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Artnet News
June 3, 2009 

"Unframed 2009," this year's benefit art sale to support the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), kicks off tonight, June 3, 2009, at 6-9 pm, at 15 Union Square West in New York. The 19th installment of the now-famous art fundraiser is sponsored by Elle Decor (and takes place inside a designer condo in a new building) and hosted by Ross Bleckner, Margaret Russell and Anna Sui. Benefit works have been contributed by Joseph Ayers, Iona Brown, Will Cotton, Crash (John Matos), Terence Koh, Robert Longo, Kenny Scharf, Cindy Sherman and many others. Tickets are $20 at the door. For more info, see

Thank god we’ve made it safely to June, and barring a few things like the 53rd Venice Biennale, June 7-Nov. 22, 2009, and Art 40 Basel, June 10-14, 2009, basically nothing is happening. Except, of course, those dozens and dozens of group shows, designed to explore new art or new curatorial concepts. Gotta love ‘em! Herewith, a sampling.

* "Wiser Than God," May 27-Aug. 2, 2009, at BLT Gallery, 270 Bowery. Curator and wag-about-town Adrian Dannatt presents a grab-bag of artists who were born before 1927 and are still living and working, ranging from the celebrated (Louise Bourgeois, Elizabeth Catlett, Ellsworth Kelly, William King, Carol Rama, Dorothea Tanning) to the lesser-known (Samuel Bookatz, Horacio Coppola, Herb Brown, John Fancel, Jimmy Metcalf, Mildred Dixon Sherwood). 

* "We’re All Gonna Die," May 30-July 10, 20099 at Number 35, 39 Essex Street, and June 25-July 31, 2009, at Sue Scott Gallery, 1 Rivington Street. Organized by Ron Keyson, the two-gallery show is designed to move from the comedic to the tragic, and includes a billboard at Rivington & Bowery designed by Garry Simmons. Among the 30 or so artists in the exhibition are Andisheh Avini, Carroll Dunham, Maira Kalman and Charles Spurrier (at Number 35) and Sarah Charlesworth, Robert Lazzarini, Robin Lowe and Marilyn Minter (at Sue Scott).

* "Portraits, Pastels, Prints: Whistler in the Frick Collection," June 2-Aug. 23, 2009. Four full-scale portraits plus a seascape in the Oval Room, along with a cabinet installation of 15 works on paper from his Venetian sojourn of 1879-80, organized by Susan Grace Galassi.

* "Summer Exhibition 2009," June 3-Aug. 2, 2009, at the New York Academy of Art, 111 Franklin Street. Though its title isn’t very exciting, the show features 123 works by academy alumni and current students, selected by Eric Fischl, Matthew Flowers and Anne Strauss.

* "Right through the Very Heart of It," June 4-26, 2009, at Robert Mann Gallery, 210 Eleventh Avenue. In the summer, everyone leaves, and the rest of us own our town just a little more. The exhibition boasts "icons and idiosyncrasies of New York" by photographers ranging from Lisette Model and Weegee to Gail Albert Halaban and Ellen Auerbach.

* "Blue," June 17-Aug. 28, 2009, at James Graham & Sons, 32 East 67th Street. Organized by painter and writer John Zinsser, the show features works by 15 artists, including Richmond Burton, Joe Fyfe, Wayne Gonzales, James Hyde, Olivier Mosset, Kate Shepherd, Amy Sillman and Philip Taaffe.

* "Live from New York. . .," June 18-Sept. 5, 2009, at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, 41 East 57th Street. The Big Apple as a site for musical performance, via portraits of Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall in the 1940s by William Gottlieb, Igor Stravinsky in 1946 by Arnold Newman, Jimi Hendrix in 1968 by Linda McCartney and the Ramones in 1975 by Bob Gruen, plus more. 

* "The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women," June 25-Sept. 19, 2009, at Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street. Women artists depicting the female form, in show designed to reclaim the body from phallocentric visuality (good luck!). Artists range from Berenice Abbott, Marina Abramovic and Ghada Amer to Hannah van Bart, Hellen van Meene and Lisa Yuskavage.

* "Bitch Is the New Black," July 11-Aug. 29, 2009, at Honor Fraser, 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, is curated by former Artnet Magazine contributor Emma Gray. The title -- drawn from an Anne Sexton poem -- "asserts the artists’ shared independent streak." The 14 participants are Cathy Akers, Kathryn Andrews, Andrea Bowers, Rosson Crow, Krysten Cunningham, Pearl C. Hsiung, Annie Lapin, Shana Lutker, Ruby Neri, Cathy Opie, Amanda Ross Ho, Anna Sew Hoy, Mindy Shapero and Kirsten Stoltman.

