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London's Tate Britain has released the names for this year's four finalists for the prestigious £20,000 Turner Prize, which is to be announced during a televised ceremony at the museum on Nov. 28. The competing artists are "Sensation" Super Realist appropriation artist Glenn Brown, Dutch thread-painter Michael Raedecker, Japanese detritus installation artist Tomoko Takahashi and German fashion photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. Though the bunch may not be as controversial as past contenders, the fact that three out of the four were born elsewhere might still raise some eyebrows, as the prize is intended for a British artist under 50 for an outstanding exhibition during the preceding year.

The members of the selection jury are Eindhoven's Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum director Jan Debbaut, Tate Patrons of New Art chairman Keir McGuiness, Serpentine Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones, Tate director Nicholas Serota and Frieze publisher Matthew Slotover. Previous Turner Prize winners include Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Steve McQueen and Rachel Whiteread. The London Guardian reports that Brit bookies favor Tillmans to win, with odds of 6/4, followed by Brown with 3/1 odds; Raedecker and Takahashi tie for last at 9/4.

Henri Matisse's La Danse (1909-1910) was whisked away from Rome by the Hermitage Museum on June 13, a day before a scheduled judicial hearing that was to settle claims of ownership on the part of the heir of Russian collector Sergei Shukin, from whom the work was confiscated and nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1918. The painting had been in Rome for the exhibition "100 Masterpieces from the Hermitage" at the renovated former stable block of the Quirinale Palace, and was scheduled to be displayed at Milan's Brera museum, June 26-Aug. 3.

Wall Street Journal art critic Eric Gibson takes a dim view of the deaccession policies at Museum of Modern Art. Museums today are "all too ready to use their collections as a source of cash," he exclaims in a hard-hitting (if gentlemanly) essay in last Friday's paper about MoMA chief Glenn D. Lowry's recent sale of Picasso's Man With Guitar (1913) to MoMA trustee and Condé Nast honcho S.I. Newhouse. Gibson points out that the Synthetic Cubist Picasso that Lowry considers unfit for MoMA's walls originally came from the collection of Picasso pal Gertrude Stein, was called "revolutionary" by MoMA curator emeritus William Rubin and was in fact exhibited 11 years ago in MoMA's "Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism." Lowry plans to use the $10-million sale proceeds -- which led to Newhouse's sudden resignation from the MoMA board in a conflict-of-interest flap -- to buy unidentified works "circa 1960." In another story, the newspaper revealed that Larry Gagosian brokered the controversial transaction.

The Dia Center for the Arts celebrated the groundbreaking of Dia: Beacon, a new museum for its permanent collection in Beacon, N.Y., on June 2. Dia's new, gigantic exhibition spaces of over 250,000 square feet, created in a renovated Nabisco/International Paper Factory on the Hudson River, are designed for large-scale works such as Hanne Darboven's 1,700-panel Cultural History 1880-1983 (1980-1983), Richard Serra's massive steel Torqued Ellipses (1996-1997) and Andy Warhol's 102-canvas Shadows (1978). Present at the ceremony were New York governor George Pataki, Beacon mayor Clara Lou Gould, Dia director Michael Govan and Dia board chairman (and Barnes & Noble chief) Leonard Riggio. The museum, located just 60 miles north of Manhattan (easily accessible via the MetroNorth railroad, according to Dia), is slated to open in the fall of 2001.

New York Times ace reporter Judith Dobrzynski is leaving the art beat after being promoted to deputy business editor in charge of Sunday Money & Business. Dobrzynski has had a busy month with her front-pager on the Internet auction fraud allegations that led to an F.B.I. investigation, and she promises Artnet News that she will still contribute occasional pieces to the paper's Culture section.

The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, is set to reopen June 17 following 18 months of building renovations and conservations of its paintings. The $1.8 million overhaul had become necessary after foundation problems caused half the chapel to sink, creating a large crack in the west wall, as well as recurrent humidity problems that affected the paintings' subtle dark surfaces.Dominique and John de Menil commissioned Mark Rothko to create the paintings and to work with architect Phillip Johnson on the octagonal chapel, which opened in 1971.

The Philadelphia Art Museum is dedicating the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building tonight, June 15, in a ceremony celebrating the couple's generosity. The Perelmans contributed the unprecedented gift of $15 million, the largest cash gift in the museum's 115-year history, with the city kicking in the rest of the $17-million purchase price. Formerly the Reliance Standard Life Insurance building, a 1928 Art Deco landmark just north of the museum's current Neo-Classical home, the five-story, 100,000-square-foot structure, which has a library, cafeteria, office space and a 124-space parking lot, was designed by Zantzinger, Borie and Medary, the same architects who did the museum. The museum is still deciding just what to do with the new facility, however, and has contracted Phillie-based architectural design firm Vitetta to prepare a study for the reuse of the newly acquired building as part of a comprehensive master plan.

The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson is commemorating its 25th Anniversary with special exhibitions, publications and educational programs throughout 2000 and 2001. The celebration kicks off on June 23 with the opening of two exhibitions, "Our Quarter Century: the Anniversary of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography Turns 25" and "Into Our Prime: Acquisitions Since 1996," both running through Sept. 17. Among the events planned are a gallery talk by CCP archivist Amy Rule, "Divergent Visions: Five Years of Collecting Photographic Archives" on July 20, and a talk by CCP curator of exhibitions and collections Trudy Wilner Stack, "Why Photography?" on Sep. 5. The anniversary is also marked by the publication of Robert Heinecken's Material History, spanning his entire career, and A.D. Coleman: a Bibliography of His Writings on Photography, Art, and Related Subjects from 1968 to 1995, edited by Nancy Solomon and including a foreword by Terence Pitts. For more information about the CCP's events, check out its site.

The first annual San Francisco Photographic Print Exposition, featuring 60 galleries and private dealers from the U.S., Germany and the Czech Republic, is set to open July 27-30 at the Herbst Pavilion in Fort Mason Center. Special events include a panel discussion chaired by Ricco/Maresca Gallery director W.M. Hunt titled "Introductions: the Best and Brightest of Bay Area Photographers," featuring Doug Nickel, Marni Gillet and Deborah Klochko, on June 29; a talk by critic A.D. Coleman called "Your Photo Opportunity Here: A Traveler's Guide to Mundo Fotográfico"; and a lecture and book-signing by photographer Michael Kenna. On-site collection seminars are being held with curator and consultant Dale Sultz, Hunt and Coleman, July 28-30. Admission to the fair is $12 for one day or $20 for all three, lecture and panel tickets are $5 each and seminars are $50 per seminar and include a three-day pass; they can be bought at the door or through the Stephen Cohen Gallery at (323) 937-5525. A preview reception benefiting nonprofit organization SOMA Partnership is being held July 27; benefit tickets are $35 and should be ordered from SOMA at (415) 552-9201.

Summer art travelers to the British Isles are making a last-minute stop at their bookstores to pick up a copy of the most recent artSITES handbook by art historian Sidra Stich, which covers Britain and Ireland. The user-friendly books are organized for walking tours of neighborhoods or regional excursions, and this latest edition is so complete that it even lists the Victoria Miro Gallery's new industrial space in London. Projected titles include Spain and Portugal, California and Japan. The British guide is $19.95 and can be ordered from

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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