LARNER WINS LUCELIA AWARD
Los Angeles sculptor Liz Larner is the second winner of the annual Lucelia Artist Award given by the Smithsonian American Art Museum to honor contemporary American artists. The award comes with a $25,000 cash grant, funded by the New York based Lucelia Foundation, which supports 19th-century American and contemporary art. The five jurors who selected the winner were Miami MoCA director Bonnie Clearwater, Menil Collection curator Matthew Drutt, UCLA Hammer Museum curator Russell Ferguson, Elizabeth Murray and Village Voice critic Jerry Saltz. A survey of Larner's work has just ended at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Last year's winner was Jorge Pardo.
CAMERON TO CURATE ISTANBUL BIENNIAL New Museum curator Dan Cameron has been appointed curator of the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, set to open in September 2003. Cameron previously organized the Venice Biennale "Aperto" in 1988, among many other shows.
FRENCH FURNITURE AT PHILLIPS Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg had already established modern furniture as one of its "boutique" specialties before French luxury-goods magnate François Arnault sold his controlling interest to the auction-house management. The specialty gets attention this month at Phillips on Apr. 25, 2002, with "The French Eye: Modernism, Style & Design," a collection of furniture and design from a Hollywood Regency-style house in Los Angeles originally styled by Robert Couturier and curated by his partner Philippe Lauro Baranos. Highlights include an octagonal mirror from ca. 1935 by Serge Roche, a ca. 1935 sycamore dressing table by Jean-Michel Frank (est. $60,000-$90,000), a pair of six-light sconces by Jean Royere (est. $30,000-$40,000) and a group of gilt-bronze doorplates and plaster animal heads by Diego Giacometti (estimated between $5,000 and $9,000).
Phillips has a 20th-21st century design art auction slated for New York on May 22, and a contemporary and modern sale on for May 13. Auction-watchers still await word on the fate of Phillips Impressionist art sale, originally scheduled for May 6.
VICTORIAN NUDE IN BROOKLYN
"Exposed: The Victorian Nude," a survey of some 150 works by Frederic Leighton, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Lawrence Alma-Tadema, comes to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Sept. 6, 2002-Jan. 5, 2003, its only U.S. venue. The exhibition examines 19th-century England's curious mix of prudish attitudes and an accelerated production of images of the nude through six thematic categories: the English nude, the classical tradition, the private nude, the artist's studio, "Sensation! The Nude in High Art" and the modern nude. The show was originally organized by Alison Smith for Tate Britain, where it appeared last year.
KIKI OF MONTPARNASSE AT ZABRISKIE GALLERY
An exhibition of works celebrating the legendary Kiki of Montparnasse, the young artist and model who became a muse to Man Ray, Fernand Léger, Moïse Kisling and countless other School of Paris artists, opens at the Zabriskie Gallery in New York, Apr. 9-May 24, 2002. Many of the 36 works in the show are Man Ray photos; a dozen pieces are by Kiki herself. The show, organized by Billy Kluver and Julie Martin, authors of Kiki's Paris: Artists and Lovers, 1900-1930, is accompanied by a program of Kiki's films (by Léger, Man Ray and Jacque Catelain) at the Anthology Film Archives on the Lower East Side.
ANISH KAPOOR FOR TURBINE HALL
British artist Anish Kapoor has been given the third Unilever commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, slated to go on display Oct. 9, 2002-Mar. 23, 2003. Unilever has provided a total of £1.25 million to allow the Tate to commission a series of new large-scale works for the museum's vaulting entry space; previous works in the series were by Louise Bourgeois and Juan Muñoz. The yBa painter Fiona Rae has also been commissioned to create a 33-foot-long painting for Tate Modern's seventh-floor restaurant, which goes on display June 28. In the meantime, Turbine Hall is to be filled with a selection of some 20 life-sized figurative works from the Tate collection for "The Upright Figure," opening Apr. 22.
CHASSERIAU IN PARIS, NEW YORK
The historic survey of works by Romantic painter Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856) currently on view at the Grand Palais in Paris, Feb. 28-May 27, 2002, comes to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Oct. 21, 2002-Jan. 5, 2003. About 75 paintings and 55 works are in the retrospective, the first to be held outside France.
AXA BIDS FOR DROUOT
The AXA insurance company has bid £51 million for the Drouot group of 74 independent auction firms in France, according to a report in the Antiques Trade Gazette. The AXA offer exceeds the £43 million bid by Barclays Private Equity and the £40 million bid from ABN-Amro earlier this year. Drouot president Dominique Ribeyre said his group won't make a decision until May. Dietrich von Frank, the president and CEO of AXA Nordstern Art Insurance Corporation, supports several art programs in the U.S., including a joint conservation program with the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum and the AXA Gallery on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, where the exhibition "Thin Skin: The Fickle Nature of Bubbles, Spheres and Inflatable Structures" closes on Apr. 13, 2002 before heading off to eight venues in the U.S. and Europe.