TURNER PRIZE IS DEAD: STUCKISTS
The 2009 Turner Prize exhibition opens at Tate Britain today, Oct. 5, 2009 -- the four short-listed artists are Enrico David, Roger Hiorns, Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright -- but the Stuckists have already declared that the prize is "dead." The Turner, the Stuckists say, has turned into a media circus that promotes novelty rather than deserving artists. To support their case, the Stuckists have complied several dozen comments disparaging the prize, from Malcolm Morley, the first winner, who called it "disgusting," to Matthew Collings ("always pretty ridiculous") and Prince Charles ("it has contaminated the art establishment").
"The Turner Prize has been dying for years," said Stuckist co-founder Charles Thomson, "and has now flatlined. It should be renamed the Flatline Prize." In a mock "wanted" poster, the Stuckists picture Tate director Nicholas Serota in a crown, with the caption "The King of Crap." For further details, including that picture, see www.stuckism.com
ABU DHABI ART FAIR
The international art world has a date in the Middle East this fall. Among the galleries that have signed up for Abu Dhabi Art, Nov. 19-22, 2009, are Acquavella, Gagosian, PaceWildenstein, Richard Gray, L&M Arts, Tony Shafrazi (New York), White Cube, Paradise Row (London), Galerie Gmurzynska, Hauser & Wirth, Eva Presenhuber (Zurich), Maeght, Enrico Navarra, Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris), and many more from Europe and the Far East. Another dozen or so come from the Middle East, totaling more than 50 dealers in all.
Abu Dhabi Art aspires to be an "art platform," not just an art fair, and so includes a range of parallel events, not least of which is "The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum," a selection of 50 top artworks from the Gugg collection, presented at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, Nov. 17, 2009-Feb. 4, 2010. It’s the first show of artworks from the museum under its much-ballyhooed partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH). The art fair can be seen as a warm-up for the program that includes the nascent Zayed National Museum and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as well as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum.
Opening at the same time as the fair is "Disorientation II," a show curated by Jack Persekian and inaugurating the new Manarat al Saadiyat exhibition center on Saadiyat Island, and "Design Moment," a program of contemporary design. Another highlight of the art fair is "Collecting Today," a panel scheduled for Nov. 20, 2009, and boasting an appearance by Larry Gagosian as well as Qatar Museums Authority head Roger Mandle and Mariët Westermann, provost of NYU Abu Dhabi. For more details, see www.artsabudhabi.ae
MAN RAY AND AFRICAN ART
How did modern photographers picture African art objects during the 1920s and ‘30s? The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., explores this question in "Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens," Oct. 10, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010. The exhibition presents more than 50 photos by Man Ray and 50 more by his contemporaries, including Cecil Beaton, Walker Evans, Charles Sheeler and Alfred Stieglitz. The show also includes some actual objects seen in the photographs. Organized by Wendy Grossman for International Arts & Artists, the exhibition subsequently appears at museums in Albuquerque, Charlottesville and Vancouver. It is accompanied by an 184-page catalogue with 282 illustrations, published by the University of Minnesota Press.
WEALTHIEST U.S. ART LOVERS
What could be more tedious than scanning the Forbes 400 list of "America’s wealthiest citizens," looking for the names of our favorite art lovers? We put little effort into it, though here they are all the same. Crystal Bridges founder Alice Walton is on the list at no. 6, with $19 billion. Leveraged buy-out king Ron Perelman, who gave the Guggenheim Museum $20 million in 2003, is No. 23, with $10 billion, while Damien Hirst-pickled-shark-buyer Steven Cohen is no. 36, with $6.4 billion. L.A. MOCA savior Eli Broad is on the list at no. 43, with $5.4 billion.
No. 44 is David Geffin, with $5 billion, while S.I. Newhouse is no. 52, with $4.5 billion. No. 77 is Henry Kravis ($3.8 billion), no. 97 is Leonard Lauder ($3 billion) and no. 123 is Ronald Lauder ($2.5 billion). No. 147 is David Rockefeller, with $2.2 billion. Further down the list we have Jerry Speyer (no. 196, $1.8 billion), the George Lindemann family (no. 272, $1.45 billion), Alfred Taubman (no. 277, $1.4 billion), the late San Francisco collector Donald Fisher and his wife Doris (no. 296, $1.3 billion) and Norman Braman (no. 326, $1.2 billion). For the whole megillah, see www.forbes.com
JACK GOLDSTEIN IN FRANKFURT
The MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main has opened a retrospective devoted to New York postmodernist painter Jack Goldstein (1945-2003). "Jack Goldstein," Oct. 3, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010, is the first in a new series of exhibitions devoted to artists in the museum collection; it is accompanied by a catalogue with a 1985 interview between the artist and Chris Dercon and essays by Klaus Görner, Chrissie Iles and Shepherd Steiner.
