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Good-looking actor Jeff Bridges has debuted contemporaneous career surveys of his panoramic photographs, made since 1976 on the sets of his movies, at the Rose Gallery in the Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica and the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at Lincoln Center in New York. "Taking pictures on movie sets exposes a bit of the magic," Bridges says. "It unmasks things that were never meant to be seen." On view Nov. 8-Dec. 31, 2003 in California and Nov. 6-Dec. 8, 2003, in New York, "Jeff Bridges: Pictures" includes Widelux black-and-white photos that are notable for containing multiple views within the frame: Barbara Streisand and her mirror reflection in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1999), Robin Williams on a hospital ward panorama in The Fisher King (1990), Michelle Pfeiffer spotlighted on a nightclub stage in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989).

The photographs are printed in editions of 15 in two sizes, ranging in price from $3,500 to $9,500. A special limited edition of the accompanying book, a 120-page tome with an introduction by Peter Bodganovich published by Powerhouse books, includes a print of either Julianne Moore or Michelle Pfeiffer and is on sale for $500. The actor is donating his proceeds from the photo and book sales to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which provides retirement and health services for actors and other members of the entertainment industry. For more info, contact the Rose Gallery at (310) 264-8440.

One of the hot reads of the summer season was Deborah Davis's compelling Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X (Tarcher/Putnam), an expert telling of the story of Sargent's most famous painting, Madame X (on view at the Metropolitan Museum), and the young Creole beauty who posed for it. Now, fans of the book can expand their horizons with "Sargent's Women," Nov. 12-Dec. 13, 2003, at Adelson Galleries in the Mark Hotel on East 77th Street in Manhattan. The loan exhibition features over 50 works from 1878-90 when Sargent's subjects included many beautiful and exotic women -- including a study for the Clark Art Institute's Fumee d'ambre gris (1880) and the lively Gust of Wind (ca. 1883-85), an oil that recently sold at auction for $1,652,000.

The show also includes several Sargent sketches of Virginie Amlie Gautreaux, as Madame X was more properly known. Also on view is the full-scale portrait that she commissioned from Antonio de la Gandara after Sargent's Madame X, and by extension Gautreaux herself, were ridiculed in reviews of the 1884 Paris Salon. The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue with essays by Deborah Davis, Elaine Kilmurray and Richard Ormond; for more info, see

The New Museum for Contemporary Art has unveiled the design for its $35-million, 60,000-square-foot new facility on the Bowery, designed by avant-garde architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the firm SANAA in Tokyo. The 10-level, 160-foot-tall building, clad in galvanized steel, is made up of seven irregularly stacked, or "shifted," floors of varying heights, a design that should create a very unusual street presence, to say the least. The "shifted" floors allow for skylights that illuminate the galleries in the day, and for spotlights that shine on the faade during the night. The plan calls for a media lounge and a 199-seat theater in one of two below-ground levels; an entrance level with lobby, bookstore and caf; three floors of gallery spaces; and a top floor with a terrace and roof bar. Construction is slated to begin in November 2004, with the new museum opening in the spring of 2006. For an image of the new museum design, see

Sanford L. Smith & Associates' 18th annual show of the 20th-century decorative arts, Modernism: A Century of Style & Design, is currently on view at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue, Nov. 13-16, 2003. Among the 75 exhibitors are Converso, which has installed a suite of galvanized steel sculptures from 1982 by Isamu Noguchi, and R 20th Century, which has dedicated a special booth to works by lighting designer Verner Panton. Other exhibitors include Galerie Yvonne Benda (Zurich), John Alexander (Philadelphia), Galleria Colombari (Milan), Dansk Moebelkunst (Copenhagen), Didier (London), Geoffrey Diner Gallery (Washington, D.C.), Barry Friedman (New York), Jacksons 20th Century Design (Stockholm) and still more. Tickets are $15; for info see

It's about time to sell the "Target Benchmarks Central Park" benches. More than 50 of the one-of-a-kind park benches, designed by artists and celebrities, go on the block at a gala benefit auction at Christie's New York on Nov. 20. Proceeds of the event, which is cosponsored by Target Stores, go to the Central Park Conservancy. Celebrity benches include a bead-covered model by Joan Rivers, a bench of crushed-glass mosaics by Nicole Miller and a bench autographed by the 2003 cast of Saturday Night Live. Painter Hunt Slonem's bench is covered with cutout monkey figures, while sculptor Joel Shapiro has transformed his wood-slat bench into a version of one of his signature stick figures. Other artists in the mix are Jennifer Bartlett, Ross Bleckner, Jenny Holzer, Tony Oursler, Alexis Rockman, James Rosenquist, David Salle and Kenny Scharf. The evening's festivities include cocktails, a silent auction beginning at 6 pm and a live auction at 8 pm; tickets are $75 and the bidding starts at $1,000. For more info, see

The Seattle Art Museum has unveiled plans for its $150-million, 300,000-square-foot expansion designed by Portland architect Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works Architecture. The faade combines translucent and opaque glass and stainless steel, with an interior designed as a continuous ribbon of space. Construction is expected to begin in 2004 and be completed in 2007.

Alona Kagan Gallery opens in New York's Chelsea art district with a show of sculpture by Glasgow-based artist Mary Redmond, Nov. 15-Dec. 14, 2003. The new space is located at 540 West 29th Street, down the way from Sean Kelly Gallery; for more info call (212) 560-0670.

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation in New York has announced the recipients of its $10,000 art grants for 2003. Winners are Matthew Bakkom, Guy Ben-Ner, Kevin Cooley, Heidie Giannotti, Scott Hug, Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Christopher Mir and Sara Oppenheimer.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art has appointed Marilu Knode as senior curator. Knode is currently senior curator of the Institute of Visual Arts (inova) in Milwaukee.

MARIO MERZ, 1925-2003
Mario Merz, 78, Italian artist who was one of the pioneers of the Arte Povera movement in the 1960s, died in Milan on Nov. 9, 2003. Merz specialized in installations that often featured elaborate dome structures made of glass clamped to metal frames, and tables spread with fruits and vegetables. A frequent motif in his works was the Fibonacci progression of numbers, in which each term is the sum of the two preceding numbers. He was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 1989.