Post image for Tom Finkelpearl to Take Leave of Absence as Cultural Commissioner Citing Health Issues

The mayor’s office announced late today that Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl will take a leave of absence to treat a health issue. Although the release did not name the illness, Finkelpearl wrote in a Facebook later today that he was fighting cancer. “As some of you know,” the commissioner wrote “I have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma. Serious, indeed, but I am expecting to recover and be back at my job after several courses of Chemo over a number of months. (Liking this post will be accepted as your liking my recovery, not my cancer!)”

Post image for This Week’s Must-See Events: Butch Queens and Dykes in Brooklyn, Regular Queens has Everything Else

Summer is drawing to a close, so mark its passing with Andrea McGinty’s Life’s a Beach!!! at Beverly’s tomorrow night. And although the Rockaways won’t be in season for much longer, the rest of Queens is heating up. Witness the comedienne Adrienne Truscott taking off her pants to take on rape culture in Long Island City on Wednesday night. Thursday, thingNY’s apocalyptic opera opens at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, along with the exhibition Surface Matters, though we recommend saving the performance for Sunday, when there’s less stuff happening. The borough’s New York Hall of Science is also hosting the World Maker Faire (which actually has programming all week). It seems like there’s virtually no reason to ever leave Queens. It does suggest, though, that art loving New Yorkers may soon need to invest in a car to get to all these places. For anyone in the market, we hear the 2010 Jeff Koons BMW art car doesn’t suck.

Post image for A Month Inside Russia: Dispatches from Flux Factory’s Field Trip Abroad

Across the street from where I’m working is a hundred foot tall iron screw, which I’m told will drill the foundation for some lux apartments. Six residents of Flux Factory and I are at Yarky, a new artists’ hostel & exhibition space that’s struggling to finance completion of construction, while a bit nervous about what their new neighbors could mean. In other words, St. Petersburg, Russia does share some of the same woes as NYC.

Post image for 10 Highlights from the EXPO Art Fair

With more than 140 galleries exhibiting at the fourth annual EXPO Chicago, there’s no shortage of art to see. The show, which runs through Sunday, has plenty of highlights. Paddy Johnson and Robin Dluzen each chose five booths that stood out.

Post image for Curating in a Loaded Void: Art in Berlin’s Vacant Communist Architecture

When I’m in Berlin, I often think about the city’s most oft told quote, “Berlin is a city that never is, but is always in the process being.” Art critic Karl Scheffler penned those words over 100 years ago and they still seem relevant.

It’s a city that has had to adapt to unfavourable circumstances: the end of the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Third Reich, the postwar allied occupation that led to building the wall separating East and West. The wall was a stark embodiment of the foundational clash between communism and capitalism: the East had its monumental Stalinist architecture, the West its modular concrete utopias. Post-reunification Berlin saw the slow merging of these separate ideologies, and the enduring spatial fiction is that of a city always under construction.

Post image for A Quiet Opening VIP Preview for EXPO

CHICAGO- At around 3 PM yesterday, the EXPO VIP preview looked like a blank canvas. For nearly three hours, few collectors had circulated about the fair, a surprise given that there were over 60 new galleries on the fair roster. Those included heavy hitters like Pace, Salon 94, and Steve Turner. Dealers were getting anxious.

By 6PM the visitor numbers had changed. The Museum of Contemporary Art Patron Reception was packed with collectors indulging in small plate food and drinks despite the storm warnings in effect.