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News from New York: All is flux

Ex-Sotheby’s David Nash opens as dealer, Paula Cooper relaunches, and Rauschenberg flirts with PaceWildenstein

PaceWildenstein sort of representing Rauschenberg

“We don’t officially represent him”, explains Douglas Baxter about Robert Rauschenberg who is at PaceWildenstein this month for the first time. Joining in the trend of free-wheeling artists, Rauschenberg is letting PaceWildenstein handle selections from the “Anagrams”, a series of large works on paper he executed in 1995-96 utilising one of his trademark graphic techniques, dye transfer.

Matthew Marks in fighting form

Matthew Marks announces that he is keeping his exhibition programme going on all fronts, contrary to all rumours. “What I’ve done is to keep the second floor at 1018 Madison Avenue, and rent out the fifth and sixth floors. This autumn, Marks is using the Upper East Side space to mount a complementary show to Nan Goldin’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum, opening 1 October. As for 22nd Street, which he owns and has no plans to part with, it will serve as the site for exhibiting Ellsworth Kelly’s latest monumental painting an impressive conclusion to his four-decade retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum from 18 October.

Where do dealers come from?

“It’s very exciting to be working for myself”, says David Nash, who after thirty-three years parted company last April with Sotheby’s, leaving his post as head of Impressionist and Modern Paintings. He has joined forces with Lucy Mitchell-Innes, formerly vice president in charge of Sotheby’s contemporary art division, who went out on her own two years ago. The new business called Mitchell-Innes & Nash at 1018 Madison Avenue, combines the expertise of the two, who happen to be married to each other and will specialise in “sales of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary painting, consultation work for collectors, and appraisals.” He adds, “We’re going to be by appointment only at first, but are leaving open the possibility of representing artists.”

Howard Read who has just left the Robert Miller Gallery says: “After seventeen years during which we built a small contemporary art gallery into one of the major players, I decided it was time to move on and do something on my own.” Read cites as one of his main accomplishments the gallery’s role in bringing photography by the likes of Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe into the mainstream of contemporary art. While he has no specific art-dealing plans, he did say that he had already been offered a number of “exciting projects”.

Paula Cooper relaunches with Carl André

“We’re moving and we’ll have more flexibility”, says Paula Cooper. She is also taking advantage of staff turnover at the gallery, to bring in new people. “I’ve hired Mary Beth Smalley, someone with a lot of museum experience who has worked at the Guggenheim and the Modern and the Takashimaya gallery”, she says. To kick off what many people here are already calling her reinvention in 534 West 21st Street, Cooper has chosen to make the inaugural show, opening during the second week of October, an artist closely identified with the history of her gallery, Carl André.

SoHo Arts Festival less local, more global

From 5 to 8 September, the SoHo Arts Festival (now in its fourth year) is collectively the biggest show in town, with multiple events covering the visual and performing arts. Although SoHo’s shrinking gallery base has cut down the numbers, there are about sixty participants, including Boesky & Callery, Tricia Collins/Grand Salon, Ronald Feldman and June Kelly. Among shows underscoring the strong international thrust of the Festival this year is “Thaw: six emerging artists from London” featuring works by Rachel Chapman, Louis Evans, Alison Garja, Alexander Gorlizki, Nadia Turan and Mike Turner at Art in General, 79 Walker Street, until 26 October. One of the inventive special projects bringing together SoHo’s artistic and retail communities is “Shopping” produced by Deitch Projects, 76 Grand Street. According to Sarah Watson of Deitch Projects, the concept of giving artists the opportunity to do site-specific works in stores and restaurants was first developed by curator Jerome Sana for an event staged in Bordeaux.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'All is flux'