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|REMBRANDT IN LAS VEGAS|
Visitors to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas are now being treated to some Old Masters, courtesy of casino mogul Steve Wynn. On view are Portrait of a Man in a Red Doublet (1633) by Rembrandt van Rijn and The Head of John the Baptist Presented to Salome (ca. 1609) by Peter Paul Rubens. Both works were last sold publicly at Sotheby's Old Master auction in New York on Jan. 30, 1998 -- though not to Wynn. Backstage observers say that Otto Naumann snagged the paintings, and he is widely known to advise Milwaukee collector Alfred Bader. But the pictures ended up at the Bellagio Gallery, where attendance is about 1,800 people a day. "Moving deeply religious church art to a casino, some might think that rather odd," grumped one art historian. "It's not that religious," protested Bellagio curator Libby Lumpkin. "It's more about man's folly." At auction the Rembrandt went for over $9 million and the Rubens for $5.5 million.
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ACADEMY AWARDS FOR THE ART WORLD?
L.A. MoCA curator Paul Shimmel accepted the award for best exhibition organized by a museum outside New York, which went to "Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object: 1949-1979" at the Geffen Contemporary.
C&M Arts director Robert Pincus-Witten accepted the prize for the best exhibition in a commercial gallery, awarded to his "Picasso's Dora Maar / DeKooning's Women." Virginia Zabriskie accepted second place for her "The Hansa Gallery (1952-1959) Revisited."
Dia Art Center director Michael Govan accepted the award for best show at an alternative space (an alternative space?) for "Richard Serra: Torqued Elipses," organized by Lynne Cooke. Second place went to "Shadows of a Hand: The Drawings of Victor Hugo" at the Drawing Center; it was accepted by Drawing Center curator Elizabeth Finch.
Jeffrey Deitch was on hand to receive the award for best show by an emerging artist, which honored Cornelia Parker's installation "Mass (Colder Darker Matter)" at Deitch Projects. Second place was taken by Tolland Grinnell at Stefano Basilico -- artist and dealer jointly accepted the award.
Honors were also won by "David Smith: Photographs 1931-1965" at Matthew Marks Gallery, "Self-Portrait Polaroids" by John Coplans at Andrea Rosen Gallery, "Weegee's World: Life, Death and the Human Drama" at the International Center for Photography, Midtown, "The Private Collection of Edgar Degas" and "Paul Strand: Circa 1916" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and "Aleksandr Rodchenko" at the Museum of Modern Art.
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PINSPOT BOOKS LAUNCHED
NEW LATIN HEAD AT CHRISTIE'S