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One of the tangential highlights of the 2004 Armory Show in New York was the presentation of the new Illycaff cup-and-saucer designed by Arte Povera pioneer Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933) and dedicated to his recently launched Love Difference project. The cup has a map of the Mediterranean done in Pistoletto's signature mirror surface; the saucer has the phrase "love difference" written on it in the languages of all the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. Pistoletto's Love Difference project, which is based at his Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy, promotes understanding through art in the Mediterranean community. The new cup retails for $65; to order, see

The Jewish Museum launches the first major exhibition of Amedeo Modigliani's work to appear in New York City in more than 50 years with "Modigliani: Beyond the Myth," May 21-Sept. 19, 2004. The show, which is the centerpiece of the museum's 100th anniversary, features more than 100 works by the legendary bohemian, and pays special attention to his heritage as an Italian Jew of Sephardic ancestry. The exhibition is organized by museum curator Mason Klein. It travels to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 23, 2004-Jan. 23, 2005, and the Phillips Collection, Feb. 26-May 29, 2005.

Sotheby's plans to auction a newly attributed painting by Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman Seated at the Virginals (ca. 1670), at its Old Master sales in London this summer. The richly colored picture measures 10 x 8 in. and shows a young woman seated at a harpsichord; it is estimated at 3 million but could go much higher. The little-known painting was classified as a copy following the Han van Meegeren forgery scandal in 1947, but now has been reattributed to Vermeer after extensive research launched by Sotheby's Old Masters specialist Gregory Rubinstein. The picture, which is from the collection of the late Belgian collector Baron Frederic Rolin, matches in pigments and canvas other paintings by Vermeer. Young Woman Seated at the Virginals was included in the 2001 exhibition, "Vermeer and the Delft School," by Metropolitan Museum curator Walter Liedtke. The painting goes on view at Sotheby's New York, Apr. 28-May 9 and May 22-27, 2004, before appearing in Paris and London prior to the auction on July 8. The last Vermeer to come to auction was The Little Street in 1921, which failed to sell (it was bought privately and later donated to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam).

For some time Tate Britain has been conducting "webcasts" of interviews and panel discussions related to its exhibitions, and the museum's next internet star is the "bad girl of British Art," Sarah Lucas. Now exhibiting in Tate Britain's "In-a-gadda-da-vida" exhibition, Lucas is joined in the discussion by her dealer, Sadie Coles. The talk takes place on Apr. 14, 2004, at 6:30 pm (London time) in the Tate Britain auditorium and is webcast at

Also at Tate Britain, this summer the museum takes a look back to the roots of "Cool Britannia" with "Art and the 60s: This Was Tomorrow," June 30-Sept. 26, 2004. Organized by Tate curators Chris Stephens and Katharine Stout, the show includes pop art by Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Allen Jones and Eduardo Paolozzi, "auto-destructive" art by Gustav Metzger, abstract art from the "Situtation" group, John Latham and Bridget Riley, photographs by David Bailey, John Cowan and Don McCullin, architecture from Archigram, Cedric Price and Alison and Peter Smithson, and more.

The Whitney Museum should reduce the size of its celebrated biennial exhibition to a dozen or so artists and then tour the show around the U.S., writes art critic Tyler Green (author of Artnet's own "D.C. Diary") in the Wall Street Journal. "Take the show on the road to four or five American cities that don't see a lot of contemporary art," he recommends. "Send the show to Boise, Idaho; Phoenix; Jackson, Miss.; and Detroit. Or Salt Lake City; San Antonio; and Omaha, Neb." Green wants the museum to send artists from the show on the tour as well, and the exhibition curators, too. "Make a curator's desire and ability to spread the gospel of contemporary art a key part of the job description." Tyler Green's blog is at

Look out! The East Village art scene is coming back, via "East Village USA," a survey show slated to open at the New Museum in November 2004. Curator Dan Cameron promises to cover the "stylistic gamut" from graffiti and punk to Neo-Geo and appropriation art via works by 50 artists, and include contextual material dating back to the Beat and co-op gallery scene of the 1950s. Even larger, for those with more patience, is "The Downtown Show: The New York Scene 1974-84," organized by Carlo McCormick for NYU's Grey Art Gallery and Fales Library and scheduled to bow in January 2006. "It's got hundreds of artists," the curator says.

