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For art lovers unable to see the Whitney Museum 2004 Biennial Exhibition, Mar. 11-May 30, 2004, in the flesh-world, the museum has launched a handsome, comprehensive cyberspace version at The site provides a mother-load of online info, with critical texts by the likes of film theorist Laura Mulvey and Artforum editor Tim Griffin along with luscious reproductions of work by each of the show's 108 artists, who range from Marina Abramovic to Andrea Zittel and include two artists' co-operatives, the Washington based low-fi art punk band Tracy and the Plastics and the performance group Los Super Elegantes. Museum director Adam D. Weinberg does his bit with a seven-page-long Oscar- worthy list of acknowledgements, in which he thanks the curators, Chrissie Iles, Shamim M. Momin and Debra Singer, for their "Herculean efforts, dogged determination and passion, passion, passion." The site provides a chat section, which strives to spark debate with the intro, "Excited? Enraged? Welcome to the Biennial Dialogue."

The 2004 Whitney Biennial must be a success -- other organizations are using it as a yardstick to measure their own accomplishments. ArtPace, the artist residency and exhibition center in San Antonio, announced that the Biennial features 13 alumni of its own programs, including "ArtPace fellows" Maurizio Cattelan, Spencer Finch, Isaac Julien, Robyn O'Neil, Liisa Roberts, Dario Robleto, Aïda Ruilova, Yutaka Sone and Erick Swenson.

Meanwhile, the innovative art-world nonprofit Creative Capital has announced that five of its grantees are represented in the 2004 biennial: Harrell Fletcher, Sam Green, Miranda July, Simparch and Sharon Lockhart. Creative Capital also notes that it helped fund The Weather Underground, a documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award, and also backed several films that have been included in festivals in New York, Berlin and at Sundance.

New York City is happily in the throes of Asia Week, and central to the fest is the International Asian Art Fair, Mar. 26-31, 2004, at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue at 67th Street. Brian and Anna Haughton's spring event, founded in 1996, features more than 60 specialists in art from the Near East, Far East and South East Asia. The Mar. 25 gala preview benefits Asia Society; tickets begin at $125, for more info, call (212) 327-1302. Several lectures are planned as well, including a presentation on Mar. 28 by Joan Mirviss on collecting Japanese Art and a talk on Mar. 29 by Asia Society director Vishakha Desai on tradition in contemporary Asian art. For info, see General admission to the fair is $16.

The Museum of Modern Art is taking its once-untouchable collection to the auction block again, this time with nine modernist masterpieces slated for the May 4 and May 11 sales at Christie's New York. The trove includes Giorgio di Chirico's 1917 icon of Metaphysical Painting, The Great Metaphysician (est. $7 million-$10 million), which is the top lot of the May 4 sale; a major Jackson Pollock drip painting from 1949, No. 12 (est. $5 million-$7 million); and works by Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Fernand Léger, René Magritte and Pablo Picasso. As is usual in such cases, the museum claims the works to be converted to cash are "rarely shown" and "inferior" to other examples in the collection -- though such a rationale must be soft-pedaled, since it would tend to depress auction proceeds. The cash raised is presumably to be squandered in the overheated art market -- as other funds for museum acquisitions are diverted to help pay for MoMA's new billion-dollar facility. The art sell-off was first announced in the New York Times, which seems to have run a noncritical story on the scheme in exchange for the exclusive.

In a surprise move, auctioneer Simon de Pury has bought out the shares of Daniella Luxembourg in the upstart art-auction house Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg, which the pair founded in 2000. Details of the transaction were confidential. The auction house, which has about 40 employees and offices and salesrooms in London, New York, Munich, Paris, Berlin, Zurich and Geneva, is now named Phillips, de Pury & Co.; its spring photo sales are slated for Apr. 22-24, 2004, with contemporary art on tap for Mar. 13-14. For her part, Daniella Luxembourg has launched her own private art dealership, Luxembourg Art, and is also starting ArtVest, an art-investment company. Insiders said that Luxembourg had wanted out since the Louise MacBain fiasco [see "Artnet News," Dec. 10, 2002], but had been persuaded to delay her exit until after the spring sales had been set. The staff of the beleaguered auction house is jittery, to say the least. "Who knows what the future holds?" said one.

Issey Miyake has won the $50,000 Wexner Prize for 2004, the first fashion designer to receive the award. He goes to Columbus May 10-11 to receive the honor.

Steve Turner Gallery in Beverly Hills is opening a new show by Mark Steven Greenfield called "Post Minstrel," Mar. 27-May 8, 2004, featuring 25 new works inspired by 19th and early 20th century images of blackface entertainment. An African-American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, Greenfield has made cutting works addressing issues of race and identity since 2000, works that have been included in "Whiteness: A Wayward Construction" at the Laguna Art Museum and "Only Skin Deep" at the International Center for Photography. For more info, see

The historic Moscow exhibition hall that was the setting for Nikita Khrushchev's 1962 attack on contemporary art was destroyed by fire on Sunday, Mar. 14, 2004, according to the Moscow Times. Hundreds of artworks by contemporary artists were also lost in the fire, the newspaper said, including paintings by the Moscow artist Tatiana Yan from her recent show "The Way to Cappadokia," some 100 paintings and watercolors dating to the 1980s by 67-year-old artist Vadim Konev stored in the building's third floor, and as many as 250 works by more than 90 artists from a recent show of scenery and costumes titled "Results of the Season." Gallery director Irina Meleshkevich told the paper that most of the works weren't insured.

