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Artnet News
Feb. 5, 2009 

It’s freezing in New York -- 16 degrees right now -- so let’s think about spring. Specifically, about the Armory Show 2009, which gets under way in one month, Mar. 5-8, 2009. Famously expanding while everyone else is retracting, the Armory Show 2009 presents 220 galleries, up from 160 last year. The jump in size is due to the addition of a "modern" section of 70 galleries, overseen by Deborah Harris and located on Pier 92, in addition to the 150 "contemporary" galleries on Pier 94.

Modern galleries range from Ameringer & Yohe, Armand Bartos, Ben Brown and Valerie Carberry to Daniel Templon, Galerie Thomas, Meredith Ward and Washburn Gallery. Contemporary dealers include 303, Aidan, Boesky, Bonakdar, Bortolami, Canada, John Connelly, Elizabeth Dee, Deitch Projects, Hauser & Wirth, Yvon Lambert, Victoria Miro, PaceWildenstein, Ropac and Timothy Taylor. For a complete listing of participating galleries, see

The Armory Show VIP program boasts the first-time participation of the Metropolitan Museum, the Morgan Library and the Neue Galerie, not to mention 25 local collectors who are opening their homes to VIP visitors.

The number of ancillary fairs has shrunk to six (did we say shrunk?): Volta NY, Mar 5-8, 2009, presenting individual projects by about 80 artists at 7 West 34th Street across from the Empire State Building; Scope New York, Mar. 4-8, 2009, with about 50 exhibitors in a custom-made pavilion at Lincoln Center; Pulse New York, Mar. 5-8, 2008, almost 100 dealers located in the depths of Pier 40 at West Houston Street in Manhattan; Bridge Art Fair, Mar. 5-8, 2009, at the Waterfront Building in the Chelsea gallery district; and perhaps two others.

Contemporary art auctions in March begin with an "Under the Influence" sale at Phillips de Pury & Co. on Mar. 9, 2009, followed by a contemporary sale at Sotheby’s New York on Mar. 10, 2009, and a "First Open" sale of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s New York on Mar. 11. Both major houses subsequently hold several days of "Asia Week" sales, followed at the end of the month by design auctions.

The combined art fairs and auctions will once again offer a chance to take the art market's temperature, which is an almost constant pasttime for art-world insiders, anyway. Business -- and some prices -- are down between 20 and 50 percent. One bright spot: the estimated $18.4 billion in Wall Street bonuses for 2008.

The Associated Press has alleged that artist Shepard Fairey infringed its copyright when he used the 2006 AP photograph by Manny Garcia of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for his now well-known blue-and-white campaign artwork, Obama Hope. The AP wants credit and compensation, according to AP director of media relations Paul Colford, and hopes to settle the dispute amicably. Fairey’s attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University, claims that the copyright law "fair use" provision protects Fairey’s adaptation of the AP photo. The overall value of the Fairey artwork is difficult to calculate, but the Obama inaugural committee distributed versions of it to its supporters at prices ranging from $100 to $500.  

Gossip Girl, the teen-age television soap opera set on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is embracing the contemporary art world. The InStyle website, for instance, offers a special guide for fans who want to know all about the furnishings in lead character Serena van der Woodsen’s luxurious apartment. Among the appointments: A photograph by Jessica Craig-Martin on the wall outside the kitchen (available from Greenberg van Doren, via!); works by Kiki Smith, Ryan McGinley and Richard Phillips in the living room; and a Marilyn Minter color photo of a glitter-covered eyelid and an Amy Gartrell lace tapestry in Serena’s bedroom (available from Hamburg Kennedy Photographs and Daniel Reich Gallery, respectively).

The placements were overseen by the Art Production Fund, which also offers on its website two "prop art" reproductions of sexy Phillips works, priced at $250 each. (The set decorators on Gossip Girl have long had a taste for new art. In the past, works by New York painter Rene Smith have been spotted in the background, among others.)

For more info, see For InStyle’s virtual tour of the Gossip Girl set, click here.

