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Kehinde Wiley, Mrs. Hale as Euphrosyne (detail), 2005

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November 30 - December 13, 2005

As art-world tycoons and renegades convene in Miami this week, we give you a guided tour of the main attraction, Art Basel Miami Beach, as well as the fringe fairs springing up around it. You can learn about the booming Miami scene from the head of the Museum of Contemporary Art, get to know a hot New York curator who's bringing a truckload of fresh art to the Design District, and marvel at a miniature model of the Wrong Gallery that premieres in the Magic City. Elsewhere in the land of art, a MoMA trustee is embroiled in a scandal, a Beijing painter mixes debauchery and food, a bootleg artist gets nabbed by the cops, and a man walks on water.

  Josh Rubin's Cool Hunting has been a daily dispatch from the intersection of design, culture and technology since February 2003. Rubin founded the site to catalogue things that inspire him in his practice as a designer and strategist. Today, Cool Hunting counts multiple contributors and has grown far beyond a personal reference tool. Designers, consumers and marketers from around the world visit daily and share their finds with friends and colleagues.

MoMA Trustee's Scandalous Rise
(LA Weekly, November 18)
Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz began collecting art in the early '80s, when star dealer Mary Boone and her stable of artists revolutionized the art world's image. Ovitz applied cutthroat tactics to feed his voracious appetite for works by then-hot names such as Eric Fischl and Anselm Kiefer. He is accused of orchestrating a falling out between Boone and artist Malcolm Morley as well as providing Pace dealer Arne Glimcher inroads into moviemaking in exchange for bargain basement discounts, among other scandals.

Inside German Art Boom
(Deutsche Welle, November 14)
Despite an economic downturn, the German art market is reportedly second only to the United States. Fairs such as Art Frankfurt and Art Forum Berlin show off homegrown talent such as Leipzig School painter Neo Rauch, while Berlin is also a center for young talent. But art experts are concerned about an ongoing exodus of German art overseas to international buyers. The cultural drain hurts local institutional collectors and long-term heritage, even though it contributes to potential economic revival.

New York Architecture Awakens
(New York, November 28)
New York City, after a long lull, is poised for an architectural renaissance. Santiago Calatrava's design for a tower overlooking the East River possesses futurist flare, Renzo Piano's projects include an ambitious Whitney addition, and Tokyo firm SANAA's New Museum building is now under construction. And after many near misses, reigning starchitect Frank Gehry finally makes his mark on New York with several buildings soon to be underway. In related news, Richard Meier and David Childs will revamp the long-neglected UN neighborhood.

Dealer Boots Bootleg Artist
(New York Times, November 12)
Artist Eric Doeringer paints bootleg copies of work by blue-chip New York artists such as Lisa Yuskavage and Richard Prince, hawking his wares from a stand in the heart of New York's Chelsea district. Doeringer's faithful miniatures have drawn the ire, however, of nearby dealer Mike Weiss, who filed a complaint with the police. According to sources, Doeringer, who can pull in $1,500 a day, has rallied the New York media — including art critic Jerry Saltz and art bloggers — to his defense, while also posting his side of the story on his own website.

US foundation lists nominees for new $100,000 art prize » more

BBC's email-trail controversy over Tracey Emin public commission » more

Thieves steal Warhol and Pollock works from Pennsylvania museum » more

London architect designs house out of light » more

An alternative art scene surfaces in Seoul » more

LA art project embroiled in public porn scandal » more

Turner nominee creates giant cannabis installation » more

Bucharest in Chaos over preparations for inaugural biennial in 2006 » more

Chinese government cracks down on illegal art complex » more

Influential curator warns of dark tidings for Iranian contemporary art » 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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[ Art Basel Miami Beach ]


Ariel Orozco / Ján Mancuska / Erwin Wurm / Doron Solomons

The international art world — from its most elite echelon arriving in private jets to the droves of aficionados flying coach — converges on Miami for the fourth annual global art market extraordinaire, Art Basel Miami Beach. This fair is quickly outpacing its Swiss progenitor, drawing legendary numbers of spectators and generating revenues that more than repay the hefty exhibitor fees. Venerable galleries such as Gagosian and Thaddaeus Ropac rub elbows with young upstarts like LA's China Art Objects and Mexico City's Myto in an airplane hangar-sized exhibition hall. Amateur collectors deciding on an inexpensive print can browse alongside museum acquisitions chiefs hunting rare masterworks. Art Positions, a popular program devoted to 20 young galleries, is installed directly on the beach in retrofitted shipping containers. An Art Video Lounge, panel discussions, and special events and parties such as the popular Art Loves Design are joined by new initiatives Art Perform, Art Sound Lounge (co-presented with WPS1), and Art Kabinett, a series of curated exhibitions within gallery booths.

Concurrent with ABMB, four other fairs have sprouted nearby to capitalize on the weekend's enormous art constituency. -Scope houses select contemporary art galleries in guestrooms at the nearby Townhouse Hotel. NADA Art Fair, spearheaded by a consortium of innovative dealers, presents more than 80 venues in the Ice Palace Film Studios in downtown Miami. Aqua Art Miami focuses on Seattle and Midwestern offerings, and Pulse, installed in a tent in Miami's burgeoning Wynwood Art District, boasts yet another roster of galleries and thematic exhibitions.

In recognition of the fact that appreciators of contemporary art are also connoisseurs of cutting-edge design, Design 05 Miami takes up residence at the Moore Building in Miami's Design District. In addition to the 15 participating galleries, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and renowned designer Ron Arad will present site-specific installations. Replete with indoor/outdoor lounges, a Luminaire bookstore, and a series of Design Talks, Design 05 Miami will likely become a magnet for the design world.

As the art urge infects the entire city, Miami über-collectors Donald and Mera Rubell and Martin Margulies throw open the doors of their warehouses for daily breakfasts, talks, receptions, and VIP events. Galleries and local museums such as MOCA, the Bass Museum of Art, MAC, and MAM are following suit with more exhibitions than even the most dedicated art devotee can cram into four action-packed days. (MW)

Art Basel Miami Beach, -Scope, NADA, Aqua Art Miami, and Pulse take place December 1-4; Design 05 Miami is on view December 1-5.

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Wei Dong

Chinese Contemporary Art Gallery
Now through January 15

  Though Wei Dong's figurative style is akin to the libidinous vision of John Currin, the Chinese artist wrestles more explicitly with notions of power and empire. Wei's scenes of debauchery — depicting women barely clad in military uniforms and Mao suits — respond to China's ascent as a superpower and bring to mind the decadent courts of Confucian emperors and the orgiastic bathhouses of Rome. Recognized as an avant-garde painter, he combines contemporary and traditional styles by placing figures that are both repulsive and captivating against Ming landscapes. With images such as Sunday Brunch (2004), which incorporates nymphets adorned with hamburgers and sandwiches, Wei's work is guaranteed to be more meat than one can handle. (CYL)

Clare Rojas: Hah! ha, ha, ha!

Kavi Gupta Gallery
Now through December 3

  Clare Rojas has been called a "beautiful loser," but one look at her new solo show and it's clear that she's in a class by herself. Wielding a turn-of-the-last-century palette of pale yellows, poppy reds, milky greens, and colonial blues, Rojas covers two walls with painted wood pieces assembled like quilts, while dotting others with small paintings in her signature Pennsylvania Dutch-meets-Raymond Pettibon style. Holding court in the middle is a large sculpture of an arm and hand, palm-side up, which Rojas used as a stage on opening night. The display, suffused with the artist's sly, slightly bawdy sense of humor, is heavy on beauty, and hardly a losing proposition. (AF)

