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European super-curator Harald Szeemann, artistic director for the 48th Venice Biennale, June 13-Nov. 7, 1999, has finally announced some details of the forthcoming fest. The major show is called "Aperto überAll" -- Aperto everywhere -- a reference to the former Venice exhibitions of new art, which Szeemann initiated in 1980 and which were discontinued in 1995. Szeemann has selected some 99 artists, whose works are to be displayed all over the city, young and old together. As part of this scheme, the Italian pavilion will host artists from many countries, with Italian artists integrated into the overall installation. After a long visit to China, Szeemann invited participation by 15 Chinese artists "who have escaped the tradition of social realism." The Italians invited are all young -- Maurizio Cattelan, Luisa Lambri, Paola Pivi, Massimo Bartolini, and Bruna Esposito (Szeemann made do without the big names of Arte Povera). Special sections include one with 10 artists born between 1968 and '71, and a section dedicated to five "forerunners" -- James Lee Byars, Dieter Rot, Martin Kippenberger, Mario Schifano and Gino de Dominicis.

Approximately 20 artists from the U.S. are invited, including Doug Aitken, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, Jason Rhoades and Pat Steir. Rosemarie Trockel is in the German pavilion; other German participants are Dieter Appelt, Katharina Fritsch, Stephan Huber, Wolfgang Laib, Sigmar Polke and Katharina Sieverding. Among the other national pavilions, Switzerland shows Roman Signer, England shows Douglas Gordon, France shows Jean-Pierre Bertrand and Huang Yong Ping, Portugal shows Jorge Molder. Other artists popular on the international circuit expected to make an appearance are Pipilotti Rist from Switzerland and William Kentridge from South Africa. The U.S. pavilion features an installation by Ann Hamilton involving "large expanses of water glass, a mysteriously drifting red powder, elusive traveling sound and huge expanses of a palpably present, but unreadable, poetic text. The show is organized by New York independent curator Helaine Posner and Katy Kline, director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Me.

An assortment of records were set at the spring photography sales at Christie's and Sotheby's in New York. On Apr. 27, 1999, Sotheby's sold a collection of 112 daguerreotypes and other 19th-century photos made by the esteemed Boston partnership of Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes for a total of $3.3 million, well above the high estimate of $2.1 million. Top lot was Two Women Posed With a Chair (ca. 1850), which sold for a record $387,500. The previous record price for a daguerreotype was $189,500. An 1853 daguerreotype by Platt Babbitt of a man clinging to rocks in the raging Niagara River, said to be one of the world's first news photos, sold for $55,200. The daguerreotype was among hundreds of black-and-white photographs collected by the late David Feigenbaum, a longtime radiologist at Boston University.

On Apr. 29, 1999, Christie's inaugurated its new Rockefeller Center headquarters with the sale of 277 of 367 lots (75.5 percent) for a total of $5.5 million. Auction records were set for photos by Pierre Dubreuil ($167,500), Eugène Atget ($156,500), Pablo Picasso ($123,500, with Dora Maar), Jacques-Henri Lartigue ($101,500), Hill & Adamson ($79,500), Walker Evans ($74,000), Julia Margaret Cameron ($63,000), Edouard Baldus ($43,700), Sally Mann ($27,600), Aaron Siskind ($18,400) and Andreas Feininger ($18,400, the house's first lot in its new home).

William Doyle Galleries in New York is teaming with and for an online auction of rare books, autographs, photographs and prints. The sale takes place tomorrow, May 5, simultaneously on the internet and at Doyle's East 87th Street saleroom. Doyle chairwoman Kathleen M. Doyle called the move "very exciting … It allows us to extend our reach to an increasingly global bidding audience with an ease and convenience that is unparalleled." Watch the auction action beginning at 10 a.m. at

In the spirit of esthetic millenarianism that seems to be overtaking the art world, Artnews magazine has named the 25 most influential artists in the 20th century. Executive editor Robin Cembalest said the magazine called on top art experts and museum curators as well as its own staff to compile the list. In alphabetical order: Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Constantin Brancusi, Salvador Dali, Willem de Kooning, Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, Vasily Kandinsky, Le Courbusier, Kazimir Malevich, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Piet Mondrian, Claude Monet, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Robert Smithson, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright.

