D.C. CELBRATES "COLOR FIELD"
Color Field painting, the abstract "stained-canvas" style made famous by Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland (with a nudge from art critic Clement Greenberg), helped put Washington, D.C., on the contemporary-art map back in the 1970s. Now, more than 30 District of Columbia museums, galleries and other art organizations are celebrating Color Field painting from April through July 2007 with a fest dubbed "ColorField.remix."
Museum exhibitions include "Gene Davis: Interval" at the Kreeger Museum, Apr. 14-July 31, 2007; "Cyclops: Painted Steel Sculpture by Jules Olitski," Apr. 17-Aug. 19, 2007, at American University Museum; a series of three shows at the Phillips Collection; and -- a little later in the year -- "Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited," Oct. 20, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008, at the Hirshhorn Museum.
Among the gallery exhibitions are "Leon Berkowitz: The Cathedral Series," Apr. 14-May 26, 2007, at Hemphill Fine Arts, "Thomas Downing: 1963-1976," Apr. 1-Sept. 15, 2007, at Addison/Ripley Fine Art, "Howard Mehring: All-Overs," Apr. 13-May 12, 2007, at Conner Contemporary Art; and "Sam Gilliam: New Paintings," May 19-July 28, 2007, at Marsha Mateyka Gallery.
Corcoran College of Art and Design students are also slated to paint stripes on Eighth Street in a public art project inspired by the late Gene Davis (1920-1985). For complete details, see www.washington.org.
NEW WING FOR THE PRADO
Journalists got the first peek at the new, Rafael Moneo-designed wing of Madrid's Museo del Prado on Mar. 30, 2007. The 183,000-square-foot extension connects to the original building via underground passages, and came in several years and approximately $145 million over budget (final price: $202 million). Participants in the press walk-through said the wing offers "plenty of natural light and blends in discreetly with the original gallery." It opens to the public in fall.
OBAMA AS JESUS IN CHICAGO
Last week in New York, artist Cosimo Cavallero was practically run out of town over his milk chocolate sculpture of a naked crucified Jesus, and now 24-year-old art student David Cordero is turning heads in Chicago with a papier-mâché representation of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama as Jesus -- complete with neon halo. Titled Blessing, the work is Cordero's entry for his senior show as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. "All of this is a response to what I've been witnessing and hearing, this idea that Barack is sort of a potential savior that might come and absolve the country of all its sins," Cordero told the AP. "In a lot of ways it's about caution in assigning all these inflated expectations on one individual, and expecting them to change something that many hands have shaped." The Obama campaign immediately distanced itself from the work.
MORE EAKINS TO BE SOLD AT JEFFERSON
Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia got a record $68 million when it sold Thomas Eakins' The Gross Clinic to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts after a much-ballyhooed public fund-raising drive. Now, the medical school is considering the sale of two more Eakins works, Portrait of Benjamin H. Rand (1874) and Portrait of William S. Forbes (1905). All three works had hung in the school's "Eakins Gallery," which now contains the two portraits plus a "replica" of the Gross Clinic.
Jefferson president Robert L. Barchi says that the new sale -- details have not yet been disclosed -- marks the end of the school's deaccessioning, but a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer puts a question mark next to the claim. Pointing out the "endless" quantity of fine art accumulated by the institution over the years, the article notes that the collection has had no caretaker since 2003 -- not a good sign. Curator Julie S. Berkowitz had held the job from 1988 to her retirement, and wrote Adorn the Halls, a 725-page book on the collection.
HUGE ART COLLECTION TO SEATTLE MUSEUM
The Seattle Art Museum has announced a wave of art gifts -- some 1,000 artworks from 40 collections, worth a total of almost $1 billion -- in celebration of the museum's renovated and expanded facility in downtown Seattle, which opens May 5, 2007, as well as the museum's 75th birthday in 2008. Highlights include Edward Hopper's Chop Suey (1929), Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space (1906), Bartolome Esteban Murillo's 17th-century painting Saint Augustine in Ecstasy and a trove of contemporary works, including 10 by Gerhard Richter. Seattle has also snagged two hotly sought-after collections: The Marshall and Helen Hatch Collection of 100 works by Northwest "mystics" and Barney Ebsworth's collection of 65 early American modernist paintings and drawings. About 200 of the new acquisitions are expected to be on view when the renovated museum opens on May 5.
STAINLESS-STEEL TREES TO NEW YORK PARK
A tree has gotta be tough to make it in New York City -- but stainless steel? New York artist Roxy Paine is installing three new sculptures made of the shiny weather-proof metal in Madison Square Park at East 23rd Street in Manhattan, May 15-Dec. 31, 2007. The works include Conjoined, a 40-foot-tall sculpture of two trees, the branches of which connect in midair; Defunct, a 42-foot-tall sculpture of a dead or dying tree infiltrated by fungus; and Erratic, a stainless steel boulder measuring 7 feet high and 15 feet wide. The project is sponsored by the Madison Square Park Conservancy and James Cohan Gallery.
