Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Paul and Joe will collaborate with Pierre Cardin

The artistic director of Paul & Joe, Sophie Albou will collaborate with Pierre Cardin in order to design around 10 models per season for the brand.

Those special collections will be designed in limited editions. It is during an auction that Sophie Albou fell in love with several pieces from the golden age of Pierre Cardin. That is how the collaboration came about. The first "Paul & Joe for Pierre Cardin's collection" will be available in a selection of shops worldwide this summer. Pierre Cardin featured his very first collection in 1953. It marked our times since it was a unisex and avant-garde collection, a real revolution.

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LACMA and Eli Broad

WASSILY KANDINSKY Russia, 1866-1944, active Germany and France

He is one of the most important collectors of contemporary art in the world, next to Pinault: the Californian Eli Broad (Kaufmann & Broad: that's him) opened his own museum in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) last February.

Central piece of the transformation of the LACMA, the BCAM Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) has been designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. To celebrate this opening, Eli and Edythe Broad, collectors for more than 40 years, have donated 60M$ to the LACMA. The Museum will showcase around 200 artworks from the Broad collections. On the agenda: John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, CY Twombly, but also Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman and Leon Golub...

Playa Vista, the first new community to be built in West Los Angeles in the last 50 years, also announced today a donation of $15,000 to LACMA’s Modern and Contemporary Art Council (MCAC) Acquisitions Fund. This donation will be used to acquire artwork from a Southern California artist that will strengthen LACMA's holdings of contemporary Southern California art.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More news on Art Dubai

Fifty of Art World’s Most Prominent Cultural Leaders and Thinkers Address Second Global Art Forum in Dubai

17th and 18th March, Art Patronage in the Business Age
Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC")

19th, 20th and 21st March, Building on the Foundations of Contemporary Art: East meets West in Dubai
Madinat Arena Beach Area (open to the public)

Following on from the highly acclaimed Global Art Forum: 1 in 2007, fifty of the global art community’s most respected curators, collectors, and artists have been invited to join Global Art Forum: 2, taking place in Dubai 17-21 March alongside Art Dubai. With speakers ranging from Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, to British-based artist Anish Kapoor, an array of artists and cultural contributors from around the world, will present their visions and debate ideas during the five-day event set to foster links between the Middle East and the wider global arts community through candid debate on the evolving business of art.

"A critical theme running through Global Art Forum: 2 is the development of art initiatives through partnerships with businesses and private individuals. The Forum will examine public support for the arts, corporate and private collecting and art patronage from a regional and international perspective," said John Martin, Fair Director, Art Dubai.
"A perfect example of this type of collaboration is The Financial Times’ ("FT") support of the Global Art Forum. This agreement forms part of the FT's on-going commitment to covering the business and cultural life of Dubai and the wider Middle East", he added.

The first two days of Global Art Forum: 2 will be hosted at the DIFC and will focus on Art Patronage in the Business Age. This part of the Forum will feature leading thinkers from the international art and business communities and will address topics such as: Building a Corporate Collection, Working with Corporations, Private Passion and Cultural Philanthropy and Personal Commitments to Building Cultural Cities. Soichiro Fukutake, founder of the Naoshima Fukutake Museum Foundation and President of Benesse Corporation, will present the keynote address.
On Wednesday 19 March, the Global Art Forum moves to the Madinat Arena where the conversations will consider public art projects through interviews with some of the most influential artists working today: Daniel Buren, France; Ai Wei Wei, China; and Tony Cragg, UK.

A special interview will be conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Director of International Programs at the Serpentine Gallery London, with Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. An additional panel discussing art's role in political and social transformations will include Suha Shoman, Director, Darat al Funun, Amman; Salima Hashmi, Curator of Desperately Seeking Paradise; and curator and artistic director of the Sharjah Biennial, Jack Persekian, among others.
In collaboration with the FIAC in Paris, the Global Art Forum will host Paris /Dubai, which will unite artists and intellectuals from the Middle East living in Paris through the topic of art in transition. Curator and former director of Documenta 10, Catherine David will host this panel.
Glenn Lowry, Director Museum of Modern Art, New York City, will give a keynote address about the personal initiatives behind MoMA, after which there will be a series of presentations on the most important new institutions and projects underway the region.

