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Artnet News
May 21, 2008 

New York’s ten-year-old Armory Show, recently taken over by Chris Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart Properties in Chicago, is expanding. The show is adding a second pier to present a new section called "The Armory Show -- Modern," and feature dealers who handle modern work. Till now, the show had been devoted to contemporary art. The move represents another challenge to Art Basel, which typically represents both modern and contemporary art. 

Extending the fair’s scope to Impressionism, late-19th-century, modern and post-war works gives the fair a museum-like span, says fair director Katelijne De Backer. "The Armory Show will now have access not only to the newest trends in the art world, but also to the masterpieces that heralded these developments," she noted in a press release.

For 2009, it is anticipated that the Armory Show will occupy Pier 94, its site for the past two years, with 160 exhibitors spread over 75,000 square feet, as well as Pier 92, with 70 new dealers in 30,000 square feet. The show is slated to take place Mar. 5-8, 2009.

Auction houses and art galleries are generally considered to be cutthroat competitors, but Christie’s has moved one step further towards finding out if an auction house can successfully operate an art gallery. Haunch of Venison, which was founded in London in 2002 by Harry Blain and Graham Southern and purchased by Christi’s in 2007, opens its New York space on Sept. 12, 2008, with "Abstract Expressionism -- A World Elsewhere," featuring 30 works selected by the London-based art historian David Anfam. Four major works in the show (by Franz Kline, Clyfford Still, Sam Francis and David Smith) are borrowed from museums; whether lots from Christie’s auctions that were guaranteed but failed to sell will subsequently turn up in the gallery remains to be seen.

Haunch of Venison New York, as the new space is called, is located on the 20th and 21st floors of 1230 Avenue of the Americas, around the corner from Christie’s Rockefeller Center headquarters. The space was designed by New York architect Steven Learner and features a double-height atrium and five exhibition galleries, totaling 20,000 square feet. The chief curator and director of exhibitions at Haunch of Venison New York is Michael Rooks, who previously served as a curator at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The gallery has a second MCA Chicago veteran as well, since former MCA director Robert Fitzpatrick joined the gallery in January as international managing director.

The Haunch of Venison plans to work with contemporary artists as well as mount historical exhibitions, and to this end the firm now represents new-media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who is getting a major push from the association, with a solo exhibition at Haunch of Venison London in October 2008, in New York in fall 2009 and in the gallery’s Berlin branch in 2010. For more info, see

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, rolled into town last week to oversee the museum’s benefit auction at Phillips, de Pury & Co., which raised $1.9 million [see "Art Market Watch," May 16, 2008]. While they were here, MoCA director Jeremy Strick and a team of illustrious curators treated a smattering of the local art press to breakfast at Brasserie 8 1/2 on West 57th Street and a preview of three big monographic exhibitions of contemporary artists planned for 2008-09.

First up is "Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave," June 22-Sept. 22, 2008, the first North American survey  of works by the South African artist Marlene Dumas (b. 1953), now resident in Amsterdam. Featuring approximately 70 paintings and 35 drawings, the show is organized by Museum of Modern Art curator Connie Butler. Following its debut at MoCA, the show appears at MoMA, Dec. 14, 2008-Feb. 16, 2009, and the Menil Collection in Houston, Mar. 26-June 21, 2009.

Next is "Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective," Sept. 21, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009, the first major U.S. retrospective of the German artist and "impresario, entertainer, curator, collector, architect and publisher" Martin Kippenberger (1953-97). Organized by MOCA curator Ann Goldstein, the show travels to MoMA, Mar. 1-May 11, 2009.

Last but not least is "Beyond Dan Graham," Feb. 15-May 25, 2009, the first North American retrospective of the influential Conceptual Art pioneer Dan Graham (b. 1942). Featuring photographs, film and video, architectural models, indoor and outdoor pavilions, conceptual projects for magazine pages and writings, the show is co-organized by MOCA curator Bennett Simpson and Whitney Museum of American Art curator Chrissie Iles. After its premiere in L.A., the exhibition tours to the Whitney and the Walker Art Center.

The largest exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture ever presented in a single venue in the U.S. debuts at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, May 24-Nov. 2, 2008. "Moore in America: Monumental Sculpture at the New York Botanical Garden" features 20 major pieces positioned throughout the garden’s 250 acres, opening at the height of the spring flower season. The presentation is co-organized by the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, England, and sponsored by MetLife Foundation. The exhibition has appeared in slightly different form in Surrey, England, and subsequently appears in Atlanta.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Ca., reopens to the public after a $20-million renovation on May 28, 2008. The overhaul added 5,300 square feet of additional public space, and provided the occasion for the reinstallation of approximately 1,200 objects of European art, including the gallery’s Portrait Gallery, which features Thomas Gainsborough’s celebrated Blue Boy (ca. 1770). 

Museo Guggenheim Bilbao presents "Juan Muñoz: A Retrospective," May 27-Oct. 5, 2008, featuring a survey of nearly 80 works by the Madrid-born artist who died at the age of 48 in 2001. The show, which was organized by Tate Modern chief curator Sheena Wagstaff, debuted in London in January of this year.

Carnegie Museum curator Douglas Fogle promises to answer questions about "Life on Mars," the show he organized for the 2008 Carnegie International, May 3, 2008-Jan. 11, 2009, during a public talk at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh on May 22, 2008. Seems suitable, since the exhibition is framed by the curator’s own queries: "Are we alone in the Universe? Do aliens exist? Or are we, ourselves, the stranger in our own worlds?" Out-of-towners can participate by posing their own questions on the Carnegie Museum blog.

The Queens Museum launches "Poets in the Galleries II," the second annual installment of a weekly program featuring poets reading in the museum galleries, responding to the current exhibition, "‘This Case of Conscience’: Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance," Apr. 6-June 29, 2008, an exhibition celebrating religious freedom. Readings occur every Sunday at 5 pm, beginning with Vijay Seshadri (May 25), followed by Cate Marvin (June 1), Rigoberto González (June 8), Tina Chang (June 15), Eleanor Lerman (June 21) and Thomas Sayers Ellis (June 29). The program is organized by June Yang.

Ten Houston artists have won Artadia Awards for 2008 from arts patron Christopher Vroom’s Fund for Art and Dialogue in New York. Winners of $15,000 awards are Delilah Montoya, Katrina Moorhead and Floyd Newsum, Jr. A group of seven artists won $1,500 awards: Mequitta Ahuja, Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Katy Heinlein, Lauren Kelley, El Franco Lee II, Lynne McCabe and Stephanie Toppin.

Jurors for the awards were Menil Collection curator Franklin Sirmans, Yale University curator Jennifer Gross, and Christopher Eamon, curator of the Pamela and Richard Kramlich Collection and executive director of New Art Trust.

Garry Garrels, chief curator and deputy director of exhibitions and public programs at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, has been appointed curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. At SF MoMA, he succeeds Madeleine Grynsztejn, who left in March to become director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

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