February 2007 Archives

Jade Townsend installation at Pulse

Jade Townsend installation at Pulse

Jade Townsend, Untitled, 2007


This was one of my favorite things from the art fairs this year. James has a post with more information. The artist is represented by Priska C. Juschka Fine Art.

Here is a video so you can hear how it sounded:

M.R. SONTAG performance at M*A*S*H

If you missed the performance of M.R. SONTAG (Mark Golamco and Rachel Mason) at M*A*S*H last Thursday, or if like us you were there and could barely see because it was so crowded, all hail the power of YouTube.

I received a fundraising letter from the Central Park Conservancy (the people that raise money to maintain Central Park since the city doesn't spend enough and there are rich people living near the park) with this on the envelope:

Central Park Perks ... since People like you deserve Perks like these

Pulse recommendations

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I feel dreadful -- probably got sick standing outside Pulse waiting for the shuttle to the Armory that never arrived, so here are my recommendations sans links before I'm off to bed. Images will be on flickr soon.

Top pick: Ivin Ballen's sculptures at Winklemen. Ed has made quite a discovery.

Also, go to the men's room to witness Jade Townsend's installation in a bathroom stall. I hope to upload a video with sound later.


  • Bitforms - Mark Napier inkjet print plus a software-driven video
  • Ruben Kindermans's minimalist performance videos -- like a stripped-down John Bock -- at Annie Gentils. You might have to ask to see them, so do that when you visit the booth.
  • Chad Robertson (I wrote about his sexy zombies in the past) oils on paper, Heather Cantrell photos, and Wendy Heldmann (especially the works on paper) at sixspace
  • Bari Ziperstein collages at Bank
  • Shaun O'Dell's gouache on paper work, Brad Tucker's sculpture, and Gilad Efrat's painting at Inman
  • Pretty much everything at Pavel Zoubok -- May Wilson, Christopher Tanner, Stefan Saffer, Ginnie Gardner, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt -- the most shiny and baroque booth!
  • Tilman Peschel photos at Anne de Villepoix
  • Chris Duncan painting and editioned zine at Jeff Bailey
  • Stephen Brandes at Rubicon
  • Elana Blasco mixed media on acetate sheets at Galeria Fucares
  • Sam Dargan's political/conspiratorial paintings at Rokeby
  • David Humphrey paintings at Keith Talent
  • Brody Condon's video game meets Flemish religious painting work at Virgil de Voldere

DIVA container on 24th Street

The container on the south side of 24th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues (near Zach Feuer) has a great 5-minute video by Tommy Hartung, presented by Moti Hasson.


Pulse is my favorite fair so far. Running out to Fountain and others now, so more later.

Jeffrey Gibson at Samson Projects (Scope)

Sorry for the less than great photos, but Samson Projects' booth of work by Jeffrey Gibson was one of the best things I saw in a long day Thursday. Jeffrey is in a group show coming up in March at the National Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan.

Jeffrey Gibson at Samson Projects

Jeffrey Gibson at Samson Projects


Other Scope highlights:

  • Ryan Humphrey's decor, and Brose Partington's installation (don't step on it!) at the entrance
  • Paul Pagk and Dan Rushton at Moti Hasson
  • Atsuko Ninagawa, who has curated some great shows in NYC, including a recent one at Mehr (Midtown), now has a gallery in Tokyo called TAKEFLOOR and had a booth at Scope. Don't miss the video by Chikara Matsumoto, or the beautifully delicate pen and ink drawings by Dale Berning, accompanied by a soundtrack created by the artist.
  • Sara Nightingale's booth is great fun, including work by Goldmine Shithouse and Andrew Shoultz

ADAA's "The Art Show"

James and I visited press preview for "The Art Show" of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) today. Some general notes first. Given our usual focus on underknown art, one might might expect a show billed primarily as showing "museum quality work" might not be our thing, but I had a great time. I wonder if "the market" seems to be working better for work that's not by MFA students and recent grads, as I saw some phenomenal pieces by established (and yes, dead) artists including a lot of amazing work from circa 1950 New York -- Pollock, Avery, etc. Overall I enjoyed the work I saw more than quite a few shows of 20th century art I've seen lately at museums in NYC. Most surprising artist to see in several places? Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. There were quite a few Albers and Rothko paintings in various booths. I also have to say that it is so nice to not be looked at as if one has two heads when asking to be sent a JPEG. Even two years ago I would get that at plenty of art fair booths.

CRG Gallery had one of the best booths, with a show of Jim Hodges spiderweb chain sculptures plus an ink on paper work called Wanted Poster 1 from 1991-1992.

Jim Hodges spiderweb chain sculpture at CRG Gallery


David Tunick had this amazing screen by Helen Frankenthaler. I've never seen anything like it. Apparently she made twelve of these.