The Central Manezh Exhibition Hall, as it is called, was erected in 1817 next to the Kremlin by Italian architect Osip Bove and Spanish engineer Augustin Betancourt. The unusual wood-girdered, columnless structure was originally used for military parades, though it also hosted a historic concert conducted by Hector Berlioz in 1868. The communists converted it into an exhibition center in 1957, and the space presented the celebrated "New Reality" exhibition of 1962, which made news after Khrushchev called the artists "fags" and "bastards" and said they had no place in the new Soviet state. Since 1994 the building has housed the private Manezh Gallery -- and again met scandal in 1998, when the Moscow artist Avdei Ter-Oganyan destroyed mass-produced icons with an axe, and was later declared guilty of inciting religious hatred by a Moscow court and forced to flee the country.

Deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid has become the first woman to receive the $100,000 Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is to be awarded at a ceremony at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg on May 31. The Baghdad-born, London-based Hadid, 53, has only one building in the U.S., the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, but she has several major commissions in the works, including Maxxi, the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Rome, a high-speed train station in Naples and an addition to Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, Okla. She has also signed on to design a new art gallery and residential complex planned for London by transplanted New York art dealer Kenny Schachter.

Art 35 Basel, June 16-21, 2004, has selected the artists for its annual barometer of hot new art, the "Art Statements" section, which this year includes 17 artists from 12 countries. The artists (and their galleries) are Dirk Bell (BQ, Cologne), Pierpaolo Campanini (Francesca Kaufmann, Milan), Valentin Carron (Praz-Delavallade, Paris), Sunah Choi (Neff, Frankfurt), Juan Pedro Fabra (Brändström & Stene, Stockholm), Icelandic Love Corporation (i8, Reykjavik), Dr. Lakra (Kurimanzutto, Mexico City), Mai-Thu Perret (Pia, Bern), Alex Pollard (Mummery, London), Marcin Maciejowski (Meyer Kainer, Vienna), Aleksandra Mir (Jousse, Paris), Anselm Reyle (Nourbakhsch, Berlin), Matthew Ronay (Staerk, Copenhagen), Steven Shearer (Noero, Turin), Tino Sehgal (Mot, Brussels), Torbjörn Vejvi (Raucci/Santamaria, Naples), and Roe Ethridge (Andrew Kreps, New York).

Adelson Galleries in the Mark Hotel on East 77th Street in Manhattan is showcasing drawings and paintings by Jamie Wyeth that were made for scaremeister Stephen King's current 15-hour fright fest, Kingdom Hospital, currently airing on ABC on Wednesday nights. "Jamie Wyeth: Works from Kingdom Hospital," Mar. 4-Apr. 2, 2004, features paintings and drawings that are central to the TV tale, which revolves around a artist who, like King, is the victim of a gruesome accident that requires extended hospitalization. "Wyeth's figurative work reflects much of the sense of isolation and, to some extent, the insularity of Maine," said dealer Warren Adelson, who came up with the idea of the collaboration. "I thought he would be a perfect interpreter for the story's protagonist." As a result of the project, Wyeth is now represented by Adelson Galleries.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is giving the tourists a preview of its forthcoming Dan Flavin retrospective, which is slated for Oct. 3, 2004-Jan. 9, 2005. Two fluorescent light pieces by Flavin are on view in the East Building concourse, both titled "monument" for V. Tatlin (1969-70 and 1968). The forthcoming survey, the first comprehensive retro of the artist's work, includes 35 to 40 works plus drawings in a show co-organized with the Dia Center for the Arts. A tour is planned.

The Guggenheim Museum's "Giorgio Armani: Retrospective" moves to Rome when it opens at the National Museum of Roman Antiquities at the Baths of Diocletian, May 6-Aug. 1, 2004. The installation is designed by theater impresario Robert Wilson and funded by Mercedes-Benz and American Express. The exhibition of 500 outfits by the fashion designer premiered at the Gugg in 2000 and is now on a five-city tour (stops in Tokyo and Los Angeles are still to come).

The University of Buffalo Art Gallery is opening a ten-year survey of work by New York artist Patricia Cronin, whose production ranges from the large-scale marble sculpture Memorial to a Marriage, an unprecedented lesbian mortuary marker installed at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, to erotic watercolors of intimate moments with her partner, the artist Deborah Kass. "Patricia Cronin, The Domain of Perfect Affection, 1993-2003," Mar. 26-May 22, 2004, is organized by UB Art Gallery associate curator Sandra Firmin, and accompanied by a 44-page monograph of the artist's work that includes an essay by NYU professor Robert Rosenblum.

Frieze Magazine has appointed Jennifer Higgie and Joerg Heiser as its new joint editors. Higgie had been the mag's reviews editor, while Heiser was its editor in Berlin. A new design is promised for September 2004. . . .ArtReview has named Rebecca Wilson as its new U.K. editor. She had been deputy editor at Modern Painters since 2002.