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"Contemporary art is sex," says notorious Pink Flamingos auteur John Waters, and he has teamed up with Artforum contributing editor Bruce Hainley to bring us Art -- A Sex Book (Thames & Hudson, 208 pp., $29.95). Dubbed an "exhibition in a book," the profusely illustrated trade paperback features works by almost 70 artists, from the raucously pornographic Keith Boadwee to the pastoral Maureen Gallace. In between are six "rooms," or chapters, accompanied by a transcribed conversation between the two authors. JW: All sex is messy. BH: And comical.

A coda presents "Nine Sex Questions" to several artists, including Mike Kelley (If a work is sexual in nature, does it color the critical reaction? Yes. . . I don't know why, but art works that are sexual in nature are often not taken seriously), Marlene McCarty (Can art be a bad influence on young people? Yes, thank god), Cady Noland (How should museums and public institutions deal with explicit sex in contemporary art? Send it to me post haste) and Jack Pierson (Can good art be a sexual turn-on? Yes, and bad art perhaps even more so").

The two authors have lined up a whirlwind book-signing tour, with stops in New York on Nov. 14 (at B&N Chelsea at 7 pm), in Towson, Md., on Nov. 15 (at Borders at 2 pm), in San Francisco on Nov. 22 (at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books at 7 pm), in Los Angeles on Nov. 23 (at Book Soup at 2 pm) and back in New York on Dec. 18 (at Ursus Books at 7 pm).

One of the star attractions of the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair, which rolls into the sunny Big Orange Dec. 4-7, 2003, is the "Art Statements" section. This year, the special invitational presents solo shows by 17 promising young artists from 11 countries. The artists (and the galleries that sponsor them) are Yoshua Okon (Francesco Kaufmann, Milan), Ian Kiaer (Asprey Jacques, London), Santiago Cucullu (Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston), Ruth Root (Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York), Francesca Gabbiani (Karyn Lovegrove Gallery, Los Angeles), Pedro Reyes (Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Mexico), Chris Sauter (Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio), Mark Hosking (Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna), Gabriel Kuri (Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York), Rebecca Warren (Maureen Paley Interim Art, London), Lara Vinci (Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo), Carlos Garaicoa (Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, New York), Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg (Nicola Krupp, Basel), Piero Golia (Cosmic Galerie, Paris), David Claerbout (Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp) and Taro Shinoda (Side 2, Tokyo).

What's more, Art Basel Miami Beach has tagged Whitney Museum curator Chrissie Iles as organizer of the fair's "Art Video Lounge." Iles is also co-curator of the 2004 Whitney Biennial and juror for the Tate's 2003 Turner Prize, and has commissioned Gregory Crewdson's first film, Beneath the Roses, which premieres at the Whitney in 2004.

Where can you find 35 top scholars, artists, museum directors and curators discussing the future of museums? Try the online "Museums of Tomorrow" conference, Oct. 6-19, 2003, sponsored by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and moderated by curator and critic Maurice Berger. Visitors can eavesdrop on the likes of Max Anderson, Corcoran curator Jonathan Binstock, New Museum curator Dan Cameron, Tate Modern curator Donna De Salvo, art historian Carol Duncan, artist Andrea Fraser, O'Keeffe Museum chief George King, critic Irving Sandler and Getty director John Walsh -- and then kibbitz via emails to The museum organized its first online conference in 2001, recently published by D.A.P. as Postmodernism: A Virtual Discussion.

In the first auction devoted entirely to the work of the late Broadway illustrator Al Hirschfeld, held at Swann Galleries in New York on Sept. 25, 2003, the two top lots soared past the existing Hirschfeld auction record. Broadway at Night, a pen and ink drawing shaded with blue watercolor and heightened with white gouache that was originally published in the New York Times in May 1943, sold for $34,500. TV Totem Pole: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Jackie Gleason, Jack Webb, Groucho Marx, a colorful gouache used as the cover illustration for Colliers magazine in Oct. 1954, was acquired by an anonymous TV producer for $32,200.

