Saturday, August 07, 2004
Shots Fired on Art Front
Need for fresh ideas fuels feud at Navy Pier
Thomas Blackman, who has run a May modern and contemporary art fair at Navy Pier for decades, said in June he would move his Art Chicago to another site and time next year. This week, Navy Pier chose another producer for a fair next May.Vardy is apparently behind the recent Miami shows, and ran the old Chicago shows thru 1999, so things could get interesting. Blackman is still muttering about a summer show in a tent or something, but doesn't it cost money to produce, which he apparently doesn't have?
On June 17, McPier filed a breach-of-contract complaint in Cook County Circuit Court against Blackman and his Chicago firm.
The complaint alleges Thomas Blackman Associates owes $373,314 under its 2004 rental agreement for the pier's Festival Hall and has ignored payment demands. It also claims Blackman entered into the pact in April with a $103,500 check that later bounced.
[ed. so that's why the VIP lounge was
so shittynon-existent this year]
"Every city's fair in the world has gone through cycles, and its reputation has gone up and down," said Ilana Vardy, who will direct next May's show at Navy Pier for Pfingsten Publishing, an Ohio-based unit of the private equity firm Pfingsten Partners LLC of Deerfield.
She said fairs have "to remain fresh, and sometimes they need a new vision."
She declined to disclose her plans for the Chicago fair, which hasn't yet been named.
I wrote about the show here and here.
My only concern is what's going to happen to the Stray Show (which I wrote about here and which was tons more interesting in a just-out-of-art schoolish way, which is a pretty good way, as far as I'm concerned.) I understood that Blackman "produced" the show, as in provided the quite raw space, and pretty much just stepped back from it. I may be very wrong. Perhaps I'll put on my reporter's cap this week and see what I can find out.
If anyone in the art world out there knows anything, please email or leave comments.
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