Subscribe to our RSS feed:

RSS Feed Button

Artnet News
May 25, 2006 

"No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock Paintings on Paper" brings approximately 65 works by the famed American artist to the Guggenheim Museum, May 26-Sept. 29, 2006, in a show that marks the 50th anniversary of Pollock's death. Organized by Gugg curator Susan Davidson, the exhibition is almost half-again larger than its manifestation last summer at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. "Pollock on Paper," which also appeared at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, wasn't originally conceived as a New York show, insiders say, until Whitney Museum director Adam Weinberg wondered whether he could bring it to his museum.

The New York installation features a lineup of no less than seven classic cabinet-size Pollock drip paintings, most done on paper measuring 23 x 30 inches and mounted to canvas by Pollock soon after. Among these are Untitled (Green Silver) (ca. 1949), a recent gift to the museum by Sylvia and Joseph Slifka that was in some sense the impetus for the exhibition (another suitor for the work was Sotheby's New York chief auctioneer Tobias Meyer, who wanted the painting for the cover of the firm's catalogue for its modern art sale), and Number 12, 1949 (1949), which was formerly in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, until the Pollock-rich museum put the work on the block at Christie's New York, where it sold for $11,655,500 on May 11, 2004. Why not deaccession, one might ask, if you can borrow the work back for exhibitions?

Still another painting in the wall of classic Pollock drips is Number 13, 1949 (1949), a horizontal allover composition of black rods and swirls of white over a field of green, silver and orange, a painting lent by New Yorkers Samuel and Ronnie Heyman. (It was also bought at Christie's New York, for $3,080,000 on Nov. 7, 1990). What might be called the calm, decorative quality of Number 13, 1949 is interesting in light of the ongoing controversy over the so-called "Matter Pollocks," a trove of more than 30 drip works of uncertain authorship -- some of them arguably more calm and decorative than Pollock's typical abstractions -- discovered among the effects of longtime Pollock friend Herbert Matter (1907-84) [see Artnet News, May 10, 2005].

As for the authenticity of the Matter Pollocks, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation seems to be taking a militant position against, and is said to have refused its permission to reproduce Pollock works for comparative purposes in an exhibition catalogue, effectively scuttling a planned show at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Despite this opposition, a scholarly exhibition of the newly discovered paintings is being planned, with a tour to four museums envisioned for 2007-08, according to art dealer Mark Borghi, who is advising Alex Matter on the trove. At a Pollock symposium organized two weeks ago by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., Case Western Reserve University art historian Ellen G. Landau presented some of her research on the Pollock-Mather relationship, to considerable interest from other experts in attendance. Stay tuned.

The special summer art season out in the Hamptons on Long Island gets its official kick-off this week with a show of new works by Robert Dash at Mark Borghi Fine Art in Bridgehampton. Titled "Sagg Main, the Road Series," the exhibition features a series of oils on paper that are richly colored variations on a theme -- a view of a road through the lush Long Island landscape. The show is the first in several years for Dash (b. 1934), a longtime Hamptons resident who is a contemporary of Fairfield Porter, Nell Blaine and other artists of that generation. For further details, see

Art insiders recently received a surprise in the mail -- a 12-inch-square package that looked just like a classic record album, complete with slipcase printed with black-and-white photos of rockers that contained an insert designed to look exactly like a vinyl record. The ersatz album is in fact an announcement for an exhibition of photographs by New Mexico photographer Douglas Kent Hall at Riva Yares Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M., May 26-June 26, 2006. Dubbed "The Photo Album, Volume One: 1967-1970," the show includes photos of some of our top pop musicians in concert, ranging from Mick Jagger at Madison Square Garden in 1970 to Gladys Knight at the Copacabana in 1969. For details, see or

