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Sergio Belinchón, Público (detail), 2004

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November 16-29, 2005

As photography auctions experience growing success, we turn our focus to the medium's premier fair, Paris Photo. The nation of honor, Spain, rules the scene this year, and our interview with curator Rosa Olivares uncovers the country's rising stars. We profile an emerging German artist with a knack for photographing youth and a seasoned American photographer who relishes recreation. Counterbalancing our attention to the camera arts, we review a series of architecture and design exhibitions — from Hussein Chalayan's fashion fusions in Wolfsburg to Zaha Hadid's digital paintings in London to unusual objects intended to keep us safe in New York.

  Nordstrom Silverscreen™. Experience Fatboy Slim's remix of the Go-Go's "Our Lips Our Sealed," plus the track's newly remixed music video. Shopping online has never been so entertaining. Video remix only available through

Street Art's Next Generation
(Time, October 24)
A new generation of street artists is gaining mainstream attention. LA-based artist Branded makes wheat-paste posters that he photographs and uploads to via mobile phone. Pioneer Shepard Fairey runs his own graphic-design firm, and New York-based Swoon is in MoMA's prints collection. This movement still contends with municipal authorities, and Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman recently advocated unusual corporal punishment for "graffiti punks," eliciting creative responses. In related news, LACMA announced it will tear down a parking garage that features a graffiti commission by husband-and-wife team Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen.

Smith Sculpture Sets Record
(ABC, November 10)
Following a string of torrid art sales, a David Smith sculpture at Sotheby's set the auction record for a work of contemporary art, going for $23.8 million to mega-collector Eli Broad. It broke a record set only a day earlier by a Mark Rothko painting at Christie's, which sold for $22.4 million. Total sales at Sotheby's were $114.5 million, and the New York Times reports total sales at Christie's were $157.4 million. Upstart auction house Phillips de Pury started the week with an auction of "punk princess" Gloria von Thurn und Taxis' collection, which resulted in a record $856,000 price for bad-boy icon Paul McCarthy.

David Adjaye's Whitechapel Odyssey
(Observer, November 6)
Young architect David Adjaye burst onto the UK scene when he completed houses for actor Ewan McGregor and currently embattled artist Chris Ofili. He followed this with the Elektra House, which brought international accolades. However, he also has detractors, including a disgruntled client who embarked on a public smear campaign. Now the unveiling of Adjaye's design for the Idea Store in Whitechapel, his largest project yet, has sparked a fresh debate about his stature. Current projects include a design for the Institute of International Visual Arts.

LA is New Media Epicenter
(LA Weekly, October 28)
Los Angeles has seen an influx of new media artists in recent years. These include MIT Media Lab pioneer Michael Naimark, renowned media-installation artist Perry Hoberman, and "posthuman" academic N. Katherine Hayles. The area's concentration of colleges and universities are expanding their media art programs, with CalArts launching an online journal, ViralNet. Spaces such as Machine Project and Telic Arts Exchange provide venues for exhibitions and events. Artists suggest LA's lack of an established art scene allows room for experimentation, and they are eager to connect with local industries such as Hollywood and video gaming.

MoMA architecture and design curator resigns » more

Pompidou and Guggenheim join forces in Hong Kong culture center proposal » more

ArtReview unveils Power 100 » more

Art Cologne rakes in collectors' cash » more

Rem Koolhaas revs up car-park architecture » more

Inaugural Arthouse Texas prize spotlights Houston-based artist » more

UN plans to unite world through painting » more

Art documentary stirs up Tate's Turner troubles » more

Adolf Hitler attracts growing art market » more

UK art group plants living memorials through DNA infusions » more

Note: Some online publications require registration to access the articles. If you encounter a registration screen, try akreader1 as the username and password.

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[ Paris Photo ]


Angela Strassheim / Simon Norfolk / Marco van Duyvendijk / David LaChapelle

Appropriately set in the City of Light, the world's most important photography fair features photographs, videos, memorabilia, and books from 106 galleries and publishers from 14 countries. For the first time in the fair's nine-year history, Spain is the guest of honor — offering viewers a chance to discover the country's various talents firsthand.

Important historical works such as Gustave Le Gray's expansive view of the French fleet at sea (1858) and modernist gems such as Brassaï's portrayal of a couple embracing (1932) and Nickolas Muray's colorful portrait of Frida Kahlo (1939) share space with contemporary stars, including Nobuyoshi Araki, Mitch Epstein, and Cindy Sherman.

At Marvelli Gallery, emerging artist Angela Strassheim creates domestic narratives with forensic precision while Loretta Lux, on view at Torch and Yossi Milo, digitally manipulates images of children with astonishing results. At Staley-Wise, fashion photographer David LaChapelle, who recently directed a film on the dance craze "krumping," pushes the boundaries of the staged with depictions of celebrities in highly exaggerated situations. Naia del Castillo offers a more personal, poetic style of surrealism at Galería Distrito 4, and Kimiko Yoshida displays fanciful self-portraits at Fifty One Fine Art Photography.

