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Artnet News
July 23, 2008 

New York artist Chakaia Booker, celebrated for her towering abstract sculptures made out of cut and shaped rubber from automobile tires (who recently set up her studio in Allentown, Pa.), is taking the Midwest by storm. A survey of her work from the past eight years, "RubberMade: Sculpture by Chakaia Booker," June 6-Aug. 17, 2008, is currently on view at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, featuring two dozen sculptures "that fuse ecological concerns with questions about racial and economic differences, globalization and sociopolitical power structures." Organized by Kemper Museum curator Christopher Cook, the show is accompanied by a catalogue including an interview with the artist by Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator of the Houston CAM.

Booker has also just opened a year-long exhibition of outdoor sculptures in downtown Indianapolis, July 22, 2008-Apr. 1, 2009. Sponsored by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, "Chakaia Booker: Mass Transit" features ten sculptures, some nearly ten feet tall, sited at the city’s Chase Tower, the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, in University Park, adjacent to the Indianapolis MOCA, and other sites downtown. The project includes walking tours, a website and an accompanying show at iMOCA, "Chakaia Booker: The Making of a Public Art Exhibition," July 22-Sept. 6, 2008. The $250,000 project is funded by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Booker is represented by Marlborough Gallery.

A silver gilt chalice in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, once thought to be the Holy Grail (but now known as the Antioch Chalice, 500-550 AD), is one highlight of the upcoming exhibition "Byzantium 330-1453," Oct. 25-Mar. 22, 2009, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Co-organized with the Benaki Museum in Athens, "Byzantium" features 300 items -- icons, paintings, mosaics, ivories, enamels and gold and silver metalwork -- dating from the foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD to 1453, when the city was captured by Ottoman forces.

The selection includes the Chalice of the Patriarchs, ca. 10th-11th century, from the Treasury of San Marco in Venice, the two-sided icon depicting the "Virgin Hodegetria" and the "Man of Sorrows," 12th century, from the Byzantine Museum in Kastoria, and a 10th-11th-century imperial ivory casket from Troyes cathedral. The show is co-curated by Courtauld Institute prof Robin Cormack, University of Thessaly prof Maria Vassilaki and RA exhibitions head Adrian Locke.

Art writers, mark your calendars. Creative Capital’s pilot program of grants for art writers, the Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, is getting ready to accept applications for its third round of grants for "short-form writing, articles and blogs," Aug. 4-Sept. 22, 2008. The second round, in 2007, awarded $300,000 to 16 grants ranging from $7,000 to $35,000. For info, see

This fall, the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago presents "Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art," Oct. 2, 2008-Jan. 25, 2009, an exhibition of works by four contemporary Chinese artists -- Chen Qiulin, Yun-Fe Ji, Liu Xiaodong and Zhuang Hui -- made in response to the massive Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangzi River, which is still under construction. When completed, the dam is expected to be the world’s largest generator of hydroelectric power, promising to reduce flooding and boost the local economy. But its 375-square-mile reservoir has displaced over 1,000,000 people, disrupted the local ecosystem and destroyed archeological sites. The show is organized by Wu Hung, a professor at the University of Chicago.

The exhibition includes four videos of demolition and construction along the river by Chen Qiulin; a long, scroll-like ink painting of the disrupted landscape by Yun-Fei Ji; a 30-foot-long oil painting by Liu Xiaodong of migrant laborers along the river, made on site; and a conceptual photographic installation by Zhuang Hui. The show also features two handscroll ink paintings on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago: Yang Bu Moving His Family (Yuan dynasty, 1279-1368) and King Yu Moving a Mountain to Control the Floods (Ming dynasty, 1368-1644).

The exhibition is slated to appear at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, N.C., as well as at other venues, to be announced. In Chicago, the show includes an audio feature -- interviews with the artists -- available by telephoning a special number, to be listed on the museum website during the run of the exhibition.  

As we draw close to the advent of Prospect.1 New Orleans, Nov. 1, 2008-Jan. 19, 2009, curator Dan Cameron’s ambitious contemporary art biennial, several highlights have been announced. Some examples:

* New York artist Paul Villinski, whose works range from fantastic flying machines to butterflies cut from aluminum cans, is making a mobile artist’s studio from an abandoned FEMA trailer.

* South African Zwelethu Mthewthwa visited New Orleans in 2007, making his first photographs outside Africa, which debut at the biennial.

* Artists Adam Cvijanovic and Nari Ward are both siting new works inside flood-damaged structures in the city, and artists Jacqueline Humphries, Julie Mehretu and Pierre & Gilles are making new works specifically for the show.

