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Artnet News

The crunch has finally hit the Guggenheim Museum's Las Vegas operations, according to art-world insiders. Word is that the Gugg is closing the Guggenheim Las Vegas, the larger of its two museums there, after the departure of "The Art of the Motorcycle." The Venetian Hotel is using the space as a theater for Broadway-type plays. As for the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, "Art through the Ages: Masterpieces of Painting from Titian to Picasso" is slated to stay on view till Mar. 2, 2003. Apparently, however, the Hermitage pictures are due to be sent back to Russia, and their place taken by a selection of Norman Rockwell works from his museum in Stockbridge, Mass. A Guggenheim spokesperson denied that its Las Vegas outpost is closing. Stay tuned.

Question: What kind of poet would George W. Bush appoint as the next chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts?

Answer: One that writes in rhyming verse!

California poet Dana Gioia, who was proposed as new NEA head by the White House last week, is being called a perfectly noncontroversial candidate to succeed Michael P. Hammond, who died last January after only a week as chairman. Gioia, who describes himself as a "culture nerd" in a New York Times interview, has a range of talents, including writing and narrating BBC radio shows, translating poetry from Italian, German, Latin and Romanian, and was a businessman for 15 years at General Foods where he was in charge of the Kool-Aid account. The 51-year old is also the classical music critic for San Francisco magazine and has written a libretto with composer Alva Henderson for the vampire opera "Nosferatu." The Senate committee still needs to confirm the nomination before Gioia can start his four-year term.

Fred Wilson has been selected to represent the United States at the 2003 Venice Biennale by the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions. The New York-based installation artist is known for provocative works that address race and gender issues. Wilson is currently the artist-in-residence at the University of California, Berkeley. His mid-career survey, "Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations, 1985-2000," is on view at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College until Dec. 31, 2002. MIT List Visual Arts Center curator Kathleen Goncharov is organizing the U.S. entry.

New York's first Asian Contemporary Art Week is being held Nov. 5-10, 2002. he Merill Lynch-sponsored event is put together by the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium and features lectures, performances, gallery receptions and a symposium at the Asia Society. The report "Asian Contemporary Art in New York: The Last Ten Years, 1992-2002" is being released in conjunction with the week. You may register for the symposium and see the full calendar of events at the Asia Society website.

The Appraisers Association of America's National Conference will be held at the New York Marquis Hotel Nov.14-17, 2002.The theme this year is "The Basics of Appraising." There will be lectures and discussions on the economic downturn and its affect on the art market, blockage discounts, legal cases, problem objects and more. Among the speakers are appraiser Joan Caballero, gallerist Gary Snyder and Appraisers Association of America president Alex J. Rosenburg. See for more information.

Sadra Ainsley opens her second gallery in the Gooderham and Worts Complex at 55 Mill Street in Toronto on Nov. 2, 2002, with site-specific works by Dale Chihuly. The new 6000 square foot space complements the Sandra Ainsley Gallery located in the Exchange Tower, and is to showcase larger installations and sculpture by artists who work in glass. The Chihuly exhibition will run until Jan. 25, 2002.

John Waters has been elected to the board of directors of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Waters is best known as the director of such shock films as Pink Flamingoes and Polyester. Most recently, his film Hairspray has been made into a successful Broadway musical. Waters, dubbed the "pope of trash" by William S. Burroughs, is also an avid art collector and an artist who has exhibited at the Wexner Center and the Aldrich Musuem. Foundation president Joel Wachs commented that Waters' "unique sensibility and his fearlessness in pursuit of free artistic expression" made him an "ideal fit."

Rachel Whiteread inaugurates new London gallery Haunch of Venison on Oct. 30, 2002. The exhibition in the 10,000-square-foot Georgian house will debut an untitled new work (a large, white cast of negative space taken from the gallery's fire escape) alongside other major works dating back to 1995. The gallery, started by London art dealers Harry Blain and Graham Southern, is located off of Bond Street in the former residence of Admiral Lord Nelson and was once leased by Anthony d'Offay for a new project space. A former member of the Dia Center curatorial staff, Christiane Schneider, is in charge of the exhibition program. Whiteread's minimalist sculpture will be on view until Dec. 21, 2002. For more info, contact Haunch of Venison at 6 Haunch of Venison Yard, London W1K 6ES.
-- compiled by Sherry Wong