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Artnet News
Sept. 14, 2005 

American photographer Lee Friedlander has donated more than 50 photographs to benefit the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, a nonprofit organization that is helping musicians and other performers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The photos include portraits of New Orleans performers such as Sweet Emma Barrett, Billie and De De Pierce, Wooden Joe Nicholas and Aaron Neville, along with scenes of street life in the Big Easy and other iconic Friedlander images. The pictures go on view in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art on Sept. 15, 2005. They range in price from $3,000 to $5,000, and can be purchased through Friedlander's New York gallery, Janet Borden, Inc. For more info, call (212) 431-0166 or contact

"This year is dedicated to Peter," says downtown Manhattan art impresario Simon Watson, who is helping to get out the troops for the 2005 installment of Artwalk NY. The annual benefit for the Coalition for the Homeless, slated to be held at Sothebyís New York on Oct. 17, 2005, has lost one of its greatest supporters and biggest draws, longtime Artwalk chair Peter Jennings, who died of lung cancer at age 67 last August. One Artwalk highlight was the famed newscasterís conversation with the eventís honored artist, who has in recent years been Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono and Ed Ruscha. Rather than attempting to replace Jennings, Artwalk is proceeding this year without the artist interview.

Though diminished, the event still has its stars. The honoree for 2005 is Brice Marden and actress Candice Bergen (currently of Boston Legal) is co-chair. For more info on the benefit, which includes a live and silent art auction, see

In Europe, heads of state are frequently called upon to make an appearance at high-profile art events. Not so in the U.S., at least under Republican presidents. So itís all the more remarkable that Russian president Vladimir Putin is expected to show up at the Guggenheim Museum on Sept. 14, 2005, for a special preview of "Russia!," Sept. 16, 2005-Jan. 11, 2006, the encyclopedic survey of 250 artworks ranging from 13th-century Icons to Soviet Socialist Realism and the contemporary avant-garde. The museum scheduled the show to coincide with the start of the current session of the U.N. General Assembly, where Putin is slated to speak (as is George W. Bush). Weíd love to eavesdrop on the famously laconic former-KGB chiefís take on the show.

Art collector Peter M. Brant, the polo-playing newsprint magnate who is married to model Stephanie Seymour, has been cleared in a three-year-old lawsuit involving the ownership of Andy Warholís 1962 painting, Red Elvis, an almost-six-foot tall grid of 36 images of the Graceland heartthrob. On Aug. 29, 2005, Connecticut superior court judge Chase Rodgers ruled that Brant had purchased Red Elvis in good faith, and that he is entitled to retain ownership of the painting.

Brant had purchased the picture for a reported $3.2 million from Swedish art dealer Anders Malmberg in 2000. The painting was actually the property of Kerstin Lindholm, a Swedish heiress who lives (like Brant) in Greenwich, Conn., and who had relied on Malmberg as her art advisor for many years. When Malmberg sold the painting to Brant, it was in a traveling exhibition, "Andy Warhol: A Factory," organized by the Guggenheim Museum. Once Lindholm found out the painting had been sold -- from an article in Art & Auction magazine -- she filed suit against both Brant and her art dealer. Malmberg stood trial in Sweden and is currently serving a three-year sentence.

In the recent court decision, the judge determined that Brant had done his due diligence as a purchaser -- he checked the Art Loss Register for any listing of the painting, and also searched for public records regarding its ownership. Lindholm, on the other hand, had put her trust in Malmberg, and so the court determined that she must bear the loss. She had originally purchased the painting -- through Malmberg -- in 1987 for $300,000. The painting could be worth more than $12 million today.

To close its current exhibition "Alexander Archipenko: Vision and Continuity," Apr. 3-Sept. 18, 2005, the East Villageís Ukrainian Museum is offering a symposium on the life and work of the classic modernist sculptor. The day will include remarks by the museumís director Maria Shust and Francis Archipenko Gray, president of the Archipenko Foundation, as well as sessions with a host of Archipenko experts steeped in the fieldís hottest issues, including Rutgers Universityís Dr. Joan Martin, Smithís Dr. Jaroslaw Leshko, the New York Sunís David Cohen, the Heckscher Museumís Dr. Kenneth Wayne and the Archipenko Foundationís Alexandra Keiser. Go to for more info.

Add another art fair to your schedule, this one in the fine German capital city of Berlin. Preview Berlin, Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2005, scheduled to coincide with Art Forum Berlin, is located near Alexanderplatz in the Backfabrik, or Baking Building.† Focusing on art that is even more emerging and unknown than that of its older cousin, Preview Berlin includes 35 galleries, most of them from Europe -- with the exception of two Chicago natives, Wendy Cooper Gallery and Moniquemeloche. One Preview Berlin innovation is a special "Preview Dinner," in which guests can meet and mingle with the fair's artists. For details, see

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn., is taking applications for a new, biannual Hall Curatorial Fellowship program. The $25,000 fellowship is earmarked for curators from outside the U.S., and is designed to allow the recipient to develop an exhibition at the Aldrich over an 18-month period. The first fellowship begins Jun. 1, 2006, with the associated exhibition scheduled to open in October 2007. The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2006. For info, see

Chelsea is getting a new gallery dedicated to cutting-edge photography, spearheaded by Sarah Hasted and Bill Hunt, long-time co-directors of the photo department at Ricco/Maresca Gallery. Hasted Hunt, as the new gallery is named, is located at 529 W. 20th Street, and opens with "VII," Oct 15-Dec. 23, 2005, an exhibition of works by photojournalists from the eponymous photo agency, including Alexandra Boulat, Lauren Greenfield, Ron Haviv, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Christopher Morris, Joachim Ladefoged, James Nachtwey and John Stanmeyer.

Alternative musician Thurston Moore and skateboarding author Jocko Weyland have been tapped to bring their art to Tribecaís KS Art gallery with "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World," Sept. 14-Oct. 29, 2005. Fittingly, the two pop culture icons present their own tributes to the redemptive power of popular culture: Moore with a series of photomontages called Street Mouth that bring together images of his heroes like Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine, and Weyland with close-up photographs of treasured record covers.

SoHo celebrated the new art season last weekend with the "Art Parade," and now Chelsea is getting into the act, with the "Kitchen High Line Block Party," scheduled for 12-6 pm on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005, on West 19th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. Sponsored by the Kitchen performance space along with the group Friends of the High Line, the festival features "multimedia storytelling" by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, face and body painting by Bec Stupak/Honeygun LabsAbbey Williams and Fawn Krieg, a group postcard project about the High Line by Dahlia Elsayed, flag-making with Allison Smith, a balloon project by Matt Keegan, "magic story drawings" with Matt Freedman and much more in the way of food and music. More info is available at

Ah, the eternal question -- is it art or is it corn? Los Angeles-based artist Lauren Bonís $3-million public artwork Not a Cornfield has drawn mixed reactions from the public, according to a report in the L.A. Times. The project consists of a 32-acre cornfield planted in the industrial flatlands north of the cityís Chinatown district, which Bon claims is meant as a commentary on the areaís longtime repression of its traditional ethnic character. Some local residents, however, are said to be baffled by the idea of corn-as-art, and Latino activists have scoffed at the supposed message of the piece, instead voicing objections as to the way the project was funded and hastily approved by local government without discussion of its impact on locals.

Despite the back-and-forth, it does look nice the way only a cornfield can, and many in the community are supporting Bonís piece, looking forward to seeing the fieldís estimated two million ears of corn displayed as part of a crowning sculptural installation at the nearby Capital Milling building when the project comes to fruition. For more on the project, go to

-- Ben Davis

-- contact wrobinson @