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The 23rd installment of ARCO, the Spanish-speaking world's premiere art fair, opens at Madrid's modern Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I, Feb. 12-16, 2004. A total of 274 galleries are on hand, with about one-third hailing from Spain itself; another 28 come from Latin America, while 26 come from the U.S. and Canada. For the first time, ARCO boasts the participation of galleries from Africa, from Mali and Senegal.

The fair features three invitationals: "Greece at Arco '04," organized by Katerina Gregos and Sania Papa and featuring 15 galleries from Athens and Thessaloniki (all but two participating for the first time); 26 site-specific "Project Rooms" organized by Victor Zamudio-Taylor, Peter Doroshenko and Silvia Karman Cubi; and "Up and Coming," including 53 galleries from 21 countries, organized into six sections and selected by 23 international critics and curators.

The fair also features an "International Art Experts Forum" with an incredible 44 panels, as well as the new International Visual Studies Conference, which promises presentations by Hal Foster, Norman Bryson, W.J.T. Mitchell, Susan Buck-Morss and other cultural studies stars.

Art-world observers were buzzing last week about the strong words employed by Flash Art editor Giancarlo Politi to complain about the fact that ARCO '04 in Madrid and the Berlin Biennial were scheduled to open simultaneously. In a piece titled "On Dilettantism and Cynicism in Art" and widely circulated in the Flash Art Newsletter email, Politi placed the blame squarely on the organizers of the Berlin event, as ARCO had announced its 2004 opening dates over 12 months ago. "It is a typical characteristic of curators and art critics (paid with public money)," he wrote, "to try to devalue the work of others (while deprecating only their own work) with cynicism and indifference."

For photo buffs, the focus is on neither Madrid nor Berlin -- since the AIPAD Photography Show 2004 opens at the New York Hilton, Feb. 12-15, 2004. About 75 dealers from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan are on hand, in what is a premiere event for photo collectors. Among the participants are Bonni Benrubi, Janet Borden, Stephen Cohen, Jane Corkin, Howard Greenberg, Edwynn Houk, Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Robert Mann, Laurence Miller, Ricco-Maresca, Yancey Richardson, Staley + Wise, Throckmorton, Zabriskie and many others. For more info, see

The College Art Association has announced winners of its annual awards in art criticism and art history for 2004. The Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism is awarded to the Guerrilla Girls, the activist group that draws attention to sexism and racism in the art world (but doesn't, in case you're wondering, actually write art criticism). The Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement for Art Writing goes to medievalist Hans Belting of Northwestern University. The Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize for a Distinguished Article in the Art Bulletin goes to Harvard art historian Robin E. Kelsey for Viewing the Archive: Timothy O'Sullivan's Photographs for the Wheeler Survey, 1871-74. The winner of the Art Journal Award is critic Jenni Sorkin for Envisioning High Performance, a text on the performance-art quarterly published in the 1980s and '90s.

The Charles Rufus Morey Award for a Distinguished Book in the History of Art goes to University of Iowa art historian John Belson Scott, author of Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin (University of Chicago, 2003). The Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for Museum Scholarship goes to Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator Linda Kornmaroff and Metropolitan Museum curator Stefano Carboni, co-editors of The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353.

"Four Centuries of Birds in Paintings, Sculpture and Fine Prints," the largest exhibition of bird art ever assembled by a private gallery, is currently on view in Palm Beach, Fla., Jan. 29-Mar. 14, 2004. The collection of 150 Old Master paintings, antique prints, watercolors and contemporary art, put together by Grier Clarke, debuted this winter at his Clarke Galleries in Stowe, Vt., and is scheduled to make an appearance in New York City as well. In the meantime, the show -- temporarily housed at 340 Royal Poinciana Way in Palm Beach -- includes engravings and etchings by John James Audubon from his classic Birds of North America, the 17th-century oil painting Study of Birds on a Bank by Francis Barlow, an oil by Charles Russell titled Stealing the Eagle's Eggs, and a picture of baby crows by Jamie Wyeth. The exhibition is accompanied by an 80-page catalogue with an essay by James Gallo. For more info, see or

"The Snow Show," a collection of structures made of snow and frozen water by 17 teams of artists and architects, goes on view in the arctic towns of Kemi and Rovaniemi in Finland, Feb. 12-Mar. 31, 2004. Doesn't thinking of it just make you shiver? Among the collaborating teams are Arata Isozaki and Yoko Ono; LOT-ek and Top Changtrakul; Morphosis and Do-Ho Suh; Juhani Pallasmaa and Rachel Whiteread; Lebbeus Woods and Kiki Smith; Williams & Tsien and Carsten Hller; Ocean North and Ernesto Neto; Enrique Norten and Lawrence Weiner; Zaha Hadid and Cai Guo-Qiang; Future Systems and Anish Kapoor; and Diller + Scofidio and John Roloff. For more details, go to

The London-based Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum has won the 2004 Sonning Prize from the University of Copenhagen. The $167,000 award honors advancements in European culture; the citation credited Hatoum for "being one of those who has found the most concise artistic expression for the new European's existential experience on unstable grounds between several cultures."

"My Master Is Creation: Katsushika Hokusai and the Frontiers of Art," a presentation by Brown University professor Roger Keyes, inaugurates a new monthly series of lectures on "Great Masters of Japanese Painting" at Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street in New York. Hokusai is celebrated, of course, for his painting Great Wave, a Japanese art icon; Professor Keyes lecture focuses on the artist's lesser known works, and discusses new research on the artist's background and spiritual practice. The lecture is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004, at 6:30 pm. (Subjects of future presentations are Soga Shohaku, Taiga and Maruyama Okyo.) For reservations, email

JILL KORNBLEE, 1920-2004
Jill Kornblee, 84, New York art dealer who gave first solo shows to Howard Hodgkin, Dan Flavin, Rackstraw Downes and many other artists, died on Jan. 29 in Branford, Conn. She opened her gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in the early '60s, later moving to 57th Street; she closed the gallery in 1986.