TAX SHELTER PROBE TOUCHES ON ART WORLD
The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has been probing offshore tax shelters and money laundering for years, and recent revelations have cast a light on the financial practices of some art collectors. A story in the Wall Street Journal, for instance, outlined the way that Dallas billionaire Sam Wyly established tax-exempt companies on the Isle of Man that bought artworks -- jewelry and other assets -- and then lent the art to him and his family members for everyday use. This procedure is somehow supposed to avoid income taxes, or at least so Wyly’s tax advisors suggested. Among the assets was a pocket watch bought from Christie’s for $41,125 and a painting by Pre-Raphaelite artist John William Godward titled Noonday Rest (1910) bought from Sotheby’s for £154,000 (about $287,000). Sam Wyly, 71, and his brother, Charles Wyly, 72, are described by the WSJ as "pioneers in computer software, hedge funds and retail" -- but now the Wyly family affairs are the subject of a federal grand-jury investigation in Dallas.
WARHOL ON PBS
Andy Warhol is getting the Ric Burns treatment in a forthcoming two-part, four-hour biopic airing this September on PBS. In addition to extensive material from the Andy Warhol Museum archives, the documentary features Jeff Koons as the voice of Warhol, and is narrated by Laurie Anderson. It includes interviews with art critic Dave Hickey and author Stephen Koch.
GROTJAHN AT WHITNEY
Who says abstract painting is all washed up? The Whitney Museum of American Art is greeting the fall season with an exhibition of new works in its lobby gallery by Los Angeles artist Mark Grotjahn, known for rugged abstractions characterized by radial sections and, sometimes, his own initials given ornamental weight. The show is organized by Shamim M. Momin.
NEW ORLEANS FLOOD PHOTOS AT THE MET
To mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods that devastated the Gulf coast, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting a show of approximately 20 large-scale color photographs by Robert Polidori made on four visits to New Orleans in the last year. "New Orleans after the Flood: Photographs by Robert Polidori," Sept. 19-Dec. 10, 2006, is organized by Met curator Jeff L. Rosenheim, who also penned the introduction to an accompanying book published by Steidl.
GULF ART FAIR SET FOR 2007
Word is out on a partial lineup of galleries that have signed on as participants in the first Gulf Art Fair in the Arab emirate of Dubai, Mar. 8-10, 2007. Some 40 dealers are expected for the fair, which is likely to be among the the world’s most costly for participants (with Frieze in London). Exhibitors are also precluded from showing nudes, thanks to conservative local laws, and may not hold Israeli passports, as Dubai maintains a boycott against things Israeli. So far, according to fair director John Martin, the list of participants includes Lisson, PaceWildenstein, Galerie Tanit, Sfeir Semler, Diana Lowenstein, Baudoin Lebon, Scai the Bathhouse, Sundaram Tagore, Continua, Crane Kalman, Galerie Thomas, Flowers, 1301PE, Bose Pascia and others, including several from India (Dubai is a mere two-hour plane trip from Delhi). For details, see wwww.gulfartfair.com.
SCOPE GETS MIAMI LOCATION
Scope Miami 2006 sets up this Dec. 7-10, 2006, in a custom-designed 40,000-square-foot pavilion sited in Roberto Clemente Park in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, only blocks away from the Rubell Family Art Collection and the Margulies Collection. The new pavilion design is a collaboration between Scope president Alexis Hubshman, architect Charles Mallea, tent designer Alain Perez and engineer Pat Tarrant. Some 85 exhibitors are expected at the fair.
BACKSTAGE WITH GREENFIELD-SANDERS
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, the art world’s favorite portrait photographer, is publishing his latest book in September 2006 to coincide with "Fashion Week" in New York. Look: Portraits Backstage at Olympus Fashion Week features 165 photos of 184 fashion notables ranging from Paula Abdul, Naomi Campbell and Sean "Diddy" Combs to Vogue editor-at-large André Leon Talley. Look is published by powerHouse Books and priced at $39.95.
The National Academy Museum and the Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting in America has announced 12 recipients of $1,200 fellowships in the sixth annual mural workshop, which is directed by Grace Graupe-Pillard. The winners, whose works are on view at the National Academy School of Fine Arts at 5 East 89th Street, Aug. 4-Sept. 1, 2006, are Stefany Blyn, Isabel Carrio, Tapati Chowdhury, Camila Chaves Cortes, Xiomara D. Cotton, Richard Feaster, Karen Fitzgerald, Irene Gennaro, Rory Golden, Julie Gross, Roberta Melzl and Luigi Terruso.
NEW EDITOR AT "ART & AUCTION"
Anthony Freund, arts editor at Town & Country magazine for more than a decade, has been named as the new editor of Art & Auction magazine. He succeeds longtime A&A editor Bruce Wollmer, who is cutting back his workload due to health issues, but who is expected to advise and write a column from time to time.
JENS HOFFMANN TO CAA WATTIS INSTITUTE
London Institute of Contemporary Arts director of exhibitions Jens Hoffmann has been named as the new director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at California College of the Arts (CCA). In his new post, Hoffmann oversees exhibitions and other public programs at the college’s San Francisco campus, which include the Logan Galleries and Timken Lecture Hall. Hoffmann succeeds Ralph Rugoff, who was appointed director of the Hayward Gallery in London.
JASON RHOADES, 1965-2006
Jason Rhoades, 41, Los Angeles-based artist known for sprawling epistemological installations that combine all manner of hardware and sports gear into allegorical Goldbergian constructions, in recent years featuring neon signs spelling out a multitude of synonyms for female genitalia, died of heart failure on Aug. 1 in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, Rhoades was for one of his bacchanalian "Black Pussy" performances, scheduled for Aug. 12 in Portland, that included a kind of "jello wrestling" event. A protégé of artist Paul McCarthy -- the pair collaborated on an installation at the 1999 Venice Biennale -- Rhoades burst on the California scene with an exhibition at Rosamund Felsen Gallery in 1994, and completed a major installation at the Kunsthalle Basel in 1996. Since 1993 he has exhibited in New York at David Zwirner Gallery, where a show was scheduled for this fall.