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Cantankerous Las Vegas critic and curator Dave Hickey recently rolled into the Big Apple to unveil his plans for the Site Santa Fe 2001 Biennial, July 14, 2001-Jan. 6, 2002, which is dubbed "Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism" and which has a wacky "Wild Style" emblem. Hickey promises an unusual installation, done with the Los Angeles design firm Graft Design, that features "interlocking spaces ... evocative of various regional cultural milieus (Mediterranean, Japanese, Western American, Northern European, etc.), then install within them singular works of art." Among the singular artists: Kenneth Anger, Jeff Burton, James Lee Byars, Pia Fries, Gajin Fujita, Graft Design, Fredrick Hammersley, Marine Hugonnier, Jim Isermann, Ellsworth Kelly, Josiah McElheny, Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana & Darryl "Mutt Mutt" Montana, Sarah Morris, Takashi Murakami, Nic Nicosia, Kermit Oliver, Jorge Pardo, Kenneth Price, Stephen Prina, Bridget Riley, Ed Ruscha, Alexis Smith, Jesús Rafael Soto, Jennifer Steinkamp & Jimmy Jonson, Jessica Stockholder, and four more artists to be named later.

Christie's New York has sold Rembrandt's Portrait of a bearded man, bust-length, in a red doublet (1633) for $12,656,000 in its Old Master sale on Friday, Jan. 26. The painting, formerly owned by Steve Wynn's Bellagio Gallery of Art, was estimated to sell for $6 million-$8 million. Christie's Old Master drawings sale on Jan. 24 also marked two new artist's drawing records: $2,866,000 for Aelbert Cuyp's View of Dordrecht; and $996,000 for a Fra Bartolommeo rendering of trees, thought to be the first plein-air drawing.

Sotheby's Old Master painting sale on Jan. 25 totaled $32.3 million, with the J. Paul Getty Museum buying the incredibly detailed Hans Hoffmann painting, A Hare in the Forest (1585), for $2.6 million. Sandro Botticelli's Madonna and Child went for $940,750, and Claude Lorrain's Pastoral River Landscape sold for $2.1 million. Sotheby's sale fo the Franz Koenigs Collection on Jan. 23 totaled $4.4 million, with the top lot being The Twelve Months by Hans Bol, which went for $1,765,750. For a complete sale listing, see's Fine Art Auctions Report.

The Spanish city of Valencia is introducing the Bienal de Valencia, a new festival dedicated to "the different languages of art and contemporary culture," June 13-Oct. 20, 2001. The appropriately Latin-themed first installment is "The Passions," featuring over 150 contemporary artists who will be exhibiting throughout the city, from the old cock-fighting pit to the Convent of the Carmen, which is to have three halls dedicated to contemporary art among its 14th- and 16th-century cloisters. The director of the biennial is Luigi Settembrini, co-organizer of the 1996 Biennale de Firenze, and the curators of the different exhibitions include such luminaries as Lida Castelli, Peter Greenaway, Emir Kusturica, Achille Bonito Oliva, Alex Ollé and Carles Padrissa, David Pérez, Cristiana Perrella, Shiro Takatani and Robert Wilson.

The recently established Modigliani Committee, a nonprofit panel of scholars who will settle attribution disputes involving works by the School of Paris artist, has created the Amedeo Modigliani Award, an annual $5,000 prize to honor an author and publisher of a book of particular merit in the field of art. The Modigliani Committee includes Canale Arte Publishing president Giacomo Canale, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum curator Masaaki Iseki, Moise Kisling biographer Jean Kisling, Louvre Museum senior researcher Marie-Claire Mansencal, French Ministry of Education and Culture visual art department director Claude Mollard, Modigliani expert Christian Parisot and Drouot auction house expert André Schoeller. The team has assembled all known Modigliani archives and is currently working with Parisot on the artist's new catalogue raisonné.

The entire art inventory of SoHo dealer Spencer Brownstone, stored in the basement of his gallery at 39 Wooster Street, was completely drenched in the Jan. 23 fire that hit the neighboring building. The fire, of uncertain origin, destroyed the empty SoHo loft building at 41 Wooster Street (onetime home to Pat Hearn and Anna Kustera galleries). Brownstone faces the loss of hundreds of works by James Reilly, Jordan Tinker, Rebecca Quaytman and other artists. The gallery does have fire insurance.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., plans a major exhibition of nearly 40 paintings by the Abstract-Expressionist painter Clyfford Still (1904-1980), June 21-Sept. 16, 2001. The show, organized by Hirshhorn director James Demetrion, is to focus on works from Still's "classic" period, 1944 to 1960. The exhibition is of special note to fans of Still's painting, since it draws together the scattered corpus of the artist's works owned by various museums and private collectors. Troves of Still paintings at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the San Francisco MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum cannot be shown elsewhere by Still's notoriously eccentric stipulation, and the hundreds of other Still paintings intended for an as-yet-unrealized Clyfford Still museum remain in the artist's estate, unavailable for loan.

Where to go in New York to see a show of paintings by that avatar of all things expressionistic, the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch? Try the tony Madison Avenue gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which opens "Edvard Munch: Paintings, 1982-1917," Feb. 7-Mar. 10, 2001, the first such exhibition in 20 years. The gallery promises the "iconic images which form the cornerstones of Munch's oeuvre: the female vampire; cold, barren beaches; symbols of fertility; women on the brink of maturity." The show is organized in conjunction with and travels to Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, and de Pury & Luxembourg Art, Zurich. The show is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Janine Perron of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Satmark Media Group chairman Gerald Tsai, Jr. and wife Nancy Raeburn Tsai, president of Rollins Raeburn Interiors, have donated $3 million to the Norton Museum of Art, reports the Palm Beach Post. The donation, the second largest gift in the museum's current $20-million campaign, also includes two sculptures by Russian modernist Alexander Archipenko. The museum has raised over $17.5 million in cash and pledges in the campaign to build a new wing for the permanent collection.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts assistant curator Jonathan Binstock has been appointed curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Binstock is the organizer of "Andy Warhol: Social Observer," on view at the Corcoran through Feb. 19, 2001.

The sixth edition of the art history student's bible, History of Art by H.W. Janson and Anthony Janson, is due out from Abrams in April 2001 with a price of $95. The 1,000-page tome features 150 new illustrations and rewritten sections on ancient art, Western architecture, French Romantic painting, French Realism and Impressionism, as well as a discography of recommended recordings mentioned in music- and theater-related sidebars. The book has four million copies in print in 14 languages.

The late African-American sculptor John W. Rhoden, whose bronze works adorn the exteriors of Harlem and Bellevue Hospitals, is being honored with a celebration of his legacy at the Department of Veterans' Affairs New York Harbor Health Care System on Feb. 22, 2001. The department is located at 423 East 23rd St. and the event is open to the public. Rhoden, whose many awards included a Fulbright Fellowship and the Prix de Rome Fellowship, died on Jan. 4 of this year at the age of 84.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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