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Artnet News
6/20/02


WHERE THE NUDES ARE
Wondering what the nude has to offer to contemporary art? Then get along to Sotheby's in Manhattan for "Take Home a Nude," the benefit exhibition and sale for the New York Academy of Arts, on view June 17-25, 2002. More than 200 works are offered in a combination silent/live auction at the special event on June 25, which also features a nude body-painting performance with M.A.C. cosmetics called "Naked Spin." Tickets for the auction evening are $175 in advance and $200 at the door; contact Joe Heissan at (212) 966-0300.

The nudes in the benefit come from Academy students, teachers and leading figurative artists. Top lots include Philip Pearlstein's Two Nudes with Lion, Ostrich and Minstrel (1994), estimated at $26,000); Bo Bartlett's Flag Girl (2002), estimated at $40,000; and Jamie Wyeth's Study for Nureyev as "The Faune" (2002) for $15,000. The sale also has a large selection of photos, including a bargain-priced color print of two Weimaraner puppies by William Wegman estimated at $800.

The ever-popular Academy, headquartered at 111 Franklin Street in New York's Tribeca district, has about 120 students in its two-year MFA program, and almost 300 more in a continuing education section. Last year the nude event and other benefits raised about $300,000.

FREUD RETRO IGNITES LONDON SCENE
Speaking of nudes, Lucien Freud, the grand old man of British portrait painting, opens his retrospective at the Tate Britain, June 20-Sept. 22, 2002, and his propensity to paint his subjects naked has added a touch of excitement to press coverage of the blockbuster. The London Telegraph, for example, was at pains to point out that the show featured nude portrayals of Susan "Big Sue" Tilley, one of the artist's favorite models "of ample proportion," as well as the artist's daughters Esther and Bella Freud and his current girlfriend, the 27-year-old journalist Emily Bearn. Freud himself turns 80 later this year. The show features some 150 works, including 12 paintings completed in the last two years, and travels this fall to Fundació la Caixa, Barcelona, and Los Angeles MOCA in 2003.

BARBERINI VENUS GOES FOR $11.8 MILLION
What's the price for a Roman antiquity with a clear provenance in today's market? The Barberini Venus, a 1st-2nd century Roman marble that was bought by investment banker Thomas Jenkins in 1765 and kept at Newby Hall in England since then, sold at Christie's London on June 13, 2002, for £7,926,650 (about $11.8 million), well over its presale estimate of $2 million-$3 million and a new world auction record for an antiquity. The sale, to an anonymous telephone buyer -- two bidders dueled for the piece -- is to raise funds to restore the North Yorkshire estate. Originally housed in the Barberini Palace in Rome, the sculpture was pieced together from fragments and in the 17th century became a widely admired symbol of beauty.

PUCCI AT HALL & KNIGHT
It's not unusual to see African artifacts mixed in with classic modernism in the galleries of more adventurous dealers. Now, taking the interdisciplinary thing a step further, Old Master dealer Kristin Gary is presenting contemporary works by 30-something Italian painter Nicola Pucci in his first New York exhibition, held in the quarters of the illustrious Old Master dealers Hall & Knight at 21 East 67th Street, June 6-23, 2002. A resident of Palermo, Pucci has exhibited in biennales in Milan, Rome and Cannes. His oils -- finely crafted studies of human expressions as well as more comic paintings of rooster behavior -- are priced at $2,000-$8,000.

DICEY AC HOBBLES WESTERMANN SHOW
Key sculptures by H.C. Westermann have been pulled from the late artist's traveling retrospective at the Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles because the museum lacks state-of-the-art climate controls, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. A total of 11 sculptures, primarily made of wood, were yanked by the owners, which include the Whitney Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Geffen, a former warehouse, lacks the kind of air conditioning system that can keep fluctuations of humidity to a minimum. The Westermann show was originally slated for MOCA's main building, but was bumped to the Geffen after the museum booked its Andy Warhol retrospective. Installing proper climate control at the Geffen could run as high as $4 million.

LOTS O' PAPARAZZO
Not since Jackie O got a restraining order against Ron Galella in 1972 has the ur-paparazzo -- socked by Marlon Brando and hospitalized by Richard Burton's bodyguards -- been so much in the news as now, with a new book, a museum retrospective and a gallery show all on tap this month. "Off Guard: The Photographs of Ron Galella," organized by curator Margery King, opens at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, June 23-Sept. 1, 2002, with approximately 300 of the remarkably candid photos by the 70-something resident of Montville, N.J. The Photographs of Ron Galella (Greybull Press), assembled by his agent Steven Bluttal and featuring a foreword by Diane Keaton, an introduction by Tom Ford and an interview with Glenn O'Brien, hits the stores any day with a cover price of $75. And Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea opens "Photography by Ron Galella," June 27-Aug. 2, 2002, a selection of some 150 vintage black and whites picturing everyone from Jackie, Frank Sinatra and Cher to Madonna and Sean Penn, with individual prints priced between $1,700 and $3,700 each.

GINSBERG ARCHIVE TO GREENBERG GALLERY
The Howard Greenberg Gallery has acquired the archive of more than 1,000 original Allen Ginsberg photographs dating from 1953 to '91 from the Ginsberg estate. The collection, which includes over 100 vintage snapshots taken during the beatnik era, goes on view at the Greenberg Gallery in SoHo, Sept. 5-Oct. 19, 2002.

LACMA TO GET PLURAL?
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which plans to tear down most of its present facility and build a new $300-million structure designed by Rem Koolhaas, may also change its name, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The new moniker, the Los Angeles County Museums of Art, would provide individual identities for five art centers -- American, Asian, European, Latin and modern and contemporary -- as well as "naming (i.e., fundraising) opportunities" for each one. LACMA director Andrea Rich refused to comment.

ONE-DAY STRIKE SHUTS BRITISH MUSEUM
The staff of the British Museum staged a one-day job action on Monday, June 17, shutting down the museum in what is being called the first strike in the museum's 250-year history. Workers are protesting the museum administration's plans for a 15 percent staff reduction as part of an attack on a budget deficit that is expected to grow to £6.5 million. Final word on this and other drastic changes await the imminent arrival on Aug. 1 of new director Neil McGregor, enlisted from the National Gallery.

PEW FELLOWSHIPS 2002
The Pew Charitable Trusts has announced winners of the 12 $50,000 Pew Fellowships in the Arts for 2002, which support Philadelphia-area artists and poets. Winners of the awards in the program, now in its 11th year, are Muhsana Ali, the performance troupe of Gabriel Quinn Bauriedel, Dan Rothenberg and Dito van Reigersberg, Candy Depew, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Lonnie Graham, Mytili Jagannathan, Teresa Leo, Whit MacLaughlin, Caden Manson, Trapeta B. Mayson, Thaddeus McWhinnie Phillips and Mark Shetabi.

PEOPLE NOTES
Charles Venable, senior curator of decorative arts and design at Dallas Museum, where he'd been on staff for 16 years, is off to Cleveland Museum to take deputy director's post. . . . Despite its hiring freeze, the Guggenheim Museum has appointed Susan Davidson as curator, filing the spot formerly held by Matthew Drutt. She has been a curator at the Menil Collection. . . . James Cuno, director of the Harvard University Art Museums since 1991, has been named as director of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, succeeding Eric Fernie following his retirement at the end of the year.



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