COMING SHOWS AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM
Every once in a while, the Metropolitan Museum of Art invites the hard-working press corps in for a quick preview of the forthcoming exhibition schedule, complemented by a nice lunch in a lovely setting -- this time around, the Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing, flanked by Louis Comfort Tiffany mosaics, sculptures by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and views of Central Park. It's the way we were meant to live. But back to reality -- herewith, highlights of the Met's shows through the end of the year:
* "On Photography: A Tribute to Susan Sontag," June 6-Sept. 4, 2006, presents some 40 photographs celebrating the late writer's contribution to the history of the medium, in a show organized by Mia Fineman.
* "Treasures of Sacred Maya Kings," June 13-Sept. 10, 2006, featuring some 150 objects, several recently excavated, dating principally from 200 BC to 600 AD and lent by public collections in Latin America, Europe and the U.S. The show was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it premiered.
* "Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece," June 20-Sept. 3, 2006, reunites the altarpiece's two main panels -- at the Met since 1916 and the only Raphael altarpiece in the U.S. -- with scenes from its predella, plus a group of related drawings and paintings.
* "Rembrandt Drawings and Prints, A Selection in Honor of the Artist's 400th Birthday," July 11-Oct. 15, 2006, features 58 works from the museum collection, complementing the 18-22 Rembrandt paintings on view in the museum galleries.
* Also opening in summer 2006 is the gallery of early Gothic art and architecture at the Cloisters, featuring a new installation of more than 20 panels of stained glass, primarily from the 13th and 14th centuries.
* "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," Sept. 14, 2006-Jan. 7, 2007, the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the pioneering art dealer and publisher, features 100 paintings and a range of other objects. The show travels to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musée d'Orsay.
* "Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture," Sept. 26, 2006-Feb. 18, 2007, presents more than 80 medieval sculpture heads, half from the museum collection and half on loan, plus a special section on Neutron Activation Analysis, a technique pioneered at the Met in the 1970s to determine the geological "fingerprint" of stone and thus help match sculptures to their sources.
* Sean Scully: Wall of Light," Sept. 26, 2006-Jan. 14, 2007, features 20 large paintings and another 40 works from a series of abstractions made since 1998. The show was organized by the Phillips Collection, where it debuted in 2005.
* "Americans in Paris, 1860-1900," Oct. 24, 2006-Jan. 28, 2007, presents some 100 paintings by 37 artists, including James Abbott McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer. The show has already appeared in Paris and London.
* "Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art of the Papuan Gulf," Oct. 24, 2006-Sept. 2. 2007, an exhibition of 60 sculptures and 30 rare historical photographs of the artifacts in use, is the first in-depth investigation of these art traditions in 45 years. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.
* "Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall -- An Artist's Country Estate," Nov. 21, 2006-May 20, 2007, a selection of 250 works, many from Tiffany's 84-room, eight-level house in Oyster Bay on Long Island, which was destroyed by fire in 1957.
* "Nan Kempner," Dec. 12, 2006-Mar. 4, 2007, celebrates the "cool glamour, spare elegance and iconic style" of the late socialite, via a selection of her favorite outfits.
WOMEN'S ART TO MODERNA MUSEET
Last week, Lars Nittve, the director of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, called on the Swedish government to give the prestigious institution $6.8 million to purchase works by women to correct the gender imbalance in its permanent collection [see Artnet News May 4, 2006]. While the Swedish government has yet to respond, it seems like the call was not in vain: Barbro Osher, consul general of Sweden in San Francisco (and one of the founders of the Swedish Women's Educational Association) has donated $1 million to the museum for the initiative.
This is not the only response to Nittve's call. Swedish-born packaging heiress Birgit Rausing has donated an oil painting to the museum, Strangers by Tora Vega Holmström (the gift is relatively humble, since the auction record for Holmström stands at $3,631 for a painting sold at Falkloo's in 1998), while the Hilma af Klint Foundation has decided to put a number of paintings by the mystic and early pioneer of abstraction on permanent loan there. (An 1888 painting by Klint went for about $36,107 at Bukowskis Stockholm in 1990.)
MARTIN CREED IN MILAN
Milan's Palazzo Dell'Arengario in the city's central Piazza Del Duomo is due to close soon for a major renovation (it's being recast as the Museo del Novecento), but first the exposition hall is housing an exhibition by Martin Creed, titled, "I Like Things," May 16-June 18, 2006. Sponsored by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi and organized by its director, Massimiliano Gioni, the show features a range of new works by the British conceptualist: a pair of wind machines; a pile of 126 sheets of plywood; a white grand piano whose lid has been mechanically rigged to open and shut automatically; and, in the austere 1930s main hall, The Lights Going On and Off, the work that won Creed the Turner Prize.
