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Artnet News
Aug. 14, 2008 

"Remember that kid in the back of the class who would draw anything and usually get sent to detention? Well now he’s all grown up. . . kind of." So reads a promo line on the comix artist D.J. Coffman’s website, which at the beginning of the summer made the incredible offer to draw anything for $2. Why? "Number one, it’s fun. Number two, it’s practice. . . ." Recent topics include Hillary Clinton and Hannah Montana in a Wild West Showdown, Lord Krishna as James Dean, and Garden Gnome Smokes a Bong. The artist warns that he typically spends no more than five minutes on any one cartoon. Payment is via PayPal; buyers get a digital file. Potential customers should be warned, however, that with a deal like this, the orders are stacking up: last week Yirmumah was 21 drawings behind schedule.

Antiques show operator Meg Wendy has merged her family-owned show-management business -- most recently operating four shows at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan and a fifth in Morristown, N.J. -- with Manhattan Media, publisher of Avenue Magazine, the New York Press, 02138 (the Harvard alumni magazine) and several community newspapers. Manhattan Media has been aggressively expanding, and the merger is the firm’s first move into the antiques show arena; the partnership is expected to provide synergies, especially in audience development. The new operation, named the Avenue/Wendy Shows, continues to be overseen by Meg (Wendy) Geslin. The first Avenue/Wendy show, Antiques & Arts at the Park Avenue Armory, Dec. 4-7, 2008, now in its 19th year, features over 70 dealers specializing in antiques, decorative arts, silver and porcelain and more. For more info, see

The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Oh., has announced two new appointments to its curatorial department. German curator Catharina Manchanda, who previously served as curator at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, has been named senior curator, while Christopher Bedford, presently assistant curator in the department of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has been appointed curator. Manchanda is already on the job; Bedford starts work in Columbus in October (he is also organizing a Chris Burden retrospective for LACMA, scheduled for 2012).

Dale Chihuly is easily the most famous contemporary glass artist in the world, and despite the marvelously colorful quality of his works, it can sometimes seem difficult to come up with a new angle on the things, so to speak. Kudos, then, to Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans for presenting "Dale Chihuly: Black Work," Aug. 2-Sept. 12, 2008, an exhibition that takes the celebrated Seattle Studio Glass master over to "the dark side." Not everything in the show is black glass, of course, though it notably features a number of black chandeliers and several golden vessels topped by gold-flecked black sea turtles, crabs or octopi. For more info, see

The red ball is coming to Chicago. New York-based artist Kurt Perschke’s ongoing "RedBall Project," which he has performed in Europe and Korea, is set to appear in the Windy City, Sept. 1-25, 2008. The idiosyncratic performance involves Perschke inflating a 15-foot red balloon, and wedging it incongruously into place in various public locales -- in this case, places like Millennium Park, the Hyde Park Art Center and the Chicago Cultural Center, as well as a few odd bridges and alleyways. In Chicago, the piece is sponsored by Target. Information on the exact itinerary for the ball is at

Art lovers can renew their affair with young talent at the Parsons MFA photography thesis exhibition at the new Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons the New School for Design at 66 Fifth Avenue in New York, Aug. 25-Sept. 12, 2008. The exhibition includes works by recent graduates Brett Bell, Mark William Fernandes, Nathaniel Harger, Meghan McInnis, Kyung Mi Park, Haley Samuelson, Sean Simpson, Kirsten Springer-Delgado, Meng-Hsun Wu, Tingting Xu and Grace Yang. The opening reception is scheduled for Aug. 27.

GEORGE DEEM, 1932-2008
George Deem, 76, New York artist known for "conceptual realist" paintings that drew on images of Old and Modern Masters, died after a brief illness on Aug. 11, 2008. Born in Vincennes, Ind., Deem exhibited regularly at Allan Stone Gallery in New York from 1962-1977, developing a painting style that employed virtuosic skill to revise classical paintings, with a particular affection for Vermeer. His work was widely exhibited and is held in many collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2004, a book of his work, How to Paint A Vermeer: A Painter’s History of Art, featured an essay by Robert Rosemblum, while a collection of his own writings, Let George Do It, is scheduled for publication later this year. He is currently represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery, which plans an exhibition of Deem paintings concurrent with a retrospective at Allan Stone in January 2009.

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