It looks like Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn, builder of the fabulous Mirage and Bellagio casinos, isn't the only one to link high art and high rollers. Sheldon Adelson's new $1.5-billion, 35-story, 3,036-room Venetian resort, which opened on the strip on the site of the old Sands Hotel on May 3, includes replicas of Venice landmarks like the Doge's Palace and the Rialto Bridge. A 4,500-square-foot gallery features replicas of Venice's most famous artworks.

Spanish police have arrested John Peter Moore, 80, the British-born military man who served as personal secretary to Salvador Dali from the mid-'60s until 1975 (when Enric Sabater took over). Moore is accused of forging thousands of prints and paintings by the late Surrealist artist and selling them for about $1,000 each at the Perrot-Moore Art Center in Cadaques, which Moore operates with his wife Catherine Perrot. The charges were brought by the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation, which was set up to oversee the artist's work. Moore, who admittedly came up with the scheme in which Dali would sign blank sheets that would later be imprinted with his images, said, "I was Dali's assistant for 20 years and I don't need to do a forgery. I have all the real Dali I need." Moore once estimated that Dali may have signed as many as 35,000 such sheets.

More than 200 of Britain's top politicians have visited their local day-care centers to paint pictures of their childhood joys and fears, according to a recent report in the Guardian, London. The unusual political art is part of a contest, organized by Margaret Lochrie of the Pre-School Learning Alliance, designed to draw attention to cuts in government funding rules for community playgroups. Three MPs will be chosen to fight it out in a public "paint-off" next month. In the meantime, the paintings go on view at the Bank of England Museum in London on May 12.

Attention artists who know about color and makeup. L'Oreal's Art and Science Foundation has announced a contest for art that "demonstrates a creative dialogue between art, science and color" with prizes totaling 60,000 euros. Grand prize is 30,000 euros (about $32,600) with two runners-up each getting 15,000 euros ($16,300 each). Application deadline is July 31, 1999. An international jury of Nobel Prize winners is to select the recipients. Contact or go to

The French government has returned a 1904 Claude Monet Nymphéas to the heirs of French art dealer Paul Rosenberg. The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1940 from Rosenberg's château in Floirac, and became the prized possession of Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. After the war the painting was added to the collection of the Jeu de Paume in Paris and was transferred to the Museé de Beaux Arts at Caen in 1975. Some 160 art works were returned to Rosenberg after the war, but he did not see Nymphéas again before his death in 1987.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art plans a grand finale for "Van Gogh's Van Goghs." Before the blockbuster closes at midnight on May 16, LACMA is remaining open for 63 consecutive hours, beginning at 9 a.m. on May 14. An impromptu speakeasy called "Club Van Gogh," featuring hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, is planned for the museum's fifth floor penthouse and outdoor terrace. More than 600,000 people have visited the show during its four-month run in Los Angeles.

Contemporary art curator Tyler Stallings, known for cutting-edge programs at the Huntington Beach Art Center in California, has been named curator at the Laguna Art Museum. His first show for Laguna, slated for the summer of 2000, will focus on surf culture.

What could be more true-to-life than Catherine Zeta-Jones as an insurance investigator? She plays one in the current movie Entrapment, which also stars Sean Connery as an art thief. Museum-security expert Steve Keller gives the caper flick two thumbs up, not least because of "the wonderful volume of misinformation in the movie with regard to how to break in to a museum and defeat an alarm system." What museum in its right mind would have lasers, Keller asks, but place them so someone can step over them? And if it were only so simple to tap into a CCTV coaxial cable and stop the signal, but cause the last frame to remain on the TV monitor…. A few tricks of the celluloid sneak are true. One stolen item was simply mailed out of the museum by the thief, something that could easily happen in the real world. In another scene, the thief uses fingerprint powder on a electronic keypad to see which keys were the ones used, thus figuring out the combination. "I've done this before by marking the keypad with Vaseline and looking for smudges." Keller notes. His final advice: "Now that the world knows these tricks, be careful!"