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Despite a controversy last year involving the recision of a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Me., opens a retrospective exhibition of work by William Pope.L, 47, the African American artist known for comically metaphysical sculptures and performances using food, July 26-Oct. 17, 2002. Titled "eRacism," the show includes several installations plus a DVD archive documenting 20 years of performances, and will feature one of the artist's trademark "crawls," scheduled for Oct. 5, 2002. The exhibition subsequently tours to DiverseWorks in Houston, Tx., and the Portland (Ore.) Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), and is also slated to appear at Artists Space in New York in 2004. Its organizers are ICA director Mark H. C. Bessire, DiverseWorks director Sara Kellner and PICA curator Stuart Horodner. Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue from MIT Press with essays by Studio Museum in Harlem director Lowery Stokes Sims, performance art specialist Kristine Stiles, Franklin Furnace founder Martha Wilson, Village Voice writer C. Carr and Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks. Pope.L, who derives his orthographically odd moniker by combining his father's last name with the first letter of his mother's maiden name, has chained himself to a bank machine with sausage links and eaten strips of the Wall Street Journal with ketchup and milk. The exhibition's $165,000 budget includes $50,000 from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Everyone's favorite start-up auction house, Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg, has announced that it is closing its French and Continental furniture division, though the sale of the John Hobbs collection goes ahead as planned on Oct. 22, 2002. Thierry Millerand, a 27-year veteran of Sotheby's who joined Phillips two years ago, has resigned. Phillips CEO Louise T. Blouin MacBain said that the house now will focus on eight areas: Impressionist & modern art, contemporary art, Swiss paintings, American paintings, photography, 20th- and 21st-century design, watches and jewelry.

Turner Prize winning artist Chris Ofili, 34, whose current show at Victoria Miro Gallery is wowing them in London, has been named to represent Britain at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Though it's too early to say for sure what works Ofili will provide for the prestigious international exhibition, the Independent on Sunday newspaper cast its vote for the artist's "Upstairs Chapel," a kind of "Last Supper" installation of 13 multicolored paintings of monkeys.

Sometimes it's good to think about snow, even if it's not slated to appear for several years. New York art dealer Lance Fung is working on a pair of simultaneous exhibitions scheduled for art museums in the towns of Kemi and Rovaniemi in Finland in the early winter of 2004. According to the plan, some 30 to 40 artists are to collaborate with an equal number of architects to design and build large-scale structures primarily from ice and snow. A preview of several designs, including a joint effort by Steven Holl and Jene Highstein, is scheduled for Feb-Mar. 2003. Funding for the exhibition, budgeted at €3 million, is currently being sought; for more info contact

Art historian Leo Steinberg has given his $3.5 million collection of more than 3,200 prints to the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas in Austin. The collection ranges from Rembrandt and Dürer to Picasso and Jasper Johns. Highlights from the gift go on view in January 2003. Steinberg, 82, recently published Leonardo's Incessant Last Supper (Zone Books, 2001).

The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan has mounted a survey of art by the notoriously abrasive but self-confident painter and filmmaker Vincent Gallo. The "Vincent Gallo Retrospective 1977-2002," July 20-Sept. 29, 2002, features some 120 paintings, drawings and photographs by the director and producer of the 1998 cult hit Buffalo 66. The show includes the artist's paintings on manhole covers, his defaced photographs of his ex-wife Bethany and the frieze-like still lifes that he exhibited in 1985 at Annina Nosei Gallery in SoHo. Gallo's new film, The Brown Bunny, is due to be completed by the end of the year.

The Royal Academy in London presents "Masters of Color: Derain to Kandinsky," July 17-Nov. 17, 2002, a show of 80 works assembled over the last 30 years by Swiss collectors Werner and Gabrielle Merzbacher. The show, which includes a group of eight Kandinsky paintings from 1908-11, has already appeared at the Israel Museum in 1998 and the new Iwate Museum of Art in Japan in 2001.

Stock-market crash driving you into the sanctuary of the museum? Then try "Art and Economics: Sienese Paintings from the Dawn of the Modern Financial Age" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, July 31-Sept. 23, 2002. The show features 50 biccherne, the small painted panels originally done as covers for ledgers, balance sheets and other official documents in Renaissance Siena. Scenes of accountants at work, complete with sacks of gold coins, mix with portrayals of historical events like a 1467 earthquake that drove citizens from the city. Organized by Italian art historian Alessandro Tomei (and at the Corcoran by curators Susan Badder and Eric Denker), the exhibition is drawn largely from the state archives in Siena and had its debut this spring at the Quirinale Palace in Rome; subsequently it appears at the Wallothaus in Frankfurt and the Museum of the Hospital of Maria della Scala in Siena, where it goes on permanent display.

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation has announced the 14 artists who are to receive free studio space in the Tribeca district in New York City, selected from almost 800 applicants in the 12th year of the program. The winners are Augusto Arbizo, Charlie Butterly, Rochelle Feinstein, Joe Fig, Rosemarie Fiore, Mary-Beth Gregg, Patrick Jackson, Yun-Fei Ji, Kasper Kovitz, Amy Meyers, Gina Ruggeri, Stephen Vitiello, Ludmila Uspenskaya and Phoebe Washburn. Applications for the next round are due Jan. 31, 2003; for info see

The Whitney Museum of American Art has purchased works by 28 artists from its 2002 Biennial exhibition, on view Mar. 7-May 26, 2002. Among the acquisitions: Robert Lazzarini's show-stoppingly morphed Payphone (2002), Vera Lutter's mural-sized pinhole photo of a docked ship, Friedrichshafen, Harbour, I; August 22-23, 1999 (1999), Chan Chao's photographs of Burmese refugees and insurgents on the Myanmar border, Erwin Redl's Matrix VI (2002) LED installation on the museum building, the Salon de Fleurus vitrine of objects from a miniature replica of Gertrude Stein's Paris salon, Hirsch Perlman's black-and-white photos of cardboard-box monsters he made in his studio, and Stephen Dean's Pulse (2001), an ecstatic video of the pigment festival in Uttar Pradesh. Other artists whose works were acquired are Irit Batsry, Robert Beavers, Robert Fenz, Glen Fogel, Forcefield, Brian Frye, David Gatten, Luis Gispert, Janine Gordon, Arturo Herrera, Evan Holloway, Ken Jacobs, Christian Jankowski, Yun-Fei Ji, Ari Marcopoulos, Conor McGrady, Julie Moos, Luis Recoder, Stom Sogo, Stephen Vitiello and Peter Williams.

Laurie J. Rufe has been named executive director of the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block; she was formerly head of the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico.

GEORGE RICKEY, 1907-2002
George Rickey, 95, sculptor known for soaring kinetic sculptures made of stainless steel, died on July 17 at his home in St. Paul, Minn. He had his first gallery exhibition (of paintings) in New York in 1933 and made his first kinetic sculpture in 1949. He was included in Documenta III in 1964, had a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 1979, and wrote Constructivism: Origins and Evolution (1967).

YOUSUF KARSH, 1908-2002
Yousuf Karsh, 93, Turkish-born Ottawa-based photographer known especially for his portraits of world leaders, died in Boston on July 13, 2002.