SIMON PARKES AT W.M. BRADY & CO.
One of the many secrets of the classical painterly set is that ace conservator Simon Parkes -- an Old Master specialist whose clients include top museums and auction houses -- regularly exhibits his own paintings at W.M. Brady & Co. at 22 East 80th Street. Parkes’ pictorial forebears include Childe Hassam, William Merritt Chase and Fairfield Porter, according to art critic Ann E. Berman, and his seaside landscapes were featured in the monograph Summer Places (Vendome, 2005). His current show of recent paintings includes views from Montauk, Georgica Pond and other points in the East End, scenes from Swan’s Island in Maine, and several still lifes. For more info, contact Mark Brady at Mark@WMBrady.com
FREE ART FAIR IN LONDON
The Free Art Fair, Oct. 12-18, 2009 -- billed as the art fair where all the work is given away -- opens at the Barbican Centre in London with a party on its first evening, supported by Pernod Ricard UK. For the third and final installment of the fair, artists were asked to incorporate the notion of "free" into their art "by making work that they always wanted to make but felt like they couldn’t." Among the participants are Adam Dant, Marlene Dumas, Pablo Helguera, Jasper Joffe, Bruce McLean, Bob & Roberta Smith, Harry Pye and others. To actually receive a free artwork, fair visitors submit to a rather elaborate chance drawing; for details, see www.freeartfair.com
THE SOUTH BRONX ART SCENE
The next panel put on by the venerable Artists Talk on Art brings together veterans of the South Bronx art scene of the late 1970s and early ‘80s in "Past Dreams and Future: Visions: The South Bronx Art Scene in the 21st Century," Oct. 9, 2009, at 7 pm at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Panelists include Fashion Moda co-founder Joe Lewis (now art and design dean at Alfred University), artist John Ahearn, artist and curator Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, SVA prof Tim Rollins and Bronx Museum director Holly Block. The panel is moderated by Barry Kostrinsky, founder of Haven Arts.
"TAKE HOME A NUDE" BENEFIT
The New York Academy of Art holds its annual "Take Home a Nude" benefit at Sotheby’s New York on Oct. 7, 2009. The event honors painter John Currin; its co-chairs are Ralph Lauren marketing guy David Lauren, Sotheby’s auctioneer Tobias Meyer and GQ editor Jim Nelson; and its benefit committee includes Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, Amy Sacco, Bob Colacello, Larry Gagosian, Kate and Andy Spade, and Eric Fischl and Will Cotton.
One highlight of the benefit is a Jenny Saville charcoal drawing of a mother with twin babies, which is almost five feet tall and is inspired by a Leonardo work. Other donations relate to Andy Warhol, a longtime patron of the academy, including a portrait of Warhol by Bobby Grossman, a portrait of Gregory Corso by Walter Steding and a "tit tit" piece by Brigid Berlin. Tickets begin at $150; for more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NATIONAL ARTS AWARDS, 2009
Americans for the Arts presents its National Arts Awards for 2009 at a reception and gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on Oct. 5, 2009. This year’s honorees are Robert Redford (lifetime achievement), Salman Rushdie (outstanding contributions to the arts), Ed Ruscha (artistic excellence), Sidney Harman (philanthropy in the arts) and Anne Finucane of the Bank of America (corporate citizenship in the arts). Presenters at the gala include Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, author Paul Auster, filmmaker Ken Burns, actress Kerry Washington and New Museum director Lisa Phillips.
NAT FINKELSTEIN, 1933-2009
Nat Finkelstein, 76, Brooklyn-born photographer and photojournalist who intensively documented Andy Warhol’s Factory during 1964-67, died on Oct. 2, 2009. After retiring from photography in 1968, he exhibited his work extensively from the late 1980s to the present, with shows most recently at Tate Modern (2000), Wooster Gallery 2003) and the Cracow Institute of Art (2004). His books included The Andy Warhol Index, compiled in 1968 with Warhol himself, plus Girlfriends (1991), Merry Monsters (1993) and Andy Warhol: The Factory Years, 1964-1967 (2000).