April 2009

Show Overview
Art Chicago® 2009, the annual international fair of contemporary and modern art, brings together the world’s leading emerging and established galleries. Art Chicago offers curators, collectors, artists and art enthusiasts a comprehensive survey of current and historic work, from cutting-edge to modern masters in a wide variety of media including: painting, photography, drawings, prints, sculpture, video and special installations.

Art Chicago will be located at:
The Merchandise Mart
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

First Focus for Art Chicago and Opening Previews take place Thursday, April 30

12-3pm: First Focus
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Art Chicago are proud to present First Focus. All proceeds benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. First Focus will provide attendees with an exclusive opportunity to preview Art Chicago. Tickets include complimentary food and drink; book signings; and admission to Art Chicago and concurrent shows from May 1-4. Tickets are $150.

To purchase tickets and for more information visit http://www.mcachicago.org/firstfocus

3-6pm: Art Chicago Professional Preview
By Invitation

6-9pm: Art Chicago Opening Preview
Benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Tickets are $40

General Show Hours:
Friday, May 1, 11am – 7pm
Saturday, May 2, 11am – 7pm
Sunday, May 3, 11am – 6pm
Monday, May 4, 11am – 4pm

General Ticket Information
Tickets may be purchased onsite and and will be available online.
Adults: $20 daily or $25 multi-day pass
Seniors, Students or Groups: $15 multi-day pass
Children 12 and under are free

2009 Exhibitors:

Art Chicago, the international fair of contemporary and modern art, is proud to announce our 2009 Exhibitor List (in formation):

Aperture Foundation New York
Jean Albano Gallery Chicago
Alpha Gallery Boston
Altxerri Gallery San Sebastian
Arcadia Gallery New York
Atrium Gallery St. Louis
Base Gallery Tokyo
Galerie Anita Beckers Frankfurt
Galerie Bhak Seoul
Bernard Bouche Paris
Russell Bowman Art Advisory Chicago
Roy Boyd Gallery Chicago
Rena Bransten Gallery San Francisco
Broadbent London
Browse & Darby London
Galeria Ferran Cano Barcelona
Chambers Fine Art New York
ChinaSquare Gallery New York
Chinese American Art Council New York
Contemporary Works/Vintage Works Chalfont
Contessa Gallery Cleveland
Corkin Gallery Toronto
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery London
Christopher Cutts Gallery Toronto
Stephen Daiter Gallery Chicago
Gallery DeNovo Ketchum
Douglas Dawson Gallery Chicago
DIE Galerie Frankfurt
Martin du Louvre Paris
Linda Durham Contemporary Art Santa Fe
Duru Artspace Seoul
Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
Galerie Nieves Fernández Madrid
Peter Findlay Gallery New York
Fleisher-Ollman Gallery Philadelphia
Tory Folliard Gallery Milwaukee
Forum Gallery New York
Kim Foster Gallery New York
F2 Gallery / KLS Ltd. Beijing, Los Angeles
Gana Art New York
Jill George Gallery London
James Goodman Gallery New York
James Graham & Sons New York
GraphicStudio Tampa
Hackelbury Fine Art London
Nohra Haime Gallery New York
Carl Hammer Gallery Chicago
Hawk Galleries Columbus
Hespe Gallery San Francisco
Jeff Hirsch Books Evanston
Nancy Hoffman Gallery New York
Rhona Hoffman Gallery Chicago
Rebecca Ibel Gallery Columbus
Isabel Ignacio Galeria de Arte Sevilla
Charlotte Jackson Fine Art Santa Fe
Kalpavraksha Mumbai
June Kelly Gallery New York
David Klein Gallery Birmingham
Eli Klein Fine Art New York
Robert Koch Gallery San Francisco
Alan Koppel Gallery Chicago
Landfall Press, Inc. Santa Fe
La Ribera Galeria de Arte Murcia
Lausberg Contemporary Toronto/Dusseldorf
Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts Miami
Holden Luntz Gallery Palm Beach
Thomas Masters Gallery Chicago
The Mayor Gallery London
McCormick Gallery Chicago
Jerald Melberg Gallery Charlotte
Ann Nathan Gallery Chicago
Newzones Calgary
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery Chicago
Richard Norton Gallery Chicago
Olyvia Oriental London
Pac Gallery Cincinnati
John Palmer Fine Art Houston
Franklin Parrasch Gallery New York
Perimeter Gallery Chicago
Galerie Piece Unique Paris
Pop International / East End Editions New York
P.P.O.W. New York
Praxis International Art New York
Max Protetch Gallery New York
Riverhouse Van Straaten Denver
Cynthia Reeves New York
Juan Ruiz Galeria Maracaibo
Rosenthal Fine Art, Inc. Chicago
Schuebbe Projects Dusseldorf
Carrie Secrist Gallery Chicago
William Siegal Gallery Santa Fe
Philip Slein Gallery St. Louis
Carl Solway Gallery Cincinnati
Galerie Barbara von Stechow Frankfurt
Tandem Press Madison
Tanner-Hill Gallery Chattanooga
Th!nk Art Chicago
Turner Carroll Gallery Santa Fe
Linda Warren Gallery Chicago
David Weinberg Gallery Chicago
Weinstein Gallery Minneapolis
Mike Weiss Gallery New York
Rick Wester Fine Art Dobbs Ferry
Westwood Gallery New York
Wildwood Press, LLC St. Louis
Woolff Gallery London
Worthington Gallery Chicago
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Santa Fe
Harlan Berk / Zhou Brothers Chicago
Zolla / Lieberman Gallery, Inc. Chicago

