MONET BARRED FROM ROYAL ACADEMY
The 1904 Water Lilies by Claude Monet won't be included in "Monet in the 20th Century" when it opens at the Royal Academy in London on Jan. 23. The Boston Globe identified the $10-million painting, while the exhibition was at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, as the former property of Paul Rosenberg, a Jewish art dealer whose collection was looted by the Nazis in 1940. French authorities have refused to allow the painting to travel to London out of fears that it might be confiscated as part of a court battle with the Rosenberg heirs. The painting was claimed by the French government after the war and has been held in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen.
ASIAN ART MUSEUM GETS EXPANSION OKAY
Over strong objections by preservationists, the San Francisco city planning commission has given the final okay for the Asian Art Museum to take over the city's 81-year-old Beaux-Arts Main Library, which is currently shuttered. Under the $120-million plan, a series of 14 murals by Gottardo Piazzoni will be relocated and replaced by skylights and windows in a design by Italian architect Gae Aulenti. The renovation project had previously been rejected by the San Francisco Landmarks Preservation Board.
NEW CURATORS AT EXIT ART
Young curators are getting a chance to strut their stuff at Exit Art in New York, beginning with the vast group exhibition "Paradise 8," Jan. 16-Apr. 3, 1999. Eight independent curators have collaborated on the show, which begins as eight distinct zones that "will shift, meld and/or mutate" over the course of the exhibition. The curators (and the titles of their "zones") are Pip Day (Faucet), Dominique Nahas (Walking the Line), Odilik Donald Odita (Permanent Resident), Kenny Schachter (Baker's Dozen Café), Ingrid Schaffner (Submission), Franklin Sirmans (Deception), Henry Urbach (Walls of Light) and Martha Wilson (Ideal). Artists involved range from Bili Bidjocka and DJ Spooky to Richard Kern and Dario Robleto.
PUBLIC ART IN UNION SQUARE
Installation begins this month on a monumental public art work by Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel for the façade of the giant new skyscraper on the south side of Union Square in New York. Called Metronome, the $3-million, 100-foot-tall work is made of brick (formed into a series of undulating, concentric rings) dotted with a cast of George Washington's hand from the statue in the park below, a gold-leaf-ringed "void which sounds at noon and midnight," a 67-foot-long tapered "horn" and a massive inset rock. The work is bracketed by a large digital clock on one side and something called a "lunar timepiece" on the other. Completion is expected in a month or two.
WOLS AT HARVARD
The first exhibition of photographs from the 1930s by the German-French artist Wols, a founder of the Informel painting movement, goes on view at the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University, Feb. 12-Apr. 25, 1999. Guest-curated by Christine Mehring, the show features 49 Surrealism-inflected photos -- portraits, fashion photographs made for the Paris World's Fair in 1937, abstract works and still lifes.
THEFT OF ANTIQUITIES IN BULGARIA
Bulgaria blocked the illegal export of nearly $1 billion worth of Thracian, Roman and Byzantine artifacts in 1998, according to a year-end assessment by Colonel Cyril Radev, head of the Bulgarian state anti-crime agency CSBOP. Radio Free Europe reports that since 1985, perhaps 70,000 artifacts have been plundered from newly discovered archeological sites and smuggled out of the country to Western collectors and auction houses. The story also said that thieves have stolen artifacts from museums, and that criminals also forge old coins and other antiquities.
BLUM SCULPTURE DISMANTLED
The $350,000 sculpture commission installed by New York artist Andrea Blum in 1993 on a bluff overlooking the Pacific in Carlsbad, Ca., is being dismantled. Titled Split Pavilion, the work features trellises and reflecting pools on a triangular, 7,500-square-foot plot. But local critics mounted an intensive campaign against the work, and last June the voters decided to remove the sculpture and replace it with a bench.
AMSTERDAM DESIGN FAIR
The Amsterdam Arts & Design Fair 1880-1950, billed as Europe's first international decorative arts fair, is scheduled for April 17-25, 1999. Over 40 dealers from 10 countries gather in the historic Beurs van Berlage, the former Amsterdam Stock Exchange built in 1903. For further details contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARKER McPHINNEY ONLINE
All-around L.A. artist's model (and former ArtNet Magazine horoscopist) Parker McPhinney has produced Surrounded by Art, a documentary video about artists' models. The 60-minute tape features candid and often humorous personal stories from models tracing the physical and mental demands of their job as well as the joy of being part of the creative process. The video is $25 plus shipping and handling; to order info go to her website at Stellium Productions.