The exhibition also includes the installation of a neon-sign piece, Everything Is Going to Be Alright, on the building façade, and Creed's first performance with ordinary people, which involves participants running through the exhibition space, one at a time. The foundation has underwritten the commissions to the tune of some €70,000, according to estimates. Creed retains ownership of the works.
HARING HIGH-TOPS FROM ADIDAS
Adidas has cultivated its "street cred" with a new sneaker design licensed from the Keith Haring Estate. Designed by Jeremy Scott, the shoe is based on a textile design that Haring never used, featuring a dense throng of bebopping animals and other creatures (with a replica of the artist's signature prominently featured). The black-and-white drawing is meant to be custom-colored by the wearer. The design was released in April in a limited run of 5,000, priced at $150, and sold out immediately. Haring aficionados are advised to keep an eye on eBay for pairs in their size.
TINA B IN PRAGUE
Looking for something different on the international art festival circuit? Then TINA B is for you. TINA B -- that's an acronym for "This Is Not Another Biennial," a.k.a. the Prague Contemporary Art Festival -- runs May 18-June 27, 2006, bringing together some 70 international artists for a festival conceived as a diverse collection of overlapping exhibitions, performances, film series and installations, held at locations throughout the city, including the historic Veletrzni Palace, home to the city's premier collection of modern and contemporary art. Among the highlights of TINA B's edgy and far-reaching program:
* "Peepshow," playing on the pleasure zone rep of post-Communist Eastern Europe, via art that riffs on the border between art and pornography. Works include Thomas Ruff's blurry photos of adult videos, Yosiko Shimada's desk featuring drawers that contain racy images and Russian artist Anna Jermolaewa's video On/Off, depicting a semi-erect penis flipping a light switch.
* In what is really two shows being presented as one, Anneke McGuire and Kirsimaria Toronen-Ripatti curate "Oy/Eh," putting the focus on the artistic production of Finland ("Oy!") and Canada ("Eh?") for an ambitious one-two punch of Northerly art. June 9 marks Canadian cultural day at TINA B, spotlighting works by Gary Evans, Dylan Cree, Andrew Harwood, Eli Langer, Atilla Richard Lukacs, Jason McLean, Lori McGillivary and Etienne Zack, along with a performance by Lesley Ewen and a triptych of 16mm films by Christoph Runne. Just a day later, June 10, sees the kick off of Finnish Contemporary Culture Day, with art by Maisa Tikkanen, Kirsimaria E. Törönen-Ripatti, Esa Tuomiranta and Ritva-Liisa Virtanen, and a performance by Apollo Mixed Media Collective.
* "Our Generation," curated by Roger Szmulewicz at Prague's Gallery Nova Sin, focuses on the contemporary crop of young international photographers who put a dynamic 21st century spin on portraiture. The selection includes Carlos Aires (Spain), Elinor Carucci (U.S.), Kyungwoo Chun (Korea), Tim Davis (U.S.), Charles Freger (France), Katy Grannan (U.S.), Kerry Skarbakka (U.S.), Alix Smith (U.S.) and Alec Soth (U.S.).
* Still more highlights of the seven-week affair: the Johannes Schmidt-curated "Perceptions of Everyday Life," shedding light on how artists represent the quotidian in a globalized world; "In a Silent Way," a series of sound and video events at Prague's Zizkov Monument, organized by Daniele Balit; "Same Same but Different," bringing together a predominantly French group of artists who respond to the idea of creolization and copyleft; "dream.GIRLS," an exhibition that addresses women's views of other women; "Reality Blurred," a selection of video works presented in stand-alone boxes, curated by video artist Adam Vackar; and, finally, a video installation by Vackar himself, presented in an abandoned synagogue, conceived of as an "open-source" approach to Jewish ritual.
ARTSTAR PREMIERES ON VOOM HD TV
One part The Apprentice, one part Art School Confidential -- that seems to be the formula behind the upcoming series Artstar, set to debut June 1, 2006, at 9 pm (eastern) on Gallery HD, the all-art channel that is one of 15 featured by VOOM HD Networks, as part of Dish Network's offerings of programming for high-definition television (other such channels include extreme sports channel Rush HD and video game specialty channel Gameplay HD).
The show will feature Jeffrey Deitch as master of ceremonies and a panel of art world judges composed of Debra Singer, David Rimanelli, Carlo McCormick, RoseLee Goldberg, Cary Leitzes and Alan Vega. Eight contestants have been selected for the series, from over 400 hopefuls: Bec Stupak, Zackary Drucker, Abigail Dawn DeVille, Sy Colen, Gigi Chen, Virgil Wong, Anney McKilligan and Christian Dietkus. The show sees the eight artists compete for the prize of a solo show at Deitch's gallery (though, somewhat bafflingly, Stupak was featured at Deitch not three months ago, with her rave-art collective Honeygun Labs).
