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Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas has been dismissed as director of the architectural segment of the Venice Biennale by festival president Paolo Baratta, according to newspaper reports. The decision to fire Fuksas came about when the architect, surprised with a low budget and the firing of close collaborators -- including wife Doriana Mandrilli -- took his complaints directly to the press, most notably in an open letter to Baratta, leading to a very public dispute. Marino Folin, rector of the University Institute of Architecture in Venice, has been named as Fuksas' successor while figures such as Renzo Piano continue to join the fray. Artnet Magazine has not received a response from Biennale officials in time for today's deadline.

It looks like Phillips Auctioneers' plans to break into the ranks of giants Christie's and Sotheby's remain just that -- plans. Of the 29 lots up for sale in yesterday's Impressionist and Modern art sales, its second round of evening sales since it was acquired by LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, 13 failed to sell, leading to disappointing totals of $32.6 million, substantially lower than the estimated of $39.5 to $54.1 million. The results were a costly blow to the third-largest auction house, which is said to have financed most of the works and guaranteed a minimum to some sellers to attract prime pieces. Top lots included Paul Cézanne's La Cote du Galer, a Pontoise (ca. 1879-1881), which fetched $8,527,500 (est. $8 million-$10 million) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Femmes dans un Jardin (1873), which sold for $6,712,500 (est. $6 million-$8 million).

Phillips isn't throwing in the towel just yet -- the company has just signed the lease on the long-vacant building at 3 W. 57th Street, next door to Bergdorf Goodman. Plans call for the company to move out of its 406 E. 79th Street headquarters and into the 12-story, 60,000 square-foot edifice in time for spring sales.

It's official -- Printed Matter has signed a sub-lease with Friedrich Petzel for 1,200 square feet of ground floor space at 535 W. 22nd, the building which already houses CRG, Yancy Richardson, Julie Saul and Leslie Tokonow. The venerable SoHo artists' bookstore had been getting a sweetheart deal on the rent from the Dia Art Center -- but all good things must pass, and now Dia is renting the bookstore's former space at 77 Wooster for five times as much to Gucci. Plans call for Printed Matter to close the old location in January 2001 and to inaugurate the new space shortly thereafter.

The Coalition for the Homeless is holding its annual Artwalk NY event, Saturday Nov. 18, 2000. The program begins at Pier 59 (at 18th Street) with a morning presentation of Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls and panel discussion featuring moderator Peter Jennings with participants Victor Bockris, John Cale, Bob Colacello, Jane Holzer and Glenn O'Brien. The talk is followed by nine different walking tours of artists' studios, the pricier ones led by curators Laura Hoptman and David Hunt and featuring visits with artists including Jaluk Akakçe and Ruth Root. Then it's back to Pier 59 for a reception honoring Andy Warhol and a gala auction conducted by Christie's Christopher Burge featuring over 150 artists, ranging from Polly Apfelbaum and Ross Bleckner to Alan Wexler and Lisa Yuskavage. For more information or to order tickets, call the Livet Reichard Company at (212) 344-8420.

Brian and Anna Haughton, the Rockefellers of the art-and-antique-fair world, return with the second annual International 20th Century Arts Fair at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Nov. 25-29. This year's installment features 57 exhibitors from 11 countries and "Design for Living 1950-2000," an exhibition of 19 pieces on loan from the lengthy-named Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts/Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The fair kicks off with a cocktail preview on Nov. 4. General admission is $15 and preview tickets are $70; call (212) 642-8572 for more information.

The Dia Center for the Arts has received two gifts of $25 million each from Santa Fe's Lannan Foundation and from Dia chairman Leonard Riggio, which, along with money raised so far, brings the organization one quarter of the way away from its five-year fund-raising goal of $100 million. The donations will help Dia complete its new Beacon, NY, museum (see Artnet News 6/15/00), while part of the Lannan moneys will go to acquire a number of works, including Agnes Martin's eight-painting Innocent Love series, made especially for the new site.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has received $7 million form Lora Robins, widow of pharmaceutical mogul E. Claiborne Robins Sr., for the development of a three-acre sculpture garden. $6 million of the gift is earmarked for the design, construction and installation of the sculpture garden, which is expected to include an outdoor performance space. The remaining funds are being used to establish an endowment for the ongoing care of the garden.

Henri-George Clouzot's The Mystery of Picasso, unseen on the big screen for nearly two decades, is coming to SoHo's Film Forum in a new 35 mm print, Dec. 29, 2000-Jan. 4, 2001. The legendary documentary features the master at work drawing on a porous surface, filmed from the back to give the impression that the images are appearing directly on the screen, as well as stop-motion sequences presenting paintings unfolding brushstroke by brushstroke. Visit the theater's website or call (212) 727-8110 for more details and show times.

Loopy German painter Sigmar Polke has been awarded the emperor's ring of the city of Goslar. The ring, engraved with the seal of Heinrich IV -- who was born there -- is one of the country's most prestigious contemporary art prizes. Previous honorees include Rebecca Horn (1992), Gerhard Richter (1988) and Cy Twombly (1995).

LINDA STUX, 1944-2000
Linda Stux, 66, cofounder of the Stux Gallery with her husband Stefan, died Sept. 27 of lung cancer. She was instrumental in the launching of many artists' careers, including those of Inka Essenhigh, Vik Muniz, Andres Serrano and Mike and Douglas Starn.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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