Bill Viola
New York

James Cohan Gallery
Now through December 22

  Even if the themes — spirituality, the boundaries of the physical, illumination — seem familiar to fans of his art, Bill Viola's new video work nevertheless dazzles and provokes with its technical virtuosity and meditative patience. Becoming Light is a masterpiece of haptic visuality, displaying a slow-motion erotic coupling in which you can almost feel the water on your skin. Night Journey shows an approaching man, apparently walking on water, bursting through a wall of fire, before shifting to a hypnotic tableaux of a woman lighting rows and rows of candles. Simultaneously referencing Christian mysticism, religious iconography, and myth while deploying a Bergsonian understanding of time, Viola succeeds in imbuing all he surveys with a sense of mystery and grandeur. (GZ)

Valérie Belin: Compilation

Fiedler Contemporary
Now through January 7

  Motors, models, and Moroccan brides are just some of the subjects transformed by Valérie Belin's photographic gaze. From the striking portraits of a Michael Jackson impersonator to the eyeless masks of elderly faces, Belin's work tests the boundaries between reality and perception. Granting animal carcasses the same photographic reverie as the rippling muscles of bodybuilders, Belin's non-hierarchal oeuvre throws up unusual comparisons amid a wealth of conjured associations. Utilizing the presumed objectivity of the camera, Belin documents still-life assemblages and real-life models with the same level of cool detachment. Timelessly recorded in black and white, Belin's everyday items achieve a sculptural quality in two-dimensional form. (HV)

Michael Bevilacqua: Black Studio

Galleri Faurschou
Now through December 17

  The atelier has been a source of inspiration for artists throughout history, encouraging them to self-reflexively analyze the act of creating. Black Studio continues this tradition, adding a postmodern twist. Painter Michael Bevilacqua darkened the windows of his studio and worked by artificial light to produce his latest work, which depicts a sort of faux reality. Murder on Madison Avenue: Pancetta Revenge merges the Brooklyn skyline with references to modernist painter Giorgio Morandi, who spent countless hours in his attic painting still lifes of bottles. These objects reappear in a slick, updated version in Where's the Beer?, epitomizing how artist's take inspiration from other people's lives, as well as their own. (AK)

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[ Kathy Grayson ]

Drain & Peterson / Snow / Arcangel & Paper Rad / Kawai / de Balincourt / Dearraindrop

Curator Kathy Grayson has been seeking out and defining an art community characterized by what she calls a "return to sincerity and authenticity" since 2002, when she moved to New York to work at Deitch Projects. Formative encounters with the work of Chris Johanson and disbanded collective Forcefield prompted Dirt Wizards, her debut group exhibition at Brooklyn Fire Proof in 2003, and Majority Whip, at White Box in 2004.

Dirt Wizards showcased the intricate graphical work of Keegan McHargue and Matt Leines and featured other artists working with patterns and mythic archetypes. Majority Whip moved from the subtly subversive to the overtly political: 40 artists, including assume vivid astro focus, Brendan Fowler (BARR), and Misaki Kawai, turned the gallery into a warped Senate chambers. Proceeds went to voter-registration efforts in Florida.

At Deitch Projects, in addition to organizing Trunk of Humours in 2004, Grayson brought Virginia-based collective Dearraindrop to the gallery to create the schizophrenic installation Riddle of the Sphinx (2004) as well as Providence's Jim Drain and Ara Peterson for their current show Hypnogoogia, a panoply of monumental geodesic spheres and psychedelic pinwheels.

During Art Basel Miami Beach Grayson will present Live Through This: New York in the Year 2005, a museum-scale exhibition stemming from the recent anthology of the same name co-edited by herself and Jeffrey Deitch, documenting a new, renegade art scene in and around New York. The extra-art fair spectacle features artists in the book (more than 30) and includes new projects by Dash Snow, As Four, and Taylor McKimens. Grayson has also compiled a collection of these artists' books, zines, and ephemera — sketches of art-making outside the market. (SK)

Live Through This takes place at the Newton Building in Miami's Design District December 1-4.

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[ Bonnie Clearwater ]


Norberto Rodriguez / Naomi Fisher / Robert Chambers / John Espinosa

Paul Laster interviews Bonnie Clearwater, director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, about the museum, Art Basel Miami Beach, and the Miami art scene.

