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Artnet News
June 16, 2006 

Next weekend sees the debut of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' new, permanent installation of Robert Ryman's Philadelphia Prototype (2002). The piece, third in a series of "Prototypes" by the celebrated minimalist painter, is being installed by Ryman himself and will take two or three days to complete, due to its unique requirements: It consists of 10 buff-colored sheets of vinyl, attached to the wall by a process whereby layers of dried paint applied around the edges of the panels serve as the sole adhesive. The work was acquired by PAFA from Philadelphia gallery Larry Becker Contemporary Art, where Ryman first installed it for a 2002 group show with John Zurier and Joseph Marioni.

Mark your calendars for Nov. 12, 2006 -- that's when the new Hessel Museum is set to debut at Bard College in upstate New York. The design for the 17,000-square-foot building consists of two large, central galleries, circled by several medium-sized display rooms, and features a walkway by Lawrence Weiner, embedded the artist's epigrammatic text works, as well as an entrance hall incorporating a glass floor supported by thousands of tiny, plastic figures, courtesy Korean artist by Do-Ho Suh. The $10 million expansion of existing facilities is primarily sponsored by long-time Bard patron Marieluise Hessel, who founded the Bard curatorial studies program (along with her then-husband, Richard B. Black) back in 1990. For the new institution, Hessel has donated $8 million towards construction, and puts her formidable collection of art on permanent loan.

Bard's curatorial studies program has long depended on the resource of Hessel's collection, with candidates for the program's MA required to draw from it for their "first-year collection show" in order to prove their curatorial chops. The new facility will present three exhibitions a year, rotating works from Hessel's holdings of significant pieces by Carl Andre, Janine Antoni, Louise Bourgeois, Anne Chu, Francesco Clemente, Dan Flavin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Hirschhorn, Isaac Julien, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul McCarthy, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Pipilotti Rist, Doris Salcedo, David Salle, Kara Walker, Christopher Wool and others.

The new museum's inaugural exhibition, "Wrestle," homes in on issues of self and identity in the Hessel collection, via 200+ works by the likes of Robert Gober, Roni Horn, Paul McCarthy, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman and Rosmarie Trockel. The extravaganza is organized by Bard curatorial studies director Tom Eccles and Trevor Smith of the New Museum, who, presumably, will show the program's would-be curators how it's done. For more info as well as images of the expansion, check out

Altered Space Gallery, in Venice, Ca., has a special treat for visitors with "The Martini Show: The Martini Glass as Art," June 24-July 24, 2006. Put together by Thomas Mann, the exhibit features 50 artists from the U.S. and Canada who "attack, attach, embellish, conceptualize, restructure or otherwise enhance a simple stainless steel martini glass." One can only assume that the cocktail reception on the 24th will be particularly memorable! The gallery, located at 1221 Abbot Kinney Blvd., can be reached for details at (310) 452-8121 or via email at

Contemporary Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor Nora Naranjo-Morse's Always Becoming has been selected as the winning design for a new public art project near the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at the south entrance of the National Museum of the American Indian. Naranjo-Morse's work involves four 15-foot-tall, tipi-like forms with four-inch-thick walls made of dirt, straw, sand, clay, wood and moss, capped with roofs made of clay shards from the artist's native New Mexico and moss indigenous to the D.C. area. Construction will begin next summer, with the final piece set to debut in September of 2007.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has announced the winners of its sixth annual Individual Artists Awards, worth $10,000 each and targeted at promoting outstanding artists from Chicago. Winners in the category of "Established Artist" are painter and University of Illinois, Chicago professor Julia Fish, and Nick Cave, known for crafting suits out of found objects (Cave currently has a show of his "soundsuits" at the Chicago Cultural Center, through July 9, 2006). Paola Cabal, an installation artist and 2003 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, wins the award for "Emerging Artist."

The €55,000 Kiesler Prize, sponsored jointly by the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna, has gone to Danish "weather artist" Olafur Eliasson. The jury for the prize, composed of Monica Bonvicini, Peter Cook, Gregor Eichinger, Marco De Michelis and Eckhard Schneider, described Eliasson's work as representing a "comprehensive realignment in relations between the art work and the viewer in the sphere of nature, culture, architecture and art." Coinciding with the honor, an Eliasson exhibition is on display at the Kiesler Foundation Vienna, June 8-Oct. 3, 2006, featuring the artist's 2D-Harmonograph, an apparatus that translates the rhythms of pendulums into images. For more info, visit

Molly Dougherty, formerly director of the art galleries at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, has signed on to be the first executive director of the newly formed Foundation for Self-Taught American Artists. The first project of the foundation under Dougherty's direction will be a documentary film about Idaho artist James Castle, set to premier in fall 2008 as part of an upcoming exhibition of Castle's work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Los Angeles art space Kontainer Gallery is moving from its present location at 6130 Wilshire Boulevard, where it has been located since February 2003, to 944 Chung King Road in Chinatown. The move puts Kontainer close to Chung King Project, a venture launched last September by Mihai Nicodim, owner of Kontainer, as a joint venture with several other international gallerists (see Artnet News, Sept. 29, 2005.) The new Kontainer debuts Sept. 9, 2006, with a show of new work by L.A. artist Hillary Bleecker.

LUIS JIMENEZ JR., 1940-2006
Luis Jimenez Jr., 65, one of the leading figures in Chicano art, as the result of an accident at his art studio in Hondo, N.M. Born in El Paso, Tex., Jimenez studied architecture and art at the University of Texas at Austin, moving to New York to pursue a career as an artist in 1969, the same year he created Man on Fire, a sculpture of a man in flames, for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art. In 1972, he returned to El Paso, becoming known for large-scale public sculptures, usually made from fiberglass and incorporating themes from Chicano culture. Jimenez's work was featured in the Whitney Biennial in 1973 and 1991, and is in many important collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Smithsonian Institute. He is survived by his wife, Susan Brockman, and four children, Elisa Jimenez, Luis Adan Jimenez, Juan Orion Jimenez and Sarah Alicia Xochil Jimenez.

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