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Dec. 21, 2010

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Theyíre kickiní the tires over at the Royal Academy in London, starting out the new year with "Modern British Sculpture," Jan. 22-Apr. 7, 2011, the first survey of the field in 30 years. Curators Penelope Curtis (director of Tate Britain), Keith Wilson (sculptor) and Adrian Locke (RA curator) promise "a fresh approach" involving "provocative juxtapositions that challenge the viewer to make new connections," via "a chronological series of strongly themed galleries, each making its own visual argument."

The show features works by Alfred Gilbert, Phillip King, Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth, Leon Underwood, Henry Moore, Anthony Caro, Richard Long, Julian Opie and Damien Hirst, and juxtaposes British art from 1910-30 with "sculpture from Native American, Indian and African traditions. . . to highlight the inquisitiveness of British artists when the Empire was at its peak and London was the center of the world." Sponsors of the show are American Express Foundation and the Henry Moore Foundation. Admission is £12.

The third edition of the Singapore Biennale, Mar. 13-May 15, 2011, has the theme of "Open House," and features over 150 works by 63 artists from 30 countries. The show is organized by artistic director Matthew Ngui with curators Russell Storer and Trevor Smith, and focuses, according to Ngui, on "artistic process" and the way it is embedded in everyday activities, the home and the fabric of the city. Over half of the artists in the show are making or premiering new work.

As usual, the show is spread across several venues: the Singapore Art Museum; the National Museum of Singapore; Old Kallang Airport; and the Marina Bay development. U.S. participants include Goto Design, Charles LaBelle, Tala Madani, Jill Magid, Matt Mullican, Lisi Raskin, Martha Rosler, Tarin Simon and Charlie White.

Other participants from the international exhibition circuit include Candice Breitz, Phil Collins, Martin Creed, Elmgreen & Dragset, Omer Fast, Ceal Floyer, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Tracey Moffatt, Mike Nelson, Navin Rawanchaikul, Beat Streuli, Superflex, Ryan Trecartin and Danh Vo. Singapore artists in the show are Ang Song Ming, Genevieve Chua, Koh Nguang How, Michael Lee Hong Hwee, Charles Lim, John Low, Tan Pin Pin, Ming Wong and Zai Kuning.

"Mexico: Expected / Unexpected," an exhibition of more than 100 works from the Isabel and Agustin Coppel Collection (CIAC) that has toured Europe, opens in the U.S. at two Southern California museums: the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Feb. 5-May 15, 2011; and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Feb. 20-May 15, 2011. The exhibition showcases key figures of the contemporary art scene in Mexico, including Francis Alˇs, Carlos Amorales, Gabriel Orozco, DamiŠn Ortega and Pedro Reyes, juxtaposing their works with art by international artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Lygia Clark, William Eggleston, Kendell Geers and Ana Mendieta. The accompanying catalogue features essays by Carlos Basualdo and Monica Amor, who originally organized the exhibition for La Maison Rouge in Paris

Itís all about cell-phone photography at Carriage Trade, Peter Scottís scrappy not-quite-for-profit art gallery at 62 Walker Street in Tribeca. The gallery is launching a combined exhibition-and-benefit, "Social Photography," Jan. 15-29, 2011, that doubles as an open call exhibition. Artists and non-artists are invited to submit cell-phone images via email to Carriage Trade, which the gallery is printing on 5 x 7 in. archival photo paper, exhibiting, and then handing out via random selection to anyone who buys a $40 ticket. What kind of show will it be? Wait and see -- though we can tell you the snap on the website shows Michelle Obama.

Film Forum, the venerable home for film buffs in downtown New York, presents the U.S. theatrical premiere of The Woodmans -- C. Scott Willisí 82-minute-long, "poignantly elegiac" chronicle of the too-short life of Francesca Woodman, the photographer-daughter of artists Betty and Charles Woodman, who committed suicide at age 22 -- on Jan. 19, 2011. The film, which was named "best new documentary" at the Tribeca Film Festival has a two-week run; for a trailer, click here.

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