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First Look: Jori Finkel skims the May art (and fashion) magazines

May 4, 2010 |  1:15 pm


Departures' annual "culture issue" has a big, glossy art-travel story on Instituto Inhotim, the Brazilian museum and sculpture garden once dubbed an "art zoo" for its collection of exotic projects.

Look for Robert Polidori’s spectacular shot of Chris Burden's "Beam Drop," made by dropping dozens of steel I-beams at different angles into wet concrete, which writer Stephen Wallis calls the “sculptural equivalent of the action paintings produced by Jackson Pollock." (Above is a photo of “Beam Drop” by Eduardo Eckenfels from the Inhotim website; Polidori's photo is even more striking.)

Am I the only one who sees Burden's Urban Light at LACMA as its American cousin?

(One small bug in the Departures program: Where is the article on "Tilda Swinton's art-house hit" blurbed on the cover? The editor's letter mentions “Io Sono L’Amore” (“I Am Love”) as something that did not make it into the issue. OK, fine, but maybe it should not have made the cover either?)

Julie Belcourt of W magazine tries to get inside the home and mind of bestselling writer and blue-chip collector Michael Crichton, a task that would not necessarily have been easier when the intensely private writer was alive.

Some nice details anyway:

--Crichton’s mother pulling him out of kindergarten to take him to a Museum of Modern Art course.

--Eli Broad suggesting even he had a hard time getting the grand tour of his neighbor’s collection.

--Crichton taking a helicopter ride with LACMA's Michael Govan, producer Ivan Reitman and gallery owner Marc Glimcher.

--The writer predicting that some of the heirs to Crichton’s “messy” estate (messy in part because a son born posthumously is not accounted for in Crichton's will) "are expected to be among the bidders" when the material goes up for auction at Christie's in New York next week.

In Artnews, William Cohan updates his story on the new Degas bronzes that are being sold as sculptures made from "lifetime" plaster casts. This time, Cohan actually found an expert willing to speak on record. Gary Tinterow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art says that in his opinion based on reviewing the relevant   JX0510C1-2 material, "there is nothing that demonstrates that Degas had a set of plaster casts made of his sculptures during his lifetime."

The May issue of Juxtapoz has five different covers by onetime wild child David Choe, the artist whose career Juxtapoz helped to launch and who now has a big show in Beverly Hills.

Says the mag’s MySpace page: “we got Dave to give us 5 different covers to span the globe, so the quest is on to find all 5 covers in a bookstore and webstore nearest you.”

Question of the day: Could street art (never mind Choe's delinquent origins) possibly get any more popular, any more commercial?

-- Jori Finkel
Follow the writer on Twitter: @jorifinkel.

Top photo: Chris Burden's Beam Drop. Credit: Eduardo Eckenfels / Instituto Inhotim