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Artnet News
Mar. 20, 2007 

German artist Gregor Schneider first proposed installing his Cube, a 46-foot-tall structure covered with black fabric, in Venice’s Piazza San Marco as part of the 51st Venice Biennale in 2004 -- a proposal that was rejected. Now, the sculpture is slated to be installed next to the Hamburger Kunsthalle in conjunction with the exhibition, "Homage to Malevich," Mar. 23-June 10, 2007. Schneider says the work is inspired by the Kaaba and meant to arouse curiosity about Islamic culture. In any case, it has prompted the Imam of Hamburg to schedule a visit to the museum, the first ever by an Islamic delegation.

The show, which is organized by Hubertus Gaßner, features works by a range of other artists, from El Lissitzky and the Zero Group to contemporary artists from the U.S. and Germany.

The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee, Fla., has started a blog where visitors can post comments in response to what has become a national controversy surrounding a work by sculptor John Sims in its current "AfroProvocations" show, Feb. 27-June 3, 2007. The work, titled The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag, features the stars-and-bars being dangled from a noose in a 13-foot-tall wooden gallows. It drew fire from Bob Hurst, head of the 56-member Tallahassee chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whose comments were reported in a story in the New York Times. Since then, the museum claims to have received thousands of emails and calls, while an America Online survey about the dispute racked up more than 247,000 responses.

Hurst demanded that Sims’ sculpture be removed from the exhibition on the grounds that Florida state law makes it illegal to deface the Confederate flag. Brogan director Chucha Barber is standing behind the display, however, noting in a Mar. 19, 2007, blog post that "[d]uring the nine years I have been at the Brogan Museum, none of the hundreds of artists who have been featured (including Monet and Picasso) have ever focused the eyes of the community (indeed the world) on the Brogan as has John Sims." "AfroProvocations" features more than 100 works by six artists, including Steven Bernard Jones, Sangoyemi Ogunsanya, Mary Proctor, O.L. Samuels and Pat Ward Williams.

The Jewish Museum is welcoming the spring art season with a new exhibition devoted to Abstract-Expressionist artist Louise Nevelson (1899-1988). "The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend," May 5-Sept. 16, 2007, includes 68 sculptures and works on paper. The show features self-portraits dating from the 1940s to the 1980s; a re-creation of Dawn’s Wedding Feast, the white installation Nevelson built specifically for a 1959 show at the Museum of Modern Art; and Nevelson’s culminating environment, Mrs. N’s Palace (1964-1977), a room-sized black sculpture evoking a house with a mirrored floor. The exhibition is the first major U.S. survey of the artist’s work since 1980, and is organized by guest-curator Brooke Kamin Rapaport. After its appearance in New York, the survey appears at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Oct. 27, 2007-Jan. 13, 2008.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has acquired the "Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art," a group of 98 works made in the 1950s and ‘60s by Sergio Camargo, Lygia Clark, Waldemar Cordeiro, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Alfredo Volpi and other Brazilian abstractionists and assembled by Adolpho Leirner (b. 1935). "Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil: The Adolpho Leirner Collection," overseen by MFAH curator Mari Carmen Ramírez, goes on view at the museum, May 20-Sept. 3, 2007. The exhibition is accompanied a 160-page catalogue, as well as a larger book with essays by leading scholars to accompany an international tour in 2008-09.

Former art dealer Lauren Wittels recently turned her three-year-old book publisher, Regency Arts Press, into a nonprofit, and marked the change by putting out a benefit print by performance artist Michael Smith. The colorful screen-print -- printed on both sides -- retails for $400 in an edition of 50 with five artist’s proofs. For details, see

Regency, which specializes in artist’s books and "book-based curatorial projects," has also published Smith’s Drawings: Simple, Obscure and Obtuse, a 144-page full-color collection of performance and video drawings. Coming up in fall is The Liz Taylor Series: The First 25 Years, 1982-2007 by Kathe Burkhart, and a book by Guy Richards Smit. The backlist includes a 144-page book of Sean Landers Cartoons from 1991-92 as well as 20-page chapbooks by Bill Adams, Miranda Lichtenstein, Michelle Segre and Amy Sillman.

Walker Art Center director Kathy Halbreich has resigned her post after 16 years on the job, a move that is effective Nov. 1, 2007. During her tenure, the Walker’s collection grew by almost 4,000 works and contributions to the museum grew from $3.4 million to $7.5 million a year. The Walker recently completed a $100-million capital campaign and built a new expansion designed by Herzog & de Meuron, "I have at least one more chapter in my professional life," Halbreich said, “and as I approach my 58th birthday, I want to be open to new challenges and opportunities."

Celebrity curator Mark Rosenthal is on his way to the Detroit Institute of Arts, where he has been appointed adjunct curator for contemporary art. Rosenthal has headed the 20th-century department at the Philadelphia Museum (1983-89) and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (1993-96); was curator of collections at the Berkeley Art Museum (1976-83); consulting curator at the Guggenheim Museum (1989-92); and adjunct curator at the Menil Collection (2001-06) and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach (2003-present).

James Graham & Sons
is celebrating its 150th anniversary with an exhibition titled "James Graham & Sons: A Century and a Half in the Art Business," May 9-June 29, 2007, and a book of the same name. The show features highlights from the gallery history, including many works acquired by the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Founded in 1857 as a modest shop on Third Avenue and 13th Street, the gallery (now at 1014 Madison) is the oldest gallery in the city under the same ownership.

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