William Harris

  • Thelma Golden

    IF THELMA GOLDEN IS NERVOUS, it doesn’t show. In May, she was named curator of the next Whitney Biennial—the bellwether art event that is always the source of juicy speculation followed by nonstop bitching—just as the institution became rudderless, with director David Ross leaving to head the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Then there’s the lingering memory of the 1993 edition, of which Golden was one of three cocurators. Some crabby critics are still attacking that biennial, which was packed with overly political work that helped put race- and gender-based identity art on the map.

    If Golden’s

  • the new Gramercy

    THE GRAMERCY INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, the rowdy, three-day event that has taken place at New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel each spring for the past five years, is getting a complete makeover. Gone are the crowded hallways (more than 4,000 people crammed last May’s installment), art leaning against headboards or propped on sinks, and—alas—such surprises as walking into a room to find a man showering or a woman in bed snuggling a motorcycle. The new fair, called the Armory Show 1999: The International Fair of New Art, will be much more like its Basel and Chicago counterparts, sober presentations

  • Lars Nittve

    Though the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London won’t open its doors to the public for another two years, museum officials will have to find some office space for its newly named director this month. That’s when Swedish-born LARS NITTVE, director of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen since 1995, takes the helm at the new space in the former power plant across the Thames from St. Paul’s Cathedral and next door to the newly reconstructed Globe Theater. Nittve, who was also founding director of Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö, Sweden, will report to Nicholas Serota,

  • Ann Hamilton

    TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT the way installation artist ANN HAMILTON transforms empty spaces and their first response is usually to gasp—and then wax poetic. Many are still raving about her 1991 installation for the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, North Carolina, in which heaps of blue—denim work shirts sat stacked on tables in an abandoned factory. As in all of her work, Hamilton addressed issues of memory and loss—quietly conjuring images of both a once-thriving industrial economy and those patient determined women who, through the repetitive act of ironing, mirrored their husbands’ labors.


  • the museum director search

    The art world did a double-take in late May when it was announced that Robert Fitzpatrick—former CEO of EuroDisney and current dean of Columbia University’s School of the Arts, he had no museum experience—would become director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The story behind the hiring, though, is fast becoming a familiar one: Fitzpatrick was matched with the MCA board through the services of Nancy Nichols, comanaging partner of the not-for-profit unit at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles in New York.

    As art institutions scramble to fill a large number of vacancies,

  • “Pakkhus”

    MOSS (POPULATION 25,000) does not earn pride of place in Baedeker's Norway. Visitors know the industrial city, a forty-five-minute drive from Oslo, mainly as a hub for ferry-boat traffic; locally, the noxious odors that waft from a nearby paper factory may be the town's biggest claim to fame.

    Now Moss hopes to redefine itself—as Kassel, Germany, another northern-European backwater, did long ago—by launching Momentum, a biennial of contemporary art that will focus on the transformations technology has brought to the visual arts and the work of young artists in the realm of popular culture. The

  • Martin Wong

    The painter Martin Wong, whose vivid canvases are jam-packed with imagery taken from street scenes of the Lower East Side, had his last gallery show in New York in 1993 at P.P.O.W. Weakened by AIDS, Wong stopped painting shortly thereafter and moved back to California to live with his mother. Now, the former fixture of the ’80s East Village scene is the subject of a midcareer retrospective, coorganized by Dan Cameron, senior curator at the New Museum, and Barry Blinderman, director of the University Galleries at Illinois State, where the show made its debut in January. Thirty-two paintings will

  • Art Performs Life: Merce Cunningham, Meredith Monk, Bill T. Jones

    The Walker Art Center, known for its adventurous visual and performing arts programming, is mounting a hybrid show that addresses both passions. “Art Performs Life,” curated by Siri Engberg, Philippe Vergne, and Kellie Jones, is an exhibition of artifacts culled from performances by Merce Cunningham, Meredith Monk, and Bill T. Jones. Cunningham’s and Jones’ long history of working with artists on everything from scripting to sets and costumes (for Cunningham, the list includes Rauschenberg, Warhol, and Johns; for Jones, Keith Haring, Robert Longo, and Jenny Holzer) will be reflected in their

  • the new New Museum

    IT IS MID NOVEMBER, and there’s no heat in the New Museum. The staccato hammering from construction crews is constant; what’s worse, Marcia Tucker, the museum’s founder and director, cannot figure out the newly installed phone system. Despite these inconveniences, Tucker is as radiant as an expectant mom. Twenty years after she founded this renegade New York institution and fourteen years after moving to SoHo from its location at the New School, the New Museum of Contemporary Art is getting a makeover, both physically and philosophically. The programming will still be devoted to socially engaged