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Artnet News
May 14, 2010 

Pace Gallery
is turning over its spacious West 22nd Street gallery space -- currently the site of Kiki Smith’s impressive painted-glass installation, Lodestar -- to the Rose Preservation Fund for a benefit on Monday, May 17, 2010, 7-9 pm. The party -- tickets are $250, click here -- is hosted by an illustrious lineup of Pace artists, including Jim Dine, Tara Donovan, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist and many others. The event promises cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and cake.

At the beginning of 2008, the trustees of Brandeis University announced plans to close the Rose Art Museum on campus and sell off its trove of contemporary masterworks by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and others, a collection worth $350,000,000, according to press reports. Now, the lawsuit filed to block the deaccessioning by three members of the museum’s board of overseers -- including Meryl Rose, a member of the family that helped establish the museum in 1961 -- is scheduled to be heard in Massachusetts probate court in December; Massachusetts state attorney general Martha Coakley is also conducting an inquiry into Brandeis and the Rose.

Though the Rose is little more than a shell of its former self -- the museum has no director, staff, board or donors -- the university is putting a good face on things, even if it’s an art-world version of a Potemkin Village. Selections from the museum collection remain on view through June 20, and after the museum closes for the summer, a show has been announced for the fall titled "Atmospheric Conditions" and featuring art by Eric Fischl, April Gornik and Bill Viola. Whether the artists themselves are cooperating with the show couldn’t be determined at press time.

Hervé Aaron, the second-generation French art dealer with galleries in Paris, New York and London (Didier Aaron, Inc., in NYC), may specialize in Old Masters, but he also looks to the future; he was an early investor in Artnet’s price database, for instance. Now, as head of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires in France, Aaron is charged with overseeing the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Biennale des Antiquaires, Sept. 15-22, 2010, the illustrious decorative arts fair that brings 80 art dealers and seven jewelers to the cast-iron and glass dome of the Grand Palais in Paris.

Special attention has been given to the fair design for 2010, which is by Agence Decoral and includes an entryway lined by 25 alcoves of roses, plus porticoes and arches, basins with stones and flowers, and a color scheme of light and charcoal gray accented by bamboo and vivid color, all planned to provide a warm and serene atmosphere. Participants from the U.S. include Marlborough Gallery and J.J. Lally & Co., both new to the fair, and Ariadne Galleries, L&M Arts and Adam Williams Fine Arts.

Also of special interest to U.S. visitors is the stand of Kraemer Antiquaires, which offers a reconstruction of the White House Oval Office furnished with rare 19th-century French furniture, including a ca. 1720 center table of gilded wood, its carvings from ca. 1800 allegoric of the four parts of the world (Europe, America, Asia and Africa) and a chandelier with a star-spangled blue lacquered metal sphere.

The biennale is also featuring a group of "younger," up-and-coming dealers, who are each spotlighting one special object. Among the participants in this part of the fair are Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts, which is presenting a 1956 work by the Hungarian Abstract-Expressionist Judit Reigl; Galerie Alexis Bordes, which features a portrait of a Russian princess by Henri-François Riesener (1767-1828); the Galerie du Post-Impressionnisme, with a watercolor by Emile Ancelet; and Antoine Tarantino with a hellenistic marble of a draped nude.

You don’t have to be a tea-bagger to appreciate American history. "Seeing Stars: Politics and Patriotism," May 12-29, 2010, presents over 50 rare American flags, political textiles and items of patriotic folk art at the Union League Club in New York at 38 East 37th Street in Manhattan. Organized by York County antiques dealer Jeff Bridgman, the show features a 1917 folk portrait of George Washington by Michigan barber Cyrus T. Feury ($40,000) and a hand-sewn Civil War flag from 1862 made for entrepreneur Daniel Parish’s mansion at Broadway and 24th Street ($25,000). Admission is free.

New Yorkers (and visitors), do you need a diversion for the weekend? Try the Great Nude Invitational, May 13-16, 2010, on the mezzanine of the Roger Smith Hotel at East 48th Street and Lexington Avenue. The $10 admission gets you an exhibition of nudes by 20 artists from around the world, along with a special show, "Corpus Hermeticum," featuring works by Odd Nerdrum and others. A "sketch party" with nude models is slated for the evenings of May 14 and 15, 6-11 pm and 8-11 pm; admission to this special event is $25. Slated for Sunday morning at 11 am is "The Nude in Contemporary Art," featuring Artnet Magazine critic Donald Kuspit, painter Vincent Desiderio and artists Sherry Camhy, Leah Poller and Richard T. Scott.

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