New Cooper-Hewitt curatorial director Barbara Bloemink's first major exhibition at the "National Design Museum" is "Design ≠ Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread," Sept. 10, 2004-Feb. 20, 2005, organized with independent curator Joseph Cunningham. The show boasts "virtually unknown design works" by 18 Minimalist and Post-Minimalist artists, ranging from Richard Artschwager, Barbara Bloom and Scott Burton to Franz West and Robert Wilson. "In the 21st century," Bloemink says, "design and art are not the same; but with the ascendance of design today, they can be viewed as equally interesting and thought-provoking aspects of an individual artist's oeuvre." The show includes a stainless steel sink designed by Donald Judd for his Spring Street loft, chandeliers by Richard Tuttle and a table made of auto parts by John Chamberlain. On view at the same time at the Cooper-Hewitt is "Josef and Anni Albers: Designs for Living," Oct. 1, 2004-Feb. 27, 2005.

Move over, Chinati Foundation, there's a new cultural center in Marfa, Tex. Ballroom Marfa opens with "Optimo: Manifestations of Optimism in Contemporary Art," Apr. 23-June 27, 2004, organized by independent curator Alexander Gray and the Ballroom staff. Artists in the show are Polly Apfelbaum, Martin Creed, Karen Finley, Forcefield, Beatriz Milhazes, Takashi Murakami, Adam Pendleton and Leo Villareal. Ballroom was co-founded by Virginia Lebermann and Fairfax Dorn in 2003, and is a nonprofit space dedicated to the notion that art can have a positive impact on the human spirit. For more info, see

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced the addition of more than 1,200 works to its permanent collection in 2003. The acquisitions include the Jacob Jordaens painting, Allegory of the Poet (ca. 1664), obtained through the generosity of the Ahmanson Foundation; a pair of portraits by Louis-Lopold Boilly given by Calvin and Marilyn Gross; and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo's drawing of The Sermon on the Mount (ca. 1786-90), added through the efforts of the museum's new Drawings Group.

In modern and contemporary art, LACMA received a gift of 88 works on paper from Gemini G.E.L. Los Angeles dealer Margo Leavin gave the museum Jasper Johns' charcoal, graphite and paper collage High School Days (1964-65), which is the first drawing by the artist in the museum collection. Photographer Lee Friedlander gave the museum 75 pirnts by R. B. Kitaj, while Kitaj donated a suite of photos of himself taken by Friedlander, plus 57 more works by British and U.S. artists from his own collection. The museum also purchased a version of Marcel Duchamp's With Hidden Noise, the famous readymade consisting of ball of twine clamped between two metal plates, with an unknown rattling object inside

Spring has barely sprung in New York and the galleries are already assembling group shows, which traditionally are a way for dealers to close out the season with surveys of "new talent." Among them are two with provocative titles, both organized, as it happens, by artists. "Let the Bullshit Run a Marathon," Apr. 8-May 8, 2004, organized by Nate Lowman at Nicole Klagsbrun, includes Art & Language, Patterson Beckwith, Isa Genzken, Jane Kaplowitz, Michael St. John and 15 other artists. "When I Think about You I Touch Myself: An Exhibition on the Sociability of Artworks," Apr. 9-May 10, 2004, organized by David Humphrey at the New York Academy of Art on Franklin Street in Tribeca, features works by William Bailey, Lynda Benglis, Carol Bove, Paul Cadmus, Sue de Beer, Walt Kuhn, Dana Schutz and eight other artists.

The Drawing Center in SoHo is honoring artist Richard Serra at its annual fundraising gala, Apr. 1, 2004. A viewing of the center's exhibition of Victorian-era botanical illustrations, "Ocean Flowers: Impressions from Nature," is followed by cocktails and dinner at the Tribeca Rooftops event space. Tickets are $500; for info, call Livet Reichard Company at (212) 344-8420.

Christo and Jeane-Claude receive the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center at a ceremony in New York on Apr. 29, 2004. The award dinner doubles as a fundraiser, with tickets starting at $350; for more info, email