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Friday November 30

SOTHEBY'S CHAIRMAN WAS ABOVE CRITICISM: "A leading law firm, retained by Sotheby's in 1997 to investigate possible collusion in the auction industry, repeatedly questioned the company's chief executive, Diana D. Brooks, but not its chairman, A. Alfred Taubman, the lawyer who headed the inquiry acknowledged yesterday in the price- fixing trial of Mr. Taubman." The New York Times 11/30/01 (one-time registration required for access)

IRISH MUSEUM APPOINTMENT DISPUTE: The Irish Museum of Modern Art has asked Brian Kennedy to be its new director. Kennedy is director of Australi's National Gallery, and his term has been marked by controversy. Two of the IMMA's board members have resigned in protest over how the decision to appoint Kennedy was made. And now the Irish minister of culture may get involved. Irish Times 11/30/01

FREE AT LAST: The idea was tossed around British art circles for years, debated for months, and this weekend, it all comes to fruition. Beginning December 1, admission charges to England's major museums will be scrapped, and the public will be welcomed free of charge. The move follows similar plans in Wales and Scotland, and is made possible through a tax restructuring by the UK's government. BBC 11/30/01

RECORD REYNOLDS: A bidder buys a Joshua Reynolds portrait for £10,343,500. The 1774 masterpiece went for £3 million above the estimate and was the highest for an art work in Europe this year and made it the second most expensive British painting after John Constable’s The Lock, which fetched £10.9 million at Sotheby’s in 1990." Only one hitch - it looks like the buyer might pull his bid. The Times (UK) 11/30/01

TIME TO PAINT THE TOWER: It's time to paint the Eiffel Tower again. "The tower evolved from bright red when it was built in 1888 to dark brown by 1892, and to yellow 7 years later. After a fleeting foray back to red in the 1950s and 60s, the society plumped on its current brown in 1968." 11/29/01

SYSTEMATIC DESTRUCTION: "For years the Kabul museum held more than 100,000 artefacts from across the country, some dating back to prehistoric times. In the only guidebook written about the museum, Nancy Hatch Dupree, the great Afghan chronicler, described the building in 1974 as "one of the greatest testimonies of antiquity that the world has inherited". However, since the mojahedin wars began in 1992 the exhibits have been steadily destroyed or stolen. The Taliban obsession with erasing all they saw as un-Islamic nearly finished the job. When the museum reopened yesterday for the first time since the fall of the Taliban, there were barely a dozen exhibits left on show. The Guardian (UK) 11/29/01

SAVING THE BMA: Neil MacGregor has finally been named the new head of the British Museum. He's "often referred to as 'a national treasure' for his inspired running of the Trafalgar Square gallery for the past 15 years, was the obvious choice to succeed Robert Anderson, who leaves next summer. But he will take over at one of the most delicate moments in its history, when the boost provided by its spectacular Great Court conversion is being wiped out by a catastrophic drop in foreign visitors because of the foot and mouth and September 11 crises. The Guardian (UK) 11/29/01

Thursday November 29

SAATCHI TAKES ON THE TATE: In a direct challenge to the London museum establishment, Charles Saatchi has announced he is opening his own "museum," located between the Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Even "calling his new gallery a museum is seen as a direct challenge to the subsidised art establishment. But sources close to him last night revealed that he also intends to match Tate Modern head-on by staging themed exhibitions from borrowed works, and not just shows of his own contemporary artists." The Guardian (UK) 11/29/01

TONIGHT'S VERMEER IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KODAK: "More than 25 curators and scholars, artists and art historians will gather at New York University this weekend to discuss — and, presumably, to debate — David Hockney's iconoclastic theory that old masters, all the way back to 1430, used optical devices to help them produce realistic images." The New York Times 11/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)

BRITISH MUSEUM GETS MACGREGOR: "The head of the [UK] National Gallery, Neil MacGregor, has been appointed the new director of the British Museum. He will take up the appointment next August when the current director, Robert Anderson, steps down." BBC 11/29/01

CUTTING THROUGH THE ANIMOSITY: "Who knows what makes visual art so hard for people to cope with? For whatever reason, it seems to be pilloried more in the public domain than other art forms. As an art critic, you are mindful of this. If people don't understand a work of art, they will often not simply move on; they will dig in and actively hate." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 11/29/01

THE EDIFICE COMPLEX: It isn't just the events of 9/11. Some architects and planners have been saying for years that skyscrapers make no sense. Higher than 50 stories? "There's absolutely no reason to do this in Manhattan, or anywhere else for that matter," says one. "Building anything beyond 50 stories is irresponsible," says another. Nonetheless, they keep on going up. NPR 11/28/01

DALI FOR EVERYBODY: "The National Gallery of Art has moved Salvador Dali's famed Sacrament of the Last Supper to a new location because wheelchair users couldn't see the painting. Officials at the museum say this is the first time the gallery has moved a work of art because of concerns over access for the disabled. The large Dali canvas had hung for decades in a landing in the West Building, visible only to those who could use the stairs or escalator." Washington Post (courtesy Dallas Morning News) 11/29/01

QUITE A RAU OVER SOME ART: His name is Dr. Gustave Rau, and he is the owner of one of the world's greatest privately held collections of European art. He is also quite elderly, and of dubiously sound mind, a condition which has caused his own lawyers to seek for control of the collection to be wrested from him. As it turns out, Dr. Rau, who spent a couple of decades setting up clinics in rural Africa, still has quite a bit of fight left in him. The New York Times 11/29/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Wednesday November 28

STEALING RUSSIA BLIND: Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, thieves have plundered art from the region's museums. "In the 1990's hundreds of millions of dollars in art, antiques, books and manuscripts were stolen in Russia, mostly from cultural institutions in St. Petersburg like the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian National Library, the State Russian Museum, the Academy of Fine Arts and the State Hermitage Museum." The New York Times 11/28/01 (one-time registration required for access)

FRANCE OPENS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD: The French art auction market opens this week as the government allows foreign auction houses to to business. Both Christie's and Sotheby's have sales planned. Why allow the foreigners in? Many believe that "the French monopoly is responsible for France's shrinking share — just 6 percent today — of the global auction market." The New York Times 11/28/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE SCHOLAR IN CHARGE: There are sighs of relief at the British Museum's choice of Neil McGregor as its new director. "At the National Gallery, MacGregor never wavered in the face of the government's hysterical anti-elitist and anti-historical line, and he wasn't afraid to criticise policies with which he disagreed. Time and again he demonstrated that he understood what the art of the past is about, and, just as important, was able to communicate that understanding to the public." The Telegraph (UK) 11/28/01

A MAP IS MORE THAN JUST A MAP: "'All maps are subjective. In fact, the subjectivity is what makes them special. A map can be unexceptional or highly controversial. What looks like a map can be a political tract. If you want to understand mentalities, maps are a good place to begin.' Like letters or diaries, they tell human stories, and they reveal just as much by what they exclude as what they include." Time 11/26/01

AN UNSUSPECTED SCHOOL OF ART: "Wind-bent palm trees, sand, surf, billowing clouds and vivid sunsets were the essentials of Florida landscape painting that emerged following World War II. From the late 1950's into the early 80's these colorful landscapes were ubiquitous decorations in Florida homes, offices, restaurants and motel rooms. They shaped the state's popular image as much as oranges and alligators. Little known, however, is that such paintings were largely the creations of a loose-knit group of self-taught, African-American artists." The New York Times 11/27/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Tuesday November 27

LEONARDO DRAWING DESTROYED: Restorers in Florence have destroyed a recently-discovered Leonardo drawing when they attempted to clean it. "Restorers submerged the drawing in a solution of alcohol and distilled water, a common restoration intervention," and the ink dissolved. The Art Newspaper 11/26/01

WORLD'S LARGEST PRIVATE COLLECTION ON DISPLAY: Queen Elizabeth is putting some of her extensive art collection on display in honor of her Golden Jubilee. "It will be shown at the new £20 million Queen’s Gallery, the biggest addition to the Palace since Queen Victoria had the ballroom built in the 1830s. More than 450 items, from Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings to Sèvres porcelain, 15th-century manuscripts, a Michelangelo drawing, a Fabergé jewelled egg and the most valuable diamond brooch in existence, will offer a taste of the world’s largest art collection in private hands." The Queen has 6,500 paintings, three times as many as owned by the National Gallery. The Times (UK) 11/27/01

COURTAULD+GETTY: London's Courtauld Institute expects to become an independent college and part of the University of London. The school has also made an alliance with the J. Paul Getty Trust. "The powerful Getty would not be taking over the Courtauld, although the link will strengthen cooperation between the two institutions. It will also facilitate the loan of paintings for display in the Getty Museum and the Courtauld Gallery." The Art Newspaper 11/26/01

