Reena Jana

  • news July 06, 2001

    STAFF STRIKE AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA

    STAFF STRIKE AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA

    You would think that the dozens of pairs of red pumps and sneakers lined up in the plaza in front of the National Gallery of Canada (national.gallery.ca) are an art installation. But they're nothing of the sort. Rather, they form a symbolic picket line set up by 200 of the museum's staff members, who have been on strike since May 10.

    Administrative and technical staff members have been without a contract for about a year. The museum is offering a five-year contract that entails a 2.25 percent wage increase in each of the first four years, with salary renegotiation in the fifth year. The strikers,

  • news July 05, 2001

    NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

    NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

    FEDERAL ARTS AGENCIES’ BUDGETS TO BE INCREASED: In June, House supporters of the National Endowment for the Arts proposed adding $10 million to the Bush administration’s budget for the federal agency. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) offered the amendment, which also calls for an additional $3 million to the National Endowment for the Humanities and $2 million to the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The debate was unusually tame, and the $15 million increase for the three agencies was approved 221 to 193 on June 21.

    NATIONAL PERSONNEL CHANGES ANNOUNCED: In New York last week, Christie’s

  • news July 02, 2001

    TAIPEI ICA OPEN FOR BUSINESS

    TAIPEI ICA OPEN FOR BUSINESS

    The first Taiwan museum devoted solely to contemporary art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Taipei, opened its doors in May. Funded by the Taiwanese government, the seed for its development was first planted in 1994 when its current location, a historic building that was once Taipei City Hall, was earmarked to house a museum.

    While the rise and popularity of Asian contemporary art in the past decade makes it tempting to restrict the museum to Asian or Taiwanese art, Lai Ying-Ying, senior curator and a spokesperson for the museum, insists that its program “will not be restricted to nation.”

  • news June 25, 2001

    NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

    NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

    NEW LATIN AMERICAN CURATORIAL POST IN HOUSTON: Mari Carmen Ramírez has been named the first curator of Latin American art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The new position is funded by an endowment from the Wortham Foundation. A past recipient of a Peter Norton Family Foundation Curator’s Award and the author of numerous catalogue essays and journal articles, Dr. Ramírez leaves her post as curator of Latin American art at the Jack S. Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin. Ramírez will not only curate exhibitions and oversee the formation of a permanent collection of Latin

  • news June 21, 2001

    ARTIST BIOPICS LURCH INTO PRODUCTION

    ARTIST BIOPICS LURCH INTO PRODUCTION

    Now that a Jackson Pollock biopic has produced an Oscar (Marcia Gay Harden won one this year for her portrayal of Lee Krasner in Pollock), you’d think that actors might be lining up for plum dramatic roles as famous artists. In truth, however, it may be quite the opposite: Jennifer Lopez, for instance, has announced that she has backed out of her role as Frida Kahlo in The Two Fridas, which was in development at Francis Ford Coppola’s production company, American Zoetrope, and already set for distribution by United Artists. And Linda Fiorentino allegedly failed to attend rehearsals for a film

  • news June 20, 2001

    ART THRIVES IN LAS VEGAS

    ART THRIVES IN LAS VEGAS

    Currently, Steve Martin’s marquee name is luring an audience of 900 per day in Las Vegas—but not for a performance. Rather, the celebrity comedian’s private art collection has been on view at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino since April. Featuring works by artists such as ex-girlfriend Cindy Sherman, Francis Bacon, Vija Celmins, Eric Fischl, Seurat, and Picasso—and despite mixed reviews (the New York Times, for instance, called the exhibition “uneven”)—the show of twenty-eight works by nineteen artists is so popular that it has been extended for three more weeks (now closing September 23).