"SUGAR BUZZ" AT LEHMAN COLLEGE
Those Bronx curators, they know how to find an art-lover's sweet tooth. Currently on view at Lehman College Art Gallery is "Sugar Buzz," Feb. 6-May 15, 2007, an exhibition of candy-flavored artworks by 28 artists organized by Susan Hoeltzel with Nina Sundel. Among the works are photos of buildings embellished with frosting by Shelley Miller, an homage to Spiral Jetty made from cakes by Becca Albee, a large-scale version of René Magritte's pipe made of licorice by Andy Yoder, a 21-foot-tall "waterfall" of 8,000 cellophane candy wrappers by Luisa Caldwell and a chalice-shaped chandelier made of sugar cubes by Milton Rosa-Ortiz.
Other artists in the show are Julie Allen, John Boone, Emily Eveleth, Lucy Fradkin, Pamela Hadfield, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, Rebecca Holland, Yoshiko Kanai, Jenny Kanzler, Mary Magsamen & Stephan Hillerbrand, Mark McLeod, Amy W. Miller, Tracy Miller, Matthew Neff, Gina Occhiogrosso, Lynda Ray, Freddy Rodriguez, Jessica Edith Schwind, Karen Shaw, Dana K. Sherwood, Sara Sill and Vadis Turner.
ART & POLITICS AT MOMA
In the middle of the biggest art boom ever, can we muster any muscle for political art? Find out at the Museum of Modern Art's third annual graduate symposium, titled "The Revolution Will Not Be Curated: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives on Art and Politics," Apr. 13-14, 2007. The keynote address is from Bard College literature prof Thomas Keenan, head of the Human Rights Project. The six graduate papers, selected from an international pool of applicants, include "Hemispheric Tendencies: The Display of Latin American Abstract and Perceptual Art at the Center for Inter-American Relations (1967–1977)" and "All Systems Go: Recovering Hans Haacke's Systems Art." The symposium is organized by MoMA education hands Amy Horschak and David E. Little. Tickets are $10 for the keynote address and $10 for the symposium. For details, click here.
"REINVENTING ALLEGORY" AT SVA
The use of allegory to circumvent censorship is the subject of "Reinventing Allegory," a panel at the School of Visual Arts at 209 East 23rd Street in New York on Apr. 12 at 7 pm. Participants include Columbia U. prof Richard Brilliant on allegory in ancient Greece and Rome; Theresa Kelley, author of Reinventing Allegory (Cambridge, 1997), on Walter Benjamin and J.M.W. Turner's landmark painting The Slave Ship; and Artnet Magazine contributor Michèle Cone, author of "Jasper Johns, an Allegory of Sublimation." Respondent is SVA art history chair Tom Huhn. Admission is free.
NEW FIAF GALLERY DEBUTS WITH ARMAN
The French Institute -- Alliance Française (FIAF) opens the new FIAF Gallery at its newly renovated headquarters at 22 East 60th Street with "Arman: Accumulation of Friends," Apr. 18-May 15, 2007. The show features 82 photos of New York artists from the 1960s and '70s, shot by the French-born Arman (1928-2005) after he arrived in New York, that were newly printed and collected into a portfolio in 2000. Organized by New York dealer Gabrielle Bryers, the show includes photos of Ray Johnson, Allan Kaprow, Salvador Dalí, Carolee Schneemann, John Cage, Jean Tingueley and Niki de Saint Phalle.
JERRY SALTZ TO NEW YORK MAG
Longtime Village Voice art critic Jerry Saltz has been named as the new art critic at New York magazine, succeeding Mark Stevens. Stevens, the co-author of De Kooning, An American Master, is devoting himself to a bio of Francis Bacon, undertaken in part as one of the 2007-08 fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars. No word as yet about who might fill Saltz's post at the Voice. Saltz's columns are continuing to appear in Artnet Magazine.
BRETT LITTMAN TO DRAWING CENTER
The Drawing Center in SoHo has named Brett Littman as its new executive director. Littman had been deputy director at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City since 2003, and previously served as co-executive director of Dieu Donné Papermill and associate director of UrbanGlass.
JANE HART TO HOLLYWOOD (FLA.)
Jane Hart, founder of Lemon Sky Projects + Editions in Miami Beach, has been appointed curator of exhibitions at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (ACCH) in Hollywood, Fla. ACCH opens the "All Media Juried Biennial," an exhibition of works by 37 Florida artists overseen by Claire Breukel, executive director of Locust Projects, on Apr. 5, 2007. Hart continues her work with Lemon Sky.
ELIASOF OPENS ART CONSULTANCY
After a five-year run with Citibank Art Advisory, Louise Eliasof is going into private practice, opening Louise Eliasof Fine Art (LEFA), an art advisory based in New York and offering collectors "strategies for building sizable art collections" as well as consulting on the acquisition and sale of individual artworks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.