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Artnet News
Feb. 6, 2007 

The venerable sexual lubricant K-Y Jelly, long recognized on pharmacy shelves by its medicinal blue and white packaging, is turning up the temperature with a new marketing push that includes a show of erotic art over in New York’s Chelsea district. Titled "Intrigue: The Art of Sensuality," Feb. 9-14, 2007, the exhibition is curated by Renee Riccardo and features works by Orly Cogan, Sante D’Orazio, Paul Henry Ramirez, Simone Leigh, Mickalene Thomas, Spencer Tunick, Steve Vaccariello and Mark Dean Veca.

"Intrigue" is, of course, part of the rebranding, as the new lube is called Intrigue by K-Y, and is accompanied by a new website, done literally in shades of purple, that features sex tips as well as an eroticized description of the product’s packaging. The official "launch” for Intrigue by K-Y is at the art show on Feb. 13, 2007, just in time for Valentine’s Day, at a space at 33 West 19th Street.

If you’re reading the Artnet News, then chances are that you have caught "the art bug." Now, New York-based artist Justine Cooper has developed a special medication for art lovers -- Havidol, a little white pill that treats "Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder." Samples of the phony pharmaceutical, along with an invitation designed in the form of a bogus prescription, were sent out to art-world insiders to announce Cooper’s forthcoming exhibition at Daneyai Mahmood Gallery at 511 West 25th Street in New York’s Chelsea art district, Feb. 8-Mar. 10, 2007. Havidol taps into our collective belief that "there is always room for improvement," Cooper says, and "the yearning to believe that everyday life can be remedied." More info on Havidol, which promises "life with gain not pain," can be found at

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute may have started it with a show of clothing from the closet of New York socialite Nan Kempner (Dec. 12, 2006-Mar. 4, 2007), but London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has done the Met one better with "Kylie: The Exhibition," a display of garb worn by the Grammy Award-winning Aussie pop star Kylie Minogue, Feb. 8-June 10, 2007. Featured in the show are costumes ranging from her days as a soap opera actress to the gold lamé hot pants that she favors today. V&A exhibitions chief Vicky Broackes said at the opening that Minogue "has a constantly changing image, doesn’t mind taking risks and doesn’t take herself too seriously," a description that apparently applies to the museum as well. According to Reuters, "Kylie: The Exhibition" has broken all records for advance ticket sales at the instituution.

As part of the 95th annual College Art Association conference in New York, Feb. 14-17, 2007, the New York City Bar Association is hosting a panel titled "Reexamining Appropriation: The Copy, The Law and Beyond" on Friday, Feb. 16, at 10 am-12:30 pm. Among the speakers are William Patry, Google’s senior copyright counsel (and keeper of the Patry Copyright Blog), and Judge Pierre N. Leval, who first articulated the "transformative" test that was critical to Jeff Koons’ recent win in the courts [see "Artnet News," Jan. 19, 2006].

Other speakers include SMU art historian Lisa Pon ("Inappropriate? Copying in the Renaissance"), Princeton professor Johann Burton ("The Reign of the Quotation -- Appropriation and Its Audience") and Jaimey Hamilton of the University of Hawai’i ("From Appropriation to Postproduction"). The panel is chaired by Martha Buskirk and Virginia Rutledge. It takes place at the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street, and is open to the public.

In another in the ever-increasing list of stories of priceless art windfalls in small towns, the Community School, a K-5 elementary school in North Addleboro, Mass., discovered it was sitting on a gold mine last weekend, when an oil painting in the school auditorium was discovered to be the work of Alexandre Iacovleff (1887-1938).

Titled Afghans, the 7 by 10 ft. painting depicts turbaned tribesman with their horses on a hill, and its trip to North Addleboro was a circuitous one. The Russia-born Iacovleff, a member of the "Mir Iskusstva" Russian art movement, traveled extensively on scholarships through the Far East before settling in Paris, where he was tapped to participate as artistic advisor to several official expeditions to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, becoming celebrated for his Orientalist paintings. In 1934, Iacovleff moved to Boston to became director of the painting department at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts. There, he met William Charles Thompson of the venerable Vose Gallery, who would oversee the sale of the Iacovleff’s paintings after his death -- and ultimately donate Afghans to the Community School around 1950, according to family members, though the school does not seem to have any record of the gift.

To date, three of Iacovleff’s paintings have sold for more than $1 million: General Ma-Soo in the Historical Play "The Retreat of Kiai-Ting" and Kabuki Dancer, which went for $1,248,000 and $1,808,000, respectively, at Sotheby’s New York last April; and Three Women in a Box at the Theatre (1918), which broke those records at Christie’s London in November, drawing in $1,953,846.

Afghans has currently been put in the hands of Sotheby’s, which has appraised its value at $600,000 to $800,000, though Gregory Smith, grandson of William Charles Thompson, has come forward to insist that the school board not rush into any sale. Board officials have suggested that proceeds could go towards setting up a scholarship fund, as well as to buying a new artwork for the auditorium.

Freelance art critic and curator Joao Ribas has been appointed curator at the Drawing Center in SoHo. An exhibition that he organized, "Aspects, Forms and Figures," opens at Bellwether in Chelsea on Feb. 8, 2007.

Michael Hurson, 65, New York artist known for whimsical drawings and paintings, often done in an artistically sophisticated pseudo-Cubist style, died suddenly from a heart attack in Nyack on Jan. 29. A technical virtuoso, Hurson took as his subjects everything from fishing lures and eyeglasses to the classic works of art history, and is particularly remembered for "Play," a dialogue between a red light bulb and a blue one. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Hurson made his mark in Chicago in the 1970s with finely crafted model rooms and interiors, which were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in a "Projects" exhibition. His paintings were included in "New Image Painting" at the Whitney Museum in 1978. In the 1980s he moved to New York, where he exhibited at Paula Cooper Gallery.

JULES OLITSKI, 1922-2007
Jules Olitski, 84, Color Field painter whose expansive abstractions feature shimmering curtains of paint, often marked with brushstrokes at the boundary of the canvas, died of cancer in New York on Feb. 4. His first exhibition was at Alexander Iolas gallery in New York in 1958. A favorite of art critics Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried, Olitski had a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum in 1969 and a traveling retrospective in 1973 that opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, before appearing at the Whitney Museum. More recently he has showed his work at Bernard Jacobson, Jacobson Howard and Paul Kasmin galleries.

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