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Artnet News
July 12, 2007 

Visitors to the scenic Hamptons on the Long Island shore this month have another chance to see work by one of the famed art community’s favorite sons -- Willem de Kooning (1904-1997). "De Kooning: Works on Paper," July 5-20, 2007, opens at Mark Borghi Fine Art at 2442 Main Street in Bridgehampton. Among the attractions are a ca. 1936-37 ink drawing of Harold Rosenberg, the art critic and longtime de Kooning friend who coined the term "action painting" in 1952. Several other drawings in the exhibition portray nudes, the subject that led art critic Robert Hughes to call de Kooning "probably the most libidinal painter America has ever had." One such drawing, done in color crayon, is a particularly fecund image from the collection of the late Metropolitan Museum curator William Lieberman. Still another charcoal from 1968 shows a gnarled and expressive foot from the artist’s "Clamdigger" series. For more info, see

Shin Jeong-ah, scheduled to co-direct the 2008 Gwangju Biennale with Okwui Enwezor, had her appointment revoked today amid a scandal about her credentials. Following the announcement of her appointment on June 4, accusations emerged that Shin had forged her degree from Yale University, causing her current employer, Dongguk University, to investigate. Initially, representatives of the Biennale defended her, producing a fax sent to the University in 2005 signed by Yale grad school associate dean Pamela Schirmeister, confirming that Shin had graduated in May of that year. Yesterday, however, Lee Sang-il, a representative of Dongguk, said in a statement that the Korean institution had contacted Yale again, and that "Yale sent a reply saying that the university hadn’t granted her a doctoral degree and that there was no record of a student named Shin Jeong-ah."

The 35-year-old Shin has also served as chief curator of Seoul’s Sungkok Art Museum and was director of the South Korean delegation to this year’s ARCO art fair in Madrid. She has insisted that the charges against her are false, and has cited her Yale thesis, titled Guillaume Apollinaire: Catalyst for primitivism, for Picabia and Duchamp, as proof of her credentials. However, according to Korean media, the work appears to be a copy of a thesis submitted to the University of Virginia in 1981 by Ekaterini Samaltanou-Tsiakma. A report from the Yonhap News Agency further states that two other items on Shin’s resume -- a 1994 BFA and a 1995 MBA, both from Kansas State University -- are also forgeries.

Shin is currently traveling in Europe, but said in a telephone interview with the Chosun Ilbo newspaper that she planned to make a statement and pursue legal action upon her return to Seoul. South Korean commentators are already referring to Shin as "the female Hwang Woo-suk," reffering to the Korean scientist whose faked research caused a national scandal last year. Stay tuned.

The Instituut Collectie Nederland, the organization that manages the approximately 100,000 artworks and other items in the Dutch state’s art collection, is deaccessioning in a big way. Some 300 works -- primarily furniture -- are being put on the block in the fall at The Hague’s Venduehuis auction house. In the meantime, some 1,000 artworks are being auctioned off on Dutch eBay between now and October, at the expeditious rate of 50 per week. Many of these paintings and sculptures were produced in the 1980s in response to a government scheme that offered Dutch artists a stipend in exchange for donations of work to the state collection.

A spokesperson for the ICN cited the cost of storing the works, and stated flatly that the "government was not looking to make money from the artworks but to get them off the state’s hands." Thus, a program once deemed admirably generous to artists now seems to have turned around to bite them in the butt -- as journalist Lee Rosenbaum noted on her CultureGrrl blog, U.S. institutions refrain from selling off work by living artists so as not to hurt their careers, while the ICN is making no bones about describing the eBay works as "without artistic merit and historic significance." (This is what passes as a sales pitch in Holland?) The fire sale atmosphere led at least one of the artists, Robert Kruzdlo, to tell the Agence France-Press indignantly, "They called me the Picasso of Amsterdam. I did not paint rubbish."

On the other hand, the sell-off may be a chance for fans to get their hands on a bargain bit of Dutch creativity. Lots currently on view on eBay range from C. Makkink’s colorful 1973 Blaauwbaard, a painting of a topless woman with a man who sports an enormous blue beard, currently going for €455, to a space-age white cabinet studded with flashing flashbulbs, titled Mankind Is Destruction and stalled in the bidding at €21 as of this writing.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles opens its long-awaited survey of the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at its Geffen Contemporary building, Oct. 29, 2007-Feb. 11, 2008. Dubbed "© Murakami," the show is organized by MOCA chief curator Paul Schimmel and presents more than 90 works spanning the artist’s career in 35,000 square feet of exhibition space -- an "immersive, theatrically lit environment" inspired by the Wonder Festival comic market convention. In addition to artworks, the show includes a grid of Murakami merchandise and a room of the vastly successful Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories featuring the artist’s logo design. The show also boasts the premiere of Murakami’s new animated film titled kaikai & kiki, which, according to early previews, is almost certain to be a hit. After its debut in L.A., the show appears at the Brooklyn Museum (Apr. 4-July 13, 2008), the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (October 2008-January 2009) and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (February-May 2009).

