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Easily the most exciting survey exhibition at a New York museum this spring features not art but "design," that vast, truly interdisciplinary category that ranges from magazine graphics and book design to architecture and fashion, and also includes furniture, accessories, lighting, cell phones, automobiles and just about every product that the capitalist mind can produce. Thus the "National Design Triennial: Inside Design Now," Apr. 22, 2003-Jan. 25, 2004, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum up on East 91st Street and Fifth Avenue in New York. On view is the work of 80 designers and design firms, selected by four curators: Donald Albrecht and Ellen Lupton from the Cooper-Hewitt and guest curators Mitchell Owens (design director at Elle Décor) and Susan Yelavich (an independent consultant). The installation, which is quite good, is by Sandra Wheeler and Alfred Zollinger of Matter Practice.

The breadth of the show is a postmodernist's dream. It includes major corporations: the Ford Motor Company, for its glowing prototype car by Laurens van den Acker; Nokia, for its gold and platinum cell phones by Frank Nuovo; and Target Corporation, for its advertising and logos. It includes individual artists: sculptor Michele Oka Doner with nature-inspired jewelry in silver and gold, and Michael Rakowitz, with his "parasite" inflatable plastic shelters for the homeless.

Among the fashion designers are As Four (with a large wall arabesque made of silver sequins), LoyandFord (samples of their deconstructed couture), Tina Lutz and Marcia Patmos (sweaters and knits), Gene Meyer (who is cited for his use of color), Isaac Mizrahi (his frog costume for a Mark Morris ballet bouffon) and Isabel Toledo (her 2002 "hermaphrodite dress"). Among the architects are Brian Bell, Peter Eisenman, Frank Escher and Ravi Gunewardena, Stanley Saitowitz, Dennis Wedlick, and Kiki Wallace and Mark Sofield, who have designed an entire new town in Longmont, Colo.

Bergdorf Goodman window designer David Hoey is included with a mini-retrospective of some of his windows, and Hollywood makeup artist Rick Baker is cited for his work on The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Men in Black and Planet of the Apes. Novelist Dave Eggers is included, for the design of his McSweeney's publications, as is Maira Kalman, she of the celebrated 2001 New Yorker cover cartoon that recasts New York's five boroughs as a succession of "stans," moolahs and pashminas.

The New York City collaborative Collaborative (Jessica Corr, William Doll, Anton Ginzburg and Joe Serrins) is included for, among other items, its mold-blown glass "Foot and Mouth" beer stein, shaped like a cow's hoof, that holds a pint of Guinness (and is for sale in the Cooper-Hewitt gift shop for $120). And the Triennial is the first major design show to include a scent designer, with an installation from the Demeter Fragrance Library, a set of 160 "pick-me-up cologne spray" bottles of generic scents like riding crop, tomato, New Zealand, dirt and turpentine. "Most commercial perfumes provide a finished idea, a fantasy," said Demeter's Christopher Brosius. "We allow people a more personal and real relation to the scents."

Imagine a network of artist's fellowships stretching across the country, with a new set of $20,000 awards being announced every couple of months in a different city -- Atlanta, Kansas City, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Boston. Each grant competition is city-based, but the jurors are curators at important contemporary museums, giving a new national visibility to the local talents. Such is the vision of a new grant program launched by Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue, an organization that was founded as the Art Council in 1997 by investment banker and art collector Christopher Vroom and that is now, with its new mission, headed by Alexander Gray. First up in the city sweepstakes is Houston, where the five winners of the new $20,000 Artadia Houston 2003 Awards are to be announced at a gala dinner celebration (following a champagne reception sponsored by Dom Pérignon) at the Hotel Derek there on Sunday, Apr. 27, 2003. The 15 Houston-based finalists are Rachel Cook, Santiago Cucullu, Sharon Engelstein, Francesca Fuchs, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Rachel Hecker, Brian Heiss, Emily Joyce, Karyn Olivier, Robyn O'Neil, Aaron Parazette, Sigrid Sandstrom, Matthew Sontheimer, John Sparagana, and Brent Steen. "We want to build a dynamic network of arts support," said Gray, "that encourages and helps artists in the communities where they live." According to Gray, the grant program could eventually grow to ten biennial competitions every two years. The price tag -- about $2 million a year, raised from local and national sponsors.

