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A new organization, Downtown for Democracy -- otherwise known as D4D -- has been formed to muster art-world support for Democratic candidates for national office. The first big D4D event, a benefit cocktail party and art auction, is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 24, at Phillips, dePury & Luxembourg at 450 West 15th Street in Manhattan's Chelsea art district. B-52's frontman Fred Schneider conducts the live auction of 15-20 artworks, followed by a silent auction of over 75 more, including pieces by Vanessa Beecroft, Delia Brown, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Anna Gaskell, Malerie Marder, Tom Sachs, Erik Parker, Rob Pruitt and Kara Walker. Benefit artworks, which range in value from $100 to $10,000, can be viewed this weekend, Nov. 22-24. Tickets are $50 for the cocktail party and silent auction, and $150 for the live auction; for more info, see

The Connoisseur's Antiques Fair, sponsored by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America and produced by Caskey-Lees, is currently on view at the Gramercy Park Armory at Lexington Avenue and 26th Street, Nov. 20-23, 2003. The show presents over 50 exhibitors from 16 states, including Hyde Park Antiques, Kenshire Galleries, L'Antiquaire & the Connoisseur, Blumka Gallery, Spanierman Gallery, Liza Hyde Antique Japanese Screens and George Subkoff Antiques. Among the fair's highlights are "The Chippendale Chair," an exhibition of 15 chairs dating from 1745-70 at the Clinton Howell Gallery, and "Stories of Alexander the Great," a group of four Belgian tapestries from 1585-1605 at Dinolevi Antiques. The special loan exhibition is "The New Face of Academic Art: Highlights from the Dahesh Museum of Art." General admission is $15 and includes a copy of the catalogue; for more info, see

The best contemporary and modern museums in the U.S., the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art, have both announced their big exhibitions for early 2004. At MOCA L.A., it's "A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968," Mar. 14-Aug. 2, 2004, organized by Ann Goldstein (and drawing its title from a pair of 1967 cover stories in the now-defunct Arts Magazine).

Called the first major survey of the field since the Minimal art heyday, the show includes Minimalist works by Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Michael Asher, Jo Baer, Robert Barry, Larry Bell, Ronald Bladen, Mel Bochner, John Chamberlain, Judy Chicago, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Douglas Huebler, Ralph Humphrey, Robert Huot, Robert Irwin, Patricia Johanson, Donald Judd, Craig Kauffman, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, John McCracken, Paul Mogensen, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella, Anne Truitt and Lawrence Weiner.

"One thing I didn't ask myself," Goldstein said, "was whether everybody is a Minimalist." Goldstein also noted that the show reflected a particularly "American" dialogue, leaving out Europe.

Also on the slate at MOCA L.A. is "Robert Smithson," Sept. 12-Dec. 13, 2004, organized by freelance curator Eugenie Tsai. The exhibition features well over 100 works, including 30 sculptures, and should be the most definitive museum presentation since Tsai's own "Robert Smithson Unearthed" at Columbia University in 1991. The show is slated to travel to the Dallas MFA and the Whitney Museum.

MOCA also hosts "Rodney Graham: A Little Thought," July 25-December 2004, co-organized with the Art Gallery of Ontario, where it premieres in the spring, and the Vancouver Art Gallery; the show also travels to the Philadelphia ICA.

Out at MoMA QNS is "Roth Time: A Dieter Roth Retrospective," Mar. 12-June 7, 2004, organized with the Schaulager Basel (where a version of the show was on view last summer). The selection of some 375 artworks here, installed at both MoMA QNS and P.S. 1, is overseen by curators Gary Garrels and Klaus Biesenbach.

Next up at MoMA QNS is the museum's first exhibition devoted to fashion photography. "Fashioning Fiction in Photography since 1990," Apr. 16-June 28, 2004, is organized by Susan Kismaric and Eva Respini and features 95 photos made by artists on commission and published in fashion magazines or as mass-market ads. Participants in the show are Tina Barney, Cedric Buchet, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin, Simon Leigh, Glen Luchford, Steven Meisel, Cindy Sherman, Mario Sorrenti, Larry Sultan, Juergen Teller and Ellen Von Unwerth.

More art and fashion is on tap this weekend at Deitch Projects in a big new gallery space at 26 Wooster Street in SoHo (just north of Deitch's Wooster Street garage space), as "Self Portraits: A Vogue Portfolio" goes on view, Nov. 21-Dec. 20, 2003. The exhibition features self-portrait paintings by women artists, commissioned by Dodie Kazanjian for Vogue for a ten-page portfolio appearing in its December issue. The artists involved are Vanessa Beecroft, Cecily Brown, Rachel Feinstein, Jacqueline Humphries, Sophie Matisse, Wangechi Mutu, Elizabeth Peyton, Susan Rothenberg, Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman, Kiki Smith, Charline von Heyl, Sue Williams, Sue-en Wong and Lisa Yuskavage.

Sanford L. Smith & Associates Art of the 20th Century fair, featuring 65 galleries from around the world, opens at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue, Nov. 21-24, 2003. Exhibitors include James Goodman Gallery, Rachel Adler Gallery, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, Charles Cowles Gallery, Forum Gallery, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, O'Hara Gallery, Kennedy Galleries, Galerie Thomas and Tasende Gallery. The gala preview on Nov. 20 benefits the Children's Museum of Manhattan; for more info, call (212) 721-1234 x235.

A new art magazine titled artUS has landed on the Artnet editorial desk, a 50-page, $6 color package published in Los Angeles and edited by Malik Gaines, M.A. Greenstein, Terry Meyers and Laurence A. Rickels. The mag promises to consider the ways that "today's art production complicates the critical conflict between an internationalist ideal and national self interest." The first issue includes articles on public art by Nancy Princenthal, a department called "Postmortem" written by Gary Indiana and involving Artforum magazine, an essay called "Decade Trouble" by Barbara Kruger, plus other features and plenty of reviews. Subscriptions to the bimonthly publication are $30 in the U.S.; for more info, email

Superdealer Larry Gagosian has won representation of the Willem de Kooning estate, which was previously handled jointly by Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Matthew Marks galleries, according to a report by Lindsey Pollock in the New York Sun. With the settlement of the late artist's estate, more than 1,300 de Kooning works worth an estimated $52 million went to the New York-based Willem de Kooning Foundation, which may eventually take up the thorny problem of compiling a catalog raisonné. Meanwhile, it's unclear what de Kooning heir Lisa de Kooning and the Gagosian Gallery have planned for her share of the estate. Stay tuned.