KICK 'EM WHEN THEY'RE DOWN: "The Guggenheim is no longer a museum of art so much as it is a kind of market-driven experiment in cultural anthropology. This once great institution has become a dark pit of cynicism - a black hole at the center of the museum world - where shows are selected on no basis other than the availability of corporate sponsors and the expectation of a box-office gold mine." The New Republic 11/20/01

OPPOSING IRELAND'S TALLEST BUILDING: Trinity College Dublin has plans to build a skyscraper hotel on campus. "The hotel will be 20 metres higher than Liberty Hall, at present Ireland's tallest building. Trinity authorities claim the project will generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the university." But students, academics and senators who represent the college have united to oppose the project," saying it will loom above the campus. The Observer (UK) 11/25/01

PAINTER OF LIGHT (AND SUBDIVISIONS): Thomas Kinkade sells thousands of paintings. Now he's also selling homes in Northern California. "The California painter has licensed his name and artistic inspiration to Taylor Woodrow Homes, a London-based housing developer. With Kinkade's paintings as a guide, Taylor Woodrow laid out a 101-house gated community called the Village. Streets, houses, fixtures and landscaping will epitomize Kinkade's nostalgic style. About 300 people tour the Village's model homes each week. Seven homes have sold so far." Los Angeles Times 11/25/01

Monday November 26

GLEE IN DESTRUCTION OF ART: Eyewitness accounts of the Taliban's systematic destruction of art in the Kabul Museum last year say that the destruction was carried out with glee. "They walked through the National Museum here last year, inspecting each object to determine which ones depicted living beings. And then they raised their axes and brought them down hard, smashing piece after piece of Afghan history into oblivion. Over three days, as the Taliban ministers walked from one artifact to another, an Afghan archeologist and a historian followed at a respectful distance, pleading for mercy as if begging for the lives of their own children." International Herald Tribune (LATimes) 11/24/01

INSTALL THIS: "More and more of London's gallery space is devoted to installations. What we need is the answer to three simple questions. What is installation art? Why has it become so ubiquitous? And why is it so bloody irritating?" The Guardian (UK) 11/24/01

FREE WORKS: It took awhile to get admission charges to the Victoria & Albert Museum removed. But twice as many visitors checked out the V&A on its first day of free admission. "At least 6,500 art lovers poured in as charges were abolished yesterday - the average daily total had previously been around 2,500." London Evening Standard 11/24/01

SPACE TECH TO RESTORE MONET? Technology designed by NASA to simulate damage on spacecraft in low earth orbit may restore a Monet painting severely damaged by fire at the Museum of Modern Art in 1958. "In tests on paint chips taken from a corner of the ruined Monet, the team found the atomic oxygen easily vapourised soot and dark particles of charred binder - the component that gives paint its stickiness - but did not react with the coloured pigment." New Scientist 11/23/01

Sunday November 25

CRISIS IN PRESERVATION: "The combination of preservation legislation and explosive growth in the Southwest over the last decade has created an archaeological boom that has completely overwhelmed the region's museums and anthropological centers, archaeologists, museum executives and government officials say. Their institutions cannot handle all the artifacts found and excavated during publicly financed projects. The logjam is so bad that some museums like Northern Arizona are closing their doors to the resource materials, and others are limiting what they will accept, while a third group has increased their fees for cataloguing, analyzing and storing them by as much as 10-fold." The New York Times 11/24/01 (one-time registration required for access)

OPTICAL ILLUSION: "The hottest, and most contentious, topic in art history at the moment is the longstanding but murky relationship between painting and optics. And painting exhibitions all over the place now boast a photographic element." The New York Times 11/24/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE ART OF MONUMENTS: "Some people still think monuments should be monumental, with classical architectural references - big and white and grand." But "a new generation of artists and architects has grown skeptical of traditional monumental form. This generation questions the assumption that big, concretized forms can tell people how to think and remember. Christian Science Monitor 11/23/01

RICH BUT UNKNOWN: Who's the richest painter in Britain? Forget the usual suspects - it's Andrew Vicari. This year alone he sold a series of paintings to a Saudi company for $28.6 million. "Unlike his rivals in wealth, though, Vicari is practically unknown in his homeland. No matter that in China they hold loving retrospectives of his work, or that there are three museums devoted to his oeuvre in Saudi Arabia. Or that Vicari is the official painter for Interpol and the CRS, France's much-hated elite police force. No matter at all." The Age (Melbourne) 11/25/01