The hip Brooklyn alternative space, the Dumbo Arts Center, is putting Julian Schnabel's famous blue-and-yellow striped pajamas up for auction as part of its 2009 fundraising benefit this month. The well-worn, paint-spattered jammies, signed and donated by the artist, have a starting bid of $2,000. The lot also includes a signed print of Annie Leibovitz's 1995 portrait of Schnabel wearing the pjs, and goes on sale on eBay, Feb. 11-21, 2009. The Dumbo Arts Center auction party and art raffle, dubbed "I Heart Art 2009," takes place on Feb. 21, 2009, and also presents works by dozens of artists, including John Baldessari, Romare Bearden, Erik Benson, Christo, Amanda Church, Elana Herzog and D.J. Spooky. For further details, see

The Denver Art Museum unveils its extensive collection of psychedelic posters from the 1960s with "The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965-71," Mar. 21-July 19, 2009. The show features more than 300 works, many from the recent acquisition of nearly 900 posters assembled by collector David Tippit. Among the artists represented in the show are Wes Wilson (pioneer of the undulating, 3D lettering style), Bonnie MacLean (wife of Fillmore rock promoter Bill Graham), Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse (inventors of the Grateful Dead’s skull-and-bones emblem), Victor Moscoso (who studied with Josef Albers at Yale), Rick Griffin, Lee Conklin and David Singer.

Mark di Suvero
’s 30-foot-tall, 15,000-pound red-painted sculpture Olompali (2006) makes its public debut at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Fla., before traveling around the world to its final and permanent location at the new U.S. Embassy building in Beijing. Olompali is one of five massive outdoor sculptures in "Mark di Suvero at Fairchild," Feb. 4-May 31, 2009, an exhibition funded by the Aaron I. Fleischman Foundation. Other works in the show are Gnarly (2008), Rust Angel (1995), Neruda’s Gate (2006) and She (1977-78).

New York artist Carl Ostendarp travels to the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I., for "Pulled Up," Feb. 13-Aug. 23, 2009, an exhibition in which he mixes his own brightly colored, biomorphic pop works with selections from the museum’s holdings. Based on the optimistic Talking Heads song of the same name, "Pulled Up" features works by Odilon Redon, Hans Arp, Joan Miró, Adolph Gottlieb, Roy Lichtenstein, John Wesley and others, all installed on a two-color, drip-pattern mural designed by Ostendarp and painted by him with the assistance of several RISD graduate students. For more info, see

This summer, the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston presents the first U.S. survey of work by Brooklyn-based minimalist-expressionist artist Leonardo Drew. "Existed: Leonardo Drew," May 16-Aug. 1, 2009, presents 14 sculptures made between 1991 and 2005, along with a major installation custom-made for the gallery space. A dozen works on paper made since 2005 are also included. The exhibition is accompanied by a monograph with essays by Blaffer director Claudia Schmuckli and NYU professor Allen S. Weiss.

The sixth annual Moscow World Fine Art Fair, originally scheduled for May 25-June 1, 2009, at the Manege, has been canceled, according to a report in the Art Newspaper. The fair is operated by the Swiss company Art Culture Studio, whose general manager, Sixtine Crutchfield, said both the financial and political climate led to the decision. "The fair has been unable to secure sponsors," she said, adding that "we believe it rather tactless to hold such a lavish event in times like these.

The new Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle in Manhattan says attendance at its opening exhibitions, including "Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary," Sept. 27, 2008-Feb. 15, 2009, totaled 160,000 visitors, doubling projections. As a result, the museum says, it is extending the inaugural shows by two months, to Apr. 19, 2009. MAD is also on Facebook, where it has 360 fans.

Stephanie Heydt
, former curator of collections and exhibitions at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, Fla., has been appointed curator of American art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Heydt has organized "New Voices in Art in 1940s Boston" (2002), "The Sketchbooks and Photographs of Theodore Robinson" (2000) and "The Aesthetic Movement in American Art" (1999), and was a contributing author to the Fogg Art Museum catalogue of its American art collection.

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