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Artnet News
Feb. 9, 2006 

Goya's Ghosts, the Milos Forman-directed film about the life and love of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya y Lucientes, is reportedly set to go for later in 2006, after having finished shooting in Spain in December 2005. Goya is played in the film by Danish actor Stellan Skarsgard, filling a role that reportedly was first offered to Gary Oldman. Natalie Portman plays Goya's model and muse, who is swept up in the intrigue of the Spanish Inquisition when she is accused of being a heretic by a monk. Javier Bardem is cast as the monk, and King Carlos IV is played by Randy Quaid.

Changes are afoot at the Nasher Museum of Art. The Durham, N.C., institution opened its new $24-million Rafael Viñoly-designed building last October, and now it has hired Trevor Schoonmaker, a curator known for exhibitions focusing on cutting-edge multicultural work, as its curator of contemporary art. He succeeds Kathleen Goncharov.

Schoonmaker is co-founder of the nascent Brooklyn Institute of Contemporary Art and organized "The Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti," a popular success that premiered at the New Museum in 2003 and toured to San Francisco, London and Cincinnati. Schoonmaker has also organized "The Beautiful Game: Contemporary Art and Fútbol," which opens simultaneously at Roebling Hall and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on June 8, 2006. He assumes his duties at the Nasher in July.

Painter April Gornik has done a special print for Planned Parenthood. Titled Light on the Sea, the moody black-and-white view of clouds over the ocean is produced in an edition of 300 and priced at $1,000 each. For further details, contact Livet Reichard at (212) 966-4710. Planned Parenthood's benefit art auction, "Choice Art," is set for Sotheby's New York on Feb. 16, 2006. For more info about "Choice Art," visit

Sixteen baby grand player pianos -- robot-operated ones, that is -- along with an assortment of other robot instruments, take over the East Building mezzanine of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Mar. 12-29, 2006, to present American composer George Antheil's 1924 composition Le Ballet mécanique, in conjunction with the NGA's giant "Dada" exhibition, Feb. 19-May 14, 2006. The 27-minute long composition was inspired by the classic 10-minute experimental film of the same name, directed by Fernand Léger with cinematography by Man Ray and Dudley Murphy (the musical Ballet was not a "score" to the film, as the press indicates, but a completely separate work), on view in the show.

Antheil's experiment in composing for mechanized instruments provoked a riot when it was originally debuted in New York. The NGA performance will feature only a portion of the original composition.

Becoming a media sensation on the financial news shows hasn't hurt the career of painter Erin Crowe, whose realist portraits of Federal Reserve guru Alan Greenspan were snapped up from her Sag Harbor-based gallery after catching some good press [see Artnet News, Jan. 31, 2006]. The top piece at that show went for $12,500. Compare that to three days later, when one of Crowe's Greenspan paintings sold on eBay for $150,400 -- a more than 1,000 percent increase in value in three days (if press reports can be believed, that is). Supposedly, the 24-year-old artist has financed her way through grad school with the earnings from her work, and is currently living in Europe.

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