Friday November 23

ABOVE THE LAW: One of the most striking things about the trial of Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman is the glimpse it gives of the lifestyle of the super-rich. So why would someone so well off risk it all on an illegal scheme? After looking at Taubman's datebooks, the jury "may decide that it was precisely the lifestyle they reveal—the jets, the apartments, the friends who, like him, seemed to inhabit an almost magical realm—that persuaded him that he was above the law." New York Observer 11/21/01

FAKE ARTWORK SEIZED: French police have confiscated about 40 works from a Paris gallery purported to be by the French sculptor Cesar. "Police say several dozen fake works have been sold in France and in neighbouring Belgium, with estimated gains running into the millions of dollars." Cesar, who died in 1998, made sculptures by compressing car wrecks into cubes. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/23/01

Thursday November 22

NY MUSEUMS SUFFERING: New York museums are suffering with drastic downturns in business after Sept. 11. Earlier this week the Guggenheim cut 80 staff and announced other cutbacks. At the Metropolitan Museum "attendance is down 20 to 25%, largely from the drop in foreign tourism, which brought in about half fits visitors." The Art Newspaper 11/21/01

CHINA TO BAN FOREIGN ART TRADERS: China has introduced a new law that would ban foreigners from the antique business. "The ban includes auctions, and covers both wholly foreign-owned enterprises and joint-ventures. The National Relics Bureau specifically mentioned Sotheby’s and Christie’s as a target." The Art Newspaper 11/21/01

THE WHITNEY'S 113: The Whitney announces the lineup of artists for next March's Whitney Biennial. With 113 artists and collaborative teams, the 2002 edition will be the largest since 1981. 11/01

Wednesday November 21

A BIGGER BUDDHA: A group upset at the Taliban's destruction of the giant Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan earlier this year has announced a plan to rebuild the statues, only larger than before. "The desire is to show that 'an act of international destruction cannot erase the memory of those things which are valuable to humanity and its heritage'." But UNESCO is opposed to the idea saying that "an international agreement - the Venice charter - forbids the reconstruction of monuments that have been destroyed." Nando Times (AP) 11/21/01

BUYING BRITISH: The Victoria & Albert's newly reopening British galleries are a triumph - the most important event in British art this year. "Though a handful of works are on display for their historical, cultural or documentary significance, the overwhelming majority of objects are included for their aesthetic quality or rarity. Remember, as you walk through these galleries, that the piece of embroidery or silver or ceramic you are looking at is almost certainly as fine an example of its kind as can be found anywhere in the world." The Telegraph (UK) 11/21/01

BRASSED OFF: The Churchill Society - dedicated to preserving the memory of the great British prime minister - is protesting a new sculpture commissioned by the Victoria & Albert Museum for its newly refurbished British galleries. The complaint? Cornelia Parker's Breathless is composed of brass instruments the artist had crushed in the hydraulics of the Tower Bridge. "The society is angry because, it says, instruments that might have been repairable were sacrificed on the altar of conceptual art." The Society calls the piece an "act of vandalism". "Little wonder that extremists in the Muslim world think western civilisation is decadent ... we are breathless with disbelief." The Guardian (UK) 11/20/01

THE IMPORTANT ARCHITECTURE: Is it true that when Westerners think of great modern architecture, it usually comes wrapped in Western traditions? "Much of the prejudice against non-Western design lies in the way the dream of modernism, as imagined by white, male, Western architects, is promoted in architecture faculties around the world. The mainstream media regularly privilege the work of a few superstar designers and ignore the important architecture of many others in countries such as Iran, India and Sri Lanka." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/21/01

SEAHENGE CLUES: Three years ago, winter storms off the coast of England uncovered a circle of timbers placed 4000 years ago. "Seahenge has been a source of bitter controversy. The circle of 55 posts, around the up ended roots of a giant oak, had originally been built on swampy land well inland. After winter storms laid them bare, English Heritage removed the timbers from the beach for study more than two years ago, despite the protests of druids, new age travellers and local tourism interests." The Guardian (UK) 11/20/01

BLIND BID: London's Royal College of Art is having a secret-art auction. The art is by students and well-known artists whose work sells for hundreds of thousands of pound. Buyers can see the postcard-size art but "the identity of the artist remains a secret until the time it is bought. The artist signs the picture on the back and it is only revealed once it is taken off display and given to its new owner." BBC 11/21/01

