SERENDIPITY STRIKES WITH OXFORD GUIDE
Last fall, when Oxford University Press was putting the finishing touches on its newest art reference, the 800-page Oxford Companion to the Photograph, its designers cast about for a suitable cover image before selecting a black-and-white photograph of -- what else? -- a pensive brunette wearing nothing more than some fishnets and a frilly umbrella. The photo was dated 1980 and credited to one Joyce Baronio, who was not otherwise included in the many listings in the mighty tome.
No one was more surprised, or more delighted, by the cover appearance than Baronio herself. "I was just thrilled, really thrilled," said Baronio in a recent phone conversation with Artnet News. A longtime protégé of Leo Castelli, Baronio stopped taking photographs in 1996, after the death of the legendary art dealer, and moved upstate to Narrowsburg, N.Y. "I took a nice, long sabbatical," she said. Baronio currently teaches Tai Chi, and her classes are among the area’s most popular, according to a fellow Narrowsburg resident.
At present, however, Baronio is in New York City, preparing for the opening of "Right of Passage: Youth Culture from the Mid-Century," Mar. 17-Apr. 29, 2006, at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in the Fuller Building. Thanks to the nudge provided by her appearance on the cover of the Oxford book, the gallery has included in its show one of her photographs from her "Americana" series, an earlier group of works.
The image on the cover of the Oxford Companion to the Photograph came from a series of "Portraits of Erotic Entertainers," a group of photographs Baronio made during 1976-80 in her studio at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. She had just left grad school -- Baronio has a Yale MFA, and studied with Walker Evans -- and decided to set up in what was then a seedy midtown district with plenty of burlesque shows (the rent for her office-studio was $75 a month). It took a certain amount of effort to get the women to come to her studio and pose, but eventually they came to enjoy it, and used Baronio’s prints for their publicity photos.
The model in the photo in question, Baronio said, arrived at her studio in the "Scarlet O’Hara outfit" she used for her act. "She took off her dress without a thought and hung it on a window. I still think the photograph has a sort of feminine mystery. Who is this woman? I don’t even know her name." The photographs were published in a book in 1980, an edition of 8,000 that sold out in a year. Baronio still has some vintage prints. Last year, art dealer Barbara Braathen had several for sale, priced at $5,000 each, in her River Gallery on Main Street in Narrowsburg.
"ART ROCK" RESCHEDULED
During Armory Week madness, art-world connoisseurs may have asked themselves -- where was Art Rock, the successful outdoor art fest in Rockefeller Center that debuted last year alongside the big commercial fairs? Well, never fear, the Rock returns to the storied plaza, May 2-14, 2006, featuring some 20 contemporary artists making site-specific works that can be seen in special, shipping-container-like viewing units. Art Rock is produced by Clementine Gallery, and was rescheduled to correspond with May’s week of contemporary art auctions -- and because May is simply a "nicer time to be outside." Fair enough.
PORTIKUS MOVES IN FRANKFURT
Hip Frankfurt art space Portikus, founded by Kasper Konig and currently under the direction of Daniel Birnbaum, is moving from an interim space into a new facility on a small island in the city’s river Main, designed by architect Christoph Mäckler and incorporating a "light lab" by Olafur Eliasson. The new space opens May 5, 2006, with an installation of works by Marjetica Potrc and Tomas Saraceno. Other artists working with Portikus in the coming year include Francis Alÿs, John Baldessari, Paul Chan, Judith Hopf with Henrik Olesen, Paulina Olowska and Dan Perjovschi.
In partnership with Phillips de Pury & Co., Portikus has also put together a charity auction at the Fine Art Fair Frankfurt, set for Mar. 17, 2006, featuring works from its supporters. The gallery is online at www.portikus.de
WOODNER COLLECTION TO NATIONAL GALLERY
Andrea Woodner, founder of the Design Trust and daughter of real estate tycoon Ian Woodner, has donated a collection of 74 important drawings to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The drawings were part of 145 works from her father’s collection already on long-term loan to the institution. The gift ranges from a ca. 1500 pen study of two angels by Fra Bartolommeo to a 1919 bound volume of works by Futurist guru Filippo Tommaso Marinetti titled Les Mots en liberté futuristes, and a three-panel white-on-red series by Conceptual painter On Kawara, listing the words ONE THING – 1965 – VIET NAM. The collection goes on show together later this year in "Master Drawings from the Woodner Collection," Apr. 30-Oct. 1, 2006.
