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MacArthur class of 2005


I knew the MacArthur genius awards were going to be announced today because yesterday Anne Seidman, Artblog pal, activist and addicted NY Times op-ed page reader told me that as of today the Times was making their op-ed essays available only to those who paid to read them. So I rushed over to the NY Times op-eds and saw a story by a previous “genius” Jim Collins, class of 2003, a bioengineer from Boston University, confessing he still didn’t feel like a genius. What else is new? Somewhere in that story it mentioned that today was the big announcement day and my radar kicked in. (user:, password: lrrfartblog)

Seidman, by the way, has a show of fantastic new paintings at Schmidt-Dean right now. My review will be in next Wednesday’s Weekly.

So this morning I checked the MacArthur Foundation website and found the list of 2005 geniuses included two artists with artblog or Philadelphia connections: Teresita Fernandez, who was in residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum a while back. In fact the artist has a show about to open there on Oct. 7.
And the other artist winner is Julie Mehretu whose work Libby and I have seen and admired in both the last Whitney Biennial and even more so in the last Carnegie International.

Here’s what Libby and I wrote about Mehretu in our round-up of best of the Carnegie post:

Julie Mehretu–More ambitious than what she showed at the Whitney, Mehretu’s stadia series, the swirl of the vacuum of our empty culture and its militaristic jingoism in the huge series of paintings of stadia convinced us that this was powerful work. Born in Egypt, Mehretu works in New York.

(image above is installation shot of Mehretu’s work at the Carnegie)

And here’s the information about Fernandez’s FWM show:
Teresita Fernández
Opening Reception and Lecture by the Artist
Friday, October 7, 2005 — show runs to Nov. 12
6:00 p.m.
Recent work on view by FWM Artist-in-Residence Teresita Fernández will include Fire, created by the artist in collaboration with FWM staff from 2004 -2005 through an experimental process of hand-spraying dye onto woven silk fibers. A members-only preview with the artist will start at 5:00 p.m.
fernandez, teresita
By serendipitous occurence we ran into FWM honchos, Doug Bohr, Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions and Lila Kanner, FWM’s new Associate Director, at a Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance members’ meeting last night. (Yes, we at artblog are members.) And Bohr reminded us that Fernandez’ piece “Fire” had its debut at Lehman-Maupin Gallery in Chelsea.
(image is Fernandez’ “Fire” taken from Lehman-Maupin’s website)

(Just in case you were wondering, Ellen Napier, former FWM-AD, is now over at Temple Gallery working with Sheryl Conkleton).
mehretu, julie