— Anthony P. Munoz


There is something truly wonderful about the 2009 Spring/Summer collection from Engineered Garments. I can’t help but admire their mens clothing. Fashion for men is a tricky thing. It’s often classically boring or sickeningly trendy and gimicky.

Engineered Garments manages to continuously craft collections that look like something and eccentric Brit might have worn in 1930 while on holiday or harken back blue collar work wear that would have felt at home in the coal car of a steam engine.

“Engineered Garments took its brand name from a pattern maker hired to draft the first round of patterns. She claimed that the clothes were not designed by engineered due to the vast amount of detailing involved in each garment.” (Engineered Garments – Story)

— Anthony P. Munoz

Our Collections Need Our Attention – Lessons Learned

“I’ve learned a lot that’s relevant to collectors and artists since opening the Chicago office of the Briddge Group, who some of you probably know as the country’s leading Art Succession Planners, while working closely with its founder, Michael Mendelsohn.

Maybe I should define Art Succession Planning first. While it may be confused with estate planning, planning for art, antiques and other collectibles focuses on the collector’s legacy and a fair and equal distribution to heirs. Though included, it is not driven by how much we can save on taxes. Almost all of us collect something. We are all proud of what we collect, be it art, first edition books, barb wire or fire engines. To many of us collectors, our collections have more meaning, more satisfaction and more pride than anything else we’ve done with the exception of being a parent. When we get to be a certain age we make plans for our assets with wills, life insurance polices and estate planning. One of the things I’ve learned is that most people, as prideful as they are of their collection, do not make any plans for what happens to their collection. That is what Art Succession Planners are for.

Okay, so here’s what I’ve learned: (I’m going to direct this mostly to collectors, but artists and others can readily extrapolate.)

People Are Well Intended: That’s a nice way of saying people can be lazy. One of the most important things a collector or an artist can do is to have their Art Succession Planning team create an accurate record of everything in the collection; when the item was purchased, how much was paid for it, how it was acquired, its history, how you feel about it, and how much it is worth at the moment. And then this should be updated periodically. We may know 90% of this in our heads, but when we’re gone . . . what do our heirs know? All by itself, this historical reference catalog will boost the value of the collection now and in the future.

People Procrastinate – Frequently until It Is Too Late: I’m seeing this way too often. I doubt any of us look forward to dying. We put off making plans continually. Because life is short and art is long we very rarely address what to do with our collection. Look at the consequences. We die. Our collection hasn’t been planned for. Our kids call one of our attorneys. And they say “Put it up at auction.” There’s no time to do much else. The government says our heirs have 9 months to settle the estate. I bet most of us are conditioned to think that’s just fine. But, do the math. Let’s deal with round numbers. Say your collection is worth one million dollars and the estate tax deductions have been used up. Your heirs put your collection up at auction. By the time they are paid they will likely have given up 80% of the collection’s value. (At least 30% goes to the auction house in commissions, fees, insurance, photography and shipping. Then the IRS steps in. They get 45%. And the state – up to 7%.) That’s of the total value; not the net proceeds. Assuming everything sold, the $1,000,000 collection nets the heirs less than $200,000! And of course, everything doesn’t sell. This is dreadful.

