GUGGENHEIM LINEUP FOR 2008-09
At the Guggenheim Museum, the show must go on, despite having lost its director (Lisa Dennison) as well as its gray eminence (Tom Krens). The museum’s curatorial staff -- chief curator Nancy Spector, photography curator Jennifer Blessing and chief conservator Carol Stringari -- recently unveiled the slate of exhibitions coming up in 2008-09, and the lineup seems to continue the best parts of the former regime, i.e., major retrospectives for contemporary figures interspersed with shows that exploit (and contest) the museum’s celebrated Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Some specifics:
* "Louise Bourgeois," June 27-Sept. 28, 2008, organized by the Guggenheim along with the Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou, is the most comprehensive survey to date of the 97-year-old artist’s career. Curated in New York by Nancy Spector, the show includes 150 works and has already appeared in London; it is presently on view in Paris. After its U.S. debut in New York, the show travels to LACMA and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
* "Imageless: The Scientific Study and Experimental Treatment of an Ad Reinhardt Black Painting," July 11-Sept. 14, 2008, provides viewers with entry into the world of the conservator, via an irreparably damaged Black Painting (1960-66) donated to the museum by AXA Art Insurance for study and research, a project carried out in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art. The show includes several pristine Reinhardt paintings from his black series as well.
* "Catherine Opie: American Photographer," Sept. 26, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009, presents works from all the artist’s major series, from her early portraits of members of queer subcultures to more recent photographs of surfers and domestic scenes. The show is organized by Jennifer Blessing and Guggenheim assistant curator Nat Trotman.
* "theanyspacewhatever," Oct. 24, 2008-Jan. 2009, promises to be one of the most unusual exhibitions to date in a New York museum, enlisting a group of ten artists and collaborators who use "the exhibition environment as a dynamic arena." The Guggenheim show -- titled by artist Liam Gillick with a term used by philosopher Gilles Deleuze in his theory of cinema -- includes both retrospectives of the ten artists and special projects by them that energize the museum space. For instance, Angela Bulloch is installing a night sky on the museum canopy studded with LED constellations, Douglas Gordon is exhibiting a group of his videos backwards (for a literal "retrospective") and Carsten Höller is installing a full-service hotel in the museum rotunda to house museum visitors overnight. Other artists in the show are Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Maurizio Cattelan. Curator Nancy Spector suggested that exhibition could be seen as a kind of response to the current Whitney Biennial.
* For 2009, the Guggenheim is planning "American Art and the East," a major exhibition of 240 works by 100 artists, ca. 1900-1945, to kick off the museum’s 50th anniversary year. Also coming up in 2009 is a retrospective of Frank Lloyd Wright and a major Vasily Kandinsky exhibition.
L.A. STOREFRONT FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The Storefront for Art and Architecture, the innovative New York nonprofit gallery, is pursuing a new initiative for 2008 -- franchising. To wit, April sees the opening of the first of a series of temporary "Pop-Up Storefronts," this one in Los Angeles. Opening at the Paperchase Printing building at 7176 Sunset Boulevard, the five-week show will host "CCCP (Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed)," Apr. 11-May 17, 2008, an installation of photographs by French artist Frederic Chaubin, cataloguing fantastical structures created in the final years of the Cold War behind the Iron Curtain. "CCCP" was shown last year at the New York Storefront. The L.A. installation is sponsored by American Apparel. More "Pop-up" installations are already set to appear in 2008, first in Milan (April), then London (June) and Yokohama (September).
LOTS OF DONATIONS FOR THE ROSE
The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., is touting recent art donations valued at more than $2 million. Most significant is a trove of contemporary art valued at more than $1 million that comes to the institution from a donor described as a longtime "admirer of the Rose and its great exhibitions." It includes almost 40 works by James Hyde, Mike Kelley, David Reed, Jessica Stockholder, Beat Streuli and others.