BARN SHOW IN PITTSBURGH
On display until May 28, 2006, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh is "Barns of Western Pennsylvania: Vernacular to Spectacular." Curated by Lu Donnelly, the sprawling exhibition features elements of 26 Pennsylvania barns along with photos, models, barn-building tools, barn decorations, examples of joinery, farm journals and pattern books, as well as a full-scale barn "endwall" and barn star 15 feet in diameter.
HIRST SO GOOD AT ISRAEL MUSEUM
As part of a benefit for the British Friends of the Art Museums of Israel, Damien Hirst donated 40 paintings, estimated to be worth a total of €500,000, to a fundraiser at Sotheby’s London to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Israel Museum. The paintings are part of the artist’s butterfly series, and over half have already sold. According to an article in the European Jewish Press, Hirst’s support of the Israeli institution results in part from his gratitude towards its current curator of contemporary art, Suzanne Landau, who took him seriously early in his career. The Israel Museum was also the first major institution to acquire works by the YBA bad boy.
"MADE IN PALESTINE" OPENS IN NYC
The Bridge Gallery at 521 West 26th Street in Chelsea is hosting "Made in Palestine," a traveling show curated by James Harithas devoted to contemporary art by Palestinian artists, Mar. 14-Apr. 22, 2006. The show, which premiered at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston in 2005, features works in a variety of styles, including John Halaka's ghostly large-scale acrylic-on-canvas painting of faceless, dispossessed refugees, Nida Sinnokrot's series of sculptures of rubber-coated rocks and Mary Tuma's "Homes for the Disembodied," consisting of spectral, floating black dresses. Other artists in the show are Zuhdi Al Adawi, Tyseer Barakat, Rana Bishara, Rajie Cook, Mervat Essa, Ashraf Fawakhry, Samia Halaby, Rula Halawani, Mustafa Al Hallaj, Jawad Ibrahim, Noel Jabbour, Emily Jacir, Suleiman Mansour, Abdel Rahmen Al Muzayen, Muhammad Rakouie and Vera Tamari.
ELSOCA & FABIAN AT MAGNAN EMRICH CONTEMPORARY
New York art dealer Alberto Magnan, who opened Magnan Projects on Tenth Avenue in Chelsea last year, is opening a second space around the corner with business partner Ed Emrich. The inaugural show at Magnan Emrich Contemporary, which is specializing in Latin American art and is located at 505 West 28th Street, features work by Cuban artists Adrián Soca Beltrán and Fabian Peña Díaz (aka ElSoca & Fabian), Mar. 8–Apr. 29, 2006. Titled "CRUSH: nada más hermoso que volar y caer" and curated by Elizabeth Cerejido of the Frost Museum, the exhibition focuses on the duo’s delicate "bio-drawings" made from crushed insects.
HAMMERING MAN TAKES A BREAK IN SEATTLE
Jonathan Borofsky’s 48-foot-tall kinetic sculpture depicting the silhouette of a tireless, hammering laborer is undergoing repairs after 14 years of continuous work in front of the Robert Venturi-designed Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle. Workers have put the arm of Hammering Man in a sling, and it is expected to be several weeks before a contractor can get the sculpture moving again. The piece is one of many such statues created by Borofsky, but is particularly dear to Seattleites as a symbol of SAM. Perhaps fittingly, SAM is currently closed, set to open in 2007 after an expansion.
Artists Robert Graham and R. Kenton Nelson and architect Frank Gehry have each designed a special sculpture to help raise funds for the Frostig School in Pasadena, a center for children with learning disabilities. The Graham is priced at $1,500 and comes in a wooden box that doubles as a pedestal, while the Gehry bronze is $2,500 for the first 50 of the edition of 200 (with the price rising to $3,200). The Nelson work, titled Chet, is $1,750 in an edition of 75. The works can be seen on a special website.
