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Artnet News
Sept. 21, 2006 

British art-fair mogul Will Ramsey and Pulse art fair organizer Helen Allen launch the new Art(212) contemporary art fair at the 69th Regiment Armory at Lexington Avenue and 26th Street in Manhattan, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2006. More than 60 galleries are participating in New York’s newest art fair, including Haines Gallery, Robert Mann Gallery, Morgan Lehman, Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contemporanea, Mixed Greens, Olga Korper Gallery, Magnus Müller, Richard Levy Gallery and Atelier Cardenas Bellanger.

Art(212) also features special programming focusing on art in both Latin America and Asia. Offerings include "Eyes Wide Open," an exhibition of political art by young Caribbean and Latino artists organized by Deborah Cullen, curator at El Museo del Barrio; "Screen Culture in Asia," a show of new video art from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan organized by Melissa Chiu and Miwako Tezuka of the Asia Society; a multimedia installation by artist Duke Riley; The Jungle, a sculpted environment by artist Aurora Robson; and Guerilla Tea, a tea-ceremony performance by Pierre Sernet.

The gala preview on Sept. 27 benefits AID for AIDS and the New York Foundation for the Arts; tickets begin at $75. During the benefit, artist Nigel Poor performs Do You Have 30 Seconds and Can You Get Your Finger Dirty, for which she collects fingerprints to add to her ever-growing archive. General admission to the fair, which is sponsored by Acura, is $15. For further details, see

Daniel Buren, Martin Creed, Douglas Gordon, Damien Hirst, Jim Lambie, Jonathan Monk, Wolfgang Tillmans and Lawrence Weiner are among the 25 artists contributing their support to "As If By Magic," an exhibition on view the Bethlehem Peace Centre in the West Bank, Sept. 6-Oct. 6, 2006. Organized by Charles Asprey and Kay Pallister, the show asked each artist to contribute instructions for an artwork -- worth no more than £50 -- that the curators could assemble at the center. The price limitation reflects the risk of exhibiting works in the war-torn region. For more go to

Celebrities and art -- could there be a more natural mix? Herewith, a quick roundup of recent celebrity-art shenanigans:

* Angelina Jolie has apparently become one of Banksy’s major patrons, spending $216,000 for his painting Picnic, which depicts a white family of four lunching under an umbrella while starving Africans look on, and another $75,000 for his sculpted bust of a man with a bleeding bullet hole in his forehead. The works were on view at Banksy’s Los Angeles exhibition, which featured a live elephant painted with a wallpaper pattern, a stunt that drew protests from animal rights activists (and reassurances from the animal’s trainer that the elephant was a veteran performer and suffered no ill effects).

* Lucy Liu had a two-day exhibition, titled "Glass Onion," of her own vaguely Cecily Brown-esque paintings at the Milk Gallery in Chelsea (the space where Phillips, de Pury & Co. ordinarily conducts its auctions), Sept. 14-15, 2006. The event was a benefit for UNICEF and sponsored by the Ritz-Carlton. Among those at the vernissage was Bruce Willis. Photos can be seen here and here.

* Sushmita Sen -- Bollywood star and 1994 Ms. Universe -- had her own Lucy Liu moment this week, flying to Dubai for a two-day fundraiser, auctioning one of her paintings, Ibaadat, for about $54,000. The money goes to fund a cancer hospital founded by Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan, a gesture seen to be significant, as political relations between Sen’s native India and Pakistan are fraught. "It goes to show that death and disease have no boundaries," Sen told the Times of India.

* Axl Rose is being sued for $1.21 million in damages by Acquire d’Arte in Los Angeles in a dispute over an Andy Warhol portrait of John Lennon, according to an AP report. The L.A. art gallery says the price of the picture was $2.36 million, but that Rose only paid about half that sum, claiming both that he did not have the money, and that the painting is not worth the price.

Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau has scheduled the first retrospective in Germany of the complete works of controversial Viennese Actionist Hermann Nitsch, celebrated for cathartic (and often blood-soaked) performances inspired by the notion of the mystery feasts of antiquity. "Hermann Nitsch: Orgies Mysteries Theatre," Nov. 30, 2006-Jan. 22, 2007, is organized by Britta Schmitz, curator of the Nationalgalerie Berlin, and features installations, splatter paintings, musical scores and drawings, photo documentation and films of early actionist performances.

Word is that the celebrated Swiss art fair, Art Basel, isn’t quite ready to launch a fair in China, though it did recently conduct a special reception and "Art Basel Conversation" at the National Museum in Beijing, Art Basel’s first-ever event in the country. Hosted by Art Basel director Samuel Keller, the panel was held on Sept. 12, 2006, and was titled "China: New Opportunities in the Global Art Arena." Chair of the panel was Fan Di’an, director of the National Art Museum of China and commissioner of the Chinese pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale; participants included artist and curator Ai Weiwei, Ullens Foundation director Fei Dawei, C International Photo Magazine director Elena Foster, 2006 Shanghai Biennial curator Huang Du, Serpentine Gallery curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Canton-based critic and poet Ou Ning, Miami Beach art collector Craig Robins, and Beijing-based architect Wang Hu.

According to Art Basel’s Jonathan Napack, approximately 300 people attended the event, which ran almost two hours longer than planned. Napack says that "China: New Opportunities" was the first time that a major foreign art institution has staged an art event in China that was conceived and developed specifically for the country. 

Art scholar Michèle C. Cone, author of French Modernisms, Perspectives on Art before, during and after Vichy (and a frequent contributor to Artnet Magazine), has organized the fall exhibition for the Westport Arts Center in Westport, Conn. "Allegories of Displacement," Sept. 15-Oct. 25, 2006, features works by ten contemporary artists that represent the "moment of maximum anxiety and intensity" of people who are caught up in the storm of civil war and disaster. Artists in the show include Willie Birch, Mona Hatoum, Susanna Heller, William Kentridge, Kimsooja, Clifton Meador, Jin Meyerson, Michal Rovner, Shinique Smith and Sislej Xhafa. For more info, see

A group of Milwaukee artists, curators and dealers are organizing the first Milwaukee International art fair at the Polish Falcons Beer Hall in Milwaukee, Wisc., Oct. 20-21, 2006. Participating galleries include Angstrom Gallery (Dallas / Los Angeles), Anonymous Gallery (Milwaukee), BasFisher Invitational (Miami), Canada (New York), Jacob Fabricius (Copenhagen), Gavin Brown's Enterprise (New York), Galeria Comercial (San Juan), General Store (Milwaukee), Ghosts Are Everywhere (San Francisco), Green Gallery (Milwaukee), Hermetic Gallery (Milwaukee), Hotcakes (Milwaukee), Jacob Fabricius (Copenhagen), Karma International in collaboration with Mark Müller (Zurich), Little Cakes (New York / Tokyo), Locust Projects (Miami), Jody Monroe Gallery (Milwaukee), Morgan Lehman (New York / Lakeville, Conn.), Ooga Booga (Los Angeles), Other Gallery (Winnipeg), Polvo (Chicago), The Suburban (Chicago), Western Exhibitions (Chicago), White Columns (New York), Willy Wonka Inc. (Oslo), ZieherSmith (New York) and more.

The fair is co-organized by Kiki Anderson of the Monroe Gallery, Tyson Reeder of General Store, John Riepenhoff of the Green Gallery and Nicholas Frank of the now-defunct Hermetic Gallery. For details, contact Frank at Special note: The Falcons Beer Hall also houses in its basement the fourth-oldest functioning bowling alley in the U.S.

Minimal art devotees can mark their calendars for the 2006 "Open House" weekend sponsored by the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation in tiny Marfa, Tex., Oct. 7-8, 2006. Among the special attractions -- all free -- are a large temporary installation of floor-to-ceiling "walls" of translucent white and black scrim by Robert Irwin, complemented by a show of his drawings; an exhibition of eight paintings by Josef Albers from his "Homage to the Square" and "Variants" series; and a display of Judd’s furniture. Also slated is a talk by Irwin on his work, a Saturday night dinner and dance on Highland Avenue in downtown Marfa, a free rock concert by the Dandy Warhols, a reading by Lannan Foundation writer-in-residence Linh Dinh and more. Painter Christopher Wool is artist-in-residence at Chinati during September-October 2006. For details, see

, the UK’s first museum of kinetic and electronic art, opens at Old Spitalfields Market in East London with "Life Forms," Oct. 6-Nov. 12, 2006, a show of 30 performing robots, including a writing machine that mimics Salvador Dalí’s signature. Artists in the show include Richard Brown, Daniel Chadwick, Elias Crespin, Tim Lewis, Dante Leonelli, Chris Levine and Leonel Moura. Also on view is "Amorphic Robot Works, The Ancestral Path," Oct. 6-15, 2006, a presentation of 30 interactive computer-controlled robotic sculptures by New York artist Chico MacMurtrie. The 7,200-square-foot museum is directed by Dianne Harris and sited in a new building in the market, courtesy of Ballymore Properties. For more info, see

The Miami Art Museum has selected Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron as designers of the museum’s new $208-million, 125,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in downtown Miami’s waterfront Museum Park in 2010. The Pritzker Prize-winning architects designed the Küppersmüle Museum in Duisburg (1999), Tate Modern (2000), the Schaulager in Basel (2003), the de Young Museum (2005) and the Walker Art Center expansion (2006), among other museum buildings.

Visual AIDS is inviting artists to participate in its ninth annual "Postcards from the Edge" benefit, an exhibition and sale of postcard-sized (4 x 6 in.) original artworks on paper by both established and emerging artists. All works are $75 and sold anonymously on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds go to Visual AIDS. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 10, 2006.

The benefit is hosted by Sikkema, Jenkins & Co. on West 22nd Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea art district, and takes place Dec. 1-3, 2006. Founded in 1988, Visual AIDS operates the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS. For details, see

Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., is searching for a director of its graduate program in the history of art, a two-year MA program offered with the Clark Art Institute. Candidates must have a doctorate in art history, strong administrative abilities and expertise in "the multiple modernisms of the 20th and 21st century." The director teaches three courses and supervises a staff of three. Send letter of application, curriculum vitae, sample publications and names of four references to Dean William G. Wagner, c/o Search Committee, Graduate Program in the History of Art, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Mass. 01267.

Galerie Poller
, the contemporary photography gallery operated by dealer Thomas Poller in Frankfurt am Main, has opened a space in New York at 547 West 27th Street. The debut exhibition features evocative black-and-white photos of pine groves in the mist by South Korean artist Bae Bien-U (b. 1950), Sept. 14-Oct. 29, 2006.

New York art dealers Alexander Gray and Venetia Kapernekas, who have operated a gallery in the Chelsea Arts Building at 526 West 26th Street for a year, are going their separate ways. Venetia Kapernekas, Ltd., opens the new season in its old space with an exhibition of works by Meg Cranston, Nov. 14-Dec. 21, 2006; for details, see

Gray launches his own gallery, named Alexander Gray Associates, in the same building in mid-October with an exhibition of works by fashion designer and installation artist J. Morgan Puett. His new website is

Add another stop to your Chelsea gallery rounds. Lital Mehr, who formerly worked at both ATM Gallery and 5BE/Oliver Kamm, has opened her own shop. Dubbed Mehr (Midtown), the new space is located in a freestanding brick building at 436 West 18th Street that also houses the Midtown Chelsea Auto Center. The debut show, "Deep Freeze," Sept. 28-Oct. 28, 2006, includes works by Richard Artschwager, Hassan Khan, Christopher Lucas, Tony Matelli, David Moreno, Alyson Shotz and Shirley Tse. The second exhibition, billed as a counterpoint, is titled "The Thaw." For more info, call (917) 294-8657.

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