HARD NEWS FOR SALANDER-O’REILLY
Art insiders are talking about the reports in the Maine Antique Digest by David Hewitt on the legal troubles of Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, one of Manhattan’s top dealers, which handles everything from Renaissance sculpture to contemporary art in its elegant mansion on East 71st Street. According to the reports, dealer Lawrence Salander has been involved in no less than three lawsuits over payments for artworks handled or sold by the gallery. One dispute involved the gallery’s inventory of "hundreds" of works by Stuart Davis, on consignment from the artist’s son, Earl Davis, which seems to be settled. Another concerns a $9 million transaction for a 1932 oil by Charles Sheeler. For the complete details, see www.maineantiquedigest.com.
SNAPSHOTS AT NGA
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is featuring more than 200 anonymous snapshots in "The Art of the American Snapshot 1888-1978: From the Collection of Robert E. Jackson," Oct. 7-Dec. 31, 2007. Organized by NGA curators Sarah Greenough and Diane Waggoner, the exhibition presents the pictures chronologically -- the beginning date is the year of the invention of the Kodak camera and roll film -- and explores "common tricks and technical gaffes in amateur snapshots, and reveals how proper behavior when posing for the camera changed over time." A Seattle-based analyst for a global asset management company (with a degree in art history), Robert E. Jackson has been collecting photos for 10 years, and has amassed a collection of some 8,200 images.
MAX ART FOR A-ROD
The New York Yankees celebrated Alex Rodriguez’s achievement of becoming the youngest ballplayer ever to hit 500 home runs on Monday night by offering the sports star two specially commissioned paintings and a sculpture by 70-year-old German-American Pop artist Peter Max. The paintings are both portraits of A-Rod -- one with Yankees cap, one without -- set against a psychedelic background, with the number "500" inscribed above his head in baseballs. Rodriguez also received the home plate from his 500th homer, and a silver tray with an inscription from George Steinbrenner.
The latest venture into art-world fiction comes from stage and film actor David Thewlis, otherwise known as Professor Lupis in the Harry Potter films. Thewlis’ first novel, The Late Hector Kipling, published in London last month and due out from Simon and Schuster in the U.S. in November, is described as a "warm and witty novel about the not so warm and witty world of art," with cameos from the likes of Gilbert & George, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sarah Lucas and more. "A sick and brilliant read," says Paper magazine senior editor Carlo McCormick.
MACBAIN RAISES CASH
Moonbeam millionaire Louise T. Blouin MacBain, owner of Art & Auction magazine and founder of the LTB Institute in London, knows how to make money as well as spend it. According to a report in the Daily Mail, MacBain has sold her 10-bedroom house in London’s Holland Park neighborhood for £28 million, a £16 million profit. She is moving to a six-bedroom penthouse in Albion Riverside, a development in Battersea designed by Norman Foster. Because of the move, MacBain is selling some of her antiques, plus her collection of designer shoes and handbags (including a group of 23 Kelly bags), at Christie’s. The sale is expected to total £1.5 million.
As for MacBain’s nonprofit organization, the Louise T. Blouin Foundation, it plans to gather together "a hand-selected 100 of the greatest minds and leaders from across the world" for its second annual "global creative leadership summit" on Sept. 23-25, 2007, at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. Among the big-heads who have signed up so far are Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, baroness Susan Greenfield, psychiatrist Oliver Sacks, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, designer Calvin Klein and artist Tom Sachs.
NYC CONTEMPORARY FAIR FOR ASIAN ART
The Asian Contemporary Art Fair New York, Nov. 8-12, 2007, billed as the first fair devoted to contemporary Asian art, debuts at Pier 92 on the Hudson River just after the fall contemporary art auctions. Among the 80 exhibitors from 10 countries are Arario Gallery, Aura Gallery, Baronian Francey, Chambers Fine Art, Ethan Cohen Fine Art, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, Galerie BHAK, Kashya Hildebrand, Urs Meile, Goedhuis Contemporary, Kukje and Sundaram Tagore. The fair is directed by Thomas Arnold and Inhee Iris Moon and, according to press reports, backed by an unnamed Korean collector. For more info, see www.acafny.com
BRIDGE ART FAIR COMES TO NEW YORK
The Bridge Art Fair may have started in Chicago, but it has fled the Windy City for more favorable art-market climes, with installments already scheduled for London (Oct. 11-14, 2007) and Miami (Dec. 6-9, 2007). Now, a third fair has been added to the lineup -- Bridge New York, Mar. 27-30, 2008, presenting approximately 70 exhibitors at the Waterfront building at 12th Avenue and 27th Street (otherwise known as the Terminal Warehouse, former home of the Tunnel nightclub). The dates correspond with those of the Armory Show and the other New York spring fairs.
FREE PASS FOR RED BULL ART?