Photojournalist Simon Norfolk symbolically captures the aftermath of war at Galerie Martin Kudlek. His series Afghanistan: chronotopia reveals the remnants of destruction in seemingly tranquil settings. Cuban photographer Abelardo Morell, exhibiting at Bonnie Benrubi, uses a surprising process whereby a hotel room is transformed into a camera obscura with an inverted vista projected onto the walls. Reducing landscape to a minute slice of city under a massive expanse of sky, Katsumata Kunihiko's Skyline images at Picture Photo Space are sophisticated in their simplicity.

A big part of the fun at a fair is discovering the hidden treasures: Françoise Paviot presents a curious predecessor to Araki's staged bondage shots with camp images from the '40s and '50s by John Willie, and Alexandre Vitkine's graphic depictions of cities in the '60s and '70s at Laurent Herschtritt are striking. With New York photography auctions hitting record highs this fall, you can expect a rush for the gold in Paris this season. (MS/PL)

The 2005 edition of Paris Photo takes place November 17-20 at Le Carrousel du Louvre.

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Jean Prouvé: A Tropical House
Los Angeles

The Hammer Museum
Now through November 27

  Jean Prouvé considered himself a constructeur — a distinct amalgam of engineer, architect, and designer. Clean, efficient, and always colorful, his designs are models of modular living, and Tropical House has become known as a paragon of Prouvé's practice. Meant to serve as easy-to-build vacation homes for expat bureaucrats and entrepreneurs in France's African colonies, the series combined lightweight aluminum and steel to form habitable bungalows suited to tropical heat and humidity. Though the structures enjoyed little popularity when first introduced in 1951, the work now seems prescient, presenting a timely and thoughtful solution to the design challenges of contemporary prefab living. (ML)

Note: Related Prouvé exhibitions are taking place at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Design Center through November 27 and the Small Space Gallery, UCLA through December 9.

SAFE: Design Takes On Risk
New York

Museum of Modern Art
Now through January 2

  SAFE, MoMA's first major design exhibition since reopening, presents a vision of well-styled doom and gloom. Kosuke Tsumura's Final Home parka can be stuffed with scrap paper for insulation in the event of any apocalypse, while Dré Wapenaar's Treetent and Ralph Borland's prototype civil-disobedience suit are for the advanced political activist. More practical applications of design include tools used in the field by Doctors Without Borders, as well as Shigeru Ban's Paper Log House, which sheltered earthquake victims in Turkey, while head guards for Israel's Bezalel Research & Development initiative reflect regional terror concerns. From convenient condom packaging to a synthetic, purple womb for children suffering loss, these works promise comfort when disaster strikes. (AM)

Zaha Hadid: Silver Paintings

Kenny Schachter ROVE
Now through November 26

  Everything about Zaha Hadid's first UK art show screams new — even the smell of freshly whitewashed walls. After being greeted by the Pritzker Prize-winner's svelte, three-wheel concept vehicle, Z.Car, you move into a second room, to the paintings themselves. The images are photographs of CGI architectural renderings, which are then augmented by a variety of futuristic-sounding means such as "pearlescence particles on chrome polyester." While the backgrounds are more prosaic, the works still convey the overriding sense of an exciting urban frieze. Hadid's architecture is full of sleek lines and fluid contours, as if she has invented new geometric shapes. And thanks to the paintings' slivers of silver and shiny surfaces, you can literally see yourself in her vision of the future. (SR)

Vito Hannibal Acconci Studio: Word/Action/Architecture

Stedelijk Museum
Now through January 8

  Over the past forty-odd years, Vito Acconci has explored the relationship between individuals and their environments through an array of creative techniques. Already a published poet when he arrived on the art scene, he created a hybrid form of expression in which the literary, physical, and visual intersect. This retrospective traces his practice from its pioneering origins in performance to recent architectural projects. Early videos such as Remote Control — which examines dominance and submission in relationships — are exhibited alongside architectural plans such as Island in the Mur, a floating plaza in Austria. The vast range of works on display is a testament to the creativity and adaptability of an artist who shows no signs of slowing down. (AK)

Hussein Chalayan

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Now through February 5

  Hussein Chalayan merges art and fashion to create conceptual couture that has twice earned him the title Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. Chalayan's solo show offers a chance to see the last ten years of the innovative designer's oeuvre in the form of installations, photographs, and videos. Featuring a coffee table that serves as a wooden skirt and chairs that double as suitcases from his Fall 2000 collection, the exhibition reveals Chalayan's trademark unorthodoxy. The exhibition also illustrates that he has more on his mind than the question of what to wear: his Fall 2003 runway show conflated themes of war and religious guilt as he showed off military-inspired numbers embroidered with Turkish olive-branch patterns. (HV)

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[ Ingar Krauss ]

Ingar Krauss

Ingar Krauss' black-and-white portraits of children are spare and honest, often capturing the subject in a contemplative mood and occasionally adorned with a prop, such as a sword, dead fish, or pet cat. Instead of idealizing childhood, the Berlin-born artist complicates it by conflating documentary and fantasy. Avoiding grandiose and hackneyed statements on the innocence of childhood — or lack thereof — Krauss concentrates on presenting his sitters as the individuals they are: a long-haired waif who'd rather be alone than in a crowd, a boy who has yet to feel self-conscious, or a young dancer steeled with dedication and drive.