Tuesday November 20

THE BIGGER THEY ARE... The Guggenheim has been the highest of the high flyers among museums in the past decade. But that just means the crash is louder when times turn bad. And bad they apparently are: "Admissions are down by almost 60 percent, revenue is running about half of what it is supposed to be, and as of Friday 80 employees — roughly one-fifth of the staff — had been given pink slips in what [director Thomas] Krens described as the initial round of layoffs. Besides the staff cuts, which reportedly may reach 40 percent, the museum has scaled back its exhibit schedule, postponing exhibitions by Matthew Barney and Kasimir Malevich. Its SoHo museum on Prince Street will close at the end of the year, and the fate of its $20 million Web site,, is still unclear." The New York Times 11/20/01 (one-time registration required for access)

SELLING CENSORSHIP: After a Baltimore radio talk show host attacked Andres Serrano's Piss Christ earlier this month for "defiling a sacred image" and denounced the Baltimore Museum of Art for selling post cards of the image, a listener bought the museum store's remaining 13 post cards "to prevent anyone else from being offended by the controversial photograph. You could call that a form of private censorship, since the person who bought the images did so for the sole purpose of precluding anyone else from seeing them. But it raises a knotty problem for whoever took them off the market: Now what? Destroy them? Keep them? Return them to the publisher?" Baltimore Sun 11/20/01

THE BANKRUPT TURNER: Critic Brian Sewell suggests that the Turner Prize has run out of steam. "This year's exhibition is more vain and futile than any of its predecessors, and we are compelled to wonder if the prize has run its course and should now be abandoned - either that, or [Tate director Nick] Serota should retire from chairing the jury and the jurors should be chosen from an altogether wider field of cognoscenti rather than from card-carrying members of the Serota Fan Club." London Evening Standard 11/16/01

  • THE SAD TRUTH ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART: "Despite contemporary art's massive propaganda, public funding, seeming popularity and apparently accepted cultural importance, most people are not sure what it is supposed to do or be; in their uncertainty they remain silent, and in their silence their numbers are counted by the Tate to legitimise the now ludicrous Turner Prize." London Evening Standard 11/19/01

LATIN-AMERICAN AT HOME: "For too long Latin America's 20th-century masters of painting have lacked a permanent home in which to be viewed and appreciated together. That vacuum is being filled by the new Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, better known as Malba, its acronym in Spanish. It opened in September as a welcome respite for a city suffering through its longest and deepest recession in generations." The New York Times 11/20/01 (one-time registration required for access)

CURATOR JAILED: A former curator with the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum was sentenced to 15 years in jail for stealing American Indian artifacts from the museum. He took items "valued at more than $100,000, including a rare war club, beaded buckskin bag, cradle board cover, quiver and silver earrings." New Jersey Online (AP) 11/19/01

Monday November 19

FAILURE AS SUCCESS: Last week's contemporary art auctions sold about half the value of last year's sales. "Nevertheless, many felt that, in the circumstances, the sale had been a success. Among the highlights was a string of revelatory prices by artists whose work has rarely appeared at auction." The Telegraph (UK) 11/19/01

WHEN ART MOVES: "Contemporary art as a whole has become more like film, dealing with duration and movement and with problems of realism and representation." Organisers of next year's Documenta debate the role of film in contemporary art. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11/18/01

POLITICS OF LABELS: Gallery labels for art aren't a small matter. Museums agonize over them, and critics always seem to complain, no matter what's written. "Now there are whole committees to discuss the 'friendliness' of labels. One square of text can pass through a dozen hands, so that by the time it gets on to the wall it is picture perfect." The Guardian (UK) 11/19/01

WAR MEETS TRADITION: Traditional Afghan rugs are an art practiced with centuries of tradition. "The ever-similar loops and knots the women work into the sheep's wool are like the day's work and their stories - they have remained unchanged for 1,000 years." But "ever since modern warfare became a part of everyday life in Afghanistan when the Soviets marched in over 20 years ago, the technology of the modern age has become involved in this enormous archaic repetition, and Kalashnikovs have become integrated into the ancient symbolic world of Afghan folk art, which always used to dwell on eternal life rather than death." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11/18/01

PROTECTING THE SMITHSONIAN: Buildings and monuments in Washington DC need more security. That means those ugly cement barriers in front of entrances, or... Door No. 2 - large planters, which is the option the city's Fine Arts Commission chose for the front of the Smithsonian. Washington Post 11/16/01

NOT GRACELAND TOO! With museums struggling all over America, tough times have come even to Graceland. The Elvis shrine has had to lay off 50 workers. "Since almost a third of our visitorship is from outside the country, we have seen significant effects and have put into effect a number of reductions and cutbacks." Nando Times (AP) 11/19/01