Art Dubai is held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai.
Transcripts of Global Art Forum: 2 will be published in October 2008.

The full program of Global Art Forum: 2 is available online at

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hedi Slimane Diary: Kate Moss is sublime

I guess that no one except Art is Alive has yet spotted that Hedi Slimane has been shooting Kate Moss in a very poetic way yesterday.
Check those images they are truly beautiful. More on Hedi's page...

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The House of Viktor & Rolf at Barbican

The House of Viktor & Rolf
This summer Barbican Art Gallery will showcase the work of radical Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf18 June 2008 - 14 September 2008Barbican Art Gallery

This summer Barbican Art Gallery showcases the work of radical Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf. This will be the first time in the United Kingdom that an exhibition has been devoted to this highly influential duo. Over the past 15 years Viktor & Rolf have taken the fashion world by storm with their particular blend of cool irony and surreal beauty.

The exhibition charts their career to date within the context of a specially commissioned installation that will dominate the entire Gallery. Highlights will include pieces from Atomic Bomb, 1998–99, featuring dramatic mushroom cloud-like cushioned necklines and Russian Doll, 1999–2000, in which a single model was painstakingly dressed by the designers themselves in front of a catwalk audience in 10 independent layers, in an experience reminiscent of performance art.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book published by Barbican Art Gallery and Merrell. Designed by Fuel, this sumptuously illustrated hardback book, comprising of 256 pages with over 200 full colour photographic images (some never seen before), will be the most comprehensive volume published on Viktor & Rolf’s work to date. Price: £35 and will be available in the Art Gallery Shop on level 3.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

FT report: "The art fair is no longer just an art fair"


Art, actually - The art fair is no longer just an art fair: it is sale, exhibition, cultural festival and celebrity magnet rolled into one.Gareth Harris reports on the essential viewing, starting with this month's Maastricht.

John Martin, director of the Art Dubai fair, which opens later this month (March 19-22), can't contain himself. His Emirati event, which launched last year, is bigger - more than 400 galleries applied for the 70 selling slots this year, up from 41 dealers in 2007 - and Martin says he knows why. "Dubai is a key stopping point between India, east Europe and Africa. It's also a financial hub and a tax-free haven which is important for collectors," he says excitedly.

Art Dubai is typical of the new crop of fairs keen to tap into new collector bases worldwide such as the booming non-resident Indian base in the Gulf. This burgeoning market, particularly hungry for contemporary Middle Eastern and Indian art, has prompted other fairs to cash in on the Gulf. An Abu Dhabi version of Art Paris, the French modern and contemporary art fair, set up shop last November while Art and Antiques Dubai, run by the British fair organisers Anna and Brian Haughton (see profile), debuted in Dubai last month.

Meanwhile, other new global kids on the block, such as ShContemporary in Shanghai (September 10-13) and Art HK 08 in Hong Kong (May 14-18), are set to harness the potentially stratospheric buying power of new Asian collectors, particularly in China and Korea.
In contrast, the European fair scene is saturated (the names trip tediously off the tongue: Art Forum, Artissima, Arco etc) while the US scene is surprisingly patchy. Its latest quirky addition is Seafair, a 228-ft, Dollars 35m luxury yacht which launched in October in Connecticut with a radically new concept: to bring 20 art and antiques dealers to wealthy communities along the US eastern seaboard. The floating fair has had to return to dry dock twice, though, for "necessary repairs".

But just how many art fairs does the art world need? At last count, 2008 was set to see at least 200 fairs open their doors, compared with a paltry 50 in 2001; but in the 1980s and 1990s, the landscape was nowhere near as flooded or frenzied.

