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The fifth annual San Francisco International Art Exposition, organized by the Chicago-based Thomas Blackman Associates and featuring more than 100 modern and contemporary galleries, opens at Fort Mason Center overlooking the San Francisco bay, Jan. 17-20, 2002. The opening night preview on Jan. 16 benefits the San Francisco Art Institute (tickets start at $175; for info call 415 749-4569). General admission is $12.

Veteran San Francisco dealer John Berggruen is bringing works by about 40 artists that he works with, ranging from Ellsworth Kelly and Mark di Suvero to Bay Area figurative lights such as Elmer Bischof, Roy De Forest and Nathan Oliveira. New York's Salander-O'Reilly Galleries is featuring the Matissean canvases of contemporary painter Paul Resika and the proto-Americana figures of sculptor Elie Nadelman. Another gallery from the Upper East Side, Winston Wachter Mayer Fine Art, is bringing works by Nicolas Africano, Caio Fonseca, Stephen Hannock and Donald Sultan, among others. Seattle dealer Greg Kucera is featuring works by William Kentridge, Darren Waterston, Tim Bavington and David Hockney's Illustrations for 14 Poems by CP Cavafty, a suite of homoerotic etchings published in 1966.

Among the newer galleries on hand are Elizabeth Leach Gallery (Portland, Ore.), and Heather Marx Gallery and Peres Project (both of San Francisco). Photographs by Edward Burtynsky are on view at Charles Cowles (New York), and photos by Chuck Ramirez are at Finesilver/FYI (San Antonio). Four galleries are coming from Seoul, Korea: Galerie Bhak, Gallery Ihn, Gallery S.P. of Seoul and CAIS Gallery.

Still more participating galleries are Arion Press, Larry Evans, Hackett-Freedman, George Krevsky, Anthony Meier, Meyerovich, Modernism and Montgomery (all from San Francisco), Richard Levy (Albuquerque), David Floria (Aspen), Goya-Girl (Baltimore), Alpha (Boston), Jerald Melberg (Charlotte), Carrie Secrist (Chicago), Jonathan Novak (Los Angeles), Cumberland (Nashville), David Lusk (Memphis), Casas Riegner (Miami), Walker (San Diego), Cline (Santa Fe), Park Ryu Sook (Seoul), and Maxwell Davidson, Forum, O.K. Harris, Kathryn Markel, DC Moore, Neuhoff, Allan Stone and M. Sutherland (New York).

The stock market has been soaring in a downward direction for more than two years now, so it's no surprise that ever-hopeful art-and-money types are dusting off the old "art as investment" pitch in hopes of encouraging people to enrich their lives by starting an art collection. The latest entry in this area is "Collecting: Patrons of Entry-Level Art" by Michelle Andrews, an article now online in, where it can be read free for two weeks. Among the art-world stalwarts quoted in this engaging report is Pierogi Gallery director Joe Amrhein and Artnet Magazine columnist Richard Polsky.

With its eye on the bottom line, Sotheby's has raised the buyer's premium from 19.5 percent to 20 percent on items that sell for up to $100,000, and from 10 percent to 12 percent on lots that are knocked down for amounts above $100,000. Sotheby's CFO William Sheridan noted that the move was necessary "to strengthen our balance sheet and increase our earnings." Sotheby's posted a net loss of $43 million in the third-quarter of 2002, compared to $33.1 million a year earlier. Sotheby's stock was trading at $9.25 as of this writing.

Are you more interested in the Americans for the Arts group, now that pharmaceutical heir Ruth Lilly has bequeathed $120 million to the advocacy organization [see "Artnet News," Dec. 19, 2002]? Then you might want to tune into the Bravo cable channel's documentary, Arts Leaders in America, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. The show features the 2002 National Arts Awards hosted by Americans for the Arts -- and shouldn't be too bad, since the winners were Natalie Portman, Cindy Sherman and David Rockefeller, along with Alberto Vilar, Pinchas Zukerman, Bravo itself and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The 400-member American section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICAUSA) has announced its selections for art-world "best of show" in 12 categories for 2001-02. The citation for "Best Monographic Museum Show outside New York City" goes to "Eva Hesse" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum Weisbaden, Germany; "Barnett Newman" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the runner up.

"Best Thematic Museum Show outside New York City" goes to "Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962-72" at the Walker Art Center and Tate Modern; second place is awarded to "Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910-1930" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

"Best Monographic Museum show in New York City" is won by "Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting" at the Museum of Modern Art; "Alberto Giacometti" at MoMA and Kunsthaus Zurich takes second place.

"Best Thematic Museum Show in New York City" goes to "Into the Light: The Projected Image, 1964-77" at the Whitney Museum; runner-up is "The Russian Avant-Garde Book 1910-1934" at MoMA.

"Best Show in a Commercial Gallery in New York" goes to "Richard Serra: Torqued Spirals, Toruses and Spheres" at Gagosian Gallery; "Martin Puryear: New Sculpture" at McKee takes second place.

"Best Show in a Commercial Gallery Outside New York" goes to Lee Bontecou at Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, while runner-up is "Catherine Opie: The Ice Houses" at Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

"Best Show in a Kunsthalle or an Alternative Space" goes to Dave Hickey's SITE Santa Fe biennial, otherwise known as "Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism." Runner-up is "Charles LeDray, Sculpture 1989-2002" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

"Best Show in a Public Place" goes to "Tribute in Light" at the site of the World Trade Center, an installation produced by Creative Time and the Municipal Art Society; second place goes to "Andy Goldsworthy" at the Storm King Art Center.

"Best Show of an Emerging or Underknown Artist" goes to "Tom Burckhardt: Totems" at Tibor de Nagy, New York. Second place is a tie between Arturo Herrera at Brent Sikkema and Gillian Jagger at Phyllis Kind.

"Best Show of a Mid-career Artist" is awarded to Eleanor Antin at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Second place goes to Lynda Benglis at Franklin Parrasch, New York.

"Best Architecture or Design Show" goes to "Mies in Berlin" at MoMA; second place goes to "Extreme Beauty, The Body Transformed" at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Best Web-based Original Art" goes to John Baldessari's "Still Life: Choosing and Arranging" at Second place goes to Jeanne Dunning's "Tom Thumb: Notes Toward a Case History" at

The 2003 Skowhegan Awards Dinner is set for Apr. 22 at the Plaza Hotel. Honorees include Peter B. Lewis (2003 Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Award), Helen Frankenthaler (2003 Skowhegan Medal for Painting), Gary Hill (2003 Skow2hegan Medal for Video Installation), Jacke Winsor (2003 Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture) and Joyce E. Robinson (2003 Governors Award).