Gateway, 1982-1988

Three-panel bronze screen cast at Tallix Foundry, Beacon, N.Y., printed and published at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, N.Y.

Screen front: Lost-wax bronze wax casting with applied patinas and 28-color intaglio print with etching, relief, and aquatint, the borders hand-stenciled on three sheets of TGL handmade paper.

Screen back: Three sandblasted bronze panels hand painted by the artist with a mixture of chemicals, pigments, and dyes.

Dimensions: 81 × 99 × 4œ inches


More quick highlights:

  • A collage/sculpture titled Pebble by Kurt Schwitters at Knoedler & Company
  • 2 paintings from the late 1970s by Leon Golub of Henry Kissinger and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing at Rhona Hoffman
  • A wall of Albers and Judd at Brooke Alexander
  • The multiple-panel (ink, gesso gridwork) work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (7 Days of Bloodwork), 1991, positioned next to two Agnes Martin grid ink works from the 1960s at Andrea Rosen. Their booth also had some lovely Richard Tuttle works.
  • I was wondering if this work by Joseph Raphael, listed with a provenance from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, is one that Tyler Green has written about. I don't know the story on how it came to be for sale.
  • Adler & Conkright had an amazing maquette for a poster by Rodchenko
  • L&M Arts had prices on some wall labels. I never saw a price tag of $3,200,000 written out before. It was for a Tom Wesselman Great American Nude.
  • Hans P. Kraus, Jr. had some beautiful photos of Kiev by the British photographer Roger Fenton, famous for his Crimean War photos. My favorite was Post House, Kiev, circa October 1852, salt print from a waxed paper negative, 35.3 × 27.0 cm.

I have a few more images of works in a flickr set.

[Jim Hodges photo by me, Helen Frankenthaler images supplied by David Tunick, Inc.]

Museum Directors Must Wash Hands



Museum Directors Must Wash Hands, 2005
Plaque (Curatorial Department, HoMu)


After I read the New York Times article on the somewhat unorthodox compensation plan for Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, I waited with anticipation for the response I knew would come from Filip Noterdaeme, director of the Homeless Museum, or HoMu. They're having a bit of difficulty updating the web site, so I'm reproducing the letter here. This is one of a series of "open letters" from Filip to various powers in the art world.


February 19, 2007

Glenn D. Lowry
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan

Dear Glenn,

I'm writing to you in response to Stephanie Strom's indiscreet, front-page article in the New York Times, in which she discloses details on personal financial arrangements between you and the New York Fine Arts Support Trust ("Donors Sweetened Director's Pay at MoMA, Prompting Questions", 2/16/2007). How dare Ms. Strom stick her nose into things that are really none of her business! What does she know about the deprivation and hardships we museum directors must constantly face, and the many compromises we must make on a daily basis just to keep going? Your courageous move from Toronto to New York City in 1995, for example: shouldn't this by itself attest to your selfless commitment to help out a cultural institution in dire need of your expertise?

God knows it is expensive to live here, and the meager salary the Museum of Modern Art is allotting you (barely $600 grand in 2005) is, by all accounts, wanting. If anything, the Trust's $5.35 million given to you between 1999 and 2003 is not much more than a token of appreciation exchanged among friends. Neither the press nor the IRS has any business meddling with these gentlemen's agreements.

But even more appalling than the New York Times story is the way you are now being besieged by other journalists eager to jump on the case. Can't they leave you alone so you can continue doing your great work for MoMA --- like cutting real estate deals with developer Hines and setting the stage for MoMA's next expansion? No! Lee Rosenbaum from the Wall Street Journal (a/k/a CultureGrrl) had to instantly contact you for a comment and, when you courteously pointed out to her (via BlackBerry) that you were on business in Mexico City and had not had a chance to pick up a paper, she had the nerve to urge you to look it up online, interfering with your very busy schedule. Who does she think she is?

It's a tragedy that people who only have the best intentions and give up profitable jobs in the corporate world to bring their talents to venerable cultural institutions are publicly scolded for accepting fringe benefits such as rent-free living, having an apartment bought for them by a beneficiary trust (and reselling it to the same trust a few years later at a profit of $1.3 million), and for receiving financial supplements to their salary, along with bonuses and benefits amounting to an annual $690,000.

To show you my support in the face of all this unnecessary and petty adversity, I'm sending you a custom-made plaque engraved with these words: Museum Directors Must Wash Hands. I had it made specifically for you (I have the same plaque posted in my museum's Curatorial Department/bathroom). I hope you can use it to demonstrate to your detractors that your work ethics are beyond reproach.

Warm greetings,

Filip Noterdaeme
Director, HoMu


Related blog posts:

Disclosure: James and I will be having dinner with Filip, the director of the HoMu, and his partner Daniel Isengart, later in the month in their museum/apartment.