Collectors Typically Want the Integrity of their Collection Maintained: Of the collectors I’ve worked with, most know they’ve created something special, something that reflects who they are and what they believe. That’s special and constitutes a legacy; a legacy that could enable our heirs to understand more about us – through our collection. We want our vision perpetuated. I understand that. If we think we’ve made a difference it’s meaningful that those who come after us know about it. Creating a family art legacy makes that happen. And though making a gift a collection and endowing a museum is a beautiful thing, it doesn’t happen by itself, especially if the act of dying without a plan distributes the collection to the winds.

Most Heirs (Kids) Have No Interest in the Collection beyond How Much Money it Can Get Them: I love the story the Briddge Group’s President and Founder, Michael Mendelsohn tells about his daughter: Marni is my youngest child so she grew up living with our collection. She experienced the excitement as we acquired new things and our rooms were increasingly dominated by folk art. She was there when we had art-related events in our home to raise funds for charities. We have taken her to museum openings and to shows at major museums that included our things. Marni is the one of our three children who had our collection as an active force in her life. Several years ago, I asked Marni if she could choose any five things from our collection, what would she take. She went around the house, and about a half-hour later, came back with a list of five of the most important pieces. And then she said that she chose these pieces because she’d make the most money when she sold them.

The Vast Majority of Collectors Have Not Spoken with their Children about What They Want Done with their Collection: Often we assume, incorrectly, that our kids are going to want our stuff. If they do, we should find ways to transfer it to them while we are alive, thereby avoiding significant estate taxes. But think about the items your parents left, or will leave, you. How much of that, beyond the sentimental memento do we want to keep and display? So if the kids are interested in the value, but not the item, aren’t we, and they, better off maintaining the integrity of the collection while using it as a means to get them the asset they want, without reducing the collection’s value through poor or non-existent planning?

Our Advisors invariably Do Not Ask What We Collect: Estate Planning attorneys do wonderful things for us and our kids. It’s about preserving wealth and passing it on to the next generation(s). In this structured age of digital technology they tend to work from forms. They have intake questionnaires. They sometimes ask if we collect anything, and invariably collectors get humble here, don’t know the value of their collection and throw out an insufficient number reflecting their collection’s worth. The Estate Planner then enters that number in the blank marked ‘other’ and moves on. All this information does, in this unfortunately too typical a scenario, is to add to the bottom line, but does nothing to honor the significance of the collection or its nature as a special asset. We’d be a whole lot better off if our various advisors and Art Succession Planning team were integrated and showed us the array of intelligent options the future of our art holdings can afford us.

Collectors Normally Have No Idea What their Collection Is Worth: As a collector, and former art dealer, I know from myself, and from others, that we rapidly forget how much we paid for something. Over time, unless we are in buy or sell mode regarding a specific artist, we don’t know how much the stuff we have is worth. Most of the time that’s just fine. Our collections are not about how much money they are worth; it’s about the emotional, spiritual or other attributes we attribute to it; until of course that collection’s value is, for the moment, more important than anything else – and then it is too late to plan accordingly to protect the collection from the tax man.

Often Collectors Do Not Realize the Consequences of “Quietly” Passing Art to the Next Generation: I have a painting a friend gave me just before he died 30 years ago. It was valuable then and is very valuable now. I have no paper trail, no receipt, and no evidence that it wasn’t stolen. Furthermore, no death taxes were ever paid on this painting. Those, of course, are still due. There is no statue of limitations on avoided estate taxes. Damned nice painting, but this could clearly be a problem some day. It is better to be upfront and honest, give the government its due and not burden our heirs with fuzzy legalities.