The Museum Ludwig in Cologne is marking the coming summer with a show of "queer art" titled "The Eighth Square: Gender, Life and Desire in the Visual Arts since 1960," Aug. 19-Nov. 12, 2006. "The Eighth Square" -- the point in chess where the lowly pawn can be transformed into a queen -- features works by David Altmejd, Kenneth Anger, Diane Arbus, David Armstrong, Francis Bacon, Stephen Barker, Matthew Barney, Monica Bonvicini, Marc Brandenburg, Kaucyila Brooke, Louise Bourgeois, Brassaï, Claude Cahun, Tom Burr, Daniela Comani, Lucky DeBellevue, Kerstin Drechsel, Nicole Eisenman, Thomas Eggerer, Valie Export, Hans Peter Feldmann, Jochen Flinzer, Annette Frick, General Idea, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Sunil Gupta, David Hockney, Jonathan Horowitz, Peter Hujar, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Deborah Kass, Jürgen Klauke, Peter Knoch, Ferdinand Kriwet, Insa Kromminga, Inez van Lamsweerde, Zoe Leonard, John Lindell, Lovett/Codagnone, Attila Richard Lukacs, Winja Lutz and Toni Schmale, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bjørn Melhus, Marlene McCarty, Michaela Melián, Annette Messager, Donald Moffett, Tracey Moffatt, Pierre Molinier, Yasumasa Morimura, Bruce Nauman, Piotr Nathan, Marcel Odenbach, Henrik Olesen, Catherine Opie, Jack Pierson, Adrian Piper, Aurora Reinhard, Robert Rauschenberg, Salomé, Lucas Samaras, Cindy Sherman, Dayanita Singh, Markus Sixay, Jack Smith, Katharina Sieverding, Ingo Taubhorn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Paul Thek, Cy Twombly, Gitte Villesen, Del LaGrace Volcano, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol and David Wojnarowicz.

The accompanying catalogue includes essays by Judith Butler, Douglas Crimp, Diedrich Diederichsen and several other authors.

The vast Expo Zaragoza 2008, the $1-billion exposition currently under construction on the Ebro River in Zaragoza, Spain -- Goya's birthplace -- has the overall theme of "water and sustainable development," and some 25 contemporary artists are involved, all doing major projects in or on the water. The entry point to the fair, which doubles as a footbridge over the river, is designed by Zaha Hadid. New York artist Dennis Oppenheim says he plans a work that incorporates a word -- "I haven't decided what word yet" -- and other artists in the lineup include Anish Kapoor and Yoko Ono.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is preparing to present "Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images," Nov. 19, 2006-Mar. 4, 2007, a major exploration of the influence of René Magritte's work on post-war American and European art. Organized by LACMA senior curator Stephanie Barron and Michel Draguet, director of the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, the exhibition includes 60 paintings by Magritte along with paintings and sculptures by 30 contemporary artists, including Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Marcel Broodhaers, Vija Celmins, Robert Gober, Jasper Johns, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Joseph Kosuth, Sherrie Levine, Roy Lichtenstein, Raymond Pettibon, Ed Ruscha, Jim Shaw and Andy Warhol. The exhibition is not planned to travel.

Greek artist Jannis Kounellis has filed suit against Los Angeles art dealer Douglas J. Chrismas, claiming the gallery owner has not paid him for works sold and seeking $20 million in punitive damages, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Kounellis consigned "dozens of pieces valued at more than $4 million" in 1997 and '98, Kounellis told the newspaper, and has received only about $100,000 in payments for sales since then. He requested the return of his works in March, and when that hadn't happened by mid-May, he filed suit. As for Chrismas, he said that he was happy to return the work and is preparing a full accounting for Kounellis -- and predicted that the two would even work together again.

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has announced plans for a $35-million expansion that would almost double exhibition space (from 10,000 to 18,000 square feet), largely by moving the existing library and staff offices from the Carnegie Mansion to the adjacent Fox-Miller townhouses owned by the museum. The relatively modest scheme supplants a proposal for a $75-million, three-level underground annex that was to be sited beneath the Cooper-Hewitt garden. "This isn't a huge architectural extravaganza," Cooper-Hewitt director Paul Warwick Thompson told the New York Times. "Better to fix the car you have."

Isobel Folb Sokolow, 71, New York sculptor who made large-scale figurative abstractions in welded steel as well as marble, clay and other materials, died of leukemia on May 19, 2006, in Manhattan. She worked with the Educational Alliance on the Lower East Side for many years, and also wrote poetry. Exhibitions of her work were held at Atlantic Gallery in New York since 1988 and at Sarah Lawrence College in 1997. She worked and lived in Pietra Santo in Italy, and also had studios in Westchester and Miami. Her daughter Cheryl Sokolow is a sales representative for Artnet.

Frederick Ted Castle, 67, art critic and novelist known for experimental writing, died on May 16 at Peninsula Hospital Center in Far Rockaway, N.Y., after a long illness. He wrote freelance art criticism for many magazines, and was a correspondent for Art Monthly for 25 years. His books include Anticipation, which was belatedly published in 1964, and Gilbert Green: The Real Right Way to Dress for Spring (1986), a roman á clef of Andy Warhol's Factory heyday. cofounded the Vanishing Rotating Triangle Press, which published the first two novels of Kathy Acker as well as works by John Ashbery, Guy Debord and others.

contact wrobinson @