PORTER DRAWINGS IN SOUTHAMPTON
One of many summer treasures in the light-filled and celebrity-studded Hamptons on Long Island is "Fairfield Porter: Drawings from the Estate," Aug. 8-Sept. 18, 2006, at the Ferregut Tower Gallery at 3 Main Street in Southampton, N.Y. Twenty drawings are included in the show, which takes place at a venue that in the 1960s and ‘70s -- when it was called the Tower Gallery -- hosted art exhibitions and readings by the New York School of painters and poets. Fairfield Porter and his wife, the poet Anne Porter, lived just a few doors away.
The Porter exhibition is organized by gallery director Yolanda Merchant, and features an array of little-seen drawings that depict the ocean, village streets and the artist’s home, primarily in Southampton but also in Maine and New York. Merchant characterizes Porter’s drawings as "loose and powerful," and notes that they were typically done as studies for paintings. According to artist Jane Wilson, a good friend of Porter, "Fairfield had such an energetic line, no one could draw the ocean like he did." The drawings are $13,000 each. The gallery is open to the public from Friday through Sunday, 1-6 pm.
CHIHULY KERFUFFLE IN SEATTLE
Glass artist supreme Dale Chihuly may have attracted a little more attention than he wanted when he decided to sue his own assistants for copyright infringement last year (one case has been settled, and the other is pending). The Seattle Times embarked on an investigation of Chihuly’s business dealings, publishing the three-part series on Aug. 6-8, 2006.
The most shocking allegations involve the Chihuly-founded charity Seniors Making Art. According to the Seattle Times, Chihuly has made a practice of selling his glasswork to the charity for its fundraisers, rather than donating it, netting him an estimated million dollars profit over the last five years. The newspaper also alleges that Chihuly has organized the philanthropy so that its annual fundraising galas serve as a client-generator for his studio.
In another article, the Seattle Times alleges that Chihuly made similar arrangements with KCTS, a Seattle-area public TV station, which used his glass works for a fundraiser in November 2005. According to the report, Chihuly used the nonprofit broadcaster for his own commercial gain. What’s more, as part of its pledge drive, KCTS also repeatedly aired a film about Chihuly’s installation at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, produced by the Chihuly-owned publishing company Portland Press – a violation of the Public Broadcast System’s ethical guidelines.
Finally, a third article examines what could be called Chihuly’s strong-arm tactics in discouraging galleries from displaying or selling works by other artists that resemble the distinctive biomorphic forms for which Chihuly is known. More recently, the Seattle Times has balanced its criticism with an op-ed titled "Dale Chihuly, Artist, Marketer, Philanthropist" and penned by Patricia Szabo, the director of a local charity. According to Szabo, while Chihuly may be a canny businessman, overall his tactics have benefited his home city.
GRANTS FOR "ARTS WRITERS"
Art critics, are you ready for the cash to roll in? The Creative Capital-Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts grant program, headed by Margaret Sundell, is offering grants ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 for a total of approximately 20 projects by art historians, artists, critics, curators, journalists and other authors of books, articles and new and alternative media projects. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S. or holders of O-1 visas, and at least 25 years old; full-time students, with the exception of Ph.D candidates, are not eligible. The application deadline is Sept. 18, 2006. According to the guidelines, grants are available to authors of books with publishers already in hand, but not for catalogue texts for exhibitions in commercial galleries. As for all you bloggers out there, the guidelines are rather nonspecific about what kinds of cyber-undertakings might be viewed with favor. For more details -- not to mention a set of definitions of art writing that brings tears to the eyes -- see www.artswriters.org.
ART WEBSITES MAKE MAG’S TOP 50
Among the 50 "coolest" websites in Time magazine’s 2006 list are several that should make the art world proud (or show it a thing or two). These include:
* Artist Miltos Manetas’ digital Jackson Pollock site -- just click on the screen and your cursor becomes a virtual paint-dipping stick, flipping color on the virtual white canvas of the screen (each click changes the hue, and a right-click prints the page).
* Photo Muse, a website put together by the International Center of Photography and the George Eastman House, an online database of work by photography’s greatest figures, including Eugene Atget, Gordon Parks, Gary Winograd and more.
* Drawn!, a laid-back online community of art aficionados whose members post images and interesting links -- an alphabet with letters formed from zombie figures by Len Peralta, for instance, or a series of greasy, toothy monsters designed by Ben Stenbeck and Gez Fry’s animae-influenced commercial illustrations.
* And, of course, Cute Overload, the site that is "#1 Choice of Kittens," where they "scour the Web for only the finest in Cute Imagery," mainly fluffy little animals. Yoshitomo Nara, take note!
