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The Museum of Modern Art has added still another new dimension to its cultural repertoire -- by turning its new midtown Manhattan facility into a rock-concert venue. On Saturday, Dec. 11, artist Guy Richards Smit and his band, Maxi Geil!& PlayColt, performed a set of campy glam-rock songs in the museum's Titus 1 auditorium, which seats 400 and was filled to capacity. The concert was part of a video project called Nausea 2, a work that Smit wrote, directed and stars in (and titled in reference to Sartre's Nausea). The video features performances by fellow artists Rebecca Chamberlain (who plays a character called Giselle Thurst), Zoe Lister-Jones and King Lou Fernandez, plus cameos by art-world notables Delia Brown, Fritz Chesnut, Chris Chiappa, Will Cotton, Leo Fitzpatrick, Tony Matelli, John Pilson and the directors of Roebling Hall, Smit's gallery, Joel Beck and Christian Viveros-Fauné. Nausea 2 opens at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (IMCA) on Jan. 14, 2005. Funding for the project was provided by the IMCA and the MAT Charitable Foundation.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has awarded $20,000 grants to 20 painters and sculptors for 2004. The winners: Nick Ackerman (San Francisco), A. Robert Birmelin (Leonia, N.J.), Denise Burge (Cincinatti), Glenn Lewis Clevenger (Portland, Ore.), Susanna Heller (Brooklyn), Mildred Howard (Berkeley), Sedrick Huckaby (Ft. Worth), David Lozano (Chicago), Maggie Michael (Washington, D.C.), Tom Nakashima (Augusta, Ga.) Ester Partegas (Brooklyn), Richard Rezac (Chicago), Jim Richard (New Orleans), Eric Sall (Richmond), Ray Smith (New York), Jeff Sonhouse (New York), Erick Swenson (Dallas), Peter Williams (Wilmington), John Yoyogi Fortes (Vallejo, Ca.), Wanxin Zhang (San Francisco)

Mexico has been selected as the "guest country" at the next ARCO International Contemporary Art Fair in Madrid, Feb. 10-14, 2005 -- the first time a Latin American country has been so honored. Mexico's program is being curated by Carlos Ashida from the Carrillo Gil Contemporary Art Museum and Julián Zugazagoitia, head of the Museo del Barrio in New York. Some 20 Mexican galleries are expected to participate, the largest number of any guest country recorded to date.

The Manhattan art gallery Achim Moeller Fine Art and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have organized a benefit exhibition of Varian Fry's 1970 portfolio Flight to raise money for individuals devastated and uprooted by violent conflict. Commissioned by activist Varian Fry in 1964, the portfolio includes works by 12 artists, many of whom Fry had helped bring to safety during World War II. The artists that contributed to Flight were Marc Chagall, Vieira da Silva, Adolph Gottlieb, Wilfredo Lam, Jacques Lipchitz, André Masson, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Edouard Pignon and Fritz Wotruba.

Originally produced in an edition of 300 copies, the prints in Flight address the theme of the myth of Aeneas as he fled the burning city of Troy. The subject was inspired by T.S. Eliot's description of Aeneas as "the original displaced person, the fugitive from an obliterated society." Portfolios are priced at $15,000 each ($7,000 of the price is tax deductible). The portfolio goes on view at Achim Moeller Fine Art, Jan. 12-Feb. 4, 2005.

For those interested in learning about the connection between art and glamour, a symposium on the "theory and practice of glamour" is being held at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan, Feb. 25-26, 2005. Among the speakers are Anne Hollander, who is presenting a paper on "Glamour and Avedon"; San Francisco MOMA curator Joseph Rosa, who is speaking on "Glamour, Fashion, Industrial Design, Architecture"; and Andy Warhol Museum director Thomas Sokolowski, whose paper is titled "A Nose Job, a Bottle of Peroxide, and a Whole Lot of Lipstick -- Beauty before Botox and the Art of Andy Warhol." As being glamorous always comes at a price, there is a registration fee of up to $75. For info, see

The curatorial team at the Kunstverein Mnchen is moving on. Maria Lind has been appointed director of the International Artist Studio Programme in Sockholm, while Judith Schwarzbart has been named curator at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. Julienne Lorz is now assistant curator at the Haus der Kunst in Mnchen.

AGNES MARTIN, 1912-2004
Agnes Martin, 92, leading Minimalist painter whose simple gridded canvases have a Zen intensity, died at her home at the Plaza de Retiro in Taos, N.M., on Dec. 16. Born in Canada, Martin became a U.S. citizen in 1950 and had her first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York in 1958. In 1967 she settled in New Mexico. She had retrospective exhibitions organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1991) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1992). She has been represented by PaceWildenstein since 1975.

EMILIO CRUZ, 1938-2004
Emilio Cruz, 66, American-born artist known for dreamlike, expressionist paintings, died of pancreatic cancer in Manhattan on Dec. 10. A musician, poet and playwright as well as an artist, Cruz had two of his plays produced in New York in the early ‘80s. He was a teacher since the ‘70s, and at the time of his death he had teaching posts at Pratt Institute and New York University.

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