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Umbrella Online - Current Issue

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ISSN 0160-0699

Volume 29, No. 2, Jun 2006

ArtPEOPLE

AWARDS

Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, is winner of the Sixth Annual Lucelia Artist Award by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Mark Bradford, Los Angeles artist, is the winner of this year’s Bucksbaum Award, given every two years to an emerging artist living and working in the United States whose work is in the Whitney Biennial. The award carries a $100,000 stipend, a residency and a solo exhibition at the Whitney. Bradford’s works often incorporate everyday materials like paper, string, magazine pages and colored stationery into collage.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, a Cuban-born American artist who died in 1996, has been chosen to represent the United States in the 2007 Venice Biennale. He is well-known for his conceptual works with political and personal messages, using everyday materials such as stacks of paper to represent the inevitability of death, strings of lights to represent dreams of a better world, changing emotion into evocative installations. This is the first time in 20 years that a deceased artist has been selected to represent the U.S. His nomination was introduced by the Guggenheim Museum, which operates the American pavilion.

Douglas Kahn, head of Technocultural Studies at the University of California, Davis, received a Guggenheim Foundation grant to allow him to write on natural radio, which itself is a way to write about the historical incursion of electromagnetism into culture in general, and Alvin Lucier and Pauline Oliveros in particular.

Barry Bergdoll, now the chairman of Columbia University’s art history department, is the new chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He is ia prominent scholar of 19th-and 20th-century architecture.

Robert Rauschenberg: Combines was named one of 2005’s four most outstanding exhibitions nationwide by the Association of Art Museum Curators. Curated by Paul Schimmel, MOCA’s chief curator in Los Angeles, the accompanying catalog coedited by Schimmel and Lisa Mark and designed by Tracy Shiffman, was named the outstanding book of 2005.

PASSINGS

William P. Gottlieb, famous for his “The Golden Age of Jazz” (1979), captured jazz with his old-fashioned press camera when both Ellington, Armstrong and Billie Holiday ruled the bandstands and radio. He died in late April at the age of 89, having spent only one decade taking pictures only a few at a time because he didn’t have enough money for flashbulbs. After a successful career writing children’s books and filmstrips, a bookseller persuaded him to publish a book of jazz photos, which is now in its 12th printing!

Edward R. Broida, who made a fortune as a Los Angeles real estate developer and used much of it to establish himself as a distinctive collector of contemporary art, died in April at the age of 72. His favorites in depth were Philip Guston, Vija Celmins and Kenneth Price, but also collected about 700 works by such artists as Elizabeth Murray, Susan Rothenberg, sculptors Martin Puryear and Christopher Wilmarth. While he battled cancer, he gave 174 contemporary works by 38 artists to the Museum of Modern Art. 100 pieces from this collection are on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art through 10 July, entitled “Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection.”

Isaac Witkin, a sculptor, whose bold, colorful abstractions helped to shake up the art scenes in London and New York in the 1960s, died in April at the age of 69. He studied with Anthony Caro, as did Barry Flanagan, Phillip King and William Tucker. He was also an assistant to Henry Moore for 2½ years, then moved to Bennington College where he taught until 1979.

Dmitri Hadzi, an internationally known sculptor whose most famous work is at once mythic and modernist, died in April at the age of 85. He had taught at Harvard for many years. His sei-abstract sculptures in bronze and stone were his insignia. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Raul Corrales, a Cuban photographer who documented the country’s political revolution of the 1950s in bold and poetic image, died in April at the age of 81. He took many of his photographs while working for Cuban magazines in the 1940s an 1950s, and for Revolucion, the new government newspaper, starting in 1959. Once Castro was in power, Corrales traveled with Castro as a photojournalist on several occasions.

Philip J. Hyde, who worked as the primary conservation photographer for the Sierra Club for more than five decades, died in March at the age of 84. His photographs were not only beautiful, but political, polemical, manifestos for change. After World War II and three years with the Army Air Corps, he entered the California School of Fine Arts and studied under Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Dorothea Lange. Then he met David Brower, who commissioned him to create “battle books” to create environmental campaigns.

]Robert Heinecken, an artist and educator, who was instrumental in changing the way photographs are considered in the American cultural landscape, died in May at the age of 74, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease since 1994. He considered himself a “para-photographer”, because his work stood “beside” or “beyond” traditional ideas associated with photography. He manipulated images in order to clarify, reveal and sometimes even confound the subliminal social, political and artistic codes they contain.

After joining the Marines, he received his degree and taught at UCLA for 31 years. He mentored such artists as John Divola, Judith Golden, Jo Ann Callis and Patrick Nagatani. He was a founder with Van Deren Coke, Minor White and Beaumont Newhall, of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE), which became an important forum for changing the way photography was taught in American university programs and art schools. His work is in collections of numerous art museums throughout the world. He was a major support of artists who make books, having made many of them himself.

Karel Appel, an internationally renowned Dutch painter whose color-laden canvases were among the most vibrant hallmarks of the postwar European art movement known as Cobra, which he helped found, died in May at 85. Along with Asger Jorn and the Belgian artist known as Corneille, Appel founded Cobra in 1948 at an international conference in Paris.