"GUEST OF CINDY" COMING SOON
Fans of brilliant postmodernist photographer Cindy Sherman can look forward to rare behind-the-scenes insights into the work of the celebrated artistic chameleon in Guest of Cindy Sherman, a feature documentary film directed by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue and presented in association with the Sundance Channel. An artist who was guiding light of the Manhattan public access cable program Art TV Gallery Beat in the 1990s, H-O draws on his own romantic liaison with Sherman to give an autobiographical touch to a broad-themed tale of art and artists in New York from the 1980s to the present. To preview rough cuts of the film -- H-O told Artnet News that the documentary is now 114 minutes long, and is being cut down to 90 minutes -- people are invited to sign up on www.myspace.com/guestofcs. For more details, and a trailer, see www.filmlikenyc.com.
U.S. MINT SEEKS ARTISTS
Artists, Uncle Sam wants you! The United States Mint is seeking 10 "talented artists" for an "Artistic Infusion Program," designed to provide "the nation’s most gifted artists with the opportunity to contribute beautiful designs to coins that will be enjoyed by all Americans." The mint (which has recently issued a new series of quarters that can look like play money) is also accepting applications from up to six student artists. Artists involved in the program receive $500, $1,000 or $1,500 per design, depending on their level of experience with the program. All applicants must be U.S. citizens. Deadline is Sept. 15 for non-student artists, Oct. 16 for students. More info is available at the program website.
ROSENQUIST FOR ILLY 2006
The new tins of Illy coffee bearing designs by famed Pop artist James Rosenquist are a postmodernist’s dream -- his artwork, aptly titled Coffee Flavours Ideas, doesn’t look remotely out of place! The limited-edition product celebrates the 10th anniversary of Illy’s long-running collaboration with contemporary artists -- Rosenquist redesigned the Illy logo in 1996 and created a set of promotional cups for the brand. To order a set of two cans -- $26 the pair -- see www.illyusa.com.
APOCALYPSE PAINTER IN HARPER’S
Fans of Harper’s magazine may have been somewhat mystified by the series of enigmatic full-page ads for artist William Rusedski splashed across the back inside pages of the last couple of issues, adorned with spiritual and apocalyptic quotes ("The Beast is political power at the devil’s service. . .," one begins). It turns out that the Canadian painter, who advertises himself as "Philosopher -- Poet -- Painter -- Mystic Seer" and claims that his work is collected by "Kings, Queens, Royalty, Celebrities," is plugging a show at London’s John Bloxham Gallery, Sept. 12-Oct. 6, 2006. The ads list the price range for his paintings, which are sometimes abstract and sometimes feature twisted mythological figures in the spirit of William Blake, as €5,000-€100,000. You can see the work (and the ads) at www.rusedski.com
CHAMBERS OPENS IN MINNEAPOLIS
Chambers, a boutique hotel based in New York, is opening a branch with much pomp and circumstance in Minneapolis, Sept. 9, 2006, at 901 Hennepin Ave, just across from the Orpheum Theater. The new location will feature, among other things, an installation titled "The Art of Architecture" from the Rockwell Group, another exhibition called the "Art of Food" by celebrity chef Jean Georges and an art collection that includes Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Maurizio Cattelan and others. Check out the website at www.chambersminneapolis.com
ANNELY JUDA, 1914-2006
Annely Juda, 91, pioneering British art dealer who opened her own gallery in 1960 and went on to show artists ranging from Brancusi and Pollock to Nigel Hall, Leon Kossoff, Anthony Caro and David Hockney, died in London on Aug. 13. Born in Germany on the eve of World War I, Juda briefly studied art history but only became seriously involved in the art business in London in the 1950s, as a single mother with three children. Her first gallery, the Molton Gallery, was designed by Arnold Bode, founder of Documenta; her early specialty was pure abstraction. She launched the Hamilton Galleries in 1963, and Annely Juda Fine Art in 1968 with her son, David Juda, who now runs the operation. Currently on view there is "White Reliefs," an exhibition of work by Michael Michaeledes.
DIANE SHAMASH, 1955-2006
Diane Shamash, 51, public art advocate who was manager of the Seattle Art Commission public art program from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, died of cancer at her home in Brooklyn on Aug. 13. Born in Manhattan, Shamash was curator of modern art at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and gallery director for the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts before moving to Seattle. In New York, she was founding director of Minetta Brook, an organization that organizes public art presentations, and helped produce the reprise of Robert Smithson’s Floating Island that accompanied the artist’s retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum last year. She was married to photographer Joseph Bartscherer.