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The International Center of Photography in New York kicks off the new art season with "Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video," Sept. 13-Nov. 30, 2003. Organized by the ICP power quartet of curators -- Edward Earle, Christopher Phillips, Carol Squiers and Brian Wallis -- the show features some 100 works by 40 artists from 20 countries. The title refers both to the recent revival of urban street photography and post-9/11 xenophobia. The artists: Francis Als, Olivo Barbieri, Yto Barrada, Chien-Chi Chang, Leif Claesson, Nancy Davenport, Luc Delahaye, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Rineke Dijkstra, Harun Farocki, Coco Fusco, David Goldblatt, Rene Green, Julie Henry, Bill Henson, Ben Judd, Justine Kurland, Jana Leo, Liu Zheng, Tim Maul, Susan Meiselas, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Matthias Mller, Shirin Neshat, Yoshua Okon, Richard Renaldi, Julika Rudelius, John Schabel, Collier Schorr, Zineb Sedira, Efrat Shvily, Kiki Seror, Bruno Serralongue, Eyal Sivan, Joel Sternfeld, Beat Streuli, Fiona Tan, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Sharon Yaari, Shizuku Yokomizo.

German newspapers were awash last week with news of Neo-Expressionist artist Jorg Immendorff, who was caught by police holding a cocaine party with nine prostitutes at Dusseldorf's five-star Steigenberger hotel. According to press reports, the naked artist was caught with 11 grams of cocaine, piled in a Versace ashtray and cut in lines on a tray (another 10 grams was found at his studio). The 58-year-old Immendorff admitted to having taken cocaine over the last decade, and told police that he had held similar parties over the past two years. The scandal has extra legs because Immendorff is a pal of German chancellor Gerhard Schrder, who recently picked the artist to paint his portrait for the Berlin chancellery.

According to the gossipy Bild tabloid, Immendorff has ALS, and has lost control of his left hand and can only control his right hand with difficulty. The disease is so devastating to the artist, the paper said, that it drives him to drugs. "My wife knows how much I love her," the artist said. "Sometimes have to live out an Orientalism has nothing to do with that." The prostitutes don't present a problem -- prostitution is legal in Germany -- but the quantity of cocaine is well above the country's relatively liberal levels. A maximum sentence of one year is likely, said Dusseldorf prosecutor Johannes Mocken, though he admitted that the sentence could be suspended, pending good behavior. The German press speculated that Immendorff would lose his job as a professor at the Kunstakademie Dsseldorf.

The police were supposedly tipped off by a prostitute who wasn't included in the party. "There are good prostitutes and bad prostitutes," Immendorff said. "A good prostitute shouldn't say anything about her clientele."

One of the first big events of the fall art season in New York is the Douglas Dibble Memorial Art Auction on Sept. 6, 2003, a benefit for the three-year-old daughter of artist Douglas Dibble, an adjunct professor of studio art at Hunter College who was tragically killed two years ago in a hit-and-run accident while leaving the school's studio building (which is located near the Lincoln Tunnel). Over 600 artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Tony Oursler and Kiki Smith, have contributed works to the sale, which takes place from 7 pm to 10 pm at the Hunter College Times Square Gallery, 450 West 41st Street. Tickets are $10. All proceeds go to the Wallace Evelyn Dibble Scholarship Fund. For more information, see

Andy Warhol still has the Midas Touch. Uncle Andy's, the children's book published by Warhol nephew James Warhola back in April, is about to go into its third printing (over 30,000 copies in all), according to publishers G.P. Putnam's Sons. The 32-page book (which is priced at $16.99) tells the story of a 1962 visit by young James and his large family to see "Uncle Andy" in New York, not long after the celebrated Pop artist's first solo show, which introduced the world to his Campbell's Soup paintings. An accomplished illustrator, Warhola does a great job telling a story that Publisher's Weekly calls "an outrageously prosaic chapter from his uncle's ultra-hip life." Among the art-historical revelations: Andy enlisted his seven-year-old nephew to help on his "paint-by-numbers" sailboat canvas. The book is targeted at readers age five -- and up.

California Abstract Expressionist Sam Francis has his first ever UK retrospective at Robert Sandelson and Broadbent galleries, Sept. 17-Oct. 25, 2003. The show of 50 paintings includes rare early black paintings from the estate -- which has now distributed most of its holdings of the artist's work and is focusing on preparing the catalogue raisonne. Francis' work has been performing quite well at auction lately; Big Orange (1954-55) sold at Christie's New York last May for almost $2,700,000, the second highest price ever. For more info on the estate, see

Blue-chip contemporary art dealers Hauser & Wirth are opening a London outpost next month, and veteran New York dealer Curt Marcus has signed on as gallery director (after operating his own gallery in SoHo for over a decade, Marcus most recently was working at Barbara Gladstone Gallery). Dubbed Hauser & Wirth London, the new gallery is located in a historic 1920s bank building at 106A Picadilly, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and located next door to Christopher Wren's St. James Church. The first show features an installation by California Body Artist Paul McCarthy, opening Oct. 16, 2003. Currently on view at Galerie Hauser & Wirth in Zurich is a show of works by Tony Smith, Aug. 23-Oct. 11, 2003.

Dealer Daniel Reich, the former director of Pat Hearn Gallery who made a big splash when he launched his own operation out of his Chelsea apartment in 2001, is moving to a new gallery space at 537A West 23rd Street in Chelsea this fall. The 1,000-square-foot storefront space is located in the new Tate Building next to the Half King bar and Van der Weghe Gallery. Plans call for the inaugural show, a two-person exhibition of works by Nick Mauss and Shelby Hughes in the front and a presentation of Christian Holstad's Fear Gives Courage Wings in the back room, to open in early October.

A group of young artists has opened a new gallery and studio at 22 Wooster Street in SoHo, at the former site of American Fine Arts. Founded by Cooper Union grads Anya Kielar, Sara VanDerBeek -- who is gallery director -- and Johannes VanDerBeek, Guild & Greyshkul plans to have exhibitions on the ground floor and seven functioning artist's studios in the basement space. "The resolved work is upstairs," said Johannes. The gallery's inaugural exhibition, "From Here On," Sept. 20-Oct. 25, 2003, features works by Lansing-Dreiden, Yuri Masnyj, Matthew Sawyer, Mateo Tannatt, Johannes VanDerBeek and Aaron Young. The name is made up. "We wanted a sense of old SoHo," said Johannes. "Like Dean & DeLuca." The gallery website is at

This coming November, the peripatetic art dealer Kenny Schachter plans to open a gallery devoted to photography in the westernmost stretches of Greenwich Village. Dubbed Cross Eyed Photos and located next door to the BMW motorcycle dealership on West Street between Charles and 10th streets, the new space is debuting in November. The project should be fairly glamorous -- Vanity Fair photog Mark Seliger is a partner in the enterprise. Long known for art shows mounted in temporary spaces, Schachter opened Kenny Schachter ConTEMPorary, a permanent gallery in a space designed by Acconci Studios, at 14 Charles Lane in June 2002.

JAMES ROMANO, 1947-2003
James F. Romano, 56, Egyptologist and curator at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, died on Aug. 11, 2003, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Romano joined the Brooklyn Museum in 1976, and most recently served as project director of "Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity," the new installation of the museum's Egyptian holdings that opened last April.