The Museum of Modern Art has quietly deaccessioned two paintings, according to a report by Carol Vogel in the New York Times. Francis Bacon's Dog (1952) was sold to London dealer Gerard Faggionato, and Pablo Picasso's 1909 Cubist landscape Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro was purchased by Berlin dealer Heinz Berggruen. As is common practice among U.S. museums, MoMA refused to report the prices paid for the works, making any public oversight of the controversial transactions impossible. Museum director Glenn Lowry did confirm that the museum had recently purchased a Bacon triptych, but would not confirm Vogel's report that it had paid about $10 million for the work.

They say that genius is kin to craziness, and upon seeing the listing of new "genius" grants from Chicago's John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, we can only agree. The 24 fellows, who receive a "no strings attached" grant of $500,00 over five years, are selected for the "originality and creativity" of their work by a secret process. This year's winners in the art field are Santa Fe blacksmith-sculptor Tom Joyce, "California science exhibit artist" Ned Kahn, New York illustrator Peter Sis, assemblage sculptor Sarah Sze and sculptor Daisy Youngblood, who is billed as a "ceramicist" on the foundation website.

The venerable New York Studio School, housed in the original Whitney Museum building on West 8th Street in Manhattan, is holding its 2003 benefit gala on Oct. 14, 2003. Honorees are reigning figurative modernist Alex Katz and Hugh Gourley III, former director of the Colby College Museum of Art. The event includes a silent auction of works by both students and more experienced artists (including Will Barnet, Louise Bourgeois, David Bowie, Rackstraw Downes, Bill Jensen, Mercedes Matter, Graham Nickson, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Carolee Schneemann and Wayne Thiebaud) an awards dinner, drinking, dancing and the opportunity to view the Studio School's new exhibition, "American Cutout." Dinner tickets start at $500, while after-dinner party tickets are $75; for more info email

One name that looms large in today's gubernatorial recall in California is Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante, the failsafe candidate of the state's Democratic party. Presumably he has some support in the Bay Area performance art crowd, since he is brother to the pioneering performance artist Nao Bustamante. According to her website, her more recent pieces have included Stuff, a collaboration with Coco Fusco that looks at "how fear and desire for food, nurturing and erotic pleasure are intertwined with American perceptions of Latin women."

Dancer, choreographer and director Bill T. Jones has received the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, a silver medallion and a cash award of approximately $250,000. The award is to be presented at the Hudson Theatre in New York on Oct. 28, 2003.

Hirshhorn Museum director Ned Rifkin has added a new title to his portfolio -- he is now director of International Art Museums at the Smithsonian, in charge of overseeing the Cooper-Hewitt, the National Museum of African Art, the Freer and the Sackler as well as the Hirshhorn. Rifkin succeeds Thomas Lentz, who has been named director of the Harvard University Art Museums. . . . Eleanor Jones Harvey, curator for the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum since January 2003, has been named as the museum's new chief curator. Previously she was curator of American art at the Dallas Museum of Art. . . . Charles Desmarais, director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati since 1995, has retired to become curator-at-large at the institution. . . . Donald J. Jenkins, curator of Asian art at the Portland (Ore.) Art Museum (and director of the museum during 1975-87), has announced his retirement -- though he continues emeritus at the museum, where he is organizing a 2004 exhibition of Chinese ceramic art of the Han dynasty and the Kingdom of Chu.

This winter, Surrealist master Joan Miro is coming to snowy Aspen, Colo. "Joan Miro: A Passion for Printmaking -- Masterworks on Paper 1939-1976" goes on view at Galerie Maximillian there, Nov. 26, 2003-Apr. 19, 2004. "Over 85 works are included, ranging from small jewel-like early etchings and engravings to large textured prints from the 1960s. For more info, contact Galerie Maximillian director Albert Sanford at

