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Artnet News
Apr. 27, 2006 

Next month, the Cleveland Museum of Art is sending "From Monet to Picasso: Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum" on an Asian tour, beginning at the Beijing World Art Museum, May 26-Aug. 27, 2006, and subsequently appearing at the Mori Arts Center in Tokyo and the Seoul Arts Center in Korea. The exhibition features 60 paintings and sculptures by artists ranging from Pierre Bonnard and Paul Cézanne to Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, and represents "the finest selection of modern European masterpieces ever to be shown in China." The show’s appearance in Beijing includes a Chinese-language catalogue. Following its Asian tour, the exhibition travels to Vancouver, Cleveland and Nashville.

The "Monet to Picasso" is just one of six different traveling exhibitions -- a total of more than 500 works -- organized from Cleveland’s collection while the museum undergoes a four-year, $258-million renovation and expansion. The new facility, designed by Rafael Viñoly, increases the museum’s size by nearly 200,000 square feet and is scheduled for completion in two phases, in 2008 and 2011.

Also in the works at the Cleveland Museum is an unprecedented examination of modernist art from Barcelona. "Barcelona & Modernity: Picasso, Gaudí, Miró, Dalí" features over 300 works that date from the September Revolution of 1868 to the fall of the Spanish Republic in 1939. The exhibition premieres in Cleveland, Oct. 15, 2006-Jan. 7, 2007, and subsequently appears at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mar. 5-June 3, 2007. The show is co-organized by the two U.S. museums with the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Some last minute scrambling has landed Art Chicago, the 14-year-old Chicago art fair managed by Thomas Blackman Associates, in the eighth-floor exhibition space of the city’s huge Merchandise Mart building at 350 N. Orleans Street in the North Loop district. According to reports, the fair opens tonight, Apr. 27, and runs through Monday, Apr. 30, 2006.

Art Chicago now corresponds with another fair, the ninth annual Chicago Antiques Fair, which is held on the same floor. Slightly more than 100 dealers are expected at Art Chicago, rather than the 125 reported last month. A single ticket provides admission to both fairs. Neither Blackman nor Mark Falanga, senior vice president of the Mart, would specify the financial arrangements that led to the deal.

Did Andy Warhol support art critics? The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is stepping up to the plate with a new Andy Warhol Arts Writing Initiative, a three-year-long, $3-million program designed to support art critics and art criticism, as "an essential component of a thriving visual culture." The new grants, to be administered through Creative Capital, are designed to support individual writers as well as help strengthen "independent, progressive" publications. Further details are forthcoming; stay tuned.

Three New York galleries are collaborating to present a six-gallery survey of the work of James Lee Byars (1932-97), opening this weekend (Apr. 27 and 28, 2006) at Mary Boone Gallery (541 West 24th Street), Perry Rubenstein Gallery (527 West 23rd Street, 526 West 24th Street and 534 West 24th Street) and at Michael Werner Gallery (4 East 77th Street). The sixth venue, the Mary Boone Gallery at 745 Fifth Avenue, opens on May 18, 2006. Organized by independent curator Klaus Ottmann, the show is titled "The Rest Is Silence: James Lee Byars" and billed as the most comprehensive presentation ever of Byars' work in the U.S.

The Brooklyn Museum has scheduled a show of large-scale watercolors by Walton Ford (b. 1960), the New York artist celebrated for his vivid and often allegorical depictions of wildlife. "Tigers of Wrath: Watercolors by Walton Ford," Nov. 3, 2006-Jan. 28, 2007, features more than 50 works made since 1990, selected by curator Marilyn Kushner. The show is slated to travel, with the venues to be announced.

Also opening at Brooklyn next fall is a monographic exhibition of sculpture by the British artist Ron Mueck (b. 1958). "Ron Mueck," Nov. 3, 2006-Feb. 7, 2007, features ten hyper-realistic works -- five on loan from North American collections, including his signature sculpture, Dead Dad (1996-97), and five new works commissioned by the Fondation Cartier in Paris (and already shown there). The Brooklyn Museum presentation is organized by Charles Desmarais.

The Armory Show  is moving its 2007 dates from March to February in order to be concurrent with the Art Show, put on by the Art Dealers Association of America in late February. The new dates for the Armory Show 2007 are Feb. 23-26, 2007, in contrast to the 2006 installment, held Mar. 9-13.

Lord knows that most art blogs are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Two exceptions to this general rule are PaintersNYC and Gallery of the Absurd. PaintersNYC is sponsored by an anonymous Brooklyn painter who is "interested in having a conversation on painting." The method is elegantly simple -- a jpg of a work on exhibition in New York is posted on the website with bare info about the artist and the gallery, and visitors add their comments. The site is fairly up-to-date; current subjects include Scott Grodesky, whose show opened at Zach Feuer Gallery on Apr. 14, 2006, and Victor Pesce, who opened at Elizabeth Harris Gallery on Apr. 20, 2006

Gallery of the Absurd is another sort of operation altogether, a blog of "gossip-fueled art" made by an artist named 14. "I do not paint celebrity portraits," says 14. "I paint only the gossip, buzz, chatter and brand image. . . ." The most recent entry is a rather beautiful charcoal, pastel and acrylic portrait of an anorectic Nicole Richie done in the style of Egon Schiele. Other interpretations include a painting of Angelina Jolie in the soft-portrait style of Salvador Dalí and a teary Britney Spears in the Pop manner of Roy Lichtenstein (Britney says, "Why does Kevin keep spending all my money?!").

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has given its 2006 Lucelia Artist Award to Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Culver City, Ca., an organization founded in 1994 that arranges exhibitions, tours and lectures about the built environment. The prize comes with a $25,000 purse. Coolidge won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004 and a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 2005.

Jean-Yves Noblet, former director of Pace Prints, has formed a new company, Jean-Yves Noblet Contemporary Prints, to publish new works by established and emerging artists. Noblet plans to do without a gallery space, offering works online of by appointment at its studio in Williamsburg. The first projects are slated to be announced this fall; for details see

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