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Artnet News
Jan. 28, 2010 

British artist Michael Landy, who is a Royal Academician as well as the "associate artist" of the National Gallery, has built a giant, 18-foot-tall, glass-walled "Art Bin" in South London Gallery and invited art lovers to dispose of their artworks in it. Running from Feb. 29-Mar. 14, 2010, the installation is designed to convert the 600-cubic-meter space into "a monument to creative failure." One catch -- the Art Bin is accepting only artworks, and no other objects, which must be approved by Landy "or his representative."

According to the Guardian, Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin and Mark Titchner have already contributed artworks -- an initial stage of the process chronicled in detail by the BBC. Other works -- acquired in advance of the installation -- have come from Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin and Rebecca Warren. The artist himself, wearing white gloves, has tossed one of his own drawings. Landy is the British artist who notoriously destroyed all of his own possessions in 2001 in an art action called Break Down.

The X-Initiative space at 548 West 22nd Street comes to a rousing close on Feb. 3, 2010, with a special, 24-hour-long "Bring Your Own Art" event. But that isn’t the end of the former Dia Art Center building as an art destination. A new collaborative kind of art fair -- called simply Independent, Mar. 4-7, 2010 -- is about to debut there, at the same time as the Armory Show, Mar. 4-7, 2010, and the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show, Mar. 3-7, 2010.

Independent promises to bring over 35 galleries, nonprofits, publishers and other participants to the four-story facility, including Maureen Paley from London, Artists Space, Rodeo from Istanbul and October magazine. The "temporary exhibition forum" is the brainchild of New York dealer Elizabeth Dee, founder of X-Initiative, and Darren Flook, who operates the Hotel gallery in London; the "collective consortium" has also enlisted as advisors Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services and Matthew Higgs, director of White Columns. The event is free and open to the public.

Dee promises "an alternative conversation" in a flexible and dynamic space that fosters collaboration and creativity. The consortium is structured as a transparent financial coop, which allows for "both financial efficiency and the creation of more ambitious projects." The idea, Dee says, is to "Keep things moving and evolving." One special project, by the collaborative group Claire Fontaine, is a neon work above the door reading Please God Make Tomorrow Better.

Meanwhile, the upstart Verge art fair -- devoted exclusively to "emerging art" -- debuts in New York, Mar. 4-7, 2010, at the Dylan Hotel, located in the former 1903 Beaux-Arts Chemists Club at 52 East 41st Street. Applications for participation in the fair are being accepted through Feb. 1, 2010; room rentals start at $3,200. For further details, see Artistic director of the fair is Edouard Steinhauer; general admission is $10.

The search has begun for a new director of the illustrious Moderna Museet in Stockholm, as Sweden’s civil service law requires the resignation of the museum’s current director, Lars Nittve, who has held the post since 2001. The resignation takes effect at the end of October 2010, and Nittve’s plans have not yet been announced. Top museum directors are in short supply; Nittve was considered by many to have been the best candidate with actual museum experience for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art job that recently went to Jeffrey Deitch. One potential Swedish successor for Nittve, insiders say, is Maria Lind, currently head of the curatorial studies program at Bard College; some local arts lovers in Sweden would prefer a less "parochial" appointment -- i.e., a non-Swede.

During Nittve’s tenure, the Moderna Museet mounted 150 exhibitions, including shows of work by Paul McCarthy, Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Andreas Gursky, Francesco Vezzoli (his "Dalí Dalí"), Karin Mamma Andersson and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum’s average annual attendance doubled to 575,000, tripled its membership, and received donations of art and funds totaling the equivalent of $62 million.

The J. Paul Getty Museum is premiering "The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme," June 15-Sept. 12, 2010, the first major monographic exhibition of the 19th-century French academician in nearly 40 years. A comprehensive survey of Gérôme's paintings and sculptures, the show spans the artist’s entire oeuvre, from his "néo-grec" beginnings to his popular and often controversial history paintings and Orientalist works. Organized at the Getty by Scott Allan and Mary Morton, the show is co-organized by the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, where it appears Oct. 18, 2010-Jan. 23, 2011, in association with the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, where it appears Mar. 22-June 12, 2011.

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid is opening "Monet and Abstraction," Feb. 23-May 30, 2010, which surveys the work of the pioneering Impressionist in the context of late 20th-century abstraction. Organized by Paloma Alarcó, the show includes works by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, Adolph Gottlieb, André Masson, Philip Guston and Gerhard Richter. The exhibition is jointly organized with the Fundación Caja Madrid, with the collaboration of the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, where it appears in the summer of 2010.

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s 2008 Hall Curatorial Fellowship Exhibition, the second show by a visiting curator underwritten by a gift from collector Andrew J. Hall, is "Paying a Visit to Mary," Jan. 31-June 6, 2010. Organized by Canadian curator Maxine Kopsa, co-founding director of Kunstverein in Amsterdam, the title of the show remains rather unclear -- it comes from a 1979 play by French artist Guy de Cointet -- as does the advance description of the exhibition: "a romantic, conceptual and highly specific story of our time" structured as a "call and response" between 20 artworks. Participating artists include de Cointet plus Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Robert Wilhite, Paul Elliman, Melissa Gordon, Gary Hill, Experimental Jetset, Jonas Ohlsson, Willem Oorebeek, Dexter Sinister, Guido van der Werve and Emily Wardill.

Do you like the idea of listing the U.S. Treasury in the provenance of your art collection? Then we have an auction for you. The forthcoming U.S. Department of the Treasury Art Auction on Feb. 3, 2010, is offering 48 works of Latin American art as part of its asset forfeiture program. The auction includes a marble head of a woman from 1975 and several drawings by Fernando Botero, a pastel nude by Dario Morales and four limited edition Limoges plates by Salvador Dali. But the highlight would have to be the oil painting of a veiled woman by "Sanzio (called Raphael)," from the late 18th-early 18th century. No auction estimates are given. Also offered are computers, jewelry, yachts and several motorcycles. The sale is conducted by VSE Corp. and Rick Levin & Assoc., Inc., and takes place at the VSE Warehouse at 1167 NW 159th Drive in Miami. For more info, see

On Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, Haunch of Venison is hosting "Changing the World through Art," an auction and gala to benefit the Time In Children’s Arts Initiative. The festivities, which begin at 6 pm, include both a silent and live auction, conducted by Christie’s auctioneer Sara Friedlander, of works by a long list of donors, including Brian Alfred, Leonardo Drew, Joy Garnett, Yoshitomo Nara, Les Rogers and Mickalene Thomas.

Some of the specialty items are rather interesting: Hugh Jackman’s voice on your answering machine ($1,000); a tasting menu with wine for two at Kittichai in SoHo ($300); tea with Mickalene Thomas at MoMA ($1,000); a portrait commission by Brian Alfred ($7,500); and a poetry reading by Bob Holman ($800). Tickets to the benefit start at $75; for more info, and to further preview the donated items, click here.

CLARE WEISS, 1966-2010
Clare Weiss, 43, curator of public art for the New York City Parks Department, died of breast cancer on Jan. 11. She oversaw approximately 40 installations throughout the city’s five boroughs, including projects by Jenny Holzer and Kenny Scharf celebrating the program’s 40th anniversary in 2007. Weiss organized regular exhibitions at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, including "Rare Specimen: The Natural History Museum Show" and "The Players." Weiss also assisted on the 2005 exhibition "Basquiat" at the Brooklyn Museum and had consulted with galleries, including Bruno Marina Gallery, Parker’s Box, and ZieherSmith. A Rutgers grad, she worked as a journalist at ABC News, iVillage and MiaVita before obtaining a master’s degree in art history from Christie’s Education.

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