Is "art" becoming just another word for cheap corporate marketing? Hot on the heels of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ announcement that it is letting its upcoming Takashi Murakami retrospective be colonized by a fully-functioning Louis Vuitton boutique, for free [see "Artnet Design," Aug. 9, 2007], Portland’s Willamette Week takes a look at the Red Bull-sponsored "Illume" exhibition, Aug. 2-12, 2007, which filled a section of the Oregon city’s North 6th Ave. with enormous light boxes featuring photos of extreme sports daring-do. "How much cash does the city get to close off traffic on three blocks of downtown Portland for two weeks so a company can mount a huge ad campaign?" the paper asks. "Absolutely none, if the company is smart enough to disguise the whole thing as an art exhibition."
The exhibition (which was already seen in Aspen, Co. and Huntington Beach, Ca.) features 50 photos selected by photo editors from Communication Arts, Time, Photo and the L.A. Times, as well as from Surfing, Skiing and Climbing magazines, among others. Its goal is to showcase work that "celebrates the world of action and adventure sports," a creative vision the Portland Department of Transportation apparently thought was noble enough to offer the company -- whose owners Chaleo Yoovidhya and Dietrich Mateschitz were 292 and 317, respectively, on Forbes’ 2006 list of richest people -- a freebie. "Like its product, Red Bull's branding campaign is sleek and small," the marketing newsletter FastCompany wrote in 2001. "Its grassroots efforts fly well beneath the radar, and they provide a startling return on investment. In fact, its most lucrative strategies cost next to nothing."
ART IN GENERAL AT 25
Art in General, the formidable Tribeca alternative space, celebrates its 25th anniversary this month with an exhibition at the UBS Art Gallery at 1285 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. "25 Years Later," Aug. 16-Nov. 9, 2007, organized by AIG director Anne Barlow and curators Sofia Hernandez and Anthony Marcellini, presents either new works or expanded versions of works previously exhibited at the gallery by 11 artists: Alejandro Cesarco, Kianga Ford, Chitra Ganish and Mariam Ghani, Sharon Hayes, Timothy Hutchings, Surasi Kusolwong, Bik Van der Pol, Ana Prvacki, Jiří Skála and Lee Walton. Many of the artworks involve audience participation and unfold over the duration of the show. Among the attractions: Prvacki is giving weekly demos of her "money laundering wet wipes."
WEXNER CENTER RESIDENCIES
The Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio, has announced the winners of its residencies for 2007-08, during which artists (chosen by the center’s director and curators) produce new works. Kerry James Marshall is working with local teenagers to put on his Rhythm Mastr comic strip (exhibited at Documenta 12 in Kassel) as a Bunraku puppet show in the center galleries as part of "Kerry James Marshall: Every Beat of My Heart," Feb. 2-Apr. 13, 2008. Other residents are the British performing arts troupe Improbable (Julian Crouch, Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson) and filmmakers Jennifer Reeder, Patrick Keiller and April Martin.
TURRELL SKYSCAPE AT POMONA
Artist James Turrell’s first public "skyscape" in Southern California opens at Pomona College -- Turrell’s alma mater -- on Oct. 13, 2007. Turrell’s design features a metal canopy that frames the sky, a shallow reflecting pool and programmed lighting that alters the perception of the sky during the transition from twilight to full night. In conjunction with the skyscape, the Pomona College Museum of Art is presenting the exhibition "James Turrell at Pomona College," Sept. 4, 2007-May 17, 2008, as well as a day-long symposium on Oct. 13.
The Tacoma Museum of Art in Tacoma, Wa. now offers free WiFi access to the internet, allowing visitors to the museum café, balcony and other public spaces to go online. Museum director Stephanie Stebich sees the initiative as a "new means of integrating art and technology." Visitors are responsible for providing their own laptops, which must have their own power sources. LUXE GALLERY TO STANTON STREET
Dealer Stephan Stoyanov is moving his Luxe Gallery from 24 West 57th Street down to the Lower East Side, where he is opening at 53 Stanton Street, in the same building as the new Smith-Stewart Gallery. Luxe opens on Sept. 6, 2007, with "All the Way," featuring works by gallery artists. Smith-Stewart opens the same day with "Ylva Ogland: Venus at Her Mirror."
KOSTABI WORLD TO CHELSEA
Artist Mark Kostabi is moving his Kostabi World studio from SoHo to the third floor of 514 West 24th Street in Chelsea, the "power block" that already includes Larry Gagosian, Mary Boone, Barbara Gladstone and many other galleries. Kostabi plans to tape his popular game show, Title This, in which art critics and other celebrities compete to title his paintings for cash prizes, at the new location -- and on the building roof, weather permitting. Kostabi says that he expects dollar bills from the TV show’s "money toss" to make their way to the street, especially on a windy day, "reflecting the idea that the streets of the art world are paved with gold."
ELIZABETH MURRAY, 1940-2007
Elizabeth Murray, 66, New York abstract painter known for her use of bright colors, cartoon imagery and shaped canvases, died of complications of lung cancer, at her home in Washington County, N.Y. Born in Chicago, Murray graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1958, going on to earn an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, Ca. in 1964. In 1967, she moved to New York City, developing her distinctive idiom amid the Post-Minimalist fervor of the period. Murray went on to receive a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant in 1999, and in 2006, she was given a full retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.