* Indiana-based concrete poet Kay Rosen plans several "word puzzle" works for New Orleans billboards, and Navin Rawanchaikul is interviewing New Orleans taxi drivers for a comic book to be distributed in city taxis during the biennial.

* New Orleans artists in the biennial include sculptor Srdjan Loncar, who is installing a "sculptural pile of money" in front of the Old U.S. Mint, providing briefcases for visitors to carry some of it away. For further info, see

The Miami Art Museum has announced a major exhibition for the fall -- the fall of 2009, that is. "Everything: Guillermo Kuitca," Oct. 9, 2009-Jan. 17, 2010, surveys the Argentine artist’s 25-year-long career via more than 50 canvases and 25 works on paper, and also includes an installation work made with 52 painted mattresses, on view in its entirety for the first time in the United States. Organized by Albright-Knox Art Gallery curator Douglas Dreishpoon, the show subsequently travels to the Albright-Knox, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Walker Art Center.

Add a DYI event to the art fair madness in Miami this November. The Artist Fair, Dec. 4-7, 2008, plans to present freelance artists, curators and even galleries in booths at the Shelborne Hotel on Collins Avenue, across from INK Miami and down the block from the Bridge Art Fair and the Art Now Fair. Booths are priced at $3,400-$3,600; the application deadline is Sept. 30, 2008. The fair is organized by Connecticut-based art collector Robert Sommo, and is being coordinated by Daria Souvorova. For more info, see

New York’s auction firms seem like such monolithic powerhouses that it’s easy to forget that their staff includes aspiring artists of all stripes. In fact, the places are teeming with hard-working artists, and this summer sees staff exhibitions at all three big auctioneers.

Phillips de Pury & Co. presents a "Staff Show" at both its London location, July 31-Aug. 4, 2008, and its New York facility, July 31-Aug. 15, 2008. The long list of participating artists (not distinguished by site) includes Ben Adams, James Antonson, Dylan Atkins, Rob Bellman, Adam Bridgland, the collaborative team of Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann, Adrian Cosma, Tom Costa, Paul de Bono, Oliver Diggins, David D’Ostilio, Ryan Flakowitz, Mia Ferrera Wiesenthal, Dan Gaze, David Goldstein, Dickey Graham, Mike Harte, Joe Hewlett, Anna Ho, Lee Johnson, Karina Joseph, Boris Kajmak, Woodrow Kernohan, Jack Kettlewell, Thomas Kitchin, Benn Linnell, Melissa Lockwood, Corey Mahar, Ross Martin, Alan McQuillan, Chris McSherry, Andy Mealor, Ivgenia Naiman, Ishai Rimmer, Stefan Rurak, Anya Ryabinina, Mark Seiltz, Daniel Shaw-Smith, Melissa Skluzacek, and Brendan Suraci.

Christie’s New York presents "Insider Art / 9th Annual Staff Art Exhibition," Aug. 9-26, 2008, a show that is represented on the auction-house website with a highlights gallery. Participants include Stuart Alexander, Jacquelyn Autrey, Daniel Bina, Aaron Black, Alicia Brooks, Jessica Brozyna, Giovanni Caravaggio, Keith Carlisle, Jean-Paul Chatellenaz, Hortencia Cisneros, Shirley Dauo, Juan Ponce DeLeon, Julie Drennan, Lado Dzneladze, Elizabeth Eichholz, Jessie Edelman, Sara Fendley, Don Fisher, Jason Fox, Lynn Fylak, Eliot Glenn, Elise Glick, Douglas Goldberg, Ryan Goolsby, Jannah Greenblatt, William Gregory, Matt Held, Douglas Ho, Rhea Karam, Michael Kastendieck, Ardalan Keramati, Paula Kowalczyk, Tatiana Dronberg, Vivian Kumana, Sophia Jackson, Ian Joseph, Sophie Larrimore, Jonathan Laib, Christine Linder, Daphne Lingon, Simeon Lipman, Mimi Luse, Luis Maldonado, Frank Miller, Dominique Morales, Matthew Nichols, Lily Oh, Ewa Orzechowska, Helen Paik, John Parnell, Lindsey Platek, Tina-Marie Poulin, Carleigh Queenth, Terry Ragasa, Peter Raho, Christopher Santacroce, Sarah Sephard, David Schlegel, Martin Schott, Mia Simring, Cathy Sledz, Lenard Smith, DeeWayne Sowels, CK Swett, Macy Trinh-Chung, Julio Vega, Hartley Waltman, Shirley Wells, and Gretchen Yagielski.

And Sotheby’s New York is having an employee art exhibition as well, on view July 21-25, 2008, on the seventh floor of the auction house’s York Avenue headquarters.

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