REALITY TV MEETS CONTEMPORARY ART
Is the contemporary art scene truly ready for its "Project Runway" moment? Because itís on the horizon, as the Bravo cable network prepares to air Sarah Jessica Parkerís "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist," beginning in June 2010. It seems quite likely that the wide television exposure -- the show is scheduled for 14 episodes, with many repeats, if it is a success -- will make stars out of its art-world participants, some of whom already show up occasionally on PatrickMcMullan.com. Playing emcee (the Tim Gunn role) is suave Swiss auctioneer Simon de Pury, who co-hosts with China Chow (the Heidi Klumm role), a glamorous model and sometime actress.
The panel of three judges includes former BlackBook mag editor Bill Powers, who now directs the Half Gallery on Forsyth Street in Manhattan (and who is married to designer Cynthia Rowley), the elegant power-dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn (who operates Salon 94 gallery at two locations, on East 94th and Freemanís Alley) and New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz (who also publishes in these pages, of course). "The Next Great Artist" starts with 14 artists, who are said to be a varied bunch, men and women of assorted disciplines, including at least one photographer and one architect, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s. The artists are each given a work space in one large studio, and in each episode face a specific challenge, with the three judges eliminating one contestant every week.
Is there any crying, as on Tyra Banksí mean "Americaís Top Model"? Surely thereís some nudity; what is bohemia without nudes? Bravo is keeping mum on these and other questions, including the exact nature of the weekly challenges, though insiders suggest that theyíre nothing out of the ordinary: do a portrait or corporate commission, say, or make a work for something like the upcoming "Haunted" show at the Guggenheim Museum. Filming for the series is just about done, and the winner, according to Bravo, receives not only an unspecified cash prize, but also an exhibition at "a nationally recognized museum." This weíve got to see.
"DENIM," THE ART SHOW
Artforum magazine contributing editor David Rimanelli has organized "DENIM," Feb. 2-Mar. 13, 2010, for the 80 Washington Square East Gallery just north of SoHo. An exploration of the everyday fabric as a "psychic material" that "sheathes ideas from the implicitly erotic to the deeply revolutionary," the show features Valie Exportís Action Pants: Genital Panic, a notorious image of the artist wearing crotchless pants and holding a machine gun, and Andy Warholís album cover, with working zipper, for "Sticky Fingers" by the Rolling Stones. The exhibition presents works by eight artists in all, including K8 Hardy, Hanna & Klara Liden, Tom Burr, Jack Pierson, Rob Pruitt, Knut Asdam and Michael Smith.
ITíS HERE: TUTMANIA 2010
New Yorkers, beware. That long-touring exhibition of Tutiabilia is finally arriving in your fair city. The final stop of "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoah" opens at the Discovery Times Square Exposition facility (on West 44th between Broadway and 8th Avenue) in Times Square, Apr. 23, 2010-Jan. 2, 2011 -- a run described as "only eight months." More than 130 ancient Egyptian artifacts are presented, including 50 from the legendary boy-kingís tomb, his golden royal diadem included. The exhibition is overseen by University of Pennsylvania professor David P. Silverman and mounted by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, in cooperation with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Some proceeds from the tour -- New York City adult admission has not yet been confirmed, but tickets in San Francisco went for around $27.50 -- go to a new Grand Museum in Cairo. For further details, see www.kingtutnyc.com
AB-EX STAMPS DUE MAR. 11, 2010
On Mar. 11, 2010, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing a set of ten 44-cent first class stamps devoted to the Abstract Expressionist painters, illustrating works selected in consultation with art historian Jonathan Fineberg. The post office had to do a little cropping to make the pictures stamp-sized, but donít tell anyone. Artists in the lineup include Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still -- and one woman, Joan Mitchell. For more info, click here
EUNGIE JOO FOR NEXT "GENERATIONAL"
The New Museum is keeping up the momentum for its "The Generational," even though the hip contemporary survey show, which bowed in 2009, occurs only once every three years. The museum has announced that the next installment of the exhibition is being selected by Eungie Joo, who has been the museumís director of education and public programs since 2007; she was director of the Gallery at REDCAT in Los Angeles from 2003 to 2007, and was commissioner for the Korean pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. The next "Generational" is set to open in spring 2012.
WILLOUGHBY SHARP REMEMBERED
Fans of Willoughby Sharp (1936-2008) have arranged a special video screening devoted to the late artist, Avalanche magazine publisher and all-around art-world gadfly. Taking place at Anthology Film Archives in Lower Manhattan at 2 pm on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, the event begins with a documentary vid of Sharpís memorial, which took place at the Guggenheim Museum on Oct. 15, 2009, and is followed by the premiere of "Who Was Willoughby Sharp?", memorial interviews by Bill Thompson and Zhenyu Lin. Admission is free.