PRINCE’S SECOND HOUSE DESTROYED
An act of nature has destroyed Richard Prince’s Second House, an art installation located near the artist’s home in Rensselaerville, N.Y. On June 28, 2007, lightning hit the building, sparking a fire that reduced the wood structure to ashes. The House, along with the 80-acres surrounding it, had been acquired by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 2005, which had committed to keep the unique project open to the public 10 years before transferring its contents to its own collection.
Prince, known for his use of appropriated imagery, had purchased the four-room shack as an example of "found architecture" that was an "ersatz slice of Americana," as the Guggenheim described it at the time of its purchase. The building had been abandoned for 12 years prior to the artist’s acquisition, and he remodeled the interior to create what New York Times art scribe Carol Vogel described as the centerpiece of a "private, rural theme park."
One notable component of the work was a suite of 11 Prince sculptures made as casts of actual car hoods, but they were not in the building at the time of the fire, according to the Guggenheim press office. However, all the other items in the installation, which included a joke painting, planters made from old tires, a table made from a basketball backboard, a jewelry cabinet displaying a necklace fashioned from bread fasteners, and a selection of first-edition books about Woodstock from Prince’s library, are presumed to have been lost to the flames. The Guggenheim had described this collection of works as a "definitive example of Prince’s practice."
Second House was the sequel to First House, an installation the artist created in Los Angeles in 1993. First House was destroyed to make way for new property after Prince’s three-month lease on the L.A. space had ended. A retrospective of the artist’s work, "Richard Prince: Spiritual America," opens at the Guggenheim Museum in New York later this year.
NEW CENTER FOR CURATORIAL LEADERSHIP
Former Brooklyn Museum curator of European art Elizabeth Easton, who was founding director of the Association of Art Museum Curators in 2001, has now launched the Center for Curatorial Leadership, designed to train curators to become museum directors. The four-week program begins with two weeks of intensive study in nonprofit management, finance and budget analysis, fundraising and board development and the like in New York, followed by a one-week residency at a major museum and a final week of study in Los Angeles.
A host of top museum directors are behind the idea, including Metropolitan Museum director Philippe de Montebello and Van Gogh Museum head Axel Rüger. Art patron and Museum of Modern Art trustee Agnes Gund is co-founder of the organization, and has pledged funding for the first three years, covering the cost of tuition, travel, and room and board for participating fellows. The first program begins in January 2008; applications are due July 31, 2007. For more info, see www.curatorialleadership.org
CLAYTON PATTERSON IN CHELSEA
Celebrated Lower East Side photographer and political activist Clayton Patterson has documented the various doings of East Village bohemia from his storefront studio on Essex Street for almost a quarter century. Now, for the first time, he’s showing a selection of images from his archive in "Clayton Patterson: The Lower East Side," Sept. 12-Oct. 27, 2007, at Kinz, Tillou + Feigen at 529 West 20th Street. Patterson’s "day-to-day visual history of the area" is told through "unpretentious portraits of myriad and diverse faces: tenement kids and homeless people, poets and politicians, drug dealers and drag queens, rabbis and santeros, beat cops, graffiti taggres, hookers, junkies, punks, anarchists, mystics and crackpots."
Kinz, Tillou + Feigen -- the successor gallery to Feigen Contemporary -- is a new partnership between dealers Lance Kinz and Michelle Tillou, located on the top floor of the 11-story gallery building (in space formerly occupied by I-20). The gallery is currently featuring "By Invitation Only," an exhibition of 22 artists selected by nine different curators, including Charles Desmarais, Dinaburg Arts, David Gibson, David Humphrey and David Hunt. For more details, see www.ktfgallery.com
DADAIST CAMPAIGN ADS?
Artists Matt Mayes and Guston Sondin-Klausner have touched off what art historian Crispin Sartwell calls the "new artpolitical era" with their series of Zen-like political ads for former Alaska senator and current long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel. The two ads were released on YouTube and immediately garnered attention for their unconventional approach to marketing their candidate. Dubbed Rock and Fire, the spots are wordless, and show Gravel simply staring into the camera before tossing a stone into a pond, and gathering wood to light a fire, respectively.
"These are Dadaist campaign ads," Sartwell writes in an opinion piece in the L.A. Times, "as revolutionary in their context as Duchamp’s urinal, Warhol’s Marilyns, Washington crossing the Delaware, Bugs Bunny’s attack on Elmer Fudd." Both Mayes and Sondin-Klausner teach at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles; Sondin-Klausner is represented by Solway Jones gallery.
GREENBERG VAN DOREN ON THE BOWERY
Count another sophisticated uptown gallery opening a project space down on the Bowery in the shadow of the soon-to-be-completed New Museum building -- Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, which is opening Eleven Rivington, a 700-square-foot space on Rivington Street across from Freeman Alley. The new gallery is designed by architect James Slade and overseen by director and curator Augusto Arbizo. The plan calls for alternating solo and group shows of emerging artists in all mediums; first up is Jessica Craig-Martin, opening in September 2007.
HUGE COLLECTION TO COLBY COLLEGE
Colby College in Waterville, Me., has received a promised gift of 464 artworks by artists ranging from Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent to Jenny Holzer and Donald Judd, and including 201 prints by James McNeill Whistler. Donors of the collection are Peter and Paula Lunder, long-time supporters of the school and the Colby College Museum of Art. More than 80 works from the collection are currently on view at the museum; an exhibition of 200 works from the donation is scheduled for 2009, in celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary. The donation also includes a collection of more than 150 books, journals, photographs and archival materials related to Whistler. The collection has an estimated value of over $100 million.
LINDA PACE, 1945-2007
Linda Pace, 62, artist and art patron who launched ArtPace in San Antonio in 1995 to provide artists with a place to work, died at home of breast cancer on July 2. Sole daughter of Pace Foods founder David Pace, Linda Pace was an art collector, and wrote the memoir Dreaming Red: Creating ArtPace (2002). As an artist she was known for her dream drawings, a mirrored igloo she exhibited in San Antonio and the Red Project (2001), a collection of hundreds of red items.