THE ARTIST WITHIN (THE SCREEN): Can't draw or paint? Want to be an artist anyway? Producing or manipulating digital images on a computer has become a popular at-home art. "Doctoring images - or Photoshopping, as its practitioners call it - is a booming online pastime for hobbyists and graphic designers whose altered documents have taken up residence in the popular imagination alongside political cartoons and satirical text." Wired 11/19/01

Sunday November 18

WHAT'S NEXT? It's awkward to say so now, of course, but the World Trade Centers were not particularly good examples of urban architecture, even when they first went up. "Even as the tragedy still resonates, a growing contingent of architects and urban planners has begun to question many of the tenets that led to the design of the 110-story towers, the world's tallest buildings when they opened in the early 1970s." Baltimore Sun 11/18/01

  • WILL NEW YORK TAKE A CHANCE? New York may boast one of the world's most famous skylines, but the majority of the city's high-rises are almost embarrassingly ordinary. In a city dominated by 50-story condos and hotels squeezed into tight Manhattan spaces, there is not the abundance of architectural creativity one would expect from a city of New York's stature. Some enterprising designers are trying to sell the city on a new era of architectural risk-taking. The New York Times 11/18/01 (one-time registration required for access)

ASSESSING THE NEW IN BOSTON: Boston is an old city by American standards, and its architecture tends to reflect that fact. And when a new building rises on the skyline, especially a modern one, it draws a certain amount of attention. After a local critic gave a lukewarm review to the new skyscraper, the denizens of Beantown weighed in, with some sticking up for the new-fangled style, while one detractor sneered, "It would look right at home in Dallas." Boston Globe 11/18/01

Friday November 16

CROWDED FIELD: With Philips auction house spending lavishly trying to establish itself as a major player, and Sotheby's and Christie's having down years (for a variety of reasons), something will have to give in the auction business. Is consolidation in the works? Forbes 11/14/01 

WHITNEY BIENNIAL TO GET LOCAL: "After curators at the Whitney Museum of American Art visited artists' studios in 43 towns and cities in 27 states and Puerto Rico, plans for the 2002 Whitney Biennial are in place. Unlike the mammoth survey of contemporary art two years ago, organized by six outside curators, this Biennial, opening March 7, will be a homegrown affair." The New York Times 11/16/01 (one-time registration required for access)

NASHVILLE CUTS BACK ON ART: Tennessee museums lay off staff and cut back exhibitions because of a tight economy, they say. Nashville Tennesseean 11/15/01

OPENING U.S. EYES TO ASIA: For whatever reason, Americans haven't had a very clear picture of Asia in the last few decades. Very often, the world's largest continent was viewed, incredibly, as a single culture, rather than the rich tapestry of countries, peoples, and traditions that it is. New York's "Asia Society" has gone a long way towards closing the culture gap, and when its exhibition space reopens this week after an impressive renovation, it is expected to continue its ascent in the NY art world. The New York Times 11/16/01 (one-time registration required for access)

A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH: Its renowned fiddling tradition aside, Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia is not necessarily the happiest place in Canada. Environmental devastation and massive job losses have been the order of life on Cape Breton for much of the last several years. But a small local university is the repository for one of North America's most unique and treasured art collections, and a now-annual art party and auction has become one of the social events of the year on the island. National Post (Canada) 11/16/01

Thursday November 15

THE RELIGION OF ART: All world religions have had to deal with the issue of art. Is art somehow an affront to God? "Today, we are so far removed from our cultural ancestors' fear of idolatry that we forget the ancient but enduring power of the human image. As we flip through the pages of a magazine, catch a video billboard out of the corner of one eye or lazily channel hop, it's hard for us to even conceive of a culture that sees an ancient statue of somebody else's god as we might view the vilest pornography." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/15/01

£9 MILLION FLOP IN CARDIFF: "The Arts Council of Wales has been accused of completely mismanaging its largest ever lottery grant, which was used to create the doomed Centre for Visual Arts. The CVA went over budget and was completed late in 1999 - 14 months later, it had closed down through lack of interest." BBC 11/15/01

MORALE REBUILD: Next week the Victoria & Albert Museum unveils its new £31 million redo of the British Galleries. "Every department of the V&A has been involved. It’s just the kind of project to kindle both the morale of the staff and the imagination of the public. Fingers crossed." London Evening Standard 11/15/01

Wednesday November 14

DEALERS INDICTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING: Two Boston art dealers are indicted for a money-laundering scheme involving the sale of two paintings. "Shirley D Sack, 73, an art wholesaler with offices in New York, and Arnold Katzen, 62, a principal at American European Art Associates, are accused of trying to sell two paintings for $4.1 million in cash." BBC 11/14/01

RELEVANCE OF ART: Artists try to sort out what art to make after September 11. "The mundane and banal, ironic and frivolous have never been obstacles to contemporary art—far from it—but that was 'before.' Now, as in 'after,' artists feel impelled to defend their vocation, even as they struggle to find applications for most of their strategies. Postmodernism, some commentators argue, has been swept aside by this event, where reality has clearly superseded metaphor." ARTNews 11/01

JUST SAY NO: They all want you to love Norman Rockwell. "A cadre of museum directors, curators, national critics, art historians, and suddenly populist art theorists want you to love him. Rockwell is a postmodern fad. He's hip. He's also a big moneymaker and crowd pleaser, an everyman artist everyone can understand. He gives good box office where museums are concerned (over a million people have seen the current traveling retrospective); lends street (or it is suburban?) cred to those who don't want to seem snobbish; and revs up hucksters like Thomas Hoving, who spouts gibberish in the catalog about the cooling of 'the obsession for abstraction'." But really, people...resist the hype. Let good sense prevail. The Village Voice 11/13/01

Tuesday November 13

POINTLESS PRIZE: What's the point of the Turner Prize? "The suggestion is that in the name of the painter widely considered the greatest artist that Britain has ever produced, some of the very best of all recent British art will be put before the public. But it also means that half the artists in the country need not apply, for only the comparatively young may count as best and brightest and truly contemporary. And from the artists who have lately featured on the shortlist, it is clear that only certain sorts of artist qualify at all. The inference is that to work in perhaps more conventional ways, or with interests less obviously contentious, is never to fascinate, provoke or amaze again." Financial Times 11/13/01

PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN: Former Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman is on trial in New York for price collusion. "The scene is now set in Courtroom 110 for one of the most entertaining trials ever to have sent shafts of light into the secretive and often murky world of fine art. No trial has reached to the top of both London auction houses, two 18th-century institutions that have attracted generations of aristocrats posing as businessmen and businessmen posing as aristocrats." The Times (UK) 11/13/01

THE FATE OF CORPORATE ART: Aer Lingus is selling some of its art collection to pay corporate bills. A trend? "Whatever really motivates big commercial concerns to amass art collections - investment value, tax dodge, chairman’s whim or altruism - the current world recession, and some recent well-publicised sales in the auction rooms, have prompted some observers to speculate that more collections might follow." The Scotsman 11/13/01

  • Previously: WILL SELL ART FOR FOOD: Ireland's national airline Aer Lingus is losing £1.5 million a day. To raise money, the airline has decided to sell as many as 25 works works of art, hoping to earn about £400,000. London Evening Standard 11/07/01

Monday November 12

MERGERS AND DE-ACQUISITIONS: What happens when a company with a big art collection merges with another that doesn't want it? A hurried sale that does no one credit. "As a result, and because many of the artists have no saleroom track record, bargains may be had. The estimates on the works by art stars - Emin, Chris Ofili and the Chapmans - are in line with their gallery prices, but most others are well below that line." The Telegraph (UK) 11/12/01

AUCTIONEER ON TRIAL: The price-collusion trial of Sotheby's former chairman gets underway. First you have to explain to jurors how the auction business works. "By the measure of his wealth, Mr. Taubman is hardly being judged by a jury of his peers. One is a health aide taking care of an Alzheimer's patient. There is a Transit Authority ironworker and another transit employee, a station agent. There is a letter carrier, a forklift operator, a second-grade teacher, a former corrections officer and a deli owner and restaurateur." During a "somewhat dry tutorial on auction house practices and terminology, one of the jurors, the ironworker, appeared to be fighting to stay awake." The New York Times 11/12/01 (one-time registration required for access)

WILL THERE BE MORE SKYSCRAPERS? "For more than a century, skyscrapers have been a symbol of American power and ingenuity. But the recent terrorist attack on the World Trade Center has brought into question the role these tall buildings play in the urban landscape as well as their long- term prospects as a building type." A group of experts says the tall building is here to stay. There will be more. The New York Times 11/12/01 (one-time registration required for access)

WILL THEY FIND THEIR WAY HOME? Next year New York's Museum of Modern Art is beginning a $650 million, four-year reconstruction and expansion of its Manhattan home. While the construction is going, MOMA moves to a temporary home in Queens. But will its audience follow? Philadelphia Inquirer 11/11/01

Sunday November 11

FINISHING OFF WHAT'S LEFT: Located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Afghanistan had one of the world's most impressive collections of historical cultural treasures. But the wars of the past 20 years and the Taliban destruction of art have wiped out much of it. And now American bombs are finishing off what remains. Atlanta Journal-Constitution 11/11/01

CRITIC AS MURDERER: Ron Kitaj has a new show, and woe to the critic who writes about it: "According to Kitaj, you are currently reading the words of a murderer. At least, I think you are. I have never been entirely certain if I was or I wasn't one of the critics accused by Kitaj of killing his wife after his 1994 retrospective at the Tate. You may possibly recall - although it was an event of minor cultural significance - that Kitaj's Tate show received bad reviews from most of the national critics. Later that year, the artist's wife, Sandra Fisher, also an artist, died. Kitaj concluded that these two events, the arrival of the bad reviews and the death of his wife, were conjoined. Since then, he has waged a curious campaign against critics, employing the somewhat-less-than-crucial annual occasion of the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition to display a new work on the subject and to out us as his wife's assassins." The Sunday Times (UK) 11/11/01

HIDDEN MASTERS: For years, a Detroit-area cardiologist and his wife collected art by some of the most important names of the 20th Century. They kept a low profile, kept the work in crates, and told few people they had it. Last week, when the collection was donated not to the big Detroit Institute of Art, but to the smaller Cranbrook Art Museum, there were a lot of surprised Detroiters. Detroit News 11/11/01

MUSEUM SUES: Founders of New York's new $19 million Children's Jewish Museum now under construction are "suing two contractors for $3.5 million, claiming they did shoddy work, delayed construction and interfered with the facility's ability to get city funding." New York Post 11/09/01

Friday November 9

MUSEUM DIRECTORS' SALARIES: The salaries of museum directors in the US and Canada have risen fifty percent in the past four years, according to a survey by the Association of Art Museum Directors. In Britain, salaries are dramatically lower: the top British salary, $160,000 (£110,000) at the Tate, is the same as the mean US salary. The top US salary is $1.7 million (£1,170,000), in Houston. The Art Newspaper 11/09/01

AND THEN THERE WERE 12: "The latest Rembrandt show, which opened on Saturday in this central German city of Kassel, has its origins in protest. Kassel is home to the oldest major Rembrandt collection in the world. Nonetheless, the number of originals has dwindled, through losses and reattribution, from the original 43 to the present 12." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11/09/01

GETTING TO TEN: Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art is 10 years old. "It's a sweet and sour achievement that it took countless stories of its financial crisis, plans to demolish it or redevelop it into a giant coffee table for the museum to emerge into the public consciousness. As the MCA marks its 10th anniversary on Sunday, perhaps its most significant achievement is that it has survived at all." Sydney Morning Herald 11/09/01

THE MODERN MONUMENT TOUR: The Grand Tour of monuments and cultural treasures is an old tradition. But in recent years newly constructed museums have become tourism destinations. "All signs also seem to indicate that the public appetite for a connection between architecture and tourism will only increase. There is yet to be an example of a museum that has not benefited by an architectural face-lift." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/03/01

GOLD RUSH BAR SELLS FOR RECORD PRICE: It was lost in a shipwreck and recovered fifteen years ago; until recently, it was locked up in a lawsuit. Now the 80-pound ingot has been sold for $8 million, the most ever paid for collectible money. When first made in California, in 1857, it was worth $17,433.57; at current gold market prices, it's worth about a quarter of a million. CNN (AP) 11/09/01

Thursday November 8

AFGHAN ART IN PERIL: As bombs fall on Kabul, those interested in art worry about the safety of what's left of Afghanistan's cultural heritage. Ironically, there was a plan two years ago to rescue remaining artwork for safekeeping. "Were it not for the red tape surrounding the movement of cultural heritage, at least part of these collections could have been safely moved to the West." The Art Newspaper 11/06/01

GERMAN MONUMENT: So Berlin's Holocaust Museum has filled up with artifacts. "The museum may yet regret having earlier opened the building to the public. Some are already saying that it was more moving empty than it is now with many of the original grim hollows obliterated by dividing walls, lofts, additional stairs, decorative pillars, boxes and gadgets and shiny vitrines stuffed full with manuscripts, books, posters, paintings, sculptures, and assorted objects. If it had been left empty, the building might have served as an abstract Holocaust memorial. Berlin already has dozens of minor memorials to the Holocaust but a large-scale monument, although much discussed, has never been built, mostly out of lack of interest, funds, or even need." New York Review of