BIG SHOULDERS AT ART CHICAGO
Is Art Chicago, May 27-30, 2007, on the way back? Such is the plan of Merchandise Mart president Chris Kennedy (b. 1963, one of seven sons of Robert F. Kennedy) and dealer Rhona Hoffman, who have spearheaded the venerable fair’s rise from the dead a year ago, when the exhibitors arrived in Chicago to find nothing but an empty tent in Butler Park. Though international superstar dealers are absent, the participating galleries are top notch, including, for instance, Valerie Carberry (Chicago), James Corcoran (Los Angeles), Charles Cowles (New York) and Christopher Cutts (Toronto).
The locals are certainly rooting for the fair. Art Chicago lives on "like an art-world Lazarus," wrote critic-at-large Kevin Nance in the Chicago Sun-Times. Also optimistic is dealer Paul Klein, author of the online Art Letter, who writes that this installment of Art Chicago "may well be the best art fair ever seen in Chicago." A lot of dealers, he says, are "already doing substantial business with each other." Art Chicago is located on the seventh floor of the city’s huge Merchandise Mart building. For a complete list of participating dealers, see www.artchicago.com.
Younger galleries can be found at the Bridge Fair, located on the 12th floor of the 1.7 million-square-foot Chicago Apparel Center, connected by a pedway to the Merchandise Mart. "Hang on a sec, I want to make sure I have enough red dots," said New York dealer Kathleen Cullen, only half in jest. Bridge is one of four other fairs tucked away in the complex, part of an art-fair blow-out dubbed "Artropolis" -- do art fairs ever occur one at a time anymore? -- that includes the Intuit Show, the Artist Project and the Antiques Fair [see Artnet News, Apr. 17, 2007].
Other attractions in the Windy City this weekend include an exhibition at Architrouve of Tony Fitzpatrick’s "The City Etchings, 1993-2003," a suite of 30 black-and-white works depicting the imagined city of the Chicago artist, actor and poet. "The work celebrates my love for the city of Nelson Algren and Carl Sandburg," Fitzpatrick said.
Also on view: "Cezanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde at the Art Institute of Chicago, "Rudolf Stingel: Painting" at the Museum of Contemporary Art and an installation by the theatrical Berlin abstract painter Katharina Grosse at the Renaissance Society.
STAYING LIVELY AT MOMA
Museums are mausoleums, where the dusty art of the past is entombed, right? Wrong! The Museum of Modern Art, for instance, is keeping things lively this weekend by turning Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi loose in its famed atrium, which he is covering with his trademark brand of political graffiti. Museum visitors can see the artist in action between now and Tuesday, when the show officially opens.
One drawing shows a man on tiptoes, peeking through the stripes of the American flag as if they were Venetian blinds. Another shows a large square labeled "museum" looming above a much smaller square marked "hotdog vendor." "Some of the drawings are pure impression," Perjovschi said. "Others result from long thought and conversation."
The exhibition -- Perjovschi’s first at a U.S. museum -- remains on view May 2-Aug. 27, 2007. The show is organized by a fellow Romanian, MoMA photo curator Roxana Marcoci.
"NOCTURNAL LIGHT" AT THE GETTY
The J. Paul Getty Museum opens "Radiant Darkness: The Art of Nocturnal Light," Apr. 24-July 22, 2007, a show of 21 works dating from the 1400s to the 1600s, all exploring the representation of light in darkness. The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections -- divine light, candlelight, firelight and moonlight. High points include Francesco Vanni’s The Nativity (ca. 1600), Gerrit Dou’s The Astronomer by Candlelight (late 1650s), Simon Bening’s The Denial of Saint Peter (ca. 1525-30) and Aert van der Neer’s Moonlit Landscape with a View of the New Amstel River (1647).
NEW ART FAIR FOR DALLAS
The Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas (CADD) organization is launching the CADD Artfair, May 18-20, 2007, at a new loft development at 333 First Avenue in Dallas. Exhibitors include And/Or Gallery, Conduit Gallery, Craighead-Green Gallery, Goss Gallery, Holly Johnson Gallery, PanAmerican ArtProjects, Gerald Peters Gallery, the Public Trust, Road Agent, Valley House Gallery, Marty Walker Gallery and Barry Whistler Gallery. Admission is $10. For details, see www.caddallas.net.
ART MIAMI MOVES TO DECEMBER
Art Miami, the other Miami Beach art fair that has in recent years waited till January to follow the big Art Basel Miami Beach blowout at the Miami Beach Convention Center, has decided to join the crowd in early December. For this coming fall, Art Miami is setting up in an 8,000-square-foot temporary tent in the Wynwood Gallery District at the same time as the other fairs, Dec. 6-10, 2007. For details, see www.art-miami.com
$67 MILLION IN NEA GRANTS FOR 2007
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced 951 grants totaling $67,348,450 for the second round of fiscal 2007 funding. As has long been the case, NEA grants are divided into strange categories of esthetic bureaucracy like "access to artistic excellence" and "learning in the arts for children and youth." A large chunk, more than $42 million, is passed onto the states for regranting in the "partnership" category. And "arts on radio and television," which is straightforward enough, got $3,700,000 of the total. Some examples:
* $215,000 to the Phoenix Art Museum to support the touring exhibition, "Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschien."
* $180,000 to the Phillips Collection for the touring show, "American Impressionism: Paintings from the Phillips Collection."
* $140,000 to Art 21, Inc., for the fourth year of the public TV series, Art: 21 - Art in the 21st Century.
* $100,000 to Craft in America, Inc., in Los Angeles, to support the touring exhibition, "Craft in America."
* $66,000 to the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers in Washington, D.C., to support the week-long Tribal Museum Leadership Institute, a conference for 30 tribal museum directors and staff.
* $50,000 to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, to underwrite an exhibition and catalogue surveying the museum collection.
* $45,000 to the Cleveland Museum of Art to support the reinstallation of the museum collection.
* $45,000 to Catticus Corporation in Berkeley for work on the feature-length television documentary, The Architect and the Painter: The Creative Lives of Charles and Ray Eames.
* $40,000 to the Dallas Museum of Art to fund the digitalization of the works-on-paper collection.
* $35,000 to the American Folk Art Museum for a new collections management system.
* $35,000 to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts in Erie, Colo., for an annual conference in New Orleans in 2008.
* $30,000 to the Dia Art Foundation to underwrite an anthology of new writing on the work of Agnes Martin.
* $30,000 to the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Mass., to fund the exhibition, "African Beaded Art: Power and Adornment."
* $30,000 to the Aperture Foundation in New York for the two-volume Aperture magazine DVD anthology.
* $20,000 to Exit Art for Walking the Edge, a 360-page publication and DVD documenting Exit Art’s 25-year exhibition history.
* $20,000 to Cue Art Foundation in New York to support its studio residency program.
* $20,000 to 509 Cultural Center in San Francisco for an online archive documenting the 16-year exhibition history of the Luggage Store.
* $10,000 to the Art Mobile of Montana to support ArtMobile, a specially equipped van that travels throughout the state, offering original artworks as well as art instruction.