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ISSN 0160-0699

Volume 29, No. 3, Sep 2006

News & Notes


Quai Branly Museum is Paris’ new primitive art museum, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and tucked in a garden near the Eiffel Tower. It houses art from Africa, Aia, Oceania and the Americas.

A museum dedicated to the works of Lyippus, one of ancient Greece’s greatest sculptors, is expected to open next year in Sikyon, his native town, about six milesfrom Corinth in southern Greece. Active in the fourth century B.C., he is believed to have created 1,500 bronze sculptures, including portraits of Alexander the Great and Hercules, and to have been the teacher of the creator of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Since none of Lysippus’ original works have been preserved, they will start out with around 25 molds donated from museums in Dresden, Munich, Turin and other parts of Greece.

Barnes Foundation has named Derek Gillman, 53, executive director, who is now the president and chief executive of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He will take over in October.

Toledo Museum of Art now has a Glass Pavilion, designed by Japanese team of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, to house its vast collection of glass artworks and judging from critics, it was worth waiting for. The review by NY Times critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff, is testimony enough for its excellence and sensitivity.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has been awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Dept. Of Education to conduct research into whether students’ problem-solving skills are improved by studying art. This study will focus on 18 classes of fifth graders throughout New York City, looking at the effects of art education on skills like experimentation, brainstorming, breaking down a problem into parts, and decision-making.

Miami Art Museum has selected the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron to design a new $208 million home for the museum in Museum Park on Biscayne Bay. The job is to be completed, hopefully, by late 2010.

The Whitney Museum under the direction of Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, the associate director of conservation at the Whitney and director of the Center for Technical Study of Modern Art at Harvard University Art Museums, is videotaping conversations with artists asking them how they wish their art is preserved. The discussions have helped to preserve works made in u nusual media.


Time Samples by Alison Knowles, curated by Caterina Guaclco was an exhibition at Archivio Emily Harvey in Venezia, Italia. Artist &performer Alison Knowles presented new works in paper, entitled Time Samples. The prints of the series A Rake’s Progress, shown in the gallery’s first room, were made with a twisted garden rake employed like a pencil in wet pulp. Here this rake is displayed on a table. Knowles’ new book Time Samples (Granary Books, New York) opens out into a leporello, and here spills down the wall. Book Jacket, a shirt suspended from the ceiling, has the pages of two books embedded in its folds. Two Poets Tee and Emily Harvey’s Overalls are similarly displayed. The objects presented in the rear room of the gallery were appropriated in cities and natural settings all around the world, and the artist presents them for examination, one at time, to be held in the hand. Small tags offer clues to their identity. Curator Caterina Gualco writes: “You make me see things I was not able to see before, and that is the mystery of poetry.”

Knowles,a founding member of the Fluxus group and a Guggenheim fellow, has received awards from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a residency grant from Germany’s DAAD. She has also resided in Kassel as a guest of Documenta. In 2003, she received the College Art Association Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as an honorary doctorate from the Maine College of Art. The exhibition’scatalogue, with inean essay by Gorge Quasha, is available online at


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $12.2 million to communities along the Gulf Coast that lost public libraries in the hurricanes last year, giving 22 bookmobiles or temporary library buildings. In addition, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund has given $5 million for repairs and reconstruction.


Bill Fontana has orchestrated Millennium Bridge in London near Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, where sound literally fills the space.


The U.S. government used a clandestine operation to recover the headless stone statue of the Sumerian king Entemena of Lagash, which was stolen in the days after the fall of Baghdad. This most important treasure was taken across the border to Syria by lootera, and put on sale on the international antiquities market. But this statue, estimated to be 4,400 years old, is the first significant artifact returned from the U.S. and by far the most important piece found outside Iraq. It has now been returned to Iraqui officials and will be restored and safeguarded until the museum will be secure.

Returned: A 3-by-5 inch rlief sculpture of a man’s foot will be handed over in September by the Germany to the Greek government as a campaign by the Greek government to restore th 2,500-year-old Parthenon sculptures. This is a highly smbolic offer, hoping for repatriation of thousands of other Greek antiquities from foreign museums and collections.

Found: Greek police in September recovered one of the country’s most sacred symbols, a700-yer-old icon that was stolen from a remote monastery in a daring break-in in August. The gold-encrusted icon, depicting the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus, was found in a secluded hamlet in southern Greece, where a 28-year-old Romanian confessed to having hidden it after staging the robbery at the Elona monastery.

Found: A stone slab bearing 3,000-year-old writing previously unknown to scholars has been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and archaeologists say it is an example of the oldest script every discovered in the Western Hemisphere. The 26-pound tablet, about the size of a legal pad, bears 62 symbols arrayed in a manner suggesting an organized text. This is linked to the Olmec empire.

DATELINE: San Francisco

A convicted killer who sold postcard-size paintings he created with dye from M&Ms and brushes fashioned from his hair was disciplined for running an unauthorized business out of his Pelican Bay cell. The money is being used to start a program fo children of inmates, but prison officials said he was wrongfully engaged in a business without the warden’s permission.[

Because he is in solitary except for a visitor on a telephone through thick plexiglass, he turned to art to alleviate bordeom and loneliness, getting the attehtion of Stephen Kurtz, a semi-retired psychoanalyst who runs the nonprofit Pelican Bay Prison Project. Johnson started sending paintings to Kurtz in Mexico.

Once a month he buys 10 packs of M&Ms at 60 cents each. He then puts a few candies in small plastic jelly containers, adds water an soaks the candies. What is left behind is Johnson’s “paint”. His brush is made of plastic wrap, foil and strands of his own hair. He then layers blank postcars wiht vibrant colors, shapes and spirals.

The exhibition in Meixco produced sales of 20 paintings, which sold for $500 each. His lawyer said that he gave the paintings to Kurtz and that whatever income was produced was to go to charity.


Michael Snow, filmmaker, music maker and so much more, showed seven new rleases at the Toronto International Film Festival, shown on seven screens simultaneously. They are not conventional screens, but plasma screens set in seven window openings on an exterior wall of the downtown Pantages Hotel and Spa. The film is on an endless loop, so it runs all night and day. Called The Window Suite This is a permanent installation.

DATELINE: Berkeley

Toyo Ito & Associates was named the architect for the home of the art museum an film archives at UC Berkeley. The new arts center will be just across from the campus entrance, and construction could start in summer 2009.


The Institute of Contemporary Art’s new building will not be opened until later this fall, but its first major exhibition, “Super Vision” will be a knockout with 27 contemporary artists of international statue, including James Turrell, Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, and Ed Ruscha, dealing how technology has altered and enhanced the way we look at thing. The sectioooooooooooooooon starts off caressing the optic nerve; then tehcnology as a vision prosthetic; then questoinin how we locate ourselves; and lastly, visceral responses to where new technology can take us: delight and terror.


Skin was the theme of a recent art show in Anchorage with 20 Alaska artists contribution to the statewide invititational art exhibit. The show included a photograph of a nude woman up to her neck in water and driftwood.

In Britain, a naked performance artist has angered People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They objected to Kira O’Reilly sitting for hours with a “murdered” pig in an art gallery. (She also did this in Santa Monica at the 18th St. Arts Center this summer.)