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Talking Head David Byrne, whose own digital self-portraits as a kind of undressed G.I. Joe in flames have been seen at international art fairs, is trying his hand at curating a photo show. "Gesture, Posture and Bad Attitude in Contemporary News Photography," featuring approximately 20 photos by a dozen wire-service lensers, opens at Apex Art in New York's Tribeca district, Apr. 18-May 19, 2001. "Byrne has selected a group of images that are largely political in nature," explained Apex Art gallery director Heather Felty.

Byrne's postmodernist twist, however, is to install the show so that the body language in each pix forms a kind of choreography in the gallery space. "Maybe there is a preferred set of gestures for use in politics," Byrne writes. "A set of movements ... adopted by all who assign themselves to this profession." Exhibition rights to the photos cost the gallery about $3,200, said Apex Art director Stephen Rand, and getting i.d.s for the photos wasn't easy, since AP and AFP like to keep their syndicated stuff sans credit. Among the lensers whose works caught Byrne's eye are Harry Hamburg, David Handschuh, Susan Regan and Laura Pedrick.

The Getty Center in Los Angeles is hungry for your business. Hungry enough to launch a Celebrity Chef Series at its restaurant, beginning on Apr. 27 with a three-course lunch hosted by Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl. The $35 meal ($55 with wine) is preceded by a book signing for Reichl's new Comfort Me with Apples. "We are thrilled to be offering these exciting and meaningful ways to connect culinary arts with visual arts at the Getty," said Getty food manager Jim Dodge. Forthcoming is a May 16 lunch with John Ash, featuring recipes from his book From Earth to the Table, and a Mother's Day Parisian High Tea on May 13 that is already sold out. The Celebrity Chef Series began last fall, and guests to date have included Julia Child and other top foodies.

Los Angeles museums are shoving New York aside in laying claim to avant-garde art history, first with "Public Offerings" at the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art and next with "Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collection" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oct. 7, 2001-Jan. 6, 2002. The show features 100 works by 24 artists and travels to the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., Mar. 16-June 3, 2002, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, July 15-Oct. 20, 2002. The show is divided into five sections: Assemblage (Johns, Rauschenberg, Twombly); Pop (Lichtenstein, Warhol, Ruscha, Baldessari); German art 1970-90 (Kiefer, Haacke, Bernd and Hilla Becher); artists of the '80s (Basquiat, Salle, Schnabel, Fischl, Sherman, Koons); and contemporary L.A. artists (Charles Ray, Sharon Lockhart).

The show draws from the collection of the Broad Art Foundation, the powerful nonprofit set up by Eli Broad and his wife Edythe in 1984 to buy contemporary art in bulk and lend it to museum exhibitions. The foundation buys an average of 35 works a year, and has lent works to over 325 museums. Broad, whose wealth is put at $5 billion by Forbes magazine, is a founding trustee of L.A. MOCA and a trustee of LACMA, the UCLA/Hammer Museum and the Archives of American Art. He is chairman of Sun America Inc., a $100-billion-plus pension fund manager.

Did someone say that museums today are a circus? "The Circus in 20th-century American Art" opens at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Conn., Oct. 19, 2001-Jan. 6, 2002, and subsequently travels to two other museums, the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fla., Feb. 1-Apr. 14, 2002, and the Austin Museum of Art, June 7-Aug. 19, 2002. The show, organized by American Federation of Arts chief curator Donna Gustafson for the AFA, features almost 100 works by artists ranging from George Bellows and Charles Demuth to Alexander Calder, Diane Arbus and Bruce Nauman. Lincoln Financial Group is sponsoring the exhibition, which boasts images of lion tamer Clyde Beatty, the daring young man on the flying trapeze (Alfredo Codona), bareback riders the Reiffenach Sisters, the human cannonball Hugo Zacchini and sideshow performers like the fat lady Baby Ruth and the microcephalic "Pip and Flip, Twins from Yucatan."

The North Carolina Museum of Art has launched a website for American modernist Stanton Macdonald-Wright to go along with its landmark exhibition, "Color, Myth and Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism," on view at the Raleigh museum, Mar. 4-July 1, 2001. The site features an essay, a chronology, an interview with curator Will South and a selection of images. The Macdonald-Wright show is scheduled to travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Aug. 5-Oct. 28, 2001, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Dec. 2, 2001-Feb. 24, 2002.

Admirers of pioneering SoHo dealer Holly Solomon, who closed her Houston Street gallery at the beginning of last fall, are looking forward to her first exhibition at the gallery's new location on the fourth floor of the Chelsea Hotel at 222 W. 23rd Street. "New Photographs from China" by Kim MacConnel and a show of photos and sculpture titled "Insomnia" by Susan Graham open at the gallery on Apr. 21. Gallery hours are as normal; for more info, call (212) 924-1191.

New York art dealer Paula Cooper has received the 2001 distinguished service to the visual arts award from ArtTable, the national organization of women in the visual arts.

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