938, Putnam Investments manages $190 billion in assets. The company was caught up in the “market timing” scandals that shook the mutual fund industry in 2003, and more recently was fined $40 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that Putnam brokers took payments to recommend certain mutual funds to customers, creating a conflict of interest.

The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas Sofia Imber reopened in October 2005, almost one year after a devastating fire engulfed the upper floors of the 20-story skyscraper that houses the museum. The situation is by no means happy -- neighboring shops remain closed, and all the residential tenants have taken flight. Protective netting is installed in some areas to guard against falling concrete. Now, new director Luis Angel Duque plans to move the museum to the Parque del Este, a mere four metro stops from Petare, the most infamous barrio of Caracas.

The museum collection, formed during the past 30 years, ranges from modernist masterpieces (a shadowy 1902 Monet of Waterloo Bridge, a riveting Picasso portrait of Dora Maar, the best of Georges Braque’s billiard table paintings) to contemporary favorites like Robert Rauschenberg and Anthony Calder and pioneering video works by Peter Campus and Douglas Davis. Art by popular Venezuelans such as Alejandro Otero and Jesus Rafael Soto are included, and the museum holds an extensive number of graphic works by Picasso (140 pieces), Lucian Freud (72) and Jim Dine (50).

Exit Art
in Manhattan is kicking off the new year with “The Studio Visit,” Jan. 7-28, 2006, an expose of the art lifestyle via short videos of over 160 artists’ work spaces, made by the artists themselves. Among the participants are John Ahearn, Joe Amrhein, Ida Applebroog, Rina Banerjee, Mike Bidlo, Ian Burns, Papo Colo, Matthew Cusick, Meredith Danluck, Joy Garnett, Rico Gatson, Geoffrey Hendricks & Sur Rodney (Sur), Kim Jones, Jerry Kerns, Laleh Khorramian, Elisabeth Kley, Nate Lowman, Sean Mellyn, Tom Otterness, David Packer, Bruce Pearson, Mika Rottenberg, Christy Rupp, Pat Steir, Swoon, Stephen Tashjian, Mickalene Thomas, Anton Van Dalen, Ursula Von Rydingsvard, Phoebe Washburn and Markus Wetzel.

In addition, seven artists are working in Exit Art’s 10 x 5 x 10 foot window spaces for the duration of the show, including j. morrison, who plans to help visitors make their own screen prints; Chris Clary, who is operating a portrait studio; and Francis Palazzolo, who is painting an updated version of Edouard Manet’s Olympia, replacing the original figures with Michael Jackson and a young boy. Other artists in the windows are Cynthia von Buhler, Aaron Krach, Joyce Pensato and Paul Wirhun.

The five finalists for the Vincent 2006 award, a €50,000 prize, are Urs Fischer, Andrey Monastyrski, Dan Perjovschi, Wilhelm Sasnal and Cerith Wyn Evans. An exhibition of work by the artists goes on view at the Stedelijk Museum in September 2006, and the winner is to be selected in November. The Vincent (the Vincent Van Gogh Biennial Award for Contemporary Art in Europe) was established by the Broere Charitable Foundation in memory of Monique Zajfen, a good friend of the Broere family and former owner of Galerie 121 in Antwerp. Previous winners have included Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Neo Rauch and Pawel Althamer.

The William H. Johnson Foundation for the Arts has awarded the 2005 William H. Johnson Prize of $25,000 to Dave McKenzie, the Jamaica-born Brooklyn-based artist whose works have been shown at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and in “Figuratively” at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Previous winners of the four-year-old award, which recognizes early-career African American artists, are Laylah Ali (2002), Nadine Robinson (2003) and Kori Newkirk (2004).

Ann Demeester (b. 1975), a former curator at SMAK and since 2002 director of the Amsterdam artists’ space W139, has been appointed director of De Appel Foundation. She succeeds Saskia Bos, who was named head of the art school at the Cooper Union in New York in October.

Charles A. Stainback
has been named curator of photography at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla. The former director of the Aperture Foundation’s Burden Gallery, the International Center for Photography and the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Stainback was most recently director of SITE Santa Fe.

KIELY JENKINS, 1959-2005
Kiely Jenkins, 46, East Village artist known for carefully crafted dioramas and comic figurative sculptures that displayed a cartoon sensibility, died of a heart attack in his studio on East 7th Street in Manhattan on Dec. 17, 2005. In the 1980s he showed at Fun Gallery in the East Village, and in the 1990s worked as an assistant to the late Pop artist Larry Rivers. His work was included in “East Village USA” at the New Museum in 2004 and is also in the forthcoming “The Downtown Show” at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery.