JEFFREY DEITCH, MUSEUM DIRECTOR
The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art has hired New York art dealer Jeffrey Deitch (or “gallerist,” as the museum put it) as its new director, and Deitch seems more than ready for his new job. He has a five-year contract, which begins on June 1, 2010, and is closing his New York gallery, Deitch Projects. "I’m just going to stop all commercial activity," he told Los Angeles Times art-news reporter Mike Boehm (though he thought that some of the business might be taken over by his current employees, gallery directors Nicola Vassell and Kathryn Grayson).
Deitch said that the move to the museum world would be expensive for him, with compensation "substantially less" than what he makes as an art dealer. If things go smoothly, the story said, L.A. MOCA may consider renovating and expanding the Geffen Contemporary facility in Little Tokyo. And, finally, Deitch may move into a house, rather than a small apartment, and be able to entertain and conduct business there.What about the kvetching -- has it started yet? L.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight, along with everyone else, points out that Deitch has no museum experience to speak of, and frets that Deitch is too much a "businessman" for the job. More importantly, perhaps, Knight points out that virtually every move Deitch makes at L.A. MOCA is likely to raise questions about its relationship to his "veiled commercial entanglements, which are longstanding and international in scope."
In a long interview, Modern Art Notes blogger Tyler Green questions Deitch suspiciously about the kind of “ethical” issues Green finds compelling -- should a museum director disclose the artworks in his collection? -- but ends up providing Deitch with a chance to display his eloquence and commitment to his new undertaking. One revelation is that Deitch doesn’t foresee returning to the art trade; rather, he would like to hold the museum post for ten years, and then concentrate on writing.
"VISIBLE VAGINA" IN NYC
What better subject to take an avid art-world’s attention away from art dealers at art museums than the "Visible Vagina," Jan. 28-Mar. 20, 2010, at both Francis M. Naumann Fine Art on West 57th Street in midtown and David Nolan Gallery at 527 West 29th Street in Chelsea. About 80 artists are in the show, both men and women, including many obvious suspects -- Hans Bellmer, Carroll Dunham, Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke -- as well as artists who have done nothing but work with vagina imagery. The dealers are publishing a fully illustrated 128-page catalogue that features an essay by Anna C. Chave; proceeds from its sale are being donated to V-Day, the organization founded by Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler.
ART COMMISSIONS FOR FLORIDA BALLPARK
Miami artist Daniel Arsham, a 2003 grad of Cooper Union in New York, has been tapped to design two public artworks for the new Florida Marlins ballpark in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Arsham, who partners with architect Alex Mustonen in the firm Snarkitecture, proposes distributing ten-foot-tall orange letters across the stadium plaza and steps that read "MIAMI ORANGE BOWL" -- from certain vantages, Arsham says, the letters spell out "GAME WON" -- and also plans to light four "supercolumns" supporting the stadium in such a way that the building appears to be breathing. The 37,000-seat stadium, which is set to open in 2012, is earmarked for four new public artworks in all, funded by a total of $5.3 million by the Miami-Dade County percent-for-art program.
"REUNITED" AT WADSWORTH ATHENEUM
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Conn., is presenting "Reunited Masterworks: From Adam & Eve to George & Martha," Feb. 14-May 30, 2010. The show features ten paintings from the museum collection, each reunited with its pendant work on loan from other institutions. Thus, Hendrick Goltzius’ Adam, acquired by the Wadsworth in 2004, is reunited with its partner Eve from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg. The George and Martha pairing is in two pastel portraits by British artist James Sharples. Other couples are painted by Frans Hals, George Romney, Simon Vouet and Juan de Valdes Leal.
CAA AWARDS FOR 2010
The College Art Association, which opens its 98th annual conference in Chicago on Feb. 10, 2010, has announced its awards for distinction for 2010, designed "to encourage the highest standards of scholarship, practice and teaching." Artist Suzanne Lacy was honored for lifetime achievement, and artists Emory Douglas and Barkley L. Hendricks for their "distinguished body of work." New York Times art critic Holland Cotter received a lifetime achievement award for writing on art, while the "Frank Jewett Mather Award," ostensibly presented to an art critic or journalist, went to Terry Smith, an academic art historian who formerly worked with the Art & Language group.
English art professor Griselda Pollock won the new "Distinguished Feminist Award." Massachusetts College of Art professor emeritus Dean Nimmer took the distinguished teaching of art award, and University of Texas art professor Richard Shiff won the distinguished teaching of art history award. The Charles Rufus Morey book award was given to Cammy Brothers, for her "remarkably erudite" Michelangelo, Drawing and the Invention of Architecture (Yale, 2008), while the "Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award" went to Debra Diamond, Catherine Glynn and Karni Singh Jasol for Gardens and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur, the catalogue for an exhibition at the Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The "Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize" for an article in the CAA’s Art Bulletin was won by Michael Schreffler for his Their Cortés and Our Cortés’: Spanish Colonialism and Aztec Representation. The Art Journal award went to Janna Grabski for Urban Claims and Visual Sources in the Making of Dakar’s Art World City. And the CAA/Heritage Preservation award for distinction in scholarship and conservation went to David Bomford, the longtime conservator at the National Gallery in London who is currently associate director for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
A TALE OF TWO PRINCES (WILLIAM AND HARRY)
The National Portrait Gallery in London has unveiled a double portrait of Britain’s Princes William and Harry. Commissioned from portrait artist Nicky Philipps, the painting -- which joins the museum collection -- depicts the brothers in their military uniforms. In the picture, Prince Harry, 25, is seated to the left, while Prince William, 27, stands against a doorjamb; a portrait of George Bernard Shaw by Augustus John is visible in the background, which is Clarence House, their official London residence.