IMAGES OF 9/11 AT GROUND ZERO
As the fifth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center approaches, the World Trade Memorial Museum remains but a promise (actually, it has a director, Alice M. Greenwald, a price tag of $150 million and is officially scheduled to open in 2009). In the meantime, the museum has installed some photos on the steel fence surrounding Ground Zero, an offering that has considerable poignancy. Titled "Here," the open-air exhibition features 41 photographs from "Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs," the collection of hundreds of 9/11 pictures taken by ordinary people and professionals alike that was originally projected in a SoHo storefront and later exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and other museums. The installation also includes ten photos by Chris Callis of remnants of the Trade Center, now in storage at a hangar at Kennedy Airport.
IVANISHVILI BOUGHT PICASSO: MAG
New York magazine, in a chatty report by Marc Spiegler with the amusing title "The Hunt for the Red Collector," claims that the man who paid $95.2 million for Pablo Picasso’s Dora Maar au Chat (1941) at Sotheby’s New York on May 3, 2006, is Boris Ivanishvili, who is identified as a Georgian mining magnate worth $3.9 billion. According to the article, which is recommended reading, there were five bidders for the picture, which carried a presale guarantee of around $60 million -- a sum closer to its real value, according to dealers Richard Feigen and David Nahmad. Billed as "a game of deduction and educated guesswork," Spiegler’s text begins with a list of 33 Russian billionaires and gradually narrows it down to Ivanishvili, whose selection is "an educated guess, nothing more."
Good work! According to our sources, the buyer’s real name is Bidzina Ivanishvili, rather than the more anglicized "Boris," and he keeps the painting not in Tblisi but at his estate in Sachkhere in Georgia. For a photo, see Forbes’ list of billionaires, here.
RICHTER DOES WINDOWS AT COLOGNE CATHEDRAL
The celebrated Kölner Dom, otherwise known as the Cologne Cathedral, has commissioned 74-year-old postmodernist painter Gerhard Richter to design a new 110-square-meter stained-glass window for the Gothic landmark. Richter’s window, which follows his early "color chart" pictures and uses glass squares in 80 different colors, is slated for an existing opening whose original glass was destroyed during World War II, and its design lost. The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2007. The artist is making a gift of the work, whose production cost, some €350,000, is being covered by donations.
NOVROS AT MENIL COLLECTION
This fall, Houston’s Menil Collection is mounting an exhibition of its holdings of works by New York abstractionist David Novros. Dubbed "David Novros," Nov. 3, 2006-Mar. 4, 2007, the show features the artist’s "portable murals" -- shaped paintings made of several elements, some monochromatic and others subtly colored, that are pieced together on the wall in geometric compositions. Centerpiece is 6:30, a large-scale painting made of several right-angle canvases that was first shown in Los Angeles in 1966. Novros exhibited at the Menil in 1976 in a show titled "Marden, Novros, Rothko: Painting in the Age of Actuality."
CLEVELAND MUSEUM PARTNERS WITH STARBUCKS
No, CMA@STARBUCKS is not a new email address. It’s the tagline for a new partnership between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the ubiquitous Starbucks coffee chain. Since Aug. 18, 2006, ten Starbucks stores in and around Cleveland have been featuring "art corners" with poster-reprints of works in the CMA permanent collection (which is now harder to see, as the museum is in the middle of a $258-million renovation). Among the artists whose works are in the program are Thomas Eakins, Claude Monet, Peter Paul Rubens and Dawoud Bey (way to go, Dawoud!). The promotion also includes "CMA Art Crew" appearances, "in which treasured works of art come to life in the form of costumed characters." Okay -- but why restrict these performances to the coffee shops?
CURATING . . . MYSPACE
Internet artist Guthrie Lonergan has come up with an ingenious curatorial project, organizing an online exhibition of 20 MySpace intro videos as part of "Time Shares," a series of web-art exhibitions organized by Rhizome.net in collaboration with the New Museum. According to artist and critic Tom Moody, the MySpace intros are "the essence of traditional video art, which deals with themes of construction of identity, guerilla theater, acting out and ‘problematizing’ the medium (i.e., using it so badly that it becomes self-conscious)."
ISA GENZKEN AT VENICE BIENNALE
Sculptor Isa Genzken has been selected to represent Germany at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. She "represents the uncompromising artist of today," said Nicolaus Schafhausen, who is curator of the German pavilion. Images of Genzken’s work can be seen at the website of her longtime dealer, Galerie Daniel Buchholz.
CRITIC KEN JOHNSON TO BOSTON GLOBE
Boston culturati have been waiting for almost a year to see whether the Boston Globe would hire a serious art critic to succeed Christine Temin, a 22-year veteran of the paper who had departed in 2005 after an in-house dispute, reportedly over travel expenses. The wait is over, as the Globe announced earlier this month that New York Times freelancer Ken Johnson would take the job, beginning in September. Johnson, 53, has been a contributing editor at Art in America magazine since 1990, and had written for the Times -- the Globe’s corporate parent, as it happens -- since 1997. The search is under way at the Times for a new freelance critic.
JULIO GALÁN, 1958-2006
Julio Galán, 46, Mexican artist known for his exotically expressionistic paintings, which often had homoerotic and religious overtones as well as collaged additions of ribbons, beads and other elements, died suddenly on Aug. 4 while returning to his home in Monterrey. According to reports, he had suffered a brain hemorrhage while staying in Zacatecas in central Mexico. "He is a Mexican Oscar Wilde," wrote Lily Wei in Art in America in 1997, "co-dependent on Frida Kahlo, a mixer of mediums and metaphors, sublimating both high and low into visual offerings that are surprisingly potent and surprisingly candid." The Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey gave Galán a major survey in 1994, and he also exhibited at Enrique Guerrero in Mexico City and Robert Miller in New York.