Many Collectors Do Not Know or Question if their Title Is Free and Clear: If it happened to Steven Spielberg it could happen to me. (From the Associated Press) “Russian Schoolroom,” a (Norman) Rockwell painting stolen from a gallery in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Mo., more than three decades ago, was found in Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s art collection, the FBI announced Friday. Spielberg purchased the painting in 1989 from a legitimate dealer and didn’t know it was stolen until his staff spotted its image last week on an FBI Web site listing stolen works of art, the bureau said in a statement. Do you know if title to your art is really yours?

Collectors Often Do Not Keep Good Records: In a recent article, the Briddge Group’s President, Michael Mendelsohn, wrote. A collector died having kept no documentation of his extensive collection of Russian impressionists. At the time of his death, the collection was put into a storage facility and the collector’s son and daughter were each given a key to the unit. They were told to wait two years before removing any art from the facility. About 20 months later, the daughter went to the storage facility to have the art appraised. When she entered the storage unit it was completely empty. She called her brother inquiring about the paintings and he said to her “What paintings?” She asked the probate attorney and he said “What artwork? I have no records of any artwork.” Other than her key she had no proof that any art was ever in the storage unit. Worse yet, she may end up paying penalties for artwork fraudulently transferred if she blows the whistle on her brother.

Collectors Don’t Have an Art Trustee: Aren’t these the important things in our lives; our spouse, kids, assets and our collection? We have advisors or trustees for those who can’t adequately fend for themselves, like our minor aged children and our investment portfolios. What about the art, or our collection? Who is there to see that our interests are preserved, that the core integrity of the collection is preserved and protected?

Most Collectors Don’t Realize they Can Use Their Collection to Fulfill Their Philanthropic Interests: What if you could hone your collection and remove say the 15% that doesn’t quite fit, or the 10% whose quality is not as good as the balance? Let’s say you sell that material and use the proceeds to take out a life insurance policy that benefits the charity of your choice as a promised gift. Smart, eh? But even better, by working with your Art Succession Planning team and your financial planners there are myriad ways to do a lot better than that. Trusts, Charitable Remainder Gifts, Bargains Sales, all kinds of things.

In Conclusion: I’ve learned a lot about people, particular those who collect. Our collections are important and meaningful to us. They are a silent asset as well as a unique asset, entirely different from real estate or stocks and bonds. They even have their own tax rates. Obviously collections are special.

The world is too complicated a place for most to be able to figure out the best way to protect our investments, or assets and our children. That’s why we have advisors to help. And that’s why, those of us who have collections we care about, need to bring an Art Succession Planning team into our group of advisors.

And as prone as we all are to procrastinate, here’s a gentle nudge to encourage you to take care of who and what you love.”

Thank you,
Paul Klein

This super cool and well designed tool will allow consumers to understand just what is in the things they buy for their homes and work.

 Pharos Lens

The Pharos Project

“The Mission of the Pharos Project is to establish Pharos as the leading materials evaluation tool used by green building and procurement professionals.

Through informed specification and selection of building materials, we can measurably enhance the environmental, human health, and social benefits associated with the contemporary building industry, and contribute towards the future we want our children to inherit – a socially just society, free of toxic byproducts, in balance with the natural world.”

Of The Brief Adventure That Befell The Striped Bird
This is a 2 color screen print measures 11″x 14″ and is in an edition of 35. It is signed and numbered on cardstock. It features the adventures of the striped bird.

The prints on Etsy by MIchael C. Hsiung are as gorgeous as they are affordable.

“Of Chinese-American descent, Michael C. Hsiung is known for his black-and-white ink drawings depicting oddly realistic tales from a time long past. His art features imaginary characters and fantastical creatures, such as centaurs and mermen, who inhabit a landscape of ruined castles, dead animals, and withered trees. Protagonists include mermen in precarious and questionable situations, Victorian athletes and fancy men with dead prey, or imaginary and real animals struggling with their environment. Michael C. Hsiung currently lives in Los Angeles, CA where he continues to draw, show his work, sell prints, collect old books, and manage his website. He has done illustrations and artwork for the following: Dr. Martens, Dwindle / Enjoi Skateboards, Oxford American Magazine, Ling Ling Magazine (Spain), JupiterImages, LA Records, and Los Angeles bands Division Day and Henry Clay People. He has show with various galleries, including East of Eden at Barnsdall Park, 2008 Helsinki Biennial, and most recently GR2’s Year of the Ox group show.”


— Anthony P. Munoz