Nine new works have been commissioned for Performa 09, Nov. 1-22, 2009, which overall presents new work by more than 80 artists at 60 different venues.  In total, the nine commissioned artists -- Guy Ben-Ner, Omer Fast, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Yang Fudong, Mike Kelley, Yeondoo Jung, Arto Lindsay, Wangechi Mutu and Christian Tomaszewski -- are receiving over $350,000 from Performa. The projects are supported by arts patron Toby Devan Lewis via her TOBY Fund, along with a major grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Among the works: Omer Fast’s stage presentation of an Iraq veteran’s story; Yang Fudong’s film set inside a New York City museum; a combined magic show and film by Yeondoo Jung; three short performance pieces by Mike Kelley presented at Judson Memorial Church; and Arto Lindsay’s "arts parade" of over 100 performers using cell phones as musical instruments, taking place on New York City’s Marathon Sunday. For further info, see

The sleeper Museum of Modern Art exhibition of the spring is "How to Make a Modern Art Library: Selections from the Eluard-Dausse Collection," Apr. 8-June 22, 2009, located in the Cullman Education and Research Building at 4 West 54th Street. Organized by Sheelagh Bevan, a MoMA research librarian (and wife of poet rocker Richard Hell), the show looks at items from two extraordinary collections of Surrealist literature that came to the museum in 1936, on the eve of Alfred H. Barr’s pioneering exhibition, "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism." The libraries were those of French poet and Surrealist Paul Éluard and Camille Dausse, a Parisian doctor and friend to many members of the group. For more about the show, click here

Artnet News
has previously announced exhibitions of art by Persian artists living both inside Iran and elsewhere taking place this month at the Chelsea Art Museum (opening June 26) and at the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery in Manhattan (open now).

Now, our correspondents inform us that two other exhibitions of contemporary Iranian art are currently on view. Thomas Erben Gallery at 526 West 26th Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea art district presents "Looped and Layered: A Selection of Contemporary Art from Tehran," May 14-June 27, 2009. Erben notes that it is the "tautness" in the Islamic Republic’s society that makes for the country’s "rich and fertile" artistic production. Artists in the show -- all members of Tehran’s post-revolution generation -- include Mohsen Ahmadvand, Ala Dehghan, Bita Fayyazi, Siamak Filizadeh, Shahab Foutohi, Amirali Ghasemi, Barbad Golshiri, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Farshid Maleki and Sadegh Tirafkan. For a "virtual tour," see

And across the pond in London, Eleven Howland Gallery is presenting "Guns and Roses," May 22-June 27, 2009, featuring work by 12 Iranian artists, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. Artists in the show include Shahriar Ahmadi, Farhad Ahrarnia, Samira Alikanzadeh, Pooya Aryanpour, Alireza Dayani, Reza Derakshani, Golnaz Fathi, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Reza Lavassani, Farhad Moshiri, Afshin Pirhashemi and Ghass Rouzkhosh. For more info, see

El Museo del Barrio
unveils its renovated and expanded facility at Fifth Avenue and East 104th Street on Oct. 17, 2009, with "Nexus New York: Latin / American Artists in the Modern Metropolis." The show, conceived by El Museo director Julian Zugazagoitia and organized by curator Deborah Cullen, presents works by 75 artists from North and South America, and is accompanied by a catalogue from Yale University Press. The renovation, overseen by Gruzen Samton Architects, provides El Museo with a new glass facade and courtyard, its first permanent collection gallery, and a new cafe and shop. The new gallery is named after El Museo patron Carmen Ana Unanue, whose husband, Joseph A. Unanue, founded Goya Foods.

The museum’s curatorial staff seems to be ready to show off the new building. Exhibitions on the schedule include "Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement," Mar. 21-June 6, 2010, "Retro/Active: The Works of Rafael Ferrer," June-September 2010, and "Nueva York," Sept. 17, 2010-Feb. 15, 2011, a collaboration with the New-York Historical Society that explores the role that Latinos and the Spanish-speaking world have played in New York City, all the way from 1624 through World War II.

Megumi Sasaki
’s 87-minute-long film about everyone’s favorite art-collecting duo, Herb and Dorothy Vogel, opens at Cinema Village in New York City on June 5, 2009, and at Landmark Nuart in Los Angeles on July 10, 2009. The award-winning documentary, dubbed Herb & Dorothy, tells the story of the postal clerk and librarian who, beginning in the 1960s, built a pioneering collection of Minimalist and Conceptual Art -- most of the works being small scale, so as to fit into their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Making cameo appearances in the movie are Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close, Lucio Pozzi, Susanna Singer, Richard Tuttle, Lawrence Weiner and many others. For a trailer, see

New York gallery-goers (in Manhattan as well as at art fairs in Europe and elsewhere) know Edward Tyler Nahem as a top secondary-market dealer who also operates a public gallery space at 37 West 57th Street. But Nahem’s activity extends to film as well, notably to the new biopic Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love, for which he serves as executive producer. Directed and produced by Chai Vasarhelyi, the feature-length documentary tells the story of the Grammy award-winning Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour, an international pop star as well as a West African "griot" who is deeply engaged as a human-rights advocate. The film opens to the public in New York City at the Paris Theater, the IFC Center andBAM Rose Cinemas on June 12, 2009, and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Sunset Theater on July 3, 2009. For further info -- and a trailer -- see

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has awarded $15,000 grants to 15 artists in its 2009 MFA Grant Program, which is designed to assist MFA painters and sculptors to make the transition from academic to professional studio work. Winners are Michael Arcega, Terrence Campagna, Jésus González Flores, Daina Higgins, Charlotte Meyer, Jess Perlitz, Kris Scheifele, Joshua Short, Eric Shows, Justin Shull, Trish Tillman, Jina Valentine, Cullen Washington Jr., Alison Williams and James Williams.

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