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The first three titles from the Tate's new publishing venture on living artists, dubbed Modern Artists, have hit the bookstores -- and they look pretty good. The 130-page, full-color trade paperbacks are nicely printed, packed with images and, unlike many artist's monographs, have as well substantial essays that include detailed biographical and historical information as well as art-critical analysis. The titles, which are distributed in the U.S. by Abrams, include Peter Blake by Natalie Rudd, Paula Rego by Fiona Bradley and Sarah Lucas by Matthew Collings. In the U.S. the titles are list-priced at $24.95.

After 11 years on the job, Jack Bankowsky has tendered his resignation as editor of Artforum, the art-world's hippest contemporary art magazine. Bankowsky "needed a break," according to the New York Times, but hasn't totally doffed his editor's hat -- he continues as editor-in-large in charge of special theme issues and events like symposia and panel discussions. The new editor of the mag should be announced soon.

The next big art fair in New York is the Sixth Annual International Exposition of Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) at the Seventh Regiment Armory at Park Avenue and 67th Street, May 28-June 1, 2003. Over 100 dealers in decorative and fine art are expected. The gala preview on May 28 benefits the Museum of Arts & Design (formerly known as the American Craft Museum), and also inaugurates the "Second Annual Contemporary Decorative Arts Week" with an official proclamation from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Tickets begin at $250; contact (212) 956-3535, ext. 112.

On May 30, SOFA presents the third annual Horizon Awards, a series of grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 that go to undergraduate or graduate students of design. This year the winners are Shayna Leib, Kevin Vieths and Min Seong Kim. Admission to the fair is $16 for the day, or $28 for a four-day pass.

Head out to P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City this summer for a "leisure landscape" of pools and translucent canoe-shaped canopies by Tom Wiscombe of Emergent Architecture, premiering in the P.S. 1 courtyard on June 29, 2003. Wiscombe is the winner of the fourth annual $60,000 commission, which invites architects to propose plans to landscape the museum courtyard for the summer. Wiscombe's design, which somehow transforms into a giant horizontal lantern at night, also does duty as the venue for the popular Sunday music series, "Warm Up." The selection panel included MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry, P.S.1 director Alanna Heiss, MoMA curator Terence Riley, and P.S.1 curators Klaus Biesenbach and Antoine Guerrero. The other finalists were Cho Slade, Ellinger/Yehia Design, Rogers Marvel and SYSTEMarchitects.

Having trouble getting around to visiting some of the ultra-cool galleries on the tony Upper East Side? Well, mark your calendar. Eight of the best are hosting a "Spring Art Walk" on Thursday, May 29, 2003, complete with refreshments from 5-8 pm. Art lovers can see the following exhibitions: Richard Pettibone at Leo Castelli (59 E. 79th St.), Helen Torr and "selected British ceramics" at James Graham & Sons (1014 Madison Ave.), George Segal at Mitchell-Innes & Nash (1018 Madison Ave.), Nancy Becker-Pettibone at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, Ltd. (22 East 80th Street), Frederic Remington and Ansel Adams at Gerald Peters (24 East 78th Street), modern masterworks by Picasso, Leger, Renoir and others at Michelle Rosenfeld (16 East 79th Street), John Dubrow and "American Paintings" at Salander-O'Reilly (20 East 79th Street) and "Art of the Americas: Painting, Sculpture and Drawing from Latin America" at CDS Gallery (76 West 79th Street). For more info or to request a map, see

The Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona is getting a handle on the global spectacle with "Trash Culture: The Potholes of Taste," May 20-Aug. 31, 2003. Organized by writer and journalist Jordi Costa, the show "raises to an esthetic category everything that official culture regards as aberrant." The exhibition is divided into such categories as "Beauty in Monstrosity" and "The Empire of Trash." Among the artists included are Margaret Keane and her imitators, "serial killer artists" like Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacy, filmmaker Ed Wood Jr., and musicians like the Shaggs and Luixy Toledo. For more info, see

"Young Italian Genome," a show of 18 artists who are part of the new art explosion in Rome, inaugurated the new Buia Gallery in New York's Chelsea district on May 15, 2003. Located in a ground floor space in the new Tate Building at 541 West 23rd Street, the gallery is operated by Vanessa Buia, a young Columbia University art historian who briefly worked at Gagosian Gallery before launching her own enterprise. The exhibition is organized by curator Gianluca Marziani and includes works by Matteo Basile, Andrea Chiesi, Paolo Consorti, Enrico Corte, Giacomo Costa, Nicola di Caprio, Arnold Mario Dall'O, Alessandro Gianvenuti, Franco Giordano, Francesco Impellizzeri, Bartolomeo Migliore, Marco Neri, Andrea Nurcis, Rafael Pareja, Luigi Presicce, Antonio Riello, Gianluigi Toccafondo and Adrian Tranquilli. For more info, see

Look out, New York is filling up with museum curators, as the American Federation of Arts hosts its annual "Curators Forum" next month, June 15-17, 2003. The two-and-a-half-day conference kicks off with a reception at the Whitney Museum followed the next day by a series of seminars at the Metropolitan Museum, where Met director Philippe de Montebello delivers the official welcome and Whitney curator Lawrence Rinder delivers the keynote address (entitled "Conscience and Controversy: Curating The American Effect," the Whitney's big summer show of art by non-U.S. citizens). Further topics include "Curators and Publishers: Shared Expectations?", "Philanthropic Support and the Art Museum" and "What's Next for Curators." The event is open only to curators. For more info, contact

The new interactive Tate Modern site, Explore Tate Modern, was recently unveiled by actor Michael Palin in a ceremony at the London museum. The new site, located at Tate Online, is a joint venture between Tate and BT. The site includes virtual galleries, 3-D floor plans and audio descriptions.