Murphy, Emmett, Art Business News
* Officials of the American Red Cross chapter in this Connecticut town have removed a sculpture from the agency's front lawn, after critics complained that the artwork was obscene and frightening to children. The piece is part of a community art project involving 22 sculptures of submarine designs. The sculpture, called "A Cry for Help," depicted a half-naked woman with an expression of agony sitting atop a submarine. Its creator, Paul Perrotti, called the criticism "narrow-minded." Joan Heybruck, a spokesperson for the organization, said the work was removed because the work posed a safety hazard by distracting drivers.
* One hundred and sixty million Brazilians are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the country's discovery by Portugal with two art exhibitions, one here, the other in Rio de Janeiro. Costing $30 million, "Brazil + 500: An Exhibition in Rediscovery" consists of 15,000 pieces divided into 13 thematic sections celebrating Brazilian art from the great pre-colonial cultures to the present. The show in Rio commemorates the 60 years (1580-1640) when Brazil was under the Spanish crown. "The Splendours of Spain from El Greco to Velazquez" consists of 130 works at the Museum Nacional de Belas-Artes.
* Spurred by a $5 million grant from the California-based Packard Humanities Institute, an international team of archaeologists is digging in a race against time and rising water to preserve the ancient Roman town of Zeugma before it disappears forever. A new lake is being formed as water from the Euphrates River backs up behind a new dam that will provide electricity and irrigation for southeastern Turkey. Zeugma was on the famed Silk Road whose trade made many merchants wealthy, who decorated the floors of their homes with elaborate mosaics.
* In a new twist on current debates about the legal limits of appropriation, one of Hong Kong's major art schools, the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, said it intends to sue Curator Herald Szeeman, artist Cai Gao Quiang and the Venice Biennale for "violation of copyright." At the heart of the suit is Cai's installation "Venice Rent Collector's Courtyard," which won the International Prize at the 1999 Biennale. The plaintiffs' original work was a 1965 Socialist Realist work created at the height of the Great Cultural Revolution as a collaboration between teachers and students at the Sichuan Academy.
* Although the gambling mecca may be losing Steve Wynn and the art collection he put together for the Bellagio Hotel, the Phillips Collection of Washington D.C., and the Guggenheim are both heading for the desert resort. The Phillips has signed on to plan an exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work which will be open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, replacing the sold works at the Bellagio with works on loan. The Guggenheim is following a familiar course--build a new museum in another part of the world, designed by a big-name architect, in this case Rem Koolhass, who recently won the Pritzker Prize and was profiled in September's ABN.
* An anonymous letter received recently by a Buddhist scholar here may lead to another Sino-Japanese war, at least on the cultural frontier. Accompanying the letter was evidence that Japan's new antiquities showplace, the Mio Museum near Kyoto, is showing an elegant 47 1/2-inch stone carving of a Buddhist figure that is one of the national treasures of China which disappeared in July, 1994. "We see so many Chinese relics appearing overseas, and they've virtually all been stolen and spirited out," said Yu Weichao, retired director of the National Museum of Chinese History. "As one who has worked in archaeology for a lifetime, I feel heartbroken."
* Hundreds of works in the city's multimillion-dollar art collection are missing, and many more are stored in a warehouse without climate control. The collection includes works given to mayors and other officials, donated pieces and works of sculpture bought for public buildings, according to Roella Louie, the director for Grants, Public Art and Planning at the Cultural Arts Department. No one knows what the 2,000 piece collection is worth or where all of it is. "I wouldn't even venture a guess," Louie said. City leaders are now demanding an inventory and details on how the collection is being handled.
* Dr. Carlos H. Espinel, who is affiliated with the Blood Pressure Center here, has devised a discipline that he calls ArtMedicine. By examining paintings, Espinel claims he can diagnose conditions suffered by subjects in portraits made centuries ago. For example, in Caravaggio's 17th-century work "Sleeping Cupid," the subject clearly has rheumatic disease, while a 15th-century painting by Masaccio reveals a case of polio, the doctor said. As a result, he suggests today's doctors may be able to practice assessing their patients' general health and diagnosing specific ailments by studying the works of Old Masters.
* The Paris auctioneers--commissairespriseurs--whose ancient monopoly was voted out by the French Senate this past summer, have had good half-year results. Their turnover increased 19.5 percent over the same period last year for $293.3 million. There had been virtually no growth between 1998 and 1999.
* A long-awaited study of assets seized from Jews in wartime France revealed that Nazis and French collaborators stole far more than previously assumed. The Matte-oil Commission found that assets worth $1.3 billion today were seized as bank accounts were stolen, fines demanded, businesses like art galleries taken over, and apartments ransacked.
NEW HAVEN, CONN.
* Someone with connections called the office of the Mayor here to register a complaint. Before you knew it, a couple of cops showed up at the Frame Shop and Eierweiss Gallery on Whalley Avenue and directed that an expressionist representation of an elderly nude couple be removed from the display window. Owner Judy Eierweiss called the artist, Alexander Kanesvsky, who learned about censorship in his native Russia, and before you could say Joe Stalin, he was on the phone to the press who called Mayor John DeStafano, who immediately set about calming troubled waters. His honor was well aware of the headaches developed by a neighboring mayor trapped in similar circumstances.
* Billionaire art dealer Alec Wildenstein, a fugitive for two years, pleaded guilty to charges that he pulled a gun on his wife after she caught him in bed with a teenager. Wildenstein, 60, pleaded to third-degree menacing, a misdemeanor in exchange for a conditional discharge. He is the c.o.o. of an art empire mostly owned by his father, Daniel Wildenstein and estimated to be worth more that $5 billion. Their company owns the Wildenstein Gallery at 19 E. 64th St. and the Pace Wildenstein Gallery at 32 E. 57th St.
* There were as many eyes on the art as on the courts at the National Tennis Center during the recent playoffs after a commemorative statue to tennis great Arthur Ashe was unveiled. For one thing, the over-sized muscular work didn't look like Ashe; second, the male figure was completely nude, and third, he held only half a racquet in his hand. The artist, Eric Fischl, explained that his work was not supposed to be a direct likeness of Ashe but a tribute and memorial to him.
* Andrew Crispo, the art dealer made famous as much for his good eye as for his infamous reputation, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for plotting to kidnap the toddler daughter of a lawyer who worked on his bankruptcy case. Trial testimony showed that Crispo made numerous threats against Sandra Mayerson because he believed she was responsible for delaying the release of money he had coming to him. Crispo first made headlines in 1985 when he was implicated in the sadomasochistic murder of Eigel Vesti, a Norwegian fashion student. Crispo was charged in the case, but an employee was convicted of the murder.
The Art of Indigenous Cultures Hits Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES--A comprehensive exhibition and sale of artwork and artifacts of the world's indigenous cultures will take place Nov. 10-12 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium as part of "The Tribal, Folk & Textile Arts Show." Galleries and dealers from around the globe will gather to display and sell a collection of rare and historic ethnic art. The show features Tibetan turquoise jewelry; Shamanic masks from northwest Nepal; Native American pottery and blankets; East-Indian antique gold jewelry; Middle Eastern textiles; Oceanic terra-cotta sculptures; historic photographs, ancient masks and sculpture from Africa; South American pottery and textiles; Buddhist ritual objects and carved woodblocks; American folk art and needlework; and much more.
The preview opening will take place on Nov. 9 from 6-9 pm. The cost is $50. General admission on the following days is $10.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: ART Hotline. Contributors: Murphy, Emmett - Author. Magazine title: Art Business News. Volume: 27. Issue: 11 Publication date: November 2000. Page number: 132. © 2009 Summit Business Media. COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group.
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