    Yet, if

  • news June 18, 2001

    NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

    NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

    ART HISTORIAN NOMINATED AS NEW CHIEF OF NEH: President George W. Bush nominated art historian Bruce Cole to replace current National Endowment for the Humanities (www.neh.fed.us) chairman William Ferris. Currently a professor of fine arts and comparative literature at Indiana University, Cole has authored twelve books, most of them on the art of Renaissance Italy, and previously served on the endowment's national council from 1992 to 1999, when Lynne Cheney, spouse of Vice President Dick Cheney, was chairman. Bush intends for Cole to serve a four-year term as head of the NEH after Ferris vacates

  • news June 06, 2001

    NEW CENTER FOR MEDIA ARTS OPENS IN QUEENS

    NEW CENTER FOR MEDIA ARTS OPENS IN QUEENS

    Is media art now so established that it warrants its own museum in New York? Ask the 2,000 people who showed up for the May 19 launch of the New York Center for Media Arts, housed in a 25,000-square-foot raw industrial space in Long Island City.

    The new nonprofit center is directed by Yongwoo Lee, a past director of the Kwangju Biennale and an expert on the work of Nam June Paik. Its inaugural show, “Electronic Maple: Human Language and Digital Culture in Contemporary Art,” features site-specific work by a diverse group of artists, including Mat Collishaw, Tony Oursler, and, perhaps unsurprisingly,

  • news June 05, 2001

    2002 SYDNEY BIENNALE IN THE WORKS

    2002 SYDNEY BIENNALE IN THE WORKS

    The 2002 Biennale of Sydney (www.biennaleofsydney.com.au) may be a year away, but artistic director Richard Grayson is already working out the theme and scope of the exhibition—which he says “is not really a biennale in a sense, but a mutated, investigative museum show.” Grayson is quick to state what the show is not. “It's not a wrap-up of what seems to be groovy. We're not bringing in the latest news to you,” he says. “There's biennale fatigue right now, so we're both less and more ambitious than other biennales.”

    The show's working title, “(The World May Be) Fantastic,” refers to the fact that

  • news May 31, 2001

    DOT-COM BUST BOON TO SAN FRANCISCO GALLERIES

    DOT-COM BUST BOON TO SAN FRANCISCO GALLERIES

    In 2000, SF Camerawork, a nonprofit San Francisco photography gallery, saw its rent increase from $30,000 to $198,000 per year. The ’90s dot-com boom in the tech-centric city pushed commercial rents up to such astronomical heights that some galleries were forced to relocate to stay afloat. Formerly located in the city’s popular “Multimedia Gulch,” a neighborhood near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art named for its popularity with technology companies, SF Camerawork now shares space with another Bay Area nonprofit, New Langton Arts, to cut costs. Similarly, Hosfelt Gallery moved out of its

  • news May 30, 2001

    TURNER SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED

    TURNER SHORT LIST ANNOUNCED

    London's Tate Gallery today announced the four artists who have been nominated for the £20,000 Turner Prize. They are: photographer Richard Billingham, 30; conceptual artist Martin Creed, 33; filmmaker Isaac Julien; and Mike Nelson, known for his installations. For the second year in a row, no women were nominated. Tacita Dean, Jake and Dinos Chapman, and Sarah Lucas, who were all considered serious contenders, were not selected. Sir Nicolas Serota, director of the Tate and Chair of the Jury, was quoted in The Guardian as saying that none of the selected artists were “very young or well-known.”

  • news May 29, 2001

    LIBESKIND FORCED TO SCALE BACK V&A EXPANSION

    LIBESKIND FORCED TO SCALE BACK V&A EXPANSION

    “Architecture is all about limits,” admits Berlin-based architect Daniel Libeskind (www.ooo.nl/libeskind/home.htm), whose firm has been faced with recent budget cuts for two of his museum projects in the UK. Last month, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (www.vam.ac.uk/?view=compliant) asked Libeskind to alter his spiral-shaped plan for the institution’s new contemporary wing, which is scheduled to open in 2005 and was projected to cost a whopping £80 million. So far, only £20 million had been raised. Earlier, the Imperial War Museum-North (www.iwm.org.uk/north) in Manchester, scheduled to open