Update: Date of letter corrected.

Changes in the art-o-sphere

Sixtyseven Gallery has rechristened itself Thierry Goldberg Projects. They will now be located on the Lower East Side, at 5 Rivington Street near The Bowery, right by my favorite German restaurant, Loreley. The first exhibition is a solo show by Swetlana Heger, and opens March 1, 6-9PM.

The name of the gallery comes from the maiden names of the two principals' mothers.

Art Fairs this week in NYC

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These are the art fairs I know about happening this week:

This doesn't even count the various temporary exhibitions and events that curators and galleries are organizing. I'm sure all of you have received emails about events, but if anyone wants to add comments about their special happenings here, feel free to do so!

Stefan Saffer at Pavel Zoubok

Stefan Saffer at Pavel Zoubok


We've been following his work for a while. His latest work, on view at Pavel Zoubok, is a beautiful evolution of his painting / paper / sculpture work we have seen in the past.

Other highlights today in Chelsea:

Art linkage

Chelsea Now is doing some good art coverage. This week has an interview with Richard Desroche of CRG Gallery.

Tyler Green has a beautiful essay on his love of art and his mother.


I just received a press release from them (at ArtCal) announcing that their store at Broadway and Driggs in South Williamsburg has been converted to an art space, with the first exhibition opening on February 23rd. The show includes video artist Kate Gilmore.

Brooklyn Industries, an artist-owned design and apparel company, will open its first permanent contemporary art exhibition space, Brooklyn Industries Contemporary Art, with the exhibition Out of the Loop. The exhibition will feature video work by Vahap Avsar, Selim Birsel, Lexy Funk, Kate Gilmore, Noritoshi Hirakawa, and Nasan Tur.

Berlin Alexandeplatz coming to MoMA

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Yeah! The Reeler informs us that the newly restored print of Fassbinder's "Berlin Alexanderplatz" is coming to MoMA in April.

"Tomorrow's Artist Today" at SVA Gallery

James and I visited this exhibition of BFA students' art at the SVA's 26th Street gallery on Saturday. My favorite pieces in the show were in the project room with print-related work curated by Gunars Prande, especially those by Matt Lifson and Lauren Baez.

Matt Lifson at SVA Gallery

Matt Lifson, Boy and Head, 2006
Silkscreen on paper
22 × 15 inches

Matt Lifson at SVA Gallery

Matt Lifson, Old on Boy, 2007
Silkscreen on paper
20 × 17 inches


Lauren Baez's work consisted of arrangement of small silkscreen and collage works organized with titles for each section of month titles, going from September to January. Here is an example:

Lauren Baez at SVA gallery (installation view)

And here are some detail shots from various months:

Lauren Baez at SVA gallery (installation view)

Lauren Baez at SVA gallery (installation view)

Who knew?

Who knew that Chelsea had a pretty good symphony? James and I attended a concert of the Chelsea Symphony last night and really enjoyed it. The program consisted of a world premiere(!) of a work by Francesco Lecce-Chong, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and Brahms's Symphony No. 3. We didn't know what to expect, but the performances were very good, and it's wonderful to be able to attend a concert a block and a half from our apartment! I also really appreciate the fact that the members play several roles -- the composer is a violist, and the two conductors (one for each half of the program) were in the orchestra when they weren't conducting.

The poster for the current show, and the program, feature a detail of a painting by our good friend and neighbor Louise Fishman.

Hillary Clinton is a very bad person


An AP story from Saturday on Hillary Clinton's campaign trip to New Hampshire includes these gems (emphasis mine):

Clinton acknowledged "a great deal of frustration and anger and outrage" over the war, and said she was working hard in the Senate to pass legislation capping troop levels in Iraq. She also vowed to try to bring to a vote a resolution disapproving of President Bush's planned troop increase.

"I'm still in the arena," she said — an apparent riposte to a Democratic rival, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Like Clinton, Edwards voted to authorize the invasion, but he has become a staunch war critic since leaving the Senate in 2004.

"It's very easy to go around and say, 'Let's end the war,'" Clinton added. "If we had a Democratic president we would end the war."

Her toughest question came in Berlin, a struggling mill town in northern New Hampshire.

Roger Tilton, 46, a financial adviser from Nashua, N.H., told Clinton that unless she recanted her vote, he was not in the mood to listen to her other policy ideas.

"I want to know if right here, right now, once and for all and without nuance, you can say that war authorization was a mistake," Tilton said. "I, and I think a lot of other primary voters — until we hear you say it, we're not going to hear all the other great things you are saying."

In response, Clinton repeated her assertion that "knowing what we know now, I would never have voted for it," and said voters would have to decide for themselves whether her position was acceptable.

"The mistakes were made by this president, who misled this country and this Congress," Clinton said to loud applause.