Other recent gifts to the Rose include work by "emerging" artists Jim Dingilian, Ori Gersht, Shai Kremer, Gillian Laub, Lorrain O’Grady and Christian Xatrec from Brandeis alum Carey Schwartz; James Rosenquist’s Space Dust (1989) from insurance broker David Genser and his wife Joan; works by Robert Motherwell and Joel Shapiro from L.A. dealer Jonathan Novak, who also sits on the board of overseers of the Rose Museum; and a Vic Muniz photo from Marlene Persky, and two Marcel Dzama drawings from Gerald Fineberg, both of whom are also board members.
PHOTO TROVE FOR PALM SPRINGS
Meanwhile, the Palm Springs Art Museum in California also boasts a major new acquisition -- a gift of some 543 photographs and limited-edition books from an anonymous donor. The impressive trove ranges from early view of Egypt and the Holy Land by Francis Frith and mid-1800s photos of Rome by James Anderson to significant examples of early-20th-century Pictorialism by Julia Margaret Cameron, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Heinrich Kuhn, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, modernist works by Brassai, Andreas Feininger, Andre Kertesz, Helen Levitt, Paul Strand and Harry Callahan, and contemporary photography by Duane Michals, Milton Rogovin, Jock Sturges, Arthur Tress and Joel Peter Witkin.
DMA ACQUIRES DAVID PAINTING
The Dallas Museum of Art has acquired Jacques-Louis David’s 1772 Apollo and Diana Attacking the Children of Niobe for its permanent collection. Depicting a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the painting is historically significant, having been painted as part of the celebrated Neoclassical artist’s second bid to win the Rome Prize from the French Academy in Rome. The acquisition was made by the John B. O’Hara Fund, a trust set up by widow of Dr. Pepper millionaire John B. O’Hara to purchase 18th- and 19th-century art for the DMA, and is in honor of long-time DMA curator Dorothy Kosinski, who was named new director of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. last year (she assumes her new position in May 2008).
ON KAWARA IN DALLAS
But don’t think Texas is interested only in the 19th century. The Dallas Museum of Art is also planning a survey of work by Japanese conceptual artist On Kawara, known for Zen-like text paintings stating the exact time and date of their execution. The first substantial U.S. retrospective in some 15 years, "On Kawara: 10 Tableaux and 16,952 Pages," May 18-Aug. 24, 2008, is organized by DMA curator Charles Wylie, and features paintings made at the time of NASA’s 1969 moon landing, seven of his large-scale date paintings and a wide array of the artist’s handmade books.
PHILIP TAAFFE IN WOLFSBURG
New Jersey-born painter Philip Taaffe has his first large-scale retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany, about 60 minutes outside Berlin (and home base for Volkswagon). Titled "Philip Taaffe: The Life of Forms. Works 1980-2008," Mar. 8-June 29, 2008, the show covers the entire career of the artist best known for elaborately layered paintings. The exhibition is sponsored by Volkswagen Bank.
DAUMIER IN NEW JERSEY
Deserving of note is the just-opened show at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Jersey, a significant look at the work of French caricaturist Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), Mar. 1-June 1, 2008. "Honoré Daumier and La Maison Aubert: Political and Social Satire in Paris" is comprised of 100 of the master’s biting lithograph caricatures of turbulent French society during the periods of the July Monarchy and the Second Empire, as well sculptures including his The Celebrities of the Juste-Milieu (1832-35), 36 painted clay busts of politicians and other personalities. The show is organized by Florence Quideau, a PhD candidate in art history at Rutgers.
FELLOWSHIPS AT DORA MAAR HOUSE
The Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, France, a four-story, 18th-century stone house that once housed Picasso muse Dora Maar, has now become home to the Brown Foundation Fellows Program. Sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the program offers "outstanding mid-career professionals" in the arts the chance to pursue their creative or scholarly pursuits in the village in Southern France known for its preserved Medieval and Renaissance houses, for a period of between one to three months. Applications are currently being accepted for residencies beginning July 1, and are due by Mar. 15. The fellowships cover travel expenses and shipping for supplies, as well as providing a grant for living expenses, tied to the length of the fellowship and amounting to about $50 a day. More info at the MFAH website.