Can the art world stand the withering scrutiny of high-definition T.V.? Tune in to find out -- if you can find VOOM!
NEW ART SPACE IN LIVERPOOL
A Foundation, the institution founded by James Moores to sponsor the Liverpool Biennial Contemporary Art, has launched a new art space in three industrial buildings in the city's "Baltic Triangle" area to be known as Greenland Street. The new space kicks off Sept. 15, 2006 with a variety of shows and projects. Highlights include a collaborative video project called Silent Sound by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (with the help of Jason Spaceman from the band Spiritualized); a showcase of international artists called "New Contemporaries;" and an all encompassing environment based on set designs from the film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Goshka Macuga.
HAUSER & WIRTH EXPANDS
Global superdealer Iwan Wirth is expanding his Hauser & Wirth London operation with a second exhibition space -- Coppermill, a 25,000-square-foot industrial building off Brick Lane, earmarked for especially large-scale presentations. First up is a show of works by Dieter Roth and Martin Kippenberger, May 26-Aug. 27, 2006. Coppermill also now houses Boekie Woekie, a bookshop that originated in Amsterdam.
ART COLOGNE PRIZE TO RUDOLF ZWIRNER
Legendary German art dealer Rudolf Zwirner has won the 2006 Art Cologne prize, a €10,000 award that recognizes "outstanding service to modern and contemporary art." Zwirner (b. 1933), who is donating the prize money to support the publication of the journal Sedimente, co-founded the Verein progressiver deutscher Kunsthändler (Association of Progressive German Art Dealers) in 1966 as well as Art Cologne in 1967. Art Cologne runs from Nov. 1-5, 2006 at the Cologne Trade Fair Center.
2006 SECA ART AWARD WINNERS AT SFMOMA
The SECA Art Awards for 2006, sponsored by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, go to Sarah Cain, Kota Ezawa, Amy Franceschini, Mitzi Pederson and Leslie Shows. Each artist wins a modest cash prize, as well as a group exhibition of their work, Jan. 27-Apr. 22, 2007. The awards honor local artists of exceptional promise.
TEAM TO SOHO
Hip New York gallery Team, headed by Jose Freire with director Miriam Katzeff, is moving to 83 Grand St. in Soho, which formerly housed the equally hip furniture store Totem. The 4,400-square-foot ground-floor space is right across the street from Deitch Projects, and opens with a show of work by Cory Arcangel on Sept. 29, 2006.
STUDIOS GO CREATE NEW BLACK & WHITE SPACE
Seems like every Brooklyn gallery is expanding into Manhattan, but Williamsburg's Black & White Gallery has a little something different planned. Its second space, to open in the industrial Terminal Building on 636 West 28th Street in Chelsea, June 22, 2006, is being conceived by the New York architectural firm Studios GO (which, among other things, did the exhibition design for MoMA's 2005 "Art in Our Time" show on the Rockefeller Center's outdoor concourse). The architects claim to have taken their inspiration for the project from Walter Benjamin's analysis of Paris' 19th century arcades, employing a "fusion of minimal visual devices articulating the new spatial frame and transforming the former industrial space into a destination for an intellectual flaneur." The new space is set to open with an as-yet-unspecified group show.
3RD WARD IN WILLIAMSBURG
Gallery at 3rd Ward, a "creative art facility" featuring 1,200 square feet of gallery space at 195 Morgan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, debuts May 19, 2006, with "Feedback Baby," an installation by Portuguese artist Carlos Roque, curated by P.S.1 curatorial assistant Elna Svenle. The inaugural installation in the new space, fittingly enough, responds to the unique 3rd Ward location, a graffiti-covered former oil refinery, creating massive wall-drawings that combine renderings of contemporary cities with images from Saturn's moon Titan, along with two plastic boom box "drones" issuing Morris-code-like signals used by the Huygens space probe.
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY?
And of course, this May 18 is International Museums Day. Called by the Paris-based International Council of Museums, the initiative has been "celebrated all over the world since 1977," according to the ICM's website, with this year's theme being "Museums and Young People."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the celebration has generated very little heat -- although a handful of regional institutions in the U.S. like the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, the Lansing Community Museum and the San Bernardino County Museum have scheduled events to coincide with the day. However, it's not too late to get on board! If you are the director of a museum, the ICM website has a helpful list of activities that you can plan for your institution, such as hosting a slumber party at the museum for adolescents or offering a treasure hunt ("On International Museum Day, children, along with their parents or teachers, could take part in a fun learning activity, as they wander the halls of their local museum, solving mysteries and finding clues.")
contact wrobinson @ artnet.com