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Artnet News
May 24, 2007 

Fans of the Dahesh Museum of Art at 580 Madison Avenue would be well advised to drop by for a visit a.s.a.p. -- the museum is slated to close its current facility soon, though the museum board has not quite decided when to drop the axe. The move is presumably designed to save money while the Dahesh seeks a permanent home. Whether the museum shop is going to remain open, or the fabulous Cafe Opaline on the second floor, remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) opens its striking new wing, designed by Daniel Libeskind and dubbed the "Michael Lee-Chin Crystal," on June 2, 2007. The centerpiece of the museum's $250-million expansion and renovation, the 175,000-square-foot, prismatic glass "Crystal" includes six collection galleries on four floors, two special-exhibition spaces, new retail and dining facilities, and the ROM’s new entrance. The wing is named after benefactor Michael Lee-Chin -- a Jamaica-born Canadian businessman who heads Portland Holdings, AIC Limited, Berkshire Group of Companies, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited and Senvia -- in recognition of his $30 million lead gift. For more details, click here

The first-ever Cornice art fair in Venice, set to open during the preview of the Venice Biennale, June 7-10, 2007, showcases 55 galleries in an 8,000-square-meter, Carlo Castiglioni-designed pavilion in the city’s Tronchetto area, which is located behind the railroad station and entrance to the lagoon city. Participants have been selected by the classy team of Jean Jacques Aillagon, Luca-Massimo Barbero, Jan Krugier, Attilio Codognato, Daniella Luxembourg and Otto Hübner.

The fair boasts of its international scope, with 70 percent of the galleries coming from outside Italy and including some high-profile dealers from the U.S., including Greenberg Van Doren, Jason McCoy Inc., Remy-Toledo Art Projects and Salander-O’Reilly Galleries (New York) and J. Johnson (Jacksonville , Fla.). Other Cornice participants are A Arte Studio Invernizzi (Milan), American Contemporary Gallery (Munich), Analix Forever (Geneva), Art Gaspar (Barcelona), Baik-Song Gallery (Seoul), Benciv Art Gallery (Pesaro), Benden & Klimczak (Cologne), Berengo Studio (Venice), BND Tomaso Renoldi Bracco Contemporary Art Vision (Milan), Caprice Horn (Berlin), Citric (Brescia), Colossi Arte Contemporanea (Brescia), Contini (Venice), Erica Fiorentini Arte Contemporanea (Rome), Flowers East (London), Fabrizio Russo (Rome), Grossetti Arte Contemporanea (Milan), Heike Curtze (Vienna), Heinz Holtmann Gallery (Cologne), Kai Hilgemann (Berlin), LAC Lagorio Arte Contemporanea (Brescia), Le Guern Gallery (Warsaw), Lelia Mordoch (Paris), Lipsum Gallery (London), Löhrl (Düsseldorf), Lorenzelli Arte (Milan), MAM Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art (Vienna), Maior (Mallorca), Michael Schultz (Berlin), Michela Rizzo (Venice), Niccoli (Parma), Open Art (Prato), Pierre-François Ouellette Contemporain (Montréal), Pop/Off/Art (Moscow), Posibila (Bucharest), Springer & Winckler (Berlin), Studio la Città (Verona), Sur (Montevideo and Punta del Este), Terminus (Munich), Tornabuoni Arte Contemporanea Internazionale (Florence), Vane (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), Vartai (Vilnius), Vecchiato New Art Galleries (Padua), Von Braunbehrens (Munich), Voss (Düsseldorf), White 8 (Vienna) and William Mora Galleries (Melbourne).

In its press materials, Cornice notes that the Venice Biennale itself was originally a selling exhibition, "an activity which influenced the direction and scope of many public and private collections in Italy and abroad." For more info, see

Los Angeles-born curator and critic Elena Filipovic is set to join Adam Szymczyk as co-curator of the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Apr. 5-June 15, 2008. The 35-year-old Filipovic is currently a doctoral candidate in art history at Princeton University and recently organized "Let Everything Be Temporary, or When is the Exhibition?" at New York’s Apexart, Jan. 10-Feb. 17, 2007. For more info on the Berlin Biennial, see

Light and space artist Robert Irwin became the latest member of the visual arts community to be inducted into the 250-person American Academy of Arts and Letters at a ceremony at the organization’s New York headquarters on May 16, 2007. Other recipients of the honor for 2007 are architect Billie Tsien, composer Steven Stucky and writers Deborah Eisenberg, Mary Gordon, Allan Gurganus, Jim Harrison, Harper Lee and Annie Proulx. German photographer Andreas Gursky was inducted as a "foreign honorary member," along with English composer Harrison Birtwistle.

Some 50 awards were also given out by the academy at the ceremony. These included a "Gold Medal for Sculpture" to Martin Puryear; "Academy Awards in Art" for Jackie Gendel, Julian Hatton, Bryan Hunt, Sarah Oppenheimer and Dana Schutz; the "Jimmy Ernst Award in Art" to Sally Hazelet Drummond; and the "Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award in Art" to Juan Gomez.

European artist Agnes Winter is coming to Rockefeller Center with an enormous, 50-story projection of over 250 photographs of smiling New Yorkers, May 31-June 9, 2007.

Titled Monument to Smile, the images are cast by 12 large projectors atop the Saks Fifth Avenue building onto the center façade, and is meant to capture the joy and optimism of the Big Apple. The work is sponsored luxury goods company Cartier, as a promotion for its second-annual "Love Day" celebration on June 8, 2007, and initiated by Rock Center honcho Jerry Speyer (without the assistance of the Public Art Fund, which typically supervises art projects at the center).

The Cologne Transport Company (KVB) is working to make its new North-South Light Rail line a destination for contemporary art fans. The public transport authority has already asked a number of prominent artists to make new work for the €1.75 million project, which is to be completed in 2010: Barenbrock + Osterwald, Guillaume Bijl, Ceal Floyer, Doris Frohnapfel, Hans Haacke, Stefan Hofmann, Peter Kogler, Thomas Schoenauer, Stefan Sous, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Brigitta Weimer, Lawrence Weiner and Eusebius Wirdeier. At the same time, the KVB is holding an open call for proposals. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2007. See for information.

Jon L. Seydl has accepted the position of "Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos Jr. Curator of European Painting and Sculpture" at the Cleveland Museum of Art, a post that puts him in charge of the museum's holdings of 16th- to 18th-century European painting and sculpture. Seydl is currently curator of painting at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. He starts his new job July 1.

ROY DE FOREST, 1930-2007
Roy De Forest, 77, known for his eccentric and witty figurative paintings, died near his home in Port Costa, Ca., on May 18. The cause of death is not yet determined. Born to a family of migrant farmworkers in North Platte, Neb., De Forest went on to study in Eastern Washington and then San Francisco, and became associated with Bay Area painters such as Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, Peter Saul and William T. Wiley. He taught at the University of California, Davis, from 1965 to 1992, and had retrospectives at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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