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Artnet News
Aug. 12, 2008 

The fall art season gets off to a big start at the Bronx Museum of the Arts with "Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now," Sept. 14, 2008-Jan. 25, 2009. Organized by Lydia Yee, the former curator of the museum who is now curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the show begins with the street photography of William Klein, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander and goes on to survey Fluxus performances and ephemera, street art by Jacques de la Villeglé and Claes Oldenburg, Body Art street performances from the 1960s by Vito Acconci and Valie Export, and works from the ‘70s and ‘80s by Martha Rosler, Tehching Hsieh, Martin Wong, Jamel Shabazz, Nikki S. Lee, Allan Sekula, Francis Alÿs and many other artists. The Public Art Fund has co-commissioned new works by Xaviera Simmons and Fatimah Tuggar for the show, and the museum itself has commissioned a work by the India-based collective Blank Noise Project. The show is accompanied by a catalogue co-published with Aperture.

Few young Manhattan art dealers are more influential than Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, whose Salon 94 gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side recently expanded by opening a downtown branch on Freeman Alley off the Bowery. This September, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College is giving art lovers a chance to peruse her private collection. Dubbed "Excerpt: Selections from the Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn Collection," Sept. 26, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009, the show features works by 18 artists, ranging from Barry X Ball, Tamy Ben-Tor, Huma Bhabha and Glenn Brown to Richard Prince, Aïda Ruilova, Rudolf Stingel and Piotr Uklanski. Rohatyn, who opened Salon 94 in 2002, is a member of Vassar’s class of 1989.

The heirs of celebrated Mexican-American folk artist Martín Ramírez (1895-1963), who spent 33 years in mental hospitals in California, are suing Maureen Hammond, a retired art therapist, over 17 drawings by Ramírez that she says she received as a gift in 1961 from the artist’s doctor, the late Tarmo Pasto. The heirs, Martin Ramirez Salinas and Maria de Jesus Reyes Ramirez Miller, two Ramírez grandchildren who live in California, sued in U.S. District Court in New York on Aug. 11, 2008, seeking the works as well as $3 million. The 17 drawings are presently at Sotheby’s, where Hammond had consigned them for sale.

Hammond’s lawyer has denied the Ramírez family’s claim of ownership, saying that over the years Pasto had given away scores of Ramírez drawings with the artist’s consent, including to institutions like the Guggenheim Museum. During the artist’s retrospective at the American Folk Art Museum in 2007, much comment was made about the fact that Ramírez’s family hardly knew the artist and never kept any of his artworks. The auction record for a Ramírez drawing is $95,600, set at Christie’s New York in 2003.

Bad boy artist Paul McCarthy made news in 2007 with inflatable butt plugs. Now, he’s taken his fecalphilia to Switzerland, where an inflatable sculpture of a huge pile of dog doo slipped its moorings in the wind and caused general havoc, bringing down a power line and breaking a window before landing in the grounds of a children’s home, according to press reports. Dubbed Complex Shit, the work is part of "East of Eden: A Garden Show," May 31-Oct. 26, 2008, at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland.

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Brattleboro, Vt., has opened the first career-long retrospective of prints by Color Field painter Jules Olitski (1922-2007). "Jules Olitski: An Inside View," Aug. 9-Nov. 16, 2008, features 45 works from five decades, including his lush allover images from the 1970s that led critic Clement Greenberg to call the artist "the best painter alive." The show is organized by the museum in collaboration with Knoedler & Company and Lauren Olitski Poster. After premiering in Brattleboro, it travels to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, N.C., Jan. 11-Mar. 29, 2009; the Brady Art Gallery in Washington, D.C., May 1-June 30, 2009; the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Jan. 4-Feb. 28, 2010; the Butler Institute in Youngstown, Ohio, Mar. 21-May 16, 2010; and the Opalka Gallery in Albany, N.Y., Sept. 7-Oct. 31, 2010.

Over 180,000 women have served in the U.S. military in combat zones, and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond in Richmond, Va. (founded in 1963 by Elisabeth Scott Bocock as the Hand Workshop) is launching the 2007-08 art season with an exhibition focusing on women combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. "When Janey Comes Marching Home: Women Combat Veterans," Sept. 12-Dec. 14, 2008, a collaboration between author-filmmaker Laura Browder and photojournalist Sascha Pflaeging, presents large-format color photographs and accompanying oral histories of more than 40 female soldiers. According to the curators, the exhibition "will unsettle our fixed ideas about Americans at war and add dimension to the often flawed or fragmentary pop culture depictions of women in the military." For more information, see

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has acquired an amazing trove of 3,500 photographs by 700 photographers from the collection of the late Marjorie and Leonard Vernon in a purchase funded by LACMA trustee Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation. The acquisition -- no price was disclosed -- brings LACMA’s photo holdings to some 12,000 images. Selections from the collection go on view on Oct. 5, 2008, in "A Story of Photography: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection." A Los Angeles real-estate developer and builder, Leonard Vernon began his collection with his wife in 1976.

Three exhibition proposals have received funding in 2008 from the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award, established in 1998 to support innovative and challenging thematic exhibitions. Winners are Susan Cross and MASS MoCA in North Adams, who received $135,000 for "World: Painting and Sculpture as Environment"; Stephanie Smith and the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, who won $150,000 for "Feast: Radical Hospitality and Contemporary Art"; and Kimberli Meyer, Lisa Henry, Nizan Shaked and Gloria Sutton and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in Los Angeles, who received $150,000 for "How Many Billboards on the Boulevard?" The shows go on view in 2009-11. For more info, see

New York City photographer Kate Orne has won the 2008 Berenice Abbott Prize for an Emerging Photographer from the Julia Dean Photo Workshops in Venice, Ca. Orne was cited for her color photographs of impoverished sex-workers and their families in Pakistan, pictures that are designed, Orne says, to raise awareness about this community and raise funds for two local schools. The Abbott Prize includes an exhibition at the Julia Dean gallery, which opens on Oct. 11, 2008.

The winner of the 2008 Frieze Writer’s Prize, a £2,000 award sponsored by the London-based art magazine and designed to discover and promote new art critics, is William Gass (the artist, not the award-winning American novelist -- and well-established literary critic -- William H. Gass). Runners up in the competition, who each receive a £500 prize, are Graham T. Beck and Conor Carville. Judges for the competition were Tate Triennial curator Nicolas Bourriaud, Frieze magazine co-editor Jennifer Higgie and Guardian art critic Adrian Searle.

Art Miami, the long-established Miami art fair, is sponsored for 2008 by the New York City-based investment management firm BlackRock, the nation’s largest asset manager. "Like Art Miami, BlackRock embraces a global perspective; we invest assets on behalf of clients based all over the world," said Chris Poe, BlackRock’s director of sponsorships. Art Miami, Dec. 3-7, 2008, brings 115 dealers to a custom-made pavilion in the Wynwood Arts District.

Sleeper art show of the month in New York’s Chelsea art district is "Luhring Augustine Presents," Aug 15-29, 2008, at Luhring Augustine Gallery, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper by artists who are also members of the gallery staff: Donovan Barrow, Gabriel Bennett, Charles Black, Joshua Brown, Caroline Burghardt, Daniel Crews, Tiffany Edwards, Ryan Ford, Paul Krause, Junpei Murao and Chad Nelson. The show, which has an opening vernissage on Aug. 14, also boasts "contributions by staff members who endeavor to be creative, but do not maintain full time art practices." Hmmm? Art dealers’ doodles, perhaps? Stay tuned.

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