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Tony Award-winning producer and director George C. Wolfe is bringing a musical version of the life of graffiti artist Keith Haring to the stage at the Public Theater in New York, opening Jan. 31, 2003. Radiant Baby, as it is called, is very much of an ensemble piece with lots of up-and-coming talent: book is by Stuart Ross, music by Debra Barsha and lyrics by Ira Gasman, Barsha and Ross, with choreography by Fatima Robinson; insiders say the hit song is called Instant Gratification. The cast includes Daniel Reichard as Keith and Julie Cruz, who plays both Keith's mother and Andy Warhol. The play is based on Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography by John Gruen, father of Haring Foundation director Julia Gruen. Tickets to Radiant Baby are $55, available at

The Haring Foundation has no financial interest in the show, however, according to a spokesman. The foundation could use the help. Established at the artist's death in 1990 to support pediatric AIDS programs as well as to promote his own work, in 2000 (the most recent year for which records are available at it distributed a paltry dozen grants to charity totaling just over $88,000 (including $5,000 to God's Love We Deliver and $500 to Alaska AIDS Vaccine).

The arctic weather in New York can't help but make a hard-working news writer think of . . . spring. And as it turns out, the theme for the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Benefit Gala on Apr. 28, 2002, otherwise known as the "party of the year" among the society set, is "Goddess." The fest accompanies an exhibition titled "Goddess: The Classical Mode," May 1-Aug. 3, 2003, a survey of classicism in dress from ancient times to Madame Grès and Versace, to be presented in the Costume Institute galleries along with paintings, photos, sculpture and decorative works. The show is organized by Costume Institute curator Harold Koda, and funded by Gucci with additional support from Condé Nast.

Avant-garde Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara performs one of his trademark "Boxing Painting" events at the Ise Cultural Foundation, 555 Broadway in New York's SoHo district, on Jan. 17, 2003. The former "enfant terrible" of the Neo-Dada Japan group wears boxing gloves and dips them in paint, "unleashing his energy like a force of nature" to create giant mural paintings. Admission is $10; for more info (and to make reservations), see

With the chilly temperatures currently prevailing in New York, it's no surprise that art lovers are heading to sunny Florida for a trio of art fairs. The sixth Art Palm Beach opens at the International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches, Jan. 8-14, 2003, with about 60 exhibitors, including Ameringer & Yohe, Berkeley Square, Garth Clark, Barry Friedman, Goedhuis Contemporary, James Goodman, Heller, Nancy Hoffman, Jim Kempner, Neuhoff, Franklin Parrasch, Hollis Taggart, Waddington and many others.

A day later, Art Miami 2003 opens at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Jan. 9-13, 2003, with approximately 150 dealers from 31 countries on hand -- including nearly 50 exhibitors from Spain and Latin America. Exhibitors include Priska C. Juschka Fine Art (New York), Jacob Karpio Gallery (San Jose), China Mead Art Gallery (Beijing), Galerie Marion Meyer (Paris), Leisure Club Mogadishni (Copenhagen), Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi (Melbourne) and Galerie Pokorna (Prague). Art Miami also includes a section called "Currents 03: New Perspectives," featuring nearly 40 cutting-edge young artists.

A few weeks later, the sister event to Art Palm Beach opens -- the seventh annual Palm Beach International Art & Antique Fair, also at the International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches, Jan. 30-Feb. 9, 2003. Exhibitors include Ariadne (New York), Berry-Hill (New York), Frost & Read (London), Galerie Boulakia (Paris), MacConnel-Mason (London), Mallett (London), Noortman (Maastricht), Richard Green (London), Sabbadini (New York), Silver Fund (London), Steinitz (Paris) and Axel Vervoordt (Kasteel Van's - Gravenwezel). The Jan. 30 gala preview benefits the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

Back in New York, mid-January means Americana Week, which brings a crowded schedule of auctions and art shows, including the American Antiques Show, Jan. 16-19, 2003, organized by and benefiting the American Folk Art Museum and featuring 45 exhibitors from 15 states at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street in Manhattan. Exhibitors include American Primitive, Childs, Gemini Antiques, Carl Hammer, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, Thomas Schwenke, John Sideli Antiques, Jeffrey Tillou and David Wheatcroft. Honorary chair of the show is Architectural Digest editor Paige Rense.

