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Guggenheim Museum director Thomas Krens tries his hand at curating in "Intuition/(Im)Precision," a new show of classic 20th-century and contemporary art at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg, Oct. 2-Nov. 10, 2004. The show looks at the way "artists are drawn to the esthetics of absence, to the esthetics of the void, as an almost mystical source of meaning." The stars of the exhibition are Kazimir Malevichs Black Square, borrowed from the State Hermitage Museum, and Jackson Pollocks Number 18, 1950, lent by the Guggenheim Museum. The show also includes works by Joseph Beuys, Francesco Clemente, Elger Esser, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Ryman.

Neither Krens nor the Guggenheim is receiving any financial consideration for the project, which the curator characterizes as his "personal letter to Austria." In 1990, Krens worked with Austrian officials on a proposed Guggenheim Museum Saltzberg, an almost unbelievable structure designed by Hans Hollein that would have been carved out of the cliff of the Mönchsberg in the center of the city. Krens gives his thanks to four individuals who have "done so much to shape a sophisticated understanding of modern art in this part of the world" -- Thaddaeus Ropac, Peter Noever (director of Viennas Museum for Applied Arts), Wilfried Seipel (director of Viennas Kunsthistorisches Museum) and Agnes Husslein (director of the new Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg).

The opening of "Intuition(Im)Precision," in fact, coincides with the premiere of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg, which is slated to open on Oct. 23, 2004. Designed by the Munich firm of Friedrich, Hoff, Zwink architects, the new museum is organizationally linked with the Museum der Moderne Salzburg Rupertinum and is given over to 20th century art, ranging from works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka to Arnulf Rainer and Maria Lassnig. Recent acquisitions have included works by Jrgen Klauke, Valie Export and Heimo Zobernig.

Gamers of all sorts are descending on Asia Society in Manhattan this weekend for a day-long symposium, "From Dice to Go: Asian Games through the Ages," Oct. 16, 2004. Among the presentations are "Liubo and Divination in China," "A Game of Polo with a Headless Goat: In Search of the Ancient Games of Asia" and "Lectures and Strategies of Go." Tickets to the event are $20 (students), $30 (museum members) and $40 (nonmemebers); for info, call (212) 517-ASIA.

The symposium accompanies the museums new exhibition, "Asian Games: The Art of Contest," Oct. 14, 2004-Jan. 16, 2005, the first major examination of the roots in Asia of games like chess, Parcheesi, Snakes and Ladders and even playing cards. The show features approximately 200 works and is co-organized by Colin Mackenzie, a former Asia Society curator who now teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont and Irving L. Finkel, a curator at the British Museum.

An exhibition of furniture, ceramics, glass, photographs and drawings by the 87-year-old Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass is currently on view in Manhattan at Barry Friedman Ltd., Oct. 8-Dec. 18, 2004. The first major Sottsass exhibition in New York since 1987, the show includes new designs as well as works from the 1960s Radical Movement. One highlight is a set of the futuristic gray fiberglass furniture from 1970 known as Mobili Grigi. Friedman is also presenting furniture and objects by Sottsass at the Modernism Fair, which opens Nov. 10-14, 2004, at the Seventh Regiment Armory in Manhattan. Other forthcoming Sottsass exhibitions include "Cartier Design Viewed by Ettore Sotsass" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Oct. 31, 2004-Mar. 25, 2005, and a retrospective at the Museum in Rovereto, Italy, in February 2005.

One of the many attractions of the International Art + Design Fair 1900-2004, currently on view at the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York, Oct. 8-13, 2004, is the Metal Gallery from London, making its New York debut at the design show. Founded 16 months ago in London by Francis Raeymaekers and Elisabeth Bellord, the gallery specializes in the very modern designs of artists associated with Goldsmiths Hall, home of the metalworkers guild. Among the objects on view are flat abstractions in etched stainless steel, whose designs are based on actual survey maps, by Alison Counsell ($5,000) and electroformed body casts in silver, copper and other metals by Maria Katehis (which are priced at around $18,000, depending on the metal and the size). For more info, see

The "Turner Prize 2004" exhibition, featuring works by the four short-listed artists -- Kutlug Ataman, Jeremy Deller, Langlands & Bell and Yinka Shonibare -- opens at Tate Britain, Oct. 20-Dec. 23, 2004. The show includes Atamans new six-screen video installation about reincarnation; an installation by Deller about his visit to Texas; a digital reconstruction of The House of Osama bin Laden by Langlands & Bell; and Shonibares first film, a story of the assassination of the Swedish king at a masked ball in 1792.

The winner of the prize is to be selected by a jury whose members are Catherine David, director of the Witte de With Center in Rotterdam; Adrian Searle, art critic for the Guardian; Robert Taylor, a representative of the Tates patrons of new art group; David Thorp, curator of contemporary projects at the Henry Moore Foundation; and Tate director Nicholas Serota.

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