The Apprentice, NBC's much-ballyhooed "Reality TV' show in which 16 MBAs, lawyers and other high-octane types compete for a job with New York real estate mogul Donald Trump, is dipping its toes in the waters of the contemporary art world. According to a confidential email that accidentally came our way, the show is seeking several emerging Manhattan artists who are willing to have teams of four contestants provide them with a marketing and promotion campaign for their art careers -- all to take place, from scheme to gallery show, within 48 hours this coming weekend. No word yet on who the guinea pigs might be. Stay tuned.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has announced 154 fellowships for 2002-03, totaling $2,234,400 (an average of about $14,500). Grants are based on artistic merit and financial need, and support the recipients personal and professional expenses for one year. For more info, see the foundation website at

Winners of the grants are: Robin Adsit, Elia Alba, Iole Alessandrini, Brian Alfred, Birgit Antoni, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Lucia Autorino-Salemme, Sonia Baez-Hernandez, Richard Baker, Mira Bartok, Jack Beal, Michael Beck, Monica Bengoa, Rolf Bergmeier, Barbara Bernstein, Alvar Beyer, Joseph Biel, Istvan Birkas, Robert Blackburn, Dianne Blell, Timothy Blum, Seymour Boardman, Suzanne Bocanegra, Stanislav Bojankov-Stanko, Chakaia Booker, Peter Bradley, Michele Brody, Stephen Burt, Theresa Byrnes, Paul Campbell, Janet Carlile, Alexandra Carmel, Jane Catlin, Emilie Clark, Peter Colquhoun, Brian Conley, Michael Cook, Fred Cray, Milena Cubrakovic, Robert Cumming, Nuno de Campos, Christopher Deeton, Andrzej Dluzniewski, Art Domantay, Tara Donovan, Joseph Dosio, Leonard Dufresne, Nancy Dwyer, Amy Emery, Geraint Evans, Thomas Evans, Michael Finch, Kathleen Flannigan, Max Frazee, Manuel Pedro and Miguel Pablo Garces, Sonia Gechtoff, Michel Gerard, Steve Gianakos, Joseph Girandola, Milan Golob, Mark Grote, Doug Guildford, Mary Hambleton, Elizabeth Harington, Ian Harvey, Burton Hasen, Susan Hauptman, Nigel Helyer, Doug Henders, Alberto Ibanez, Sergiy Ivanov, Ralph Iwamoto, Inge Jakobsen, Jiri Janda, Dana Kane, Herbert Katzman, Arnold Kemp, Joyce Kim, John Kindness, Barry Kiperman, Kathy Kissik, Catherine Koenig, Aleksander Konstantinov, Piotr Korzeniowski, Veronica Kovachi, Irving Kriesberg, Justen Ladda, Stephen Lee, Judith Linhares, Charles Long, Sven Lukin, Hernan Marina, Marisol Martinez, Robert Mason, Tomas Medek, Janos Megyik, Thom Merrick, Arnold Mesches, Yamamoto Motoi, Felipe Mujica, Chuck Nanney, Joyce Neimanas, Nedra Newby, Judith Nilson, Gilles Peress, Mario Perez, Pedro Pinkalsky, Esther Pizarro Juanas, Sharon Poliakine-Dotan, Frederick Pollock, Robin Raddatz, Tatiana Radsivilko, Dorothea Rockburne, Tulio Romano, Pasquale Russo, Richard Saba, Rebecca Salter, Carol Schille, Jovi Schnell, Vincent Scilla, Arthur Secunda, Olga Seem, William Seeto, Charles Seliger, Faith Shafran, Sally Sheinfeld, Sikarej Siripaibulya, Anna Skibska, Adam Smith, Richard Smith, Miguel Sordo, Joe Stefanelli, Liang Sun, Janos Szasz, Lois Tarlow, Diane Thodos, Juan Torcoletti, John Van Alstine, Oleg Vassiliev, Andre von Morisse, Robert Walden, Jr., Frank Webster, Carrie Mae Weems, E. Jay Weiss, Bradley Wester, Steve Wolfe, Renate Wolff, Mark Workman, Xiaoze Xie, Amy Yoes, Vladimir Zabeida, Beatriz Zamora.