TEFAF Maastricht (March 7-16) has been the essential port of call for fine art and antiques since its launch in 1975 (its contemporary section, introduced in 1991, is patchier). Dealers emphasise that Maastricht is a "destination fair" with hungry collectors heading to the event just to scour the stands (what else is there to do in the not-so-lovely Dutch city?). Where else would you see under one - admittedly vast - roof, a huge Jenny Saville nude of 1994 (priced at Dollars 1.5m) and a little known Degas of dancers up for grabs at around Euros 10m? Or superstar artists Marc Quinn and Anish Kapoor snapping up works of ancient art?

One gallerist enthusiastically points out that Boston Museum of Fine Arts is sending a "whole plane-load" of people to Maastricht this month while New York old masters dealer Richard Feigen even zooms around the floor, buying up 20th-century works from other stands on behalf of key clients.

"Dealers tend to save their best things for Maastricht," says Feigen. The price of admission even had to be raised last year (from Euros 25 to Euros 55), to draw serious buyers and deter window shoppers. The ploy worked: 2007 saw the fair pull in 71,000 visitors, 13,000 down on 2006. Fair profits, which must be hefty considering turnout and the average stand hire fee of Dollars 450 per sq ft, are ploughed back into the fair's redesign.

Over in Switzerland, Art Basel has always been the "pre-eminent" place for modern and contemporary art, says Nicholas Logsdail, founder of London's Lisson gallery.
"Lisson had a stand at Art Basel when it first started in 1970, showing work by Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, and Art & Language among others. In its first years it was a very much smaller and more regional affair, with two or three cutting-edge galleries from each one of the major cities," he says. The Swiss phenomenon's pulling power has not waned in over 30 years, with Texan Kenny Goss and his partner George Michael rolling up last summer to splash out on work by Gary Hume for their Goss-Michael Foundation, set up last year in Dallas.

But it was only when Sam Keller turned the traditional art fair model on its head after taking the reins at Art Basel in 2000 that art fairs became celebrity magnets. Keller rolled out the red-carpet treatment for collectors, dealers and artists, creating the blueprint for the 21st century fair: a combination of cultural and commercial concerns with packed-out debate panels, hot-ticket parties and VIP tours of prestigious museum and private collections on the agenda.
Keller fine-tuned this mix at Art Basel Miami Beach, the Swiss fair's sister event which sent seismic shock waves across the art world on its 2002 launch. Last December, Keller's last outing as director before departing to head the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, a record 43,000 visitors (many on the 220 private planes operated by NetJets) visited the sixth Florida edition.
Private collectors were out in force, including financiers Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group and Steve Cohen of SAC Capital. Elton John even snapped up hip-hop portraitist Kehinde Wiley's "Dead Soldier", on offer for Dollars 120,000 with Deitch Projects gallery of New York.
Fairs became full-fledged cultural "festivals" under Keller's reign, a model emulated by Frieze in London when it launched five years ago. The result was that the Regent's Park's October smorgasbord has sent the entire spectrum of London's art world into a spin. "Frieze Week" triggers an avalanche of events from slick gallery openings to major museum shows. The auction houses also cash in on the presence of international art buyers at Frieze, with over Pounds 180m worth of art going under the hammer during the fair last autumn. The 20-year-old London Art Fair has suffered in Frieze's shadow but fought back last February with curated projects and more graffiti-based, edgier work on sale.

The Frieze effect has frozen out the original European art fair grande dame Art Cologne which first opened in 1967, although this stalwart was already struggling. In the early 1990s, Cologne's pole position as Germany's contemporary art centre was threatened by an edgier scene in Berlin. Ex-director Gerard Goodrow's recent departure over the future direction of the fair means new turmoil for the ageing event which drew 60,000 visitors in 2007, 10,000 fewer than in 2006. It has moved from October to a spring slot (April 16-20) to try to ensure its place in the public eye.

But two other high-profile fairs have bounced back after a dip in fortunes. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Art Chicago and FIAC in Paris were circuit favourites. The former, however, began to look stale with more and more of the world's serious collectors, curators and dealers bypassing the Windy City shindig after 2001 in favour of the Florida sunshine to be had at Art Basel Miami Beach.

