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Artnet News
June 26, 2007 

A storm has hit Documenta 12 -- literally. On June 20, 2007, a short but severe storm swept through Kassel, where Documenta 12 is on view, June 16-Sept. 23, 2007, knocking over one of the show’s premiere exhibits -- Ai Weiwei’s Template, a 40-foot-tall arch made of salvaged Ming and Qing dynasty doors that was sited in the grassy field next to the show’s Aue-Pavilion. Documenta officials said the work would be restored, but the artist told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that it should remain in its dilapidated state. "Nature is the greatest artist," he said.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Berlin Street Scene (1913) makes its debut at its new home, the Neue Galerie in New York, July 26-Sept. 17, 2007. The historic painting was controversially removed from the Brücke Museum in Berlin and sold at auction at Christie’s New York on Nov. 8, 2006, for more than $38 million, including premium [see Berlin Street Fight, July 11, 2006]. The exhibition includes another recent acquisition, Kirchner’s sculpture Standing Girl, Karyatide (1909-10), which sold at Christie’s London last summer for $2.7 million, along with a selection of works from prewar Berlin by Otto Dix, George Grosz and Christian Schad. The exhibition is accompanied by a book, Berlin Street Scene, by Pamela Kort ($30).

An exhibition of paintings by the Welsh-born, Malibu-based actor Sir Anthony Hopkins goes on view at MW Gallery in Aspen, Colo., opening June 30-July 10, 2007. Art dealer Robert Casterline describes Hopkins’ work as "wild and vibrant," with subjects that include abstract landscapes, flowers and "surrealistic faces that are vaguely suggestive of the horror of The Silence of the Lambs." The 70-year-old actor is said to have taken up painting seriously in the early 2000s. "I don’t care about the rules because I don’t know about the rules," he said. The works are priced at $4,000-$20,000. For more details, contact

A.R. Penck, the Neo-Expressionist artist who was born in Dresden in 1939, moved to the West in 1980 and has been living in Dublin since 2003, is the subject of a new retrospective in Frankfurt, the first major survey of the artist’s work in Germany in 20 years. "A.R. Penck Retrospective," June 15-Sept. 16, 2007, at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, presents approximately 130 paintings and other works dating from 1961 to the present. The show, which is accompanied by a catalogue edited by museum curator Ingrid Pfeiffer and director Max Hollein, also appears at the Kunsthalle zu Kiel (Sept. 29, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008) and the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (Feb. 14-May 5, 2008).

Does anyone remember Art Matters, the nonprofit founded back in the early 1990s with the intention of selling artists’ multiples nationwide and using the profits to establish a new program of arts grants? (The idea was clearly ahead of its time.) In any case, Art Matters is back, revived by philanthropist Laura Donnelly, and has recently awarded 23 grants totaling $150,000 to artists working on projects "that foster collaborations and communications across international borders." Hmmm, sounds like a CIA front! Individual grants range from $3,000 to $10,000. A second round is due in the fall -- but no applications, please. Grantees are selected from names provided by anonymous "nominators."

Winners include Radcliffe Bailey, Sanford Biggers, Daniel Bozhkov, Ignacio Gonzalez-Lang, Suheir Hammad, Sharon Hayes, Wayne Hodge, Bryan Jackson, Shaun El C. Leonardo, Pavol Liska, Katt Lissard, Charles McGill, Kori Newkirk, Clifford Owens, Deirdre Portnoy, Jackie Salloum, Peggy Shaw, Cauleen Smith, The Speculative Archive (David Thorne and Julia Meltzer), Temporary Services, Allison Wiese, Jenifer Wofford and Saya Woolfalk. For more details, see

"Our British friends, we are coming to rescue you!" proclaims Polish artist Peter Fuss, promising that "cheap Polish labor" can spare the British nation from spending £50 million on Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God (2007), his platinum skull covered by 8,601 diamonds. How, exactly? With For the Laugh of God (2007), Fuss’ own version of Hirst’s notorious objet d’art, a plastic skull covered by "about 9,870 pieces of glass polished and cut to look like diamonds." Also, one tooth is missing. The price is £1,000 and the skull is available at the 2007 Car Boot Art Fair on Brick Lane in London, July 8, 2007. Also available is an accompanying graphic edition, limited to 1,000 copies, for £1 each. For more info, see

Artist Marilyn Minter, whose Photo Realist renderings of bejeweled party girls are heating up the art scene, has been tapped by fashion icon Tom Ford to do the ad campaign for his new menswear line and an upcoming eyewear campaign. "She douses you with tons of water while you’re being photographed for hours," Ford said, describing Minter’s method to

Fans of Minter’s work can also check out the new issue of Parkett, which features a cover and centerfold by the artist -- shots of a soapy Pam Anderson -- as well as articles on Minter written by Andrea K. Scott and Katy Siegel, and an interview with Parkett editor Cay Sophie Rabinowitz. A richly illustrated new book on the artist, titled Marilyn Minter, has also just been published by Gregory R. Miller and Co. ($60).

An exhibition of works by the six artists selected as winners of the inaugural San Diego Art Prize goes on view at the L Street Gallery in San Diego, June 30-Sept. 30, 2007. Artists Raul Guerrero, Jean Lowe and Ernest Silva, dubbed "established artists," won $2,500 awards, while "emerging artists" Yvonne Venegas, Iana Quesnell and May-ling Martinez won $1,000 each. The prize is sponsored by the gallery along with the San Diego Visual Arts Network and

Maribeth Graybill
has been named curator of Asian art at the Portland Art Museum. She had been senior curator of Asian art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art since 2001. She succeeds Donald Jenkins, who retired in 2003 but continues to serve as curator emeritus.

Museum of Modern Art director of adult and academic programs David Little has been appointed associate director, Helena Rubinstein chair of education at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

BERND BECHER, 1931-2007
Bernd Becher, 75, influential Minimalist photographer who with his wife, Hilla Becher, was celebrated for black-and-white photographs of industrial structures, died on June 22 in Rostock, Germany, following heart surgery. Bernd and Hilla Becher met while studying at Dusseldorf Academy and were married in 1961. They had their first gallery exhibition in 1963; retrospectives of their work were held at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (1981), Dia in New York (1989-91) and the Kunstverein Cologne (1991). Both were influential teachers at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf.

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