THIS WEEK’S ART FAIRS
Ready for a little traveling? The art world has some destinations for you, some closer to home than others.
* IFPDA Print Fair, Nov. 4-7, 2010, celebrates its 20th anniversary with over 80 members of the International Fine Print Dealers Association. The special opening-night preview on Nov. 3 benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (tickets are $50, for more info, click here). Among the prints debuting at the event is a 7 x 15 ft etching by Julie Mehretu (at Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl), an embossed etching by Kerry James Marshall (at Paulson Bott Press) and a six-foot-long hand-colored woodcut by John Buck (at Shark’s Ink). On the historical front, David Tunick is showing a heretofore unknown state of Edvard Munch’s Madonna.
* NY Art Book Fair, Nov. 4-7, 2010, presented for the fifth year in a row by Printed Matter, brings over 200 presses, booksellers, antiquarian dealers, artists and publishers to MoMA PS1 in Long Island City. The fair is free. Parallel events include a special conference on contemporary artists’ books (with a $100 ticket price), a conversation between artist Jo Baer and her son Josh Baer, publisher of the Baer Faxt art-market guide, and an after-party sponsored by the Dutch exhibitors and featuring a performance by Lara Schnitger is slated for the SculptureCenter on Nov. 6 at 7 pm.
* Editions/Artist’s Book Fair, Nov. 4-7, 2010, housed on the third and fourth floors of 548 West 22nd Street in the heart of Chelsea (the building that was formerly home to the Dia Center and X Initiative, and that is currently home to Zach Feuer Gallery and CRG). Now in its 13th year, the event presents 60 print and artists’ book publishers and dealers from around the world. Admission is free, though tickets for the opening night celebration are $20. Barbara Kruger has produced a benefit print for E/AB, which reads "you’re right and you know it and so should everyone else." It’s priced right at $200.
* Artissima 17, International Fair of Contemporary Art in Turin, Nov. 5-7, 2010, with the collector’s preview on Nov. 4, presents more than 150 galleries in an event directed by Francesco Manacorda. A "Present Future" section boasts 15 solo shows of emerging artists, while "New Entries" presents 29 dealers from 14 countries, all open for less than five years. And "Back to the Future" brings together 24 projects by artists who have been overlooked -- Bill Bollinger, John Latham, Bob Law, Antoni Miralda, Sylvia Sleigh -- in a section organized by New Museum curator Massimiliano Gioni, Pompidou curator Christine Macel and Tate Modern curator Jessica Morgan. U.S. participants include Bortolami, Fruit & Flower Deli, Khastoo and Laurel Gitlen.
Artissimo is also sponsoring a special design exhibition, "Visualizing Transformation," Nov. 7-14, 2010, at the Palazzo Birago. Also on tap is an installation by Philippe Parreno at the Castello di Rivoli for which 3,000 silver Mylar balloons in the shape of speech bubbles cover the ceiling of the museum’s third-floor galleries.
* Abu Dhabi Art 2010, Nov. 4-7, 2010, with a preview on Nov. 3, brings about 50 galleries to the Emirates Palace, including major players such as Acquavella, David Zwirner, Edward Tyler Nahem, Gagosian, Enrico Navarra, Vallois, Jerome de Noirmont, Thaddaeus Ropac, Haunch of Venison, Hauser & Wirth, Timothy Taylor, Tony Shafrazi and White Cube. A "Beyond" section presents outdoor sculpture, while "Signature" features solo shows by emerging artists such as Reza Derakshani (Milani Heller) and Karin Sabine Krommes (Waterhouse & Dodd).
The parallel program includes a wide range of other presentations, including an open-air movie theater screening short films by Yang Fudong, Camille Henrot and other artists, and a special installation devised by the Campana Brothers with two young Emirati designers, Khalid Shafar and Noura Al Mehairi. Special exhibitions include "Opening the Doors: Collecting Middle Eastern Art," featuring works by native artists from local collections.
ARTIST BUGS LOUIS VUITTON IN JAPAN
If you’re going to make art that uses the Louis Vuitton brand, better use the real thing! That seems to be the moral of a story out of Japan, where works by artist Mitsuhiro Okamoto were removed from a show at the Kobe Fashion Museum, Apr. 15-June 27, 2010, after a complaint from the luxury fashion giant. Okamoto’s works, from a series entitled "Batta Mon," were soft sculptures of locusts made out of material bearing the logos of Chanel, Gucci, Coach, Fendi and, of course, Louis Vuitton. The bugs that bug Vuitton are kind of cute, actually.
According to the Mainichi Daily News, back in May, Louis Vuitton Japan complained about the works, on the basis of the fact that they contained counterfeit Louis Vuitton material, and thereby "constituted the unauthorized use of a registered trademark in an impermissible way." As is the practice in such cases, Vuitton insisted that the artist refrain from showing works from the series, and remove images of the works from his website.
The museum took down the exhibit, but Okamoto, for his part, has continued to feature images from "Batta Mon" on his website. And now, he is about to open an exhibition, "Batta Mon Returns," at Osaka’s Contemporary Art and Spirits, Nov. 6-27, 2010. A panel discussion on the question of trademark law and artistic free expression is scheduled for Nov. 27. In the meantime, if Okamoto was trying to suggest that the contemporary handbag obsession is some kind of plague, he certainly seems to be getting his share of publicity out of the controversy.
CHRIS BROWN AND RON ENGLISH TEAM UP?
Disgraced R&B singer Chris Brown -- a.k.a. the guy who beat up Rihanna -- is plotting his comeback, and art is part of his strategy. The New York Daily News spotted him recently at hip eatery Cipriani Downtown dining with Street Art legend Ron English. A "source" told the Daily News that the powwow concerned Brown’s attempt to launch a new graffiti art movement he was calling "Breezy Art." Which sounds completely improbable -- except that the website Animal New York actually confirms the plot. English’s wife offered Animal the following tidbit: "We did meet with Chris, who’s a very sweet guy. He’s very interested in art and doing something with Ron." She even sent along a helpful photograph of the singer’s forearm, which bears an English-inspired tattoo.
"ARTIST IN RESTAURANT" RESIDENCY IN LONDON
You’ve heard of "artists in residence"? Well, get ready for an even better idea -- "artist in restaurant." Pied à Terre, a London boîte with two Michelin stars, has launched a new annual residency for emerging artists at its restaurant. Each year, an artist will be selected to "spend time" at the restaurant, both as a diner and as a visitor to the kitchen, with the assignment of making at least one artwork that will become part of the restaurant’s collection. The residency also comes with a stipend of £10,000. The first artist should be announced soon, and begin his or her residency in January 2011.
"TINY FURNITURE" PREMIERES AT THE IFC CENTER
Save the date. The New York art world’s most hotly anticipated film, Tiny Furniture by 24-year-old Lena Dunham, the daughter of artists Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, premieres at the IFC Center on Nov. 12, 2010. The "microbudget" movie, which has been lavishly praised in previews, is described by the New York Times as a "semiautobiographical coming-of-age comedy," and stars the director with her real-life sister and mother, who plays an international art star. Meanwhile, Lena Dunham is reported to be preparing an HBO pilot with Judd Apatow.