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Artnet News
Apr. 13, 2006 

In case you were wondering, flashing your bare butt in the pages of Artforum isn't half bad as a career move. Alison Gingeras, the young Centre Pompidou curator who in 2003 bared her toukis in Artforum's pages at the direction of artist Piotr Uklanski (and wrote an accompanying essay) [see Artnet News, Oct. 6, 2005], was not only hired as adjunct curator by the Guggenheim Museum but also selected by Francois Pinault, France's richest man, to curate the premiere exhibition of his vast contemporary art collection at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice this spring. Dubbed "Where Are We Going? Works from the François Pinault Collection," the exhibition goes on view Apr. 30-Oct. 1, 2006.

"The show is a portrait of Pinault as a collector," the 32-year-old Gingeras tells W magazine in its May 2006 issue. It includes a full-size version of Jeff Koons' high-tech Balloon Dog sculpture as well as his new, one-and-a-half-ton stainless steel Hanging Heart, done up with a baroque bow, along with Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture of Adolf Hitler praying and works by David Hammons, Damien Hirst, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Paul McCarthy, Cady Noland, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko and Luc Tuymans.

But the hell with the art, what about Alison? "A dark-rooted blond who looks more like a rock star than an academic," says W, she is "known for her ability to glide between the worlds of art and commerce and to move comfortably among the kings of both realms."

The Saatchi Gallery in London is undertaking an ambitious plan to showcase works by "all artists" on its website at Dubbed "Your Gallery," the scheme is still in the preparation stage, but artists are invited to send jpgs of their work as well as biographical and exhibition information to (We dashed off a query a few days ago, but have not yet heard back -- maybe Kieran is busy!) The ever-growing website already has a daily online magazine with a London gallery listing, a section of reader-contributed essays and a "forums" area devoted to online debates over things like "the most influential artwork of the 20th century" and "what is bad taste in art?"

Celebrity window dresser Simon Doonan has fired back at Chelsea art dealer John Cheim, who recently took him to task for copying the mismatched-letter sign pieces of artist Jack Pierson in Doonan's displays at Barneys Co-op stores [see Artnet News, Mar. 28, 2006]. Now, in his column in the New York Observer, Doonan replies, saying that he has been raiding junkyards to decorate windows since he started on the job back in 1978 at Maxfield Blue in Los Angeles.

In fact, Doonan notes, the most popular contemporary artists of today, from Kenny Scharf to the Chapman Brothers, with their "sight-gags, found-object installations and assemblages," are clearly indebted to window display. What's more, the words like "courageous," "outrageous" and "contagious," rendered in found lettering, are taken from Barneys Co-op packaging, which was designed by the SoHo graphics studio Work-in-Progress -- possibly inspired, as others have pointed out, by the classic (if functional) look of the ransom note.

Ariel Capital Management
, the biggest shareholder in Sotheby's with a 12.3 percent of the company, has sold its entire stake, according to public reports. Ariel, a firm that was founded by John W. Rogers, bought into Sotheby's several years ago during the price-fixing scandal, when the stock was trading for about $15 a share [see Artnet News, May 16, 2002]. Sotheby's stock is now at a five-year high, peaking recently at $32.27 a share; the stock currently trades at about $29.75.

The California Institute of the Arts and the Herb Alpert Foundation have awarded five $50,000 fellowships to "early mid-career" artists in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theater and the visual arts (five of the six disciplines taught at CalArts). Each fellowship includes a week-long residency at Cal Arts, where the award winners work with students in their field. Winners of the 2006 Alpert Awards are Jim Hodges (visual arts), Daniel Alexander Jones (theater), Sarah Michelson (choreography), Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris (music composition and conducting) and Bill Morrison (filmmaking). For more info, see

Puerto Rico-based art critic Joel Weinstein has launched a lively online chronicle of the Puerto Rican art. Dubbed Rotund World, the online journal has reports on everything from local art spaces like Área and exhibitions like "The S Files" at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (traveling from Museo del Barrio in New York) to a recipe for lemon-glazed Margarita Cake. The mag is guaranteed to be "lo más chistoso, lo más sabroso, y, a la vez, lo menos engordoso internet magazine of its kind."

The Biennale of Sydney, which has been mounting Australia's largest and best-attended contemporary art event since 1974, is looking for a new managing director (the current director, Paula Latos-Valier, is retiring after 20 years service). The CEO oversees a staff of 10 and should be an expert in art -- particularly the Australian art scene -- as well as in administration and development. For details, contact

As for the forthcoming 2006 Biennale of Sydney, June 8-Aug. 27, 2006, it is organized by Charles Merewether with the theme of "Zones of Contact" and features 85 artists and teams from more than 40 countries at 16 venues throughout the city. For more details, see

Add another stop to your Long Island City art itinerary. The Fisher Landau Center for Art, the 25,000-square-foot modern facility opened by Emily Fisher Landau in 1991 at 38-27 30th Street out in the Queens neighborhood, is opening James Brown, "Work on Paper, 1981-2005," Apr. 23-Oct. 16, 2006. The show of the 1980s Neo-Expressionist features 120 works on paper made during a 25-year span. For further details (and a map), see

Design Miami Basel
, the invitational design show launched by Miami art impresario Craig Robins last December to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach, now plans to set up shop this June in Basel, Switzerland. The show opens June 13-16, 2006, at the Theater Basel and the Elisabetenkirche Church on Elisabethenstrasse. Almost 20 design galleries are on the list: Antik (New York), Demisch Danant (New York), Barry Friedman Ltd. (New York), Magen H. Gallery (New York), Nilufar (Milan), Galerie Italienne (Paris), R 20th Century (New York), David Gill Gallery (London), Galerie Kreo (Paris), Galerie Patrick Seguin (Paris), Jousse Entreprise (Paris), Cristina Grajales (New York), Contrasts Gallery (Shanghai), Galerie Ulrich Fiedler (Cologne), Dansk Mobelkunst (Paris) and Galerie Downtown-François Laffanour (Paris).

Village Voice art critic (and Artnet Magazine contributor) Jerry Saltz has been named a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. The other two Finalists in this category are New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff and Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan. The winner is announced Monday, Apr. 17, 2006 This is the second time Saltz has been named a finalist (the first was in 2001). He is the only art critic ever to be named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism twice. He has been nominated for the prize five years in a row.

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