BUNNIES GALORE AT WARHOL MUSEUM
The Andy Warhol Museum and Playboy magazine are collaborating on what promises to be Pittsburgh’s hottest show of the month: "Playboy Redux: Contemporary Artists Interpret the Iconic Playboy Bunny," Mar. 27-June 30, 2010. Twenty-five artists have been invited to contribute artworks on the theme in a show co-curated by Aaron Baker, Eric C. Shiner and Ned West.
Participating artists include Scott Anderson, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Zoe Charlton, Ain Cocke, Brian Ewing, Brendan Fernandes, Jeremy Fish, Moyna Flannigan, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Chitra Ganesh, Ludovica Gioscia, Jeremy Kost, Frank Kozik, Simone Leigh, Kalup Linzy, Tara McPherson, Hiroki Otsuka, Shag (Josh Agle), SEEN, Seth Scriver, Andrew Schoultz, Vadis Turner, Saya Woolfalk and O Zhang. No word yet on whether any of the works might be published in the magazine itself.
The event kicks off on Mar. 27 with what is billed as a "Playboy Pajama Party," featuring Playmates Laurie Fetter and Lindsey Vuolo, who will pose for photos with guests. Tickets are $20, or $35 with a lecture, starting an hour earlier, on the topic of "Warhol’s Fight with Brigid Berlin, Charles Rydell & Vincent Fremont."
ICEBERG AS ART SITE
With all the concern about global warming, it had to happen -- art on icebergs. Dutch sculptor Ap Verheggen is placing a large scale sculpture, representing an abstraction of "a dogsled driver," on an iceberg on the west coast of Greenland near the village of Uummannaq on Mar. 17, 2010. According to Verheggen, the sculpture could float on the iceberg to Canada and even the East Coast of the U.S., eventually collapsing into the depths of the ocean -- where the sculpture, being iron, should dissolve without any ill effects on the environment. Verheggen has arranged for a webcam (attached to a buoy) to film the whole thing; for details, click here.
ART HANDLERS, TAKE YOUR MARKS!
Are you ready for the Art Handling Olympics? A total of 16 teams of four art handlers are competing in the first-ever games, which include events like "Special Delivery" (a punishing race through Chinatown using commercial bins on dollies) and "The Static Hold" (a "test of mind and body like no other" that involves holding a heavy artwork up so a curator can see how it looks). Competing teams include the Navy Yard Destroyers, the 30 lb Kids, the Well Hung, the Nitro-Lords, and Team Dietl, all from New York, and the District of Annihilation from Washington, D.C.
Billed as an "American Idol"-style event, the AHO are scheduled for Sunday, 3-6 pm, Mar. 21, 2010 at Ramiken Crucible at 221 East Broadway at Clinton Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Judges are Artnet Magazine contributor Carlo McCormick, Michael Werner Gallery director Justine Birbil and Brooklyn Museum head preparator Felippo Gentile. The whole megillah is organized by Shane Caffrey, an artist and art handler from Brooklyn. For a promotional video, click here.
MOCA NOMI WEBSITE AS ARTWORK
The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami has just debuted the first U.S. museum survey of work by Cory Arcangel (b. 1978), the popular techno-artist who has composed "missing" Glockenspiel parts for Bruce Springstein songs and dubbed the 1993 cult film Dazed and Confused with dialogue read by Indian-accented actors. "Cory Arcangel: The Sharper Image," Mar. 11-May 9, 2010, is organized by MOCA associate curator Ruba Katrib and includes an appropriately up-to-date range of works: videos, video game consoles, film, photographic prints, sculpture, drawings, sound, performance and web-based work.
One example of this last category is the museum website, which Arcangel has completely redesigned, putting all the text in the font known as Comic Sans, a particularly goofy-looking script intended to imitate comic book lettering. The font is widely despised by designers, and has even inspired a "Ban Comic Sans" campaign, which has its own website. According to Miami’s New Times, MoCA NOMI’s all-Comic Sans look caused a bit of a stir on the internet, including speculation that it was an early April Fool’s prank.
In any case, be sure to catch Arcangel’s 2009 video performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Opus 11, an atonal modernist work supposedly played by a montage of YouTube snippets of cats walking on piano keyboards -- it’s here. And note the comments, from "LMAO" to "the paradigm of lameness."
DE NIRO TO PAY GALLERY $14K FOR DAD’S ART
Call it a draw. Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro Jr. has agreed to pay $14,000 to bankrupt Salander-O’Reilly Galleries gallery in order to reclaim six paintings by his father, the late New York figure painter Robert De Niro Sr. (1922-1993): Nude Still Life, Girl with Figured Scarf, Untitled (Houses), Untitled (House), Figure in Orange Shirt and Untitled (House and Tree).
The younger De Niro had maintained that the works were on consignment with the gallery, but the court apparently believed that some or all of the art may have been property of gallery proprietors Lawrence and Julie Salander. Instead of fighting it out -- at considerable legal expense, not to mention uncertainty as to outcome -- the actor decided to accept the settlement.
On a more pleasant note, the Matisse Museum in Nice has just opened "After Seeing Matisse: Robert De Niro, Sr., Paintings and Drawings," Mar. 8-May 31, 2010. The exhibition organizes the artworks by theme (female models, interiors, still lifes and landscapes) and also a series of black-and-white drawings and photos of the artist in his New York studio.
NEW JOBS FOR ART WRITERS?
Everybody loves an art magazine, bad economy or no. Or so it seems. The New York Observer has hired veteran art journalist Alexandra Peers to launch a new section devoted to visual arts, with insiders expecting a lively, 24-page supplement to bow on Mar. 31 (subsequently shrinking to a more modest four or eight pages). Contributors include Leon Neyfakh, the Observer’s current art columnist, and William Akers. Also new at the Observer is David Gursky, who worked at LTB Media for six years as "group publisher" for publications such as Art + Auction and Artinfo.com.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has been widely reported to be planning a special New York section (a gambit aimed at taking on the New York Times), which features more art coverage. Among the staff are former writers for the defunct New York Sun, including the critic Lance Esplund, who has been contributing to the WSJ for some months already, and the ace art journalist Kate Taylor.
Changes are afoot at LTB Media as well, where Benjamin Genocchio has been named new editorial director, a job that includes direct supervision of Art & Auction magazine. He succeeds Marisa Bartolucci. Genocchio formerly was the regional art critic for the New York Times. And last but not least, the writer and editor Glenn O’Brien, who launched a short-lived but popular literary journal, Bald Ego, and also briefly served as editorial director of Brant Publications, is said to be planning a new art magazine of his own.
MITCHELL FOUNDATION GRANTS, 2010
The Joan Mitchell Foundation has awarded $25,000 grants to 25 painters and sculptors for 2009. The winners are John Ahearn, Mequitta Ahuja, Kathy Butterly, Freddy Chandra, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Blane De St. Croix, Bailey Doogan, Daniel Dove, Joanne Greenbaum, Christine Heindl, Steven Hull, Jane Irish, Ivelisse Jiménez, James Little, Jeffry Mitchell, Carrie Moyer, John Newman, Sheila Pepe, Jane South, Stephanie Syjuco, Mickalene Thomas, Nari Ward, Sue Williams, Paula Wilson and Will Wilson. For more info, see www.joanmitchellfoundation.org