Kate Levant, Highsweep, 2009. Courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery
In her weekly round-up Alexandra Peers sees blood-letting, and a favorable report from one dealer in Berlin.
Let it Bleed
By all accounts, Yale MFA student Kate Levant was lucky to get a show at Zach Feuer, the Chelsea gallery the generally represents established artists as Jules de Balincourt, Mark Flood, Dana Schutz, and Phoebe Washburn. But she sent in a proposal anything, on the recommendation of a former professor (when Levant was an undergraduate student at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Justin Leiberman, who also shows at Feuer, after her art school balked at putting on the exhibition. I left a message with Feuer to ask what it was he fell for immediately. "I loved it," Feuer says simply, who announced the show's unusual closing event on Facebook earlier this week.
Levant's show will culminate in September in a Red Cross Blood drive. For about six hours over two days, the gallery will be set up as a blood bank and a few dozen gallery-goers will donate about 450 milliliters apiece, the artist estimates. She wanted to stage the blood drive at her school at Yale, but negotiating "proved to be extremely complex... they're pretty freaked," the artist explained in a statement. Leiberman suggested Feuer take a look at the proposal. Now, the gallery and the Red Cross "will all function as a sort of stage-set mechanism, situating the donor/participant in the position of ‘safe' passivity letting this experience pass through his/her corporeality." Levant explains. "I want to initiate an experience at the pace...of a pulse." As for what's the gallery, the installation features sculpture and piles of broken glass, fiberglass, metal, and plastic. In addition to work by Kate Levant, the show will include works or performance pieces by Noel Anderson, Philadelphia-based collective BOBO, Brian Faucette, Michael E. Smith, Elaine Stocki and Jacques Vidal.
"Blood Drive, Comprised by Kate Levant" opened at Feuer yesterday. The drive will run from 1:30 PM to 7:00 PM on September 2 and 3. "It's pretty likely that people who sign up will be getting a limited edition" work by the artist, Feuer says, but the details haven't been worked out yet. As for Levant's future at the gallery, well, Feuer has a history of poaching his artists right out of art school.
Report From Berlin
Art dealer Robert Goff, who with his business partner Cassie Rosenthal runs galleries in Chelsea and Berlin, sends this report on the art scene in Germany this summer:
Berlin is as active as ever, with curators and collectors coming through at a good clip—Biennale of Sydney curator David Elliott is making the rounds of promising studios. Curator Daniel Kurjakovic is back and forth between here and Zurich as he gets ready to unveil the Burger Collection's first public exposition in September in the former Arndt + Partner galleries on Zimmerstrasse.
The best museum exhibition I've seen lately is here in Berlin—it's John Heartfield at the Berlinsche Galerie. Heartfield was a contemporary and friend of George Grosz and made searing anti-Nazi and anti-capiltalist collages and photomontages. It's small but great.
As for the art market, it seems healthier than in New York: Contemporary Fine Art's show of small Daniel Richter paintings is almost sold out; at least half of the Gilbert + George works at Arndt + Partner are also spoken for. Berlin was never a rich city anyway.
Younger dealers complain that things are slow. But you still can't get a table at chic dining boites like Bandol, the art-world hangout of director Wim Wenders, Jean Griffin Borho (art advisor and Sculpture Center board member) and Annika von Taube (editor of magazine Sleek).
The Value of Arts Education
David Rockefeller's grandmother co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in 1929 and used to bring him to it as a boy. Now, New Yorkers will get to view nine magnificent artworks that have been promised to the museum over the years by David and Peggy Rockefeller. These are all the works that have been "promised gifts" from the Rocks over the years. The small show, "Cezanne to Picasso," opens July 17 and features "superb examples of Post-Impressionist, Fauvist, and Cubist painting," according to MoMA.
Think you aced the Venice Biennale? Auction house Phillips de Pury has a test. On the firm's witty new website, Phillips Art Expert, players can take a quiz on what they remember from the event (Example: Which country chose to fill the ground floor of its pavilion with ankle-deep sand as part of its "Steppes of Dreamers" show? Answer: Ukraine.) Fun, right? Beyond that, visitors to the site can also take quizzes on 20th-century art and design, or play "Know that Brushstroke," guessing the creator of a work of art from a corner of the canvas. In online videos, avuncular chairman Simon de Pury congratulates players for getting a good score.
A personal note: R.I.P Dash Snow
Note: This bulletin originally reported that Kate Levant is a student at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and that the school rejected her blood drive proposal. Levant is currently an MFA candidate at Yale, which rejected the proposal.