The next big youthquake of 2009 is the provocatively titled "Younger than Jesus," a new international triennial opening at the New Museum on Apr. 8, 2009. The secretive gang on the Bowery is keeping a lid on the lineup, but four names have leaked out so far: typography artist (and Vogue magazine favorite) Tauba Auerbach, 2008 Cal Arts grad Mariechen Danz, Philadelphia video wiz Ryan Trecartin (who already showed at the New Museum in 2007), and Oslo-based anti-Pop collage artist Ida Ekblad.
While some stalk the young, others look into the gaping maw of hell (so to speak), like Warhol Museum curator Eric Shiner, whose first show, dubbed "The End", opening next month, presents apocalyptic visions by approximately 30 artists, including Luis Camnitzer, Karen Finley and Cary Leibowitz.
Canoodling: London superdealer Jay Jopling, 45, made the British tabloids for his holiday tryst with 23-year-old pop star Lily Allen, the daughter of a friend, comedian Keith Allen, complete with photos of the pair "canoodling" on the beach in the Caribbean. The romance is over now, the press says, as Allen embarks on a 12-month tour. In September Jopling separated from his wife, artist Sam Taylor-Wood.
After shark attacks harried surfers earlier this year along the Mexican Pacific coast at Troncones, the unspoiled beach about 100 miles north of Acapulco, locals joked that they were looking for revenge on British art superstar Damien Hirst, who has had a place there for years. Longtime surfer Julian Schnabel has also vacationed at the resort.
Art market doldrums: Almost 25 galleries have pulled out of ARCO, a birdie says, and other upcoming art shows are sending out plenty of "wait list" letters, so they’ll be sure to have enough applicants to fill any suddenly vacant spots. Spain’s big art fair kicks off Feb. 11-16, 2009. . . "Sales" were okay at Art Basel Miami Beach and other fairs in December, but collecting the money is turning out to be harder than usual. "Sales are one thing," said one dealer, wryly. "Getting paid is another."
Leonard Feinstein, co-founder of Bed Bath & Beyond and a major patron of the New Museum, is rumored to have lost $25 million in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, though the sum is said to be only a modest percentage of his fortune.
For a sadly dramatic measure of the art market’s abrupt drop, make a stack of your Artforum magazines for the season so far, from September 2008 to January 2009. The once-phonebook-sized mag is down by half, from 496 pages then to 240 pages now.
Changes too at Brant Publications (Art in America, the Magazine Antiques, Interview), where group publisher Alan Katz is on his way out. Also gone is longtime Art in America editor Janet Koplos; she’s working on catalogue essays and two books.
Openings: Russian bad-boy artist Oleg Kulik, celebrated for his love of dogs, has done costumes and sets for Claudio Monteverdi’s 1910 choral piece, Vespers for the Sacred Virgin, which bows at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Jan. 24-29, 2009. . . A puppet show about eccentric Arkansas portrait photog Mike Disfarmer, whose work was feted in 2005 at both Edwynn Houk Gallery and Steven Kasher Gallery, premieres at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, Jan. 27-Feb. 8, 2009. The show is designed and directed by Dan Hurlin. . . Finnish artist Elja Liisa-Ahtila’s Where Is Where?, her one-hour-long, split-screen mediation on French colonialism in Algeria in the 1950s, unspools at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah, Jan. 17-24, 2009.
Closings: Manhattan is losing three young galleries that count. Guild & Greyshkul closes with a big good-bye exhibition of 100 artists in early February, after rising rent and other costs outpaced revenues. "We want to stay independent," said founder Johannes VanDerBeek, who hopes to keep the gallery "community" going somehow. . . Cohan and Leslie has closed in advance of the end of its lease. Leslie Cohan has already relocated to Minneapolis (for an affair of the heart) and Andrew Leslie is going private, working with some gallery artists. . . Money problems definitely sunk Roebling Hall, with artists Erik Benson, Ivan Navarro and Eve Sussman among those left in the lurch.
Art & design: For Art LA, Jan. 23-25, 2009, design-artist Jorge Pardo is installing a special version of his Chinatown watering hole, the Mountain Bar, right in Barker Hangar, with a window looking out on the runways of the Santa Monica Airport. . . Hamptons old-timer Dan Rattiner is blaming the town planning board for allowing the 120-year-old Elaine Benson Art Gallery building in Bridgehampton to be demolished. The late-Victorian mansion, one of eleven lining the main street of the picturesque village, is to be replaced by new headquarters for a construction company.
Now that’s hot: Dutch artist Teun Hock’s show of comic self-portrait photos, scheduled to open Jan. 8 at P.P.O.W. on West 26th Street, went on in a borrowed space down the block after a fire broke out upstairs from the gallery. P.P.O.W. suffered water damage, but no artworks were hurt.
Oh those grandkids! Museum of Modern Art trustee Agnes Gund says she’s not up for any arts position in the Barack Obama administration, but does plan to go to the inauguration with her two grandchildren. . . Susan Rothenberg and Bruce Nauman bought a $3.3 million townhouse on East Second Street in the East Village, right next to the landmark Marble Cemetery, the New York Times says. No doubt Bruce wants to visit his new grandchild, recently born to his son, a teacher in Manhattan.
Ain’t it frigid news: An artist-in-residence in Antarctica? That’s Oona Stern, who’s blogging from Palmer Station at antarcticice.blogspot.com. . . The post-opening bash for Mary Heilmann’s two shows at 303 on West 22nd Street in Chelsea was a midnight sledding party on Central Park’s Pilgrim Hill. No sled? Says gallery director Mari Spirito, "Construction-sized garbage bags work best!"
Collecting notes: Hot new collecting specialty at the American Antiques Show, Jan. 22-25, 2009, is "vernacular photography," with both Winter Works on Paper and Odd Fellows Art & Antiques specializing in the genre. . . The Guggenheim Museum has bought one of Agathe Snow’s "junk mobiles" from her "Just Say Yes" show at James Fuentes. The artist thinks of the works, made of papier-mâché, as "un-Koons."
Power of the press: Kate Winslet’s chances for an Oscar for The Reader are in doubt, according to a report in the London Sunday Times, after "influential film critic" Charlie Finch said that the film’s nudity trivializes the Holocaust. Read the original review in artnet Magazine.