May 2004 Archives

Debs & Co. closing

I'm sad. According to Choire, and the gallery web site, Debs & Co. is closing. They have always been one of the more political of the Chelsea galleries, showing the likes of Joy Garnett, Emily Jacir, and Carrie Moyer.

A very timely Get Your War On




Wealth and race

I was reading this article in the NY Times on the lack of diversity in the boards of New York City cultural institutions, and I was struck by this statistic:

To be sure, there are still far fewer rich blacks than rich whites — 33,000 black households have an income of $150,000 or more in the New York metropolitan area, compared with 587,000 white households in the same income bracket, according to an analysis of 2000 census data by the Queens College department of sociology.

Pension fund for artists

Cool idea! A new company called Mutual Art has created a pension fund for artists, which they fund by "investing" artworks rather than cash.

The advisory board includes John Baldessari and Kiki Smith.

The list of artists accepted into the initial trust includes Tim Lokiec, Jules de Balincourt, Aida Ruilova, and Anthony Goicolea.

Here is the description from their FAQ of how it works:

A region-specific selection committee comprised of individuals who are broadly experienced in working with emerging artists will identify artists to be invited to apply for participation in a Trust. The committee will review each applicant's work and select those who will participate in a Trust. Only self-employed artists may participate in APT.

The Selection Committee members for the APT, New York are Clarissa Dalrymple, Jeffrey Deitch, David A. Ross, Jack Tilton and Simon Watson.

APT is a barter-based program. Rather than cash, participants will contribute works of art to their Trust, investing 20 works over a 20-year period. Artists will start to receive income 20 years after the inception of their APT.

Income for payments to the participants will come from the sale of works held by a Trust. Fifty percent of the net proceeds from these sales accrue to the retirement benefit accounts of all participants and the remaining fifty percent will accrue to each artist's own retirement benefit account. Each artist receives an equal share of the pooled funds generated by the sale of the works held in a Trust, thereby benefiting from the collective success of all of the artists in their Trust. Additionally, each artist is rewarded proportionally to individual market success, since 50% of the net proceeds of the sale of his/her work are invested in individual benefit accounts.

Williamsburg Gallery Brunch

On Sunday, a lot of Williamsburg galleries are having things brunch-ish available from 12-4pm to entice viewers. We're heading out there around 1 to look at art and show a friend around who we're trying to bring into the art buying habit. Gallery-going: the gateway drug, as it were.

Among the galleries I know we'll hit:

Victoria Rich at *sixtyseven

One more look at "Size Does Matter" at Eyewash/Boreas

"Boys Keep Swinging" at Champion Fine Art

Jerry Kearns at Jack The Pelican Presents

Alec Dartley and Vicki Sher at Jessica Murray

Sarah Beddington and Fritz Welch at Momenta

Lynn Cazabon at Schroeder Romero

"Sadie Hawkins Dance" at SOUTHFIRST


UPDATED: I found more that are not necessarily part of the brunch thing.

Active Duty/Armed Artists of America (AAA)

Josh Smith - REENA SPAULINGS FINE ART, 371 Grand Street - he curated a great show at Champion

Does he actually want to win?


From CNN/AP:

Kerry told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he would consider a judicial candidate who disagrees with his support of abortion rights as long as it doesn't lead to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal.

Hours later, as fellow Democrats and abortion-rights supporters sought clarification, Kerry issued a statement pledging not to appoint anyone to the Supreme Court who would undo abortion rights. He left open the possibility of appointing anti-abortion judges to lower courts.

This campaign is getting even more depressing than Gore's.

A hopeful essay on theatre / 13P

This week's Village Voice has an essay by Mac Wellman on why he is hopeful about the state of theatre in New York. He mentions quite a few people I've written about here, and others I've seen but not written about. These include Anne Washburn, The Civilians, and others. One of the fascinating new groups he mentions was the one I told Paige West to check out when we had drinks on Friday: 13P, which Wellman describes thusly

13P (short for 13 Playwrights, Inc.) has just begun operations with a fine production of Washburn's The Internationalist at the Culture Project, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll (who also directed Courtney's Demon Baby). 13P is of particular note because it has been created by playwrights for playwrights on behalf of plays—playwrights who see no point in the whining endemic to the Theater of the Unproduced. Thus, each of the 13 will receive a full production before 2010, and each is expected to contribute manfully to the others' shows. A fine and intelligent idea in this day of institutional blandness. 13P is made up of Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Madeleine George, Rob Handel, Ann Marie Healy, Julia Jarcho, Young Jean Lee, Winter Miller, Sarah Ruhl, Kate E. Ryan, Lucy Thurber, Anne Washburn, and Gary Winter. These playwrights remain unawed by the difficulty of pursuing an aggressively non-corporate, non-careerist path.

For more on 13P, check out these articles from The Brooklyn Rail and CultureBot.

We recently saw Anne's play The Internationalist, having become huge fans after seeing her play The Ladies with The Civilians. The run for The Internationalist has ended, but I hope someone revives it. We saw it the last night, and they were turning people away. We thought it was brilliant, with an amazing cast. See the Village Voice review here. We took Anne to lunch on Monday to get a chance to just talk to her a bit outside of a "you're great!" chat after a performance at a theatre.