The Metropolitan Museum kicks of the 2007 fall season with "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," Sept. 18, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008, a display of the museum’s entire collection of 228 Dutch paintings (widely considered the best outside Europe). Organized by Met curator Walter Liedtke, the show includes 20 paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn, 11 by Frans Hals, five by Johannes Vermeer and substantial groups of works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Meindert Hobbema, Aelbert Cuyp, Gerard ter Borch, Pieter de Hooch and others. The show occupies 12 galleries, with the works installed in approximate order of their acquisition. Typically the Met has only 100 Dutch paintings on view at any given time.

Also opening in the fall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a new gallery devoted to modern and contemporary photography. Dubbed the Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography and boasting 2,000 square feet of exhibition space, the gallery bows on Sept. 25, 2007, with "Depth of Field: Contemporary Photography at the Metropolitan." Menschel Hall is located in a new space near the existing Howard Gilman photography galleries.

The first-ever museum retrospective of the influential contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huan is scheduled to open at the Asia Society in New York this fall. "Zhang Huan: Altered States," Sept. 6, 2007-Jan. 20, 2008, includes 55 works produced over the past 15 years by the Shanghai-based artist, who began his career as a "body artist" and now makes sculpture, installation and paintings. The show is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by curator Melissa Chiu and art critic Eleanor Heartney, as well as a first-hand account of Zhang’s early performances in Beijing by artist Kong Bu and an autobiographical essay by Zhang himself.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents the first major U.S. survey of works by Icelandic weather artist Olafur Eliasson in "Take your time: Olafur Eliasson," Sept. 8, 2007-Feb. 24, 2008. The show presents installations, immersive environments, sculptures and photographs dating from 1993 to the present, including Moss Wall (1994), a wall covered with live moss; the bright yellow Room for One Color (1997); and the site-specific Colour Wave Tunnel (2007), a faceted mirror structure commissioned for the exhibition. Organized by SFMOMA curator Madeleine Grynsztejn in collaboration with the artist, the show is accompanied by an extensive catalogue published by Thames & Hudson. The exhibition travels to the Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 (Apr. 13-June 30, 2008), the Dallas Museum of Art (Nov. 9, 2008-Mar. 15, 2009), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (dates TBA) and further venues, to be announced.

The second-ever Performa festival is scheduled for Nov. 1-20, 2007, in New York, featuring works by some 100 performance artists at cultural organizations throughout the city, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Participant Inc and the Kitchen. The full roster of partisipants won’t be revealed until the end of August, but in the meantime, Performa has announced nine winners of its "Performa Commissions," which go to funding new work by well-known international artists. Highlights include a "punk-rock mini-musical" from Japanther; Cast No Shadow, a collaboration between British choreographer Russell Maliphant and filmmaker Isaac Julien; and Francesco Vezzoli’s staging of a Pirandello play at the Guggenheim. Other commissions go to Carlos Amorales, Nathalie Djurberg, Daria Martin, Kelly Nipper, Adam Pendleton and Yvonne Rainer.

And speaking of performances in New York, thanks to Miami-based artist and filmmaker Dara Friedman, this fall an assortment of people in midtown Manhattan -- taxi drivers, doormen, tourists, schoolchildren and office workers -- are going to suddenly break into song. Friedman’s performance Musical, Sept. 17-Oct. 5, 2007, sponsored by the Public Art Fund, is to feature nearly 100 individual actions during weekdays in the blocks between Grand Central Station and Central Park South and between Broadway and Park Avenue. Musical is her first live, performance-based work.

Art dealer and curator Gabrielle Bryers has organized "Art under Glass," an installation of contemporary artworks in the windows of Macy’s famous Herald Square department store at Broadway and 34th Street in Manhattan -- passed by an estimated 3,500 people each hour. Among the works are Alex Nahon’s Night and Day, a super-8 film installation that pairs documentaries of "the women’s world of beauty" and "the manly world"; Lucas Reiner’s series of paintings, "Trees in L.A."; and Shannon Plumb’s video of her new Paper Collection, in which she enacts the roles of model, photographer and fashion editor. Other contributors are Nicholas Howey, Federico Uribe, Silas Shabeleska, Cassandra Lozano, Russell Young, Devin Powers, Taylor McKimens and Misaki Kawai. The installations are on view July 9-24, 2007. 

Irish artist and curator Mike Fitzpatrick is putting a new spin on the notion of "summer casual" with an exhibition of "Art Dealer Ties," July 11-Aug. 10, 2007, at Higher Pictures at 764 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Made in New York in the mid-1990s while Fitzpatrick was in residence at PS1’s Clocktower and then at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, the series of ties features snapshot images of 59 art dealers, ranging from Brooke Alexander, Stefano Basilico and June Kelly to Jack Tilton, Angela Westwater and David Zwirner. Fabricated in editions of three, the ties are $900 each. Higher Pictures opened earlier this year.

Summer visitors to picturesque Lenox, Mass., have a chance to see two back-to-back shows by artist Barbara Nessim at Sienna Gallery at 80 Main Street. The first exhibition, "Transitions," June 15-July 10, 2007, features works from the early 1990s, including a painting based on the image of the U.S. flag. The second show is titled "WomanGirl," July 13-Aug. 7, 2007, and presents drawings of scantily clad women made in the 1970s. The Sienna Gallery was established in 1998.

Veteran sculptor William King has received the International Sculpture Center’s award for lifetime achievement in contemporary sculpture for 2007. The presentation takes place at a gala ceremony on Nov. 7, 2007. Tickets begin at $500; for more info, contact .

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