The collection kicks off this Thursday, Mar. 16, 2006, with a special reception at Berman/Turner Projects in Bergamot Station in Los Angeles. The original Frank Gehry acrylic model for his edition is to be auctioned off at 8 p.m. by Robert Berman. Additional sales of the charity multiples will be held at the Pour House Art Foundry in Vernon, C.A. (Mar. 26) and at Mendenhall-Sobieski Gallery in Pasadena (Apr. 9). All proceeds going to fund the Frostig’s day program for students ages 6 to 18.
The art sale initiative was started in 2005 by four parents of Frostig students, and featured bronze multiples of work by Charles Arnoldi, Michael C. McMillen, Gwynn Murrill, Sarah Perry and Ken Price -- still available for purchase in a boxed set.
PUBLIC ART FROM BRAVINLEE PROGRAMS
Art dealers Karin Bravin and John Lee, who closed their Chelsea gallery last year, are going into the business of public art -- and opening a new gallery. BravinLee Programs, located at 526 West 26th Street, Suite 211, launches on May 11, 2006, with a show of works on paper -- the gallery specializes in works on paper -- by Thomas Nozkowski, organized in cooperation with Max Protetch Gallery.
But first, BravinLee kicks off its public-art initiative on May 6 when "Studio in the Park" debuts in Riverside Park, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Riverside Park Fund. Ten artists are designing site-specific works for theshow: Orly Genger, Elana Herzog, Emil Lukas, McKendree Key, Mischa Kuball, Fabian Marcaccio, Alexis Rockman, Steed Taylor, Kenny Scharf and Gary Simmons."DRAWING RESTRAINT 9" IN COMMERCIAL RELEASE
Matthew Barney’s new movie, Drawing Restraint 9, goes into commercial release on Mar. 29, 2006, at the chic new IFC Center theater in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The new flick stars the artist and his longtime inamorata Björk as a pair of Occidental guests on a Japanese whaling ship in Nagasaki Bay. The film has almost no dialogue -- "because I can’t write dialogue or perform it," Barney admits -- but it does have Barney’s trademark theatricality, promising "a climax of alarming and fantastic transformations." The length of the run depends on ticket sales; general admission is $10.75. The film premieres at a special screening at Japan Society and the Museum of Modern Art on Mar. 28.
The showing at IFC Center coincides with an exhibition of sculpture and drawings related to the film: "The Occidental Guest," Apr. 7-May 13, 2006, at Barbara Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea. Barney’s touring museum exhibition of the entire "Drawing Restraint" series opens at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 23-Sept. 19, 2006.
Barney’s touring museum exhibition of the entire "Drawing Restraint" series opens at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 23-Sept. 19, 2006, and a show of storyboards from the film goes on display at John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, a new art space at 50½ East 64th Street in Manhattan."AMERICAN ART SEASON" IN PARIS
The Chicago-based Terra Foundation has organized "The American Season," a one-two punch of American art shows in Paris this summer. Terra is behind "American Artists and the Louvre" at the Musée du Louvre, June 14-Sept. 18, 2006, co-curated by the French institution’s Olivier Meslay and Terra’s Elizabeth Kennedy, and including work by Thomas Hart Benton, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Samuel F.B. Morse and Henry Ossawa Tanner, among others. Complementing this show is "Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea," June 18-Sept. 24, 2006, at the Terra-underwritten Museum of American Art in the Paris suburb of Giverny. The show is said to be the first monographic exhibition of Homer to appear in Europe. The exhibition is currently on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. JEROEN DE RIJKE, 1970-2006
Jeroen de Rijke, 35, one half of the Dutch art team de Rijke/de Rooij, died of unknown causes last week while vacationing alone in Ghana. Early reports have speculated that the cause of death may be heart failure. Born in Brouwershaven, Holland, de Rijke trained at the Rietveld Akademie and then the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, meeting his collaborator Willem de Rooij in the process. The duo became known for films, photographs, slide-projections and videos, often incorporating flower arrangements into works conceived of as investigations of the codes of social meaning. De Rijke/de Rooij represented the Netherlands at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Most recently, their work was on display at New York’s Friedrich Petzel Gallery, Jan. 19–Feb. 18, 2006. De Rijke’s body is expected to be cremated in Rotterdam.
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