Finally 13P has an interesting deal going right now -- the Blind Optimism Package. For $180 you get 2 reserved seats for their remaining 12 plays, to be produced through 2010. We're going to buy the tickets. If nothing else, it shows my hope that I won't have to go into exile in Europe after the November election.

An oblong $175 million plaza, flanked by two 43-foot-tall arched gates and 56 granite columns, each holding a pair of bronze wreaths, surrounding an oval reflecting pool with fountains, it is the strangest, ugliest major memorial in Washington.

The new monument feels as if a Fascist architect had designed a food court for the Mall of America, and then accidentally shipped it to Washington, where it was installed on a 7.4-acre plot located on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.


I've already posted my own (brief) comment on the thing.

Meeting people in reality

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Last weekend we met several people we only knew online before. On Friday, after revisiting the Whitney Biennial (more on that later), we ended the evening by meeting Tyler Green and Paige West for drinks at The Odeon. We dished about art and those who love it.

On Saturday night we went to dinner at Le Zie with the fabulous Nicole (aka Mac) of Go Fish and many other bloggers. I don't know if I can go back soon without embarassment, as the attractive Lithuanian waiter was rather popular with some of the ladies. We spent most of the time talking with Nicole, Dana, and Kate. Some photos: here and here.

Latest Acquisition / Friday Openings

We picked up a gouache and graphite on paper work by Kevin Christy from his Monya Rowe show:


Pride and Joy

My recommended openings for today are:

Synapses - group show at Florence Lynch Gallery including William Crow

The Cave and the Island - Group show at White Columns featuring eight Canadian artists

Miss Underestimated

I didn't realized there was actually a book that uses that horrible neologism "misunderestimated" as a title. When I mentioned it to James, he said, "that sounds like a drag queen!"

There really is a book, titled Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters by a "reporter" for the Rev. Moon-owned Washingon Times.

Hear that sound? It's the sound of all of our IQs plummeting.

More on the man who cannot speak can be found here. Also an article from The Observer gives us a choice quote from Karen Hughes:

"I remember one time he had mispronounced one of his words," she said, looming over the podium. "It was not the time he said 'subliminable' or 'strategery.' This time, it was 'misunderestimate.' He said it three times, so I kinda had to point it out to him." She paused to let the friendly laughter wash over her. "The same morning, he had called the terrorists 'folks.' And it fell to me to say, 'You know, Mr. President, uh, these are trained killers, I'm not sure you really want to be calling them 'folks.'"


UPDATED: Here is a nice quote from Condoleezza Rice:

I think that anybody who misunderestimates this president is going to have egg on their face in a few years. People ought to go back and look at Harry Truman, because that’s another president who was misunderestimated.

"Madonna of the Townships"

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Brenda Fassie, the South African singer, has died at the age of 39. At some point in the 90s I heard of her and bought a CD. She had a great voice, and a difficult life.

Most people reading this have probably never have heard of her. For several reasons I tend to pay attention to South Africa and its culture. One reason: James lived there eight months in the 70s. Another: we know people from South Africa, such as Gary and Lisa who run Axis Gallery. I think I have always found it an amazing, inspiring story -- the end of apartheid without total civil war. I realize it's still far from perfect, but it is a more hopeful story than one of bombing people into "liberation."

I remember the 1990 parade for Nelson Mandela in lower Manhattan. At that time I was working on the 100th floor of 2 WTC for Lehman Brothers. Only one person in the whole office left to join me to watch the parade.

Here is an MP3 (5.6MB) of Brenda Fassie's Sgaxa Mabhanthi (Maestro Mix). Amazon has some of her CDs.

Friday openings

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In Chelsea:

jim richard centered

Jim Richard
Centered, 2004
Oil on canvas
40 x 40 inches

Jim Richard at Oliver Kamm.


kevin-christy death mountain

Kevin Christy
Death Mountain, 2004
Gouache and graphite on paper
8.5 x 11 inches

Kevin Christy at Monya Rowe in her new Chelsea space on 26th Street.

I don't think we're likely to hit Williamsburg as well, but if we could, we would also go to Jerry Kearns at Jack The Pelican Presents.



I forgot to include one other opening in Chelsea: Marco Boggio Sella at John Connelly Presents. He is in the same building as Monya Rowe (10th floor while she's on the 5th), so take the elevator to the 10th floor and walk down if the elevator is slow.

Manhattan Ecosystem

Thomas Locke Hobbs manages to snap a photo of a hawk with its pigeon prey.

Art benefits



Ave, 2000
lithograph with collage, 68/230
Kiki Smith

Good things come to those who go to art benefits. The Momenta benefit operates as a raffle -- you pick a work among those remaining when your name is called. This time we had three tickets, and one of those was drawn first. We chose the Kiki Smith work pictured above. We also got a painting by Joey Kotting and a mixed media/collage work by Michael Cambre. It was one of our best experiences ever at such an event.

Tomorrow (Wednesday May 5) we're going to Groundswell's benefit. Tickets are $100 or 3 for $250 for the art raffle, or a minimum of $15 to go to the party. You get to a good party with a cool art crowd, and it's a good cause. Groundswell brings artists and members of a given NYC community together to create a permanent mural in their neighborhood. More info on them is here.

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