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GUGGENHEIM V. FLOATING HOTEL?|
New York City officials are balking at the notion of building a new branch of the Guggenheim Museum on city-owned waterfront piers along the East River, the New York Times reports. The Gugg scheme goes head-to-head with alternate plans for a floating hotel, but the city is not too keen on either. Museum officials present Frank Gehry's design for the 45-story curvilinear building at a dinner at the museum honoring the architect on Apr. 18; a model of the project goes on view this summer at the museum's Frank Lloyd Wright building. If approved, the new facility would house the Guggenheim Foundation's collections of works from 1945 to the present and special exhibitions, while the Wright building would be devoted to collections from the late-19th century to approximately 1945. Construction costs are estimated at $400 million, and the Guggenheim says it already has at least $250 million in donations committed to the project.
ART WAREHOUSE FOR BASEL
The Swiss town of Basel -- already home to the Basel Art Fair and several important contemporary art museums -- is soon to have one more art outpost. The 190,000-square-foot Viewing Warehouse, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is slated to open early summer 2002 in Münchenstein, near Basel. The facility is to house contemporary art from the renowned Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, which already has works on loan to the Basel Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Viewing Warehouse will be home to Katharina Fritsch's enormous Rat King (1993) sculpture, as well as Robert Gober's controversial Untitled. 1995-1997 installation. Only the lower level will be open to the public and the rest will be accessible to professionals and students by appointment.
ALTERNATIVE MUSEUM MOVES (TO HYPERSPACE)
The veteran Alternative Museum, one of New York's first artist-run exhibition spaces, is shutting down its public gallery at 594 Broadway in New York and going all virtual, opening galleries in cyberspace at its website on Apr. 1. The museum plans to provide "web residencies," QuickTime video clips of performance art, world music concerts and poetry readings.
CHINESE SCULPTURE SEIZED FROM CHRISTIE'S
The U.S. Customs Service seized a 10th-century painted relief marble panel at China's request days before it was to be auctioned at Christie's New York Chinese art sale on Mar. 20. Chinese officials allege the panel, one of the stars of the sale, was stolen in 1994 from the five Dynasties tomb of Wan Chuzhi in the province of Hebei. The piece had been consigned by Hong Kong's M&C Gallery and was estimated to fetch up to $500,000. If the panel is proven stolen it will be returned to China.
AUCTION HOUSE TROUBLES EXTEND DOWN UNDER
Up to 200 Australian antique and art dealers may take part in a class action suit against Sotheby's and Christie's over price-fixing accusations, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The prospective court action is to claim that the auction houses acted to restrict free trade by imposing identical buyer's premiums throughout the 1990s.
PRINZHORN COLLECTION AT THE DRAWING CENTER
The Drawing Center presents the "Prinzhorn Collection: Traces Upon the Wonderblock," Apr. 15-June 10, 2000. The exhibition features the legendary and influential group of works by psychiatric patients amassed during the 1920s by psychiatrist and art historian Hans Prinzhorn. A permanent museum for the collection opens at the University of Heidelberg next year. A conference is planned for May 4; participants include theorist Hal Foster, cultural and literary historian Sander L. Gilman, artist and psychoanalyst Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger and author Allen S. Weiss. Seating is limited; call (212) 219-2166 for more information.
ONE-SHOT REVIEW'S SECOND SHOT
Host Publications has published Alfred Leslie's The Hasty Papers: The Millennium Edition of the Legendary One-Shot Review ($35 hardcover). The original, published in 1960, brought together contributions from legendary figures like John Ashbery, Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, Alfred Jensen, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara and Terry Southern and was mostly known within the arts and letters community it represented. The new edition has been expanded to include 400 new photographs and features an introduction by poet David Lehman.
NEW MUSEUM HOLDS 23RD ANNUAL GALA
The New Museum is holding its 23rd annual gala benefit and art auction Apr. 16. This year's gala honors performance artist Laurie Anderson for her visionary exploration of new media and Milan designer Miuccia Prada for her significant work with Fondazione Prada, which has been supporting new exhibition projects by international contemporary artists since 1993. The benefit begins with a silent auction and cocktail party at the museum and is followed by a gala dinner and live auction at the Altman Building in Chelsea. Over 100 artists have donated works for the auction, including John Baldessari, Anne Chu, Jessica Craig-Martin, Thomas Demand, Rachel Harrison, Nikki S. Lee, Chris Ofili and Matthew Ritchie. Benefit tickets range from $150 to $1,000. Call Lysbeth Ackerman at (212) 219-1222 ext. 226 for more info.
The sale preview runs Apr. 8-Apr. 16 -- but visitors to Artnet.com [http://www.artnet.com/newmuseum] can get an online preview of select works beginning Apr. 3, and even bid online once the auction starts.
-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech