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The 49th Venice Biennale Golden Lion awards went to Richard Serra and Cy Twombly as "masters of contemporary art." Gregor Schneider and his transformation of the German Pavilion into a labyrinth, also earned a Golden Lion for best national participation, while Yinka Shonibare, Tiong Ang, Samuel Beckett, Marin Karmitz and Juan Downey received honorable mentions. Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Marisa Merz and Pierre Huyghe were given Prizes for their work in the biennale. The young artists prizes went to Frederico Herrero, Anri Sala, John Pilson and A1-53167 for its political documentary on Guatemala. The Prize Foundation Panathlon unofficial award went to Swiss Urs Lüthi. The jury was comprised of Ery Camara, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Manray Hsu, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Virginia Perez-Ratton.

The Baloise Art Prize, awarded since 1999 at the Basel art fair, has this year gone to the Glasgow-based video artist Ross Sinclair, whose work Real Life, St. Kilda -- Floating Figure (1999) was presented by the Agency Contemporary Art, London, and to the Berlin-based Swedish video artist Annika Larsson for her DVD projection Dog (2001), shown by galerie Andrehn-Schiptjenko of Stockholm. Both artists receive a cash prize of CHF 25,000. In addition, the Baloise Insurance Group, which sponsors the prize, will acquire a selection of works by the artists and donate them to the Stedelijk Museum in Gent and the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Berlin.

Spain's Bienal de Valencia opens today. Directed by Fraco Laera and Tomas Ruiz, the exhibition will run June 12-October 20, 2001. Programs include "The Body of Art," an exhibition curated by Achille Bonito Oliva and Cecilia Casorati that presents over 120 artists' interpretations of bodies and sin. Artists included are Yasumasa Morimura, Shirin Neshat, Pierre & Gilles, Andrés Serrano, Sam Taylor-Wood and Spencer Tunick. Also on view will be a collaboration by Shiro Takatani and Fujiko Nakaya and Robert Wilson's reinterpretation of Russian art. For more details, see

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has appointed Mari Carmen Ramirez to the new post of curator of Latin American art. She will be working with an endowment from the Wortham Foundation to organize shows and develop a permanent collection, in addition to overseeing a projected International Center for the Arts for research. Ramirez was formerly at the Jack S. Blanton Museum of the University of Texas, Austin.

The latest artist to develop a web project for the Dia Center for the Arts is media artist Feng Mengbo, whose animated recastings of stories from his Beijing childhood confront the violence and propaganda of Chinese Communist society. Mengbo's web-based trilogy "Phantom Tales" is comprised of One Silver Dollar, The Bloody History of Three Stones and The Technology of Slide Shows, which Dia describes as "mini-movies" that are as historical and political as they are personal.

Photorealist Richard Estes will make an appearance at on 5th Avenue tomorrow, June 14th at 12:30 to open his new exhibition in the windows of Lord and Taylor. 10 works will be shown at the second collaboration between Marlborough Gallery and the store. The first show featuring Larry Rivers was in April.

In order to expose more artists to the "business" side of their profession, the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, N.J., presents "Emerge 2002," the third annual contest committed to the professional development of artists. Critic and artist Calvin Reid will chair the selection committee. Winners get to attend 12 free seminars concerning exhibition strategies, financial issues, gallery contracts and professional presentation and will be featured in an Aljira exhibition. Any artist who has been practicing for at least five years and is interested in applying can contact

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