"It's a good example of a fair not reinventing itself and then being ignored," says John Martin. Chris Kennedy, nephew of JFK and head of Merchandise Mart Properties (MMPI, see profile) which is now running the fair, is evangelical about propelling Art Chicago back into the first division through tapping into existing client bases in the city. "I asked the dealers who their collectors were. I knew many of them as they're important Democrat activists," he says.
FIAC, which has been lagging for a number of years, hit a new high last year with some exhibitors virtually selling out on the first day. Even French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault and Miami collector Martin Margulies were spotted trawling the aisles under the glass dome of Paris's Grand Palais.

"The two I rate are Art Basel and Frieze," says Frank Cohen, the "Saatchi of the North" who runs his own public gallery in Wolverhampton, while fellow seasoned UK collector Anita Zabludowicz singles out Frieze along with NADA and Zoo (two successful satellite fairs that run alongside Art Basel Miami Beach and Frieze) as must-see events.

But as belts tighten in the light of a predicted economic downturn, many fair organisers foresee a
"survival of the fittest". Sam Keller says: "If you're the number one art fair, you benefit from the market growing as much as you benefit from it shrinking. In good times, galleries will go to many art fairs. In bad times, they will only go to those they consider necessary." Put more bluntly, the big boys will still entice the core big spenders as fair fatigue sets in.

This is borne out by Frank Cohen who warns that "a lot of the art fairs are no good. You can't expect artists to be able to show great work at 20 different fairs a year. The smaller art fairs become about quantity not quality".

But even prestigious venues need to keep ahead of the game. Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota told The Art Newspaper at Frieze 2007 that some of the exhibitors "can afford to be more ambitious; Frieze brings together contemporary art from across the world and it should offer museum-quality pieces".

"Buying at art fairs has become somewhat of a buying frenzy. Sometimes you don't even have a minute to think about a piece before it is purchased by someone else," says Goss. If big-spenders are so cautious, then other punters may soon stay away.
Photo London, Pulse London and the Fine Art Fair Frankfurt have all cancelled their 2008 editions. Expect other casualties.

1 March 2008 Financial Times
Page 1 English (c) 2008
The Financial Times Limited. All rights reserved

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Madrid gets a new Museum

Madrid gets a new contemporary art museum—complete with vertical garden of 15,000 plants
Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have converted a former power station for the Caixa Foundation

MADRID. Madrid’s latest art museum, the CaixaForum, has opened in the heart of the city’s cultural district near the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

The $94m project has been funded by the Caixa Foundation, thephilanthropic arm of the Spanish bank, Caixa d’Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona.

Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the museum is housed in a converted 1899 power station. The building—one of the city’s few remaining examples of historically significant industrial architecture—was acquired by the foundation in 2001.

The 19th-century brick walls have been retained, but raised on piers so that visitors can walk underneath the building. There are two underground floors, while a two-floor attic storey of rusted iron surmounts the original building. The conversion has increased the floorspace five-fold—from 2,000 sq. m to 10,000 sq. m.

“The fact that its heavy mass is detached from the ground in apparent defiance of the laws of gravity is not a magic thing, given the possibilities of 21st-century technology,” says architect Jacques Herzog, “but a need to explore the limits of freedom. The CaixaForum has been conceived as an urban magnet, attracting not only art-lovers but all the people of Madrid and those from outside the city. We wanted to surprise. A building must be like a new outfit of clothes for the city—always a bit sexy.”

As striking as the architectural conversion is the 460 sq. m, 24-metre high vertical garden that takes up one wall of the square in front of the building. Comprising 15,000 plants of 250 different species, it has being designed by botanist Patrick Blanc.

“The garden is a dialogue with the Botanical Garden on the street and adjacent to the Prado,” says Herzog. “We love to make new things, to experiment with materials and create a very unusual encounter between the rough and the natural, the smooth and the artificial, to incorporate nature so there can be the smell of a garden where you would not expect it.”

The new museum will have a wide brief, hosting touring exhibitions as well as festivals of music and poetry, debates and education programmes. One of its main functions will be to show selections from the Caixa Foundation’s collection of more than 700 works, mainly dating from the 1980s to today. The opening show includes 37 works by contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman, Cornelia Parker, Richard Long, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz (until 6 April).