The 2003 Tribeca Film Festival, May 3-11, 2003, the second installment of the annual event instituted last year by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, features at least two movies with art-world pedigrees. Alfred Leslie's The Cedar Bar (2003), an 84-minute movie based on the battles between legendary critic Clement Greenberg and assorted Abstract Expressionist painters at the notorious Greenwich Village hangout, plays on May 9 and 10. And Spencer Tunick's Naked World, a 77-minute-long documentary of the famed photographer's year-long trip around the globe, staging mass nude art performances on seven continents, unspools on May 10 and 11. For more info, see

A stint at the American Academy in Rome has long been a cherished sabbatical for artists and art historians. But designers are included in the program as well -- since 1965 the Academy has granted fellowships to two designers a year -- and New Yorkers have a rare opportunity to see the results of their work in "FAAR OUT: Six Months in Rome," Apr. 9-May 2, 2003, at the Art Directors Club at 106 West 29th Street. Among the furniture, interiors, signage, posters, drawings and models on exhibition are Tupperware designs by the late Morison S. Cousins, the V8 splash logo by Paul Shaw and a new site-specific piece by lighting designer Heather Carson. The show is organized by Linda Blumberg, who headed up the AAR for the last three years, with illustrator Paul Davis and Art Directors Club executive director Myrna Davis. Other exhibition participants include Stanley Abercrombie, William Adair, Ross S. Anderson, Joseph H. Aronson, Karen Bausman, Ellen Beasley, Anna Campbell Bliss, Paul M. Bray, Steven Brooke, Michael B. Cadwell, Coleman Coker, Russell Rowe Culp, Paul Davis, Robert De Fuccio, William H. Fain, Jr., J. Michael Kirkland, George Krause, Debra McCall, Thomas M. Phifer, William L. Plumb, Samina Quraeshi, Mark Robbins, Michael Rock, Mark Schimmenti, Paul L. Steinberg, Kevin Walz and Tod Williams.

Just in time for Mother's Day (May 11), a new exhibition at the Educational Alliance at 197 East Broadway on Manhattan's Lower East Side is pairing artists and their mothers. "My Mother's an Artist," Apr. 26-May 29, 2003, organized by Sheila Pepe, features works by more than 30 contemporary artists and their mothers, including Lynda Benglis and her mother, Margaret Leah Blackwelder; Tom Burkhardt and his mom, Yvonne Jacquette; and Judy Glantzman and her sister Sara Stites, with their mother, Muriel Taub Glantzman. Other artists in the show include Polly Apfelbaum, Nancy Abel and Lillian Weil; Elizabeth Bonaventura and Barbara Bonaventura; Shannon Bowser and Stefani Lee Bowser; Fritz Buehner and Marjorie Joslyn Buehner; Megan Cump and Elizabeth Cump; Elizabeth Duffy and Mary Duffy; Jane Fine and Cecile Fine; Karen Hesse Flatow and Virginia Hesse; Jean Foos and Mary Foos; Rupert Goldsworthy and Elspeth Goldsworthy; Dahlov Ipcar and MarguErite Zorach; Suzanne Joelson and Blanche Joelson; Peter Krashes and Barbara Krashes; Robert Kushner and Dorothy Kushner; Meghan LeBorious and Elizabeth Grigely-LeBorious; Karyn Lyons and Sharon Alk; David McMurray and Valerie McMurray; Ottonella Mocellin and Elena Fiocchi; Frank Olive and Maureen Olive; Sheila Pepe and Josephine C. Pepe; Lezley Saar, Alison Saar and Betye Saar; Olivia Schreiner and Kristi Roenning; Mira Schor and Resia Schor; Harriet Shorr, Adele Arner Shorr and Sasha Baguskas; Michael Stickrod and Saundra Stickrod; Lisa Young and Jean Young; and Arjan Zazueta and Virginia Hanrahan.

The Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, the development program for the visual arts that is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has announced its 2003 grant recipients. The winners are the Fabric Workshop and Museum for a survey of contemporary filmmaking ($200,000), the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, for a survey of work by Barry LeVa ($180,000), the Main Line Art Center for public artworks by four artists ($150,000) and the Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design for the first U.S. survey of works by Jrg Immendorff ($181,500). An additional $15,000 planning grant was given to Taller Puertorriqueno for the exhibition "Tainos: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture."

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., has received a collection of 52 artworks from collectors Catherine and Gilbert Brownstone. The collection features reductivist works by European and U.S. artists, and includes works by Josef Albers, Lucio Fontana, Gottfried Honegger, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, John McCracken, Robert Mangold, Olivier Mossett, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Ed Ruscha and others. The Brownstones live in Palm Beach and Paris; he is a former curator of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and director of the Musée Picasso in Antibes, while she is the former fashion director of French Vogue and French Elle.

Lisa Roumell has been appointed deputy director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. A venture capitalist with 15 years of experience, Roumell has formerly worked with private equity investment funds for DFW Management Company and First Century Partners. She replaces Dennis Szakacs, who resigned in March to assume his new post as director of the Orange County Museum of Art in California.

The Dahesh Museum of Art has appointed Peter Trippi as its new director. A specialist in Victorian art, Trippi is currently assistant vice director for development of exhibitions and collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Stephen Wicks has been named curator of collections and exhibitions at the Columbus (Ga.) Museum. Wicks was formerly curator at the Knoxville Museum of Art.