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Artnet News
Nov. 9, 2010

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Drawing a lot of attention at the Turin-based art fair, Artissima, Nov. 5-7, 2010, was Tobias Rehberger’s unique spin on the Fiat brand, commissioned by the car company from the German design artist, who won the Golden Lion at the 2009 Venice Biennale for his spectacular café installation. Taking a page from BMW’s long-running series of one-off "Art Cars" by contemporary artists like Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons and Jenny Holzer, Fiat had Rehberger make a special edition of its Fiat 500, with a redesigned chassis, and an asymmetrical pattern of pastel colors, with uneven rings of orange around one headlight evoking ripples.

The Fiat "art car" at Artissima was part of a fundraiser for local Sant’Anna Hospital. Plans call for Sotheby’s to auction the arty auto in 2011, with proceeds going to the hospital’s department for premature babies.

New York City’s very own Latin American art fair, Pinta NY 2010, opens this weekend on Pier 92 on the Hudson River, Nov. 12-14, 2010. Now in its fourth year, the show has 50 gallery participants, as well as a special "Art Projects" section of solo shows organized by Mexican curator Pablo de la Barra.

This year, Pinta is presenting gowns and dresses made for the Latin American diva Maria Felix by Dior, Balenciaga and other designers, and has also invited El Museo del Barrio, Harvard Art Museums, LACMA, the Bronx Museum of the Arts and several other institutions to participate in the fair.

Currently drawing buzz is "Girls Just Want to Have Funds," a multipronged initiative of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation designed to spotlight issues of "gender and representation in the visual arts." Hosted by PPOW gallery in Chelsea, the undertaking centers around an exhibition featuring 90+ female art stars, from Janine Antoni and Lizzi Bougatsos to Jessica Stockholder and Lisa Yuskavage, Nov. 16-Dec. 2, 2010.

These works are to be auctioned off at the gallery on Nov. 18 at 6:30 -- the $20 admission gets you "Grolsch beer, open bar, wine, Vietnamese food," as well as a shot at bidding in person -- with proceeds going to support not women in the arts, as might be expected, but the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s "two independent grant programs for emerging visual artists and travel grants for cancer patients."

A Nov. 16 panel discussion at PPOW remains more focused on the topic at hand, centering on the question, "Why aren‘t women artists more commercially successful and is there anything we can or should do to improve their standing?" Speaking on the issue are Christie's contemporary art specialist Amy Cappellazzo, Sculpture Center director Mary Ceruti, and artists Marilyn Minter and Xaviera Simmons. The talk is moderated by Modern Painters writer Sarah Douglas.

What is "Vogue’ology"? We’re not quite sure -- something to do with the "vogueing" subculture, which is described as dealing with performances by "transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay primarily Latino and African American men and women" -- but we do know the Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School is mounting an exhibition of that name, Nov. 17-30, 2010. The show is a joint project of the Ballroom Archive & Oral History Project and the sound art collective Ultra-red.

New York dealer Andrew Schoelkopf of Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art has caused a stir in Pennsylvania, offering cash-strapped Erie County a possible way out of its budget woes -- if it is willing to part with a prized treasure in its public library, Frederick Childe Hassam’s Summer Afternoon, Isle of Shoals. After visiting Erie, Schoelkopf apparently sent a letter to a local county councilman back in June: "Now that I have seen the painting in the flesh and had the opportunity to consider its beauty and scale," he wrote, "I feel there is no question that I could achieve an extremely high price for the sale." The dealer suggested that it could fetch $5 million. According to, the painting had been appraised by Christie’s at $1.2 million back in 1998.

The offer has caused some anguish in the local art scene, with figures like Erie Art Museum director John Vanco and library director Margaret Stewart decrying the attempt to sell off the community heritage. Erie County executive Barry Grossman has stated that he wants to convene a committee composed of members of the art community, library staff and elected officials, to weigh the benefits of selling the Hassam.

In this global, interconnected art world, why wait until touchdown to get busy with your art shopping? Etihad, the official air carrier of Abu Dhabi, is getting in on the art craze in the oil-rich Emirate, launching "Art Connect," an "art enthusiast club" for members of its loyalty program. Among the most intriguing features proposed as part of the new venture is a custom "Art Channel" viewable as part of Etihad’s in-flight programming, hosted by Bertrand Epaud, the director of the Dubai branch of the Opera Gallery. Travelers in the premium seats will get a brochure of artworks to peruse, while a monthly exhibition of art will feature in the airline’s lounge at Abu Dhabi airport.

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