“The Caixa Foundation pioneered collecting and showing the most avant-garde contemporary art in the 1980s,” says Jose F. Coronado, general director of the foundation. “Our philosophy was to use culture as a tool for social integration. We wanted to break the barriers that separate many people from art, music and the humanities.”The gallery’s next exhibition will be “The Bread of the Angels”, with 45 paintings on loan from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Many of the works, including paintings by Botticelli, Luca Giordano and Parmigianino, have never before left Italy.

From the Artnewspaper:

Vuitton news again: Keith Richards is the new ad campaign's face

After Catherine Deneuve and Mikhaïl Gorbatchev, it is Keith Richards who will be representing Louis Vuitton.

Shot by Annie Leibovitz, this new campaign shows the guitarist in a classy hotel room. "Some journeys cannot be put into words. New York. 3 am. Blues in C" is the new slogan for this rock'n'roll campaign that we are not quite accustomed for LV. Published in April in the press, all the profits from this campaign will be offered to the association of Al Gore, The Climate Project.

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Marc Jacobs plays with Victoria Beckham

Marc Jacobs already enjoyed directing Winona Ryder as a glamourous burglar when she was facing the court for her illegal temptations. He now offers another a funny campaign with the cold and apparently unsmiling Victoria Beckham.

Victoria Beckham - on the cover of the March issue of Vogue UK - was desperately trying to become a fashion icon. With this campaign not only Marc Jacobs offers her the opportunity to become one but also reveals that she has humour and can use self-mockery.

Marc Jacobs has been working with photographer Juergen Teller and declares: "When we met (with Victoria Beckham) not only have I discovered a fantastic character but also a person with a great sense of humour. So great that she can laugh about herself with style..."

A nice quote that sums it all : laughing with style ! That's is what fashion is about, forgetting about clothes and making you adopt stylish attitudes...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Orients sans frontières at l'Espace Louis Vuitton in Paris

Malekeh Nayiny (Iran).

Exhibition from 8 February to 27 April 2008

It is the seventh exhibition held at L'Espace Vuitton. Inspired by the mythic trip initiated by André Citroën in 1931: the yellow cruise, this exhibition is curated by Hervé Mikaeloff.
The caterpillars cars equipped with Louis Vuitton luggages embarked on the road of silk, linking Beirut to Beijing. The leadership of this trip was given to Marie-Georges Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil. Together, they went on a trip to visit Beirut and Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Kabul, Peschawaru, Srinagar, Gilgit, Ouroumsti, Sou-Tchéou, Liang-Tcheou and Beijing. This raid also remains a technical, scientific and cultural adventure.

L'Espace Louis Vuitton gives contemporary artists from different towns and villages of this journey, the opportunity to reinterpret it.
The interest no longer lies in moving from city to city but in the commitment and knowledge of their country. Artists along the route become actors of this challenge by questioning their geographical territory and humanity. These photographers, videographers and visual artists offer a new map of the Middle Eastern region. Surely an exhibition not to miss.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just for the love of it.

Because you're worth it !
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Guy Bourdin has got a "message for you"

GUY BOURDIN: MISTRESS MAID, GB 019 Charles Jourdan, Autumn 1977 © 2008 The Guy Bourdin Estate

Guy Bourdin, has brought a new aesthetic in photography and ads, inventing a new visual language between absurd and sublime, provocation and mystery. Among his numerous collaborations his huge work for Vogue. He passed away in 1991 but remains a true inspiration for various artists; among those, Madonna who had to go to court as accused of plagiarism in her video "Hollywood".

Hollywood by Madonna

The Kunshauwien Museum in Vienna presents a great retrospective with more 300 artworks showcased.

The exhibition includes modern prints, b/w 1950s vintage prints, Polaroids, cinefilms - early 1970s, landscape slide show, sketches and texts. The modern prints are a selection mainly from 70s early 80s and show timeless qualities. For the first time this exhibition unveils the wide spectrum of Guy Bourdin’s artistic work.

Guy Bourdin a Message for You at the Kunsthauwien - Until 22 June 2008.

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