Does she really expect us to believe that she was misled by the Bush/Cheney administration, and she actually thought Iraq was a danger to us, with its supposed WMDs?

Also, she says "If we had a Democratic president we would end the war." I wasn't aware that the Constitution had been changed so that we now elect a dictator for four years and Congress has no say over any of his decisions. The Democratic party has a slim majority (counting Lieberman) in the Senate, and a larger majority in the House than the GOP had before November. A majority of Americans support a withdrawal from Iraq within the next year. If we're going to have to wait for a new President to withdraw, what's the point of pretentding to be a republic? Shouldn't we use all of the money we spend on the huge Congressional apparatus on some better use?

Good art in midtown

I rarely make it to midtown, and the excuse last week was a visit to the dentist. I'm certainly glad I did visit a couple of shows. First, the Donald Judd/Joseph Albers show at Pace Wildenstein is the kind of show I would expect from one of our city's museums, but it seems galleries like Pace, Cheim and Read (with the Soutine show), and even auction houses seem more likely to present them.



installation view at Pace Wildenstein


When the elevator doors opened on the gallery, I actually gasped slightly. It's that beautiful, feeling a bit like a temple. The contrast with the large windows viewing a busy 57th Street is quite wonderful.

The other show I saw was "The Nightly News" at Luxe Gallery. It is curated by Kathleen Goncharov (whom I met at a Momenta benefit last year) and Stephan Stoyanov. Any show that includes Robert Boyd and Jackie Salloum would attract me, but the new discovery for me was the work of a Turkish artist, Ahmet Öğüt. He was represented by a set of videos, including "Cut it Out", in which a young man dressed in American flag pants tries to recreate a hostage video in Iraq or Afghanistan, but keeps messing up and laughing. Keep your eye on Mr. Öğüt.



Ahmet Öğüt, Cut it Out, 2004, DVD


There was a surreal moment as I turned to leave Luxe Gallery. With the music from Robert Boyd's video on the subject of suicide cults playing in the backround, I spotted a sheet of paper from a notepad on the floor, shaped like a yellow star.

Yellow Star


[image of Judd/Alberts from the Pace Wildenstein website; "Cut it Out" from the artist's website]

Libby and Roberta up the ante

Now their art blog has video too!

Moti Hasson article in Chelsea Now


Moti Hasson has a great new ground floor space in Chelsea, with an excellent group show, titled "Beyond the Pale", as its inaugural exhibition. Now I see Moti's smiling face on the cover of Chelsea Now. I like the fact that he started as a collector and decided to run a gallery, sort of what I could imagine us doing if we didn't have to worry about New York real estate prices.

Moti Hasson moves up, opens storefront gallery in Chelsea

Those owners of expensive Trump Tower apartments must be proud

When I wrote about Gucci and Trump, and the resulting diminishment of Gucci's brand, it hadn't even occurred to me that the entrance of the tower would look like this. Sorry for the crappy photo. It was too cold to worry much about how I was holding my cell phone.

A lot of friends seemed surprised that we weren't more excited after the last election, when the Democrats took back both houses of Congress. That's because we were expecting Congress to behave as it is now.

Senate votes not to debate Iraq proposal

My first comment upon reading this was: "It's bad for troop morale to talk about not adding more troops, but getting them all killed for no effective purpose is supporting them?"

Meanwhile, yes we have raised the minimum wage, but the Democrats have done nothing on the suspension of habeas corpus, torture, CIA black sites, illegal eavesdropping, and Guantanamo Bay. Color me not impressed.

Related: Another reason why I rarely link to Daily Kos. His reaction is that this event in the Senate is helpful for the 2008 elections. I think things might get a bit worse before then. This isn't just about electoral tactics.

I love this headline

Bush puts 'ic' back in 'Democrat Party'

It's pretty funny that the party that has given us a suspension of habeas corpus, and that believes the President can ignore Congress if he decides that it "voted the wrong way" is trying to imply the Democratic party is acting undemocratically.

Friday night the 16th, we will be at the opening of 31 Grand, newly relocated to 29th Street. The first exhibition, titled "No New Tale To Tell", is described thusly:

inspired by the Love and Rockets song and our deep love of the narrative, this group show features a selection of our familiar artists, past and present, as well as some new discoveries. Please join us in celebrating these artists and our new location. Artists: Karen Heagle, Alessandra Exposito, Fanny Bostrom, Mike Cockrill, Jon Elliott, Rachel Frank, Helen Garber, Lauren Gibbes, Magalie Guerin, Jason Clay Lewis, Francesca Lo Russo, Christa Parravani, Tom Sanford, Adam Stennett, and Barnaby Whitfield


The opening has been postponed. I don't have more details, but it's probably moving-in difficulties, etc.

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