STORR’S AFRICAN INTITIATIVE
What exactly has 52nd Venice Biennale artistic director Robert Storr been up to with those multiple curatorial sojourns to Africa? It turns out that "Check List," an exhibition of African contemporary art, is anchoring the Biennale’s focus on Africa in the festival’s Arsenale space. According to the Biennale press office, works are being selected from the Sindika Dokolo African Collection of Contemporary Art, an institution based in Luanda, Angola, that encompasses some 500 works by 140 artists from 28 different African nations.
"Check List" is to be curated by Camaroonian art critic Simon Njami, along with Angolan artist -- and Sindika Dokolo Collection co-founder -- Fernando Alvim. The project was chosen for the African section of the Biennale by a team of experts brought on board by Storr: Ethiopian curator Meskerem Assegued, Ghanaian journalist Ekow Eshun, American-born artist Lyle Ashton Harris, Yale prof Kellie Jones and Nigerian curator Bisi Silva.
KELLY SHERMAN TAKES FOSTER PRIZE
Kelly Sherman, an artist known for melancholic installations that focus on emotional life in a postmodern world, has won the 2006 James and Audrey Foster Prize, an honor open to Boston-area artists of promise. She receives $25,000 and the opportunity to have work featured at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. The honor represents the new incarnation of the "ICA Prize," making the leap from $5,000 to $25,000 after being endowed by the Fosters, who have offered a $1 million gift to the ICA for the purpose. The winning works by Sherman as well as art by three other prize finalists -- Sheila Gallagher, Jane D. Marsching and Rachel Perry Welty -- are on view at the ICA through March 11, 2007.
HUMPHREY DOES BRAVO
Installation artist Ryan Humphrey, known for works that reference surfing and car culture, is a contestant on the inaugural season of the Bravo TV reality show Top Design (which airs Wednesdays at 10 pm EST), a competition between would-be interior design superstars presided over by certified design superstar Todd Oldham. It remains to be seen whether art-world credentials are enough for the cut-throat world of reality TV, however -- though recently the center of his very own solo show at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the second episode of Top Design saw Humphrey roundly chastised by judges for basing his design for a girl’s room around her cat’s needs.
In case he is voted off the show, look for Humphrey’s Vantasy In A Minute, an installation incorporating a section of a 1970 Chevy C-10 van, at Scope New York, Feb. 22-26, 2007.
BIG NAMES AT BAILEY HOUSE FUNDRAISER
Bailey House, the AIDS resource center located at 275 Seventh Avenue in New York, is having its annual fundraising auction and party, Feb. 15, 2007, at the Puck Building in Soho. The impressive list of artists in the charity auction includes John Baldassari, Mark Beard, David Levinthal, Sheila Metzner, Robert Mapplethorpe, Claes Oldenburg, James Pierson, Terry Richardson, Herb Ritts, James Rosenquist, Andre Serrano, Ellen Von Unwerth and William Wegman. Other hot lots include a lunch date with newsman Anderson Cooper, and the chance to get your photo on the Reuters sign in Times Square. Tim Gunn and Jonathan Adler MC the festivities. Doors open to the general public at 7:30, while the auction begins at 8:30. See www.baileyhouse.org for more details.
GLASGOW ART FAIR 2007
The Glasgow Art Fair, billed as the UK’s most prestigious fair outside of London (last year, it reported £1.1 million in sales), returns Apr. 19-22, 2007, to George Square, in the heart of the Scottish city. Of the 43 galleries set to appear, eleven are from Glasgow, nine from elsewhere in Scotland, thirteen from London, seven from elsewhere across the UK and three from Europe. See www.glasgowartfair.com
ART FAIR TOKYO 2007
Also on the radar of the international art traveler is Art Fair Tokyo 2007, the second iteration of the event (the last was in 2005, and it will run annually from now on, according to organizers). Set to go up at the Tokyo International Forum in the center of the Japanese capital, Apr. 10-12, 2007, the event is timed to coincide with the blooming of the cherry blossoms. More than 100 galleries from five Asian countries participate.
CRITICS AND THE MARKET
The market is the topic of the annual Collage Art Association panel sponsored by the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICAUSA), Feb. 17, 2007, set for 12:30 at the New York Hilton. Scheduled to coincide with the CAA’s conference, the panel is titled "A Faustian Bargain? Emerging Artists, Critics and the Market" and features dealer Jeffrey Deitch and collectors Don and Mira Rubell, alongside critics Peter Plagens and Jerry Saltz. The event is organized and moderated by Amei Wallach, and is open to all.
THIERRY GOLDBERG PROJECTS OPENS
Ron Segev and Claire Lemetais have announced the opening of Thierry Goldberg Projects, on the lower east side in New York, at 5 Rivington Street, a hop, skip and a jump from the future New Museum. The owners, masterminds behind Williamsburg’s star67 and Chelsea’s Sixtyseven, named the new space after their mothers’ maiden names. First up for the gallery is a solo show by German artist Swetlana Heger, opening Mar. 1, 2007.
RAUSCHENBERG’S TRANFER DRAWINGS IN NYC
Be sure to stop by the O’Hara Gallery in the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street for "Robert Rauschenberg: Transfer Drawings from the 1960s," Feb. 8-Mar. 17, 2007, a dense trove of over 40 drawings in two galleries. The works on display include a number from 1968 referencing that year’s turbulent politics, shown at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, in October 1968, and not seen since in the United States. Art professor -- and Artnet Magazine contributor -- Lewis Kachur pens the essay in the accompanying catalogue.
Luisa Kreisberg, 72, communications chief for the Museum of Modern Art (1977-85) and founder of the independent art pr firm Kreisberg Group in 1985, died following a long struggle with cancer. She was author of Local Government and the Arts, and a trustee of the New York Foundation for the Arts, Independent Curators Inc. and the Norman Rockwell Museum.