AK: MOCA has an incredibly rich history of presenting local talent, such as Robert Chambers, Bhakti Baxter, and Hernan Bas, and international stars, including Annette Messager, Sarah Morris, and Albert Oehlen, in the current show. What is the vision for the museum that has guided your choice of artists to exhibit?
BC: It's always been artists who have demonstrated considerable promise and who could greatly benefit from the experience at MOCA to create projects or put together groups of works that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to accomplish. We do see it as a kind of laboratory for artists, whether it is an outright installation or the grouping of works that an artist such as Albert Oehlen would like to see together again. It was important for him to see this group of some of his most extreme abstract paintings together.
AK: Have you tweaked that vision in any way?
BC: It's been pretty consistent. Very often I say that I'm a selfish curator: I do the shows I want to see. There is a continuity of thought in our exhibition program — one idea will lead to another or deal with an issue from another perspective. People have caught on to it.
AK: Are you responding to what's out there at the moment?
BC: I'm responding to issues that are important to artists — the whole program is artist driven. I try to remain receptive to ideas that sort of float or circulate through the art world and seem to be picked up and twisted and turned in different ways. We're bringing it to the public to show how a similar idea can be approached in many different ways. It could be by an emerging artist or by an established artist. When it is a more established artist, I want to be able to show him to be as contemporary and as vital as someone who is just coming up at the moment.
AK: The recent exhibition MOCA & Miami celebrated the museum's 10-year relationship with the community. How has the community of Miami artists changed since 1995?
BC: I think what was really important was when the '80s generation of Cuban artists came here in the early '90s. They introduced an international perspective to the Miami art world and actually became role models for a number of young artists such as William Cordova, Gean Moreno, and John Espinosa. Though their work doesn't look like José Bedia's, the essence of Bedia is very important to them — the idea of working in a contemporary vocabulary, yet having a spiritual or ritualistic content to the work. It's very interesting how international this art community has been. The artists here are often traveling a lot, the collectors travel a lot, and the curators travel a lot. We go out and bring things back, and when it comes back it then gets transformed in an interesting way; it mutates.

At the same time there have been key artists who have introduced certain issues that have long legs here. Mark Handforth, who is from Britain but has made Miami his home for eight years, is one of them. Handforth has brought ideas about open-ended art works that blur the boundaries between art and life into the mix. He's very charismatic, and the artists respond to it. The same thing is true of Robert Chambers. He's been an important connector with the New York art world — introducing ideas of performance art into sculpture and installation. Another key group that has affected things are the artists who were associated with the House and have international ties. They work together and respond to each other in the creation of their work. The same can be said of Naomi Fisher, Hernan Bas, and Ali Prosch — a kind of sharing and focus that they all share.
AK: What are your plans for the museum's newly donated exhibition space, MOCA at Goldman Warehouse, in the Wynwood Art District?

keep reading the interview »

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  The Wrong Gallery
Maurizio Cattelan, Ali Subotnick, and Massimiliano Gioni

Shrinking their Chelsea exhibition space, the Wrong Gallery, down to a tabletop replica, Maurizio Cattelan, Ali Subotnick, and Massimiliano Gioni make New York's smallest gallery (a narrow space between two doors on West 20th Street) even smaller. You can purchase a model gallery and special miniature editions by influential artists such as Elizabeth Peyton, Lawrence Weiner, and Elmgreen & Dragset, and then manage your own space — just like a dealer! Skillfully produced by Cerealart, the creative company that manufactured Laurie Simmons' colorful dollhouse filled with tiny works by big stars, this new version of the conceptual space pokes fun at the marketing process while involving you in it. (PL)

Cerealart's The Wrong Gallery debuts on December 1 at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

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Cover Art
Kehinde Wiley
Mrs. Hale as Euphrosyne, 2005
Oil on canvas
72 x 60 in./131.7 x 152.4 cm
Courtesy Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, DC
© Kehinde Wiley
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
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Rachel Cook
Lisa Cooley
Annette Ferrara
Jules Gaffney
Leigh Goldstein
Sarah Kessler
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