Employing minimal backgrounds such as a blank wall or dark foliage, Krauss further emphasizes his subjects. In his recent series made in Russian juvenile prisons, he even dispenses with the names of the inmates, forcing the viewer to focus on their facial expressions and loose-fitting garments. Without a hint of sentiment or nostalgia, Krauss' work references a long history of portraiture, from the full-length studies by Édouard Manet and the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron to August Sander, and the more fashion-oriented images of Richard Avedon. And like the work all of these artists, each of Krauss's photographs is a window into a new psyche and a new world. (CYL)

Marvelli Gallery presents photographs by Ingar Krauss at Paris Photo.

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[ Rosa Olivares ]


Naia del Castillo / Jordi Bernado / Mayte Vieta / Cristina Garcia Rodero

Paul Laster talks to Rosa Olivares, curator of the galleries, special exhibitions, and programs for Spain, the guest of honor country at this year's Paris Photo.

AK: How will Spain be represented at Paris Photo?

RO: Spain will be represented through 14 private galleries, four video collections from various Spanish museums, and a central exhibition of a photographic collection from an institution. This means a wide presence of artists and works. More or less about 50 artists will be present in Paris during the fair.

AK: What was your primary goal in selecting artists and galleries to exhibit?

RO: Since Paris Photo is an art fair the selection was not purely curatorial. I made choices based on the applications of the galleries. They presented their projects, and I determined which galleries and artists would be featured. My intention has been to demonstrate that Spanish photography is rich, interesting, and alive. It is the artists who are changing the state of photography in Spain. My aim is to show the best of this new generation of artists in an international setting.

AK: Who are the best-known Spanish photographers at Paris Photo?

RO: It depends on whom you ask, perhaps Cristina García Rodero or Alberto García Alix. Antoni Muntadas is very well known throughout the world. Rafael Navarro is quite famous in Italy. All of these artists, and many more, are exhibiting their most recent works.

AK: How are the themes of architecture and the body being explored in the work on display?

RO: Architecture and body, two different morphological themes, are found in depth in Spanish photography. The portrait and the urban landscape are two of the main topics found in contemporary photography all around the world. Of course, there are more subjects, some of them are extremely subjective, others are anthropological points of view — there are pretty wide options in the Spanish panorama.

AK: How do you think Spain's major presence at the fair will ultimately benefit the artists?

RO: This is a unique opportunity to show some of Spain's new photography to a large number of international viewers. The rest depends on the real value of the works, and the trends of the market and the art fashions. For the artist, the most important thing is to show their works. I try to show their work in a professional and serious international scene. I hope that the international market, galleries, and collectors will wake up and discover all of the new Spanish creations, not only the photography.

Rosa Olivares is the editor of Exit: Imagen & Cultura, a quarterly, thematic, and bilingual (Spanish/English) magazine that focuses on contemporary photography, video, and film.

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  Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988
Mitch Epstein

Covering mostly unknown works from the '70s and '80s, Mitch Epstein's super-sized book, Recreation, offers expansive views of retro Americana. Started while he was in college at New York's Cooper Union, the series grew from 15 years of roaming America in search of extraordinary views of the everyday. Vietnam veterans form a field of green in wintry Central Park; families navigate a battlefield in Louisiana; a young couple ponders paintings in small-town Massachusetts; and kids sleep on the hood of a car in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Presented with only the event, location, and date listed, Epstein's imagery captures a bygone era with appealing charm. (PL)

Paris Photo features Mitch Epstein's work at Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contemporanea, Jackson Fine Art, Yancey Richardson Gallery, Steidl, and Galerie Thomas Zander.

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Cover Art
Sergio Belinchón
Público, 2004
Color photograph
Courtesy Galería dels Àngels, Barcelona
All Rights Reserved

Paul Laster
Andrew Maerkle
Shana Nys Dambrot
Allison Kave
Melissa Lo
Greg Zinman
Shiraz Randeria
Marlyne Sahakian
Nikki Columbus
Jocelyn K. Glei
Mark Mangan

Naomi Beckwith
Yng-Ru Chen
Rachel Cook
Lisa Cooley
Tim Evans
Annette Ferrara
Jules Gaffney
Leigh Goldstein
Sarah Kessler
Jessica Kraft
Christopher Y. Lew
Natasha Madov
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
Hannah Vaughan
Michelle Weinberg

Anjuli Ayer
Morgan Croney
Bryony Roberts

Mailer Design
Jessica Bauer-Greene
Mark Barry

Christopher Elam
Mark Barry

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