In the Air
Art News & Gossip

In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Named 2014 MacArthur Fellow

Alison Bechdel’s name has long been an art press staple in reference to the “Bechdel Test” — a feminist film standard posed by her comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” in 1985 — especially since a Swedish cinema started instituting the test as a prerequisite and the idea reentered the Internet echo chamber. Today, however, the cartoonist is making brand new headlines, as it was announced that she has been named one of MacArthur Foundation’s 2014 fellows (AKA, the “genius grant”). In addition to the seminal and decade-spanning “Dykes to Watch Out For,” Bechdel has also authored the graphic memoirs “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” and “Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama.” Given the $625,000 of the MacArthur grant, here’s hoping she produces even more boundary-breaking work.
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Bushwick Expo Brings International Galleries to Brooklyn

Bushwick will see the launch of a new international art festival this fall. Titled, “Exchange Rates: The Bushwick Expo,” the event has 24 Bushwick galleries playing host to 28 galleries from the west coast, Europe and Asia. The project has been spearheaded by Bushwick spaces Centotto and Theodore:Art in collaboration with London-based organization Sluice and will run October 23 through 26.

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Rawson Projects Readies New LES Location

Rawson Projects will open its debut show on New York’s Lower East Side on September 21 with a body of work by abstract painter and collagist Halsey Hathaway. The gallery was formerly located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, operating on a limited weekend schedule. Past shows include solo exhibitions and projects by the likes of Jamian Juliano-Villani and Allen Glatter. Rawson Projects is now next door to fellow Brooklyn expats Regina Rex, who are also opening their first LES show on the 21st (a four-person affair featuring Corey Escoto, Dave Hardy, EJ Hauser, and David Stein). The gallery is also adding a new partner: Jessamyn Fiore, a curator and current co-director of Gordon Matta-Clark’s estate. (She’s pictured above, between James Morrill, left, and Chris Rawson.)

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PULSE Names Miami 2014 Exhibitors

The Miami exhibitor lists keep on coming. Today, PULSE Miami Beach sent out its list of 2014 participants. With a new location on Indian Park Beach and a new layout that integrates the Impulse and Point sections into the main fair, Pulse will present a shiny new face in the Sunshine State from December 4 through 7.

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Independent Projects Announces Participants For First Outing

In addition to its annual Armory Week outing, the Independent art fair will host a second presentation this November. From November 6–15, Chelsea’s Center 548 (the former home of Dia) will host Independent Projects, a new venture dedicated to solo presentations — and today, they’ve announced their list of participants. The roster includes 40 international galleries, some of whom will be showing historically significant works, such as John Tweddle paintings from the ’60s and ’70s at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, while others are introducing contemporary artists to New York for the first time, as with Galeria Fortes Vilaça’s Marina Rheingantz. Plus, Independent Projects promises a noteworthy twist in format with a mid-week change-up: On November 10, following the show’s initial weekend, it will transform from a traditional art fair into a more laid back structure reminiscent of a gallery or museum group show, complete with volunteer docents.

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New Festival Hyperplace Harlem Will Use Technology to Engage Neighborhood

As public arts festival 5×5 kicks off its second outing in DC, a New York antecedent of sorts has been announced uptown: “Hyperplace Harlem,” founded by artists Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus (AKA, LoVid) will take place on October 4 through 6. The concept for the festival was inspired by LoVid’s prior work, “iParade,” a series of apps that interact with specific locations. As such, the festival “sets out to explore the concept of place” through site-specific artworks that will explore such themes as “gentrification, psycho-geography, local ecology, urban decay, socioeconomic and identity politics,” according to a press release. Through multiform events and myriad genres of work — with an emphasis on exploring the power of technology — from almost 30 artists in five distinct venues. Presented by the nonprofit Ignivomous, Hyperplace Harlem has also partnered with City College of New York, Art in FLUX, the Maysles Documentary Center, Tatiana Pagés Gallery, and Clayton Williams Community Garden. Look out for more details to come on the festival’s website.

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Performa Commissions Jennifer Rubell Food Performance

In celebration of Performa’s tenth anniversary, Jennifer Rubbell is slated to create a food performance at the organization’s November 4 gala. Performa hasn’t yet released many details on what the work will look like, but, according to press materials, it is titled “Fecunditas” and will take the form of “a series of ritualistic actions and symbolic tributes to the evening’s honorees.” Those honorees, in a nod to the party’s Renaissance theme, are a large group of “Renaissance Women.” Maria Baibakova, Melva Bucksbaum, Toby Devan Lewis, Wendy Fisher, Shelley Fox Aarons, Joan Jonas, Pamela Joyner, Maja Hoffmann, Wangechi Mutu, Shirin Neshat, Yvonne Rainer, Cindy Sherman, and Laurie Simmons will all be honored.

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Corning Museum Awards First Residency to Albert Paley

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) in upstate New York has named sculptor Albert Paley as the first artist to participate in its inaugural artist residency. Created in partnership with Corning Incorporated, the nine-month-long program will give Paley access to “unrivaled glassmaking facilities, collection, and experienced staff” and “the over 150 specialty glass formulations Corning Inc. has developed and patented,” according to press materials.

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Smithsonian Gets Bill Cosby’s African American Art Collection

After four decades of acquiring African American art, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille are loaning their once-private collection to the Smithsonian this fall. Featuring more than 300 heretofore unexhibited artworks (save, apparently, for one), Cosby’s collection will be on view alongside the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in an exhibition titled “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” which will open on November 9 and remain through early 2016. Notable names in Cosby’s collection reportedly include Faith Ringgold, Augusta Savage, Beauford Delaney, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Jacob Lawrence.

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A First Look at Dakota Fanning in “Effie Gray,” Emma Thompson’s Latest Period Piece

If the study of art history has taught us anything, it’s that artists’ behind-the-scenes dramas are often at least as interesting as the art itself. Enter “Effie Gray,” the true story of the eponymous young woman (Dakota Fanning) who married art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise), only to find that he refused to consummate the marriage — “he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was,” Effie later wrote — spurring her to embark on an affair with the painter John Millais. Written by co-star Emma Thompson, the film spent a significant amount of time bogged down in two separate plagiarism suits from playwrights, which precluded its debut on the festival circuit. Having finally found favorable rulings, however, ”Effie Gray” is now well on its way to an October 10 U.K. release with its first full trailer, below. Though the film still has yet to secure an official release date in the U.S., filled out with such a stellar cast as Julie Waters, James Fox, and Robbie Coltrane, among others, it’s worth hoping that this tale, much like its protagonist, is able to transcend a rocky start.

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