Cobra is an acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the cities from which the founders came. The work was abstract, spontaneous, expressionistic, with a riot of color. Painting was considered a window onto the human psyche.

Slim Aarons, whose charm won the trust of jet-setters and movie stars and whose cameras captured fleeting, images as his favorite subjects played and preened in a privacy almost unimaginable today, died in late May at the age of 89. Subjects were Man Ray, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Van Heflin, and Jimmy Stewart and on and on.

Arnold Newman, famed portrait photographer who set the standard for artistic interpretation and stylistic integrity of the rich and famous, died in Manhattan in June at the age of 88. He had covers on Life and Look magazines, appeared in museum and gallery exhibitions, and was the source of many coffee-table books. His brand of photography was known as environmental portraiture. Although he photographed most of the world’s most prominent and accomplished men and women, he did not photograph actors, actresses, rock stars and anyone he considered “famous for being famous.”

Warren Platner, an architect and designer who created a furniture collection that has endured as an icon of 1960s Modernism and who designed the interiors of the Ford Foundation building and original Windows on the World restaurant, died in April a the age of 86.

Frederick Ted Castle, an experimental novelist and New York art critic, died in May at the age of 67. He wrote an novel about Andy Warhol’s Factory, having started to write about art after Warhol was a passenger in the taxicab he was driving in 1967. He wrote for Artforum, Art in America and other art journals until 2001. He was a correspondent for the London-abased Art Monthly for 25 years.

Alex Toth, a maverick figure in the comic book world whose mood-driven, highly stylized work influenced a generation of artists even though his strong-willed ways left him underused within the industry, died in May at the age of 77. His serial comic was called “Bravo for Adventure”. He had a clean and simple style.

Bjorn Wiinblad, 87, a Danish artist known for his posters, book illustrations and ceramics, died in June. Native of Copenhagen, he graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1943 and is in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, MOMA in New York and the Danish Museu of Art & Design in Copenhagen.

Jane Jacobs, the writer and thinker who brought penetrating insight into the own Greenwich Village street and created a book that challenged and changed the way people view cities, died in Toronto at the age of 89 in April. In her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” (1961), she went beyond her own critique of 20th-century American urban planning and proposed innovative principles to rebuild cities.

Allan Kaprow, renowned artist who coined the term “happenings” in the late 1950s and whose anti-art, audience-participation works contributed to radical changes in the course of late-20th century art, died in April at the age of 78. Along with many other artists such as Jim Dine, Red Grooms, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Watts and Robert Whitman, Kaprow shifted from large pubic events into private “activities”, intimate, personal pieces for a small number of participants which were documented with photographs.

Kenneth Thomson, who became Canada’s richest man by turning a chain of newspapers into one of the world’s biggest distributors of financial data, died in June at the age of 82. With his accumulated wealth, he became the ninth-richest person I the world this year. With this wealth, he became an avid art collector, recently donating 2,000 pieces valued at $300 million to the Art Gallery of Ontario, including Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece “The Massacre of the Innocents.”

Luis Jimenez Jr., renowned sculptor displayed in parks, museums and other public spaces around the U.S., died in June while moving part of a sculpture of a mustang designed for Denver International Airport, when a piece fell on Jimenez and pinned him to a steel support. He was 65.

Donald Reilly, a prominent cartoonist best known for his association for four decades with The New Yorker, died in June at the age of 72. Having begun to draw for the journal in 1964, he was responsible for 1,107 cartoons and 16 covers, but also worked for Look, Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post, Mad, Harvard Business Review and others. His work was spontaneous and dealt with the absurdities of modern life (and death).

Jesus Fuertes, 68, a cubist painter and Pablo Picasso protege whose works have been exhibited in prominent museums around the world, died in June in Miami. Because of his father’s association with Lorca and Dalí, he was introduced to Andre Breton by Dalí, who became his benefactor. He was famed for his use of stunning shades of blue, called the “Painter of Blue”, choosing women or cats as his subject matter.

Hubertus Czernin, 50, the Austrian investigative who has died, committed his later life to the recovery of priceless paintings looted by the Nazis. Just a few days after his death, his greatest triumph, Gustav Klimt’s portrait of the Viennese aristocrat Adele Bloch-Bauer I, became the most expensive painting in the world, selling in New York for $135m. Czernin suffered from mastocytosis, a rare cell disorder. After the illness was diagnosed in 1999, he redoubled his efforts to establish the truth about five purloined works of art, in particular the art nouveau painting produced by Klimt in 1907, showing a beautiful, dark-haired woman against a rich, gold background reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics.

Dieter Froese, an artist whose work helped define New York’s downtown scene in the 1970s, died at the age of 68 in Lower Manhattan. Froese was one of the first video installation artists, though he also worked in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, performance and film. He was a distinguished member of the first generation of artists who lived and worked in the bare-bones lofts of Lower Manhattan over 30 years ago. His multimedia works known worldwide were drawn in part from his experience as a child of war. He came to the U.S. on a Ford Foundation grant in 1964, becoming a permanent resident in 1969.