Next up is New York's 49th annual Winter Antiques Show, which opens Jan. 17-26, 2003, at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue. The opening night party, Jan. 16, is sponsored by Elle Décor magazine (and chaired by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenburg) and benefits the East Side House Settlement. Participating dealers range from A La Vieille Russie and L'Antiquaire & The Connoisseur to Rupert Wace Ancient Art and Robert Young Antiques.

Collectors with a taste for Americana also buy British ceramics, and 50 international exhibitors make it happen at the New York Ceramics Fair at the National Academy of Design on Fifth Avenue, Jan. 16-19. Exhibitors range from Garry Atkins and John Atzbach to Charles L. Washburne Antiques and Mark J. West.

Last but not least, there's the sixth installment of the San Francisco International Art Exposition, Jan. 17-20, 2003, at the Fort Mason Center. More than 100 modern and contemporary galleries are expected, with the Jan. 16 opening night preview benefiting the San Francisco Art Institute.

The first-ever comprehensive survey of 150 years of Japanese photography opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Mar. 2-Apr. 27, 2002. "The History of Japanese Photography" features more than 200 photos, books, scrolls and albums by 110 photographers, ranging from 19th-century portraits of samurai and photo-scrolls of the Russo-Japanese War to propaganda imagery from World War II and contemporary works by Kon Michiko, Yanagi Miwa, Shibata Toshio, Hatekeyama Naoya and Sugimoto Hiroshi. The show is organized by MFAH curator Anne Tucker, Austin Museum curator Dana Friis-Hansen, Joe Takeba of the Nagoya City Art Museum and Ryuichi Kaneko of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. The show has a 432-page catalogue by Yale University Press, is sponsored by Continental Airlines and travels to the Cleveland Museum of Art, May 25-July 20, 2003.

Twenty New York art museums and arts organizations are collaborating on "The Buddhism Project," a series of shows, installations and other events focusing on Buddhism and the arts in contemporary American culture. The year-long festival begins with "Montien Boonma: Temple of the Mind," a retrospective of the late Thai artist at Asia Society, Feb. 4-May 11, 2003, and culminates with "Rocks' Role: Responding to Ryoanji," an exhibition devoted to John Cage at Art in General, Jan. 24-Mar. 27, 2004. In between are "The World of Buddhism" at Asia Society, Mar. 11-Oct. 19, 2003; "The Commodification of Buddhism," a show of eight contemporary artists at the Bronx Museum, Apr. 3-June 15, 2003; "Serene Beauty: The Intersections between the Sublime and the Zen at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, May 2-Aug. 16, 2003; "Transmitting the Forms of Divinity: Early Buddhist Art from Korea and Japan at Japan Society and the Korea Society, Apr. 9-June 22, 2003; "Perfection/Impermanence: Contemporary Ikebana at Wave Hill, May 25-July 13, 2003; "The Invisible Thread: Buddhist Spirit in Contemporary Art" at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, summer 2003; "Everything Matters: Paul Kos, A Retrospective" at the Grey Art Gallery, Sept. 9-Dec. 6, 2003; "Sri Lanka on Staten Island" at the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, Oct. 9-Jan. 11, 2004; and "Bodhisattvas in Queens," an interactive installation by Yungshu Chao at the Queens Museum of Art, Oct. 12, 2003-Jan. 11, 2004.

Just prior to Thanksgiving, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta announced that it was the buyer of Balzac/Pétanque by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, a monumental sculpture of a picnic-like pile of peaches and pears awaiting the paring knife. The work was exhibited at Pace/Wildenstein in New York's Chelsea art district last year [see "Weekend Update," June 4, 2002] but won't go on view at the High until 2005, when it takes its place on a sculpture terrace that is part of the new expansion there designed by Renzo Piano. Balzac/Pétanque was purchased with funds provided in part by local patrons Mr. and Mrs. J. Mack Robinson; its price was put at $1.4 million in a report in the New York Times.

Eyebeam, the digital arts center headquartered in New York's Chelsea art district, has announced the appointment of Benjamin Weil as its curatorial chair. Weil, cofounder of the now-defunct ada 'web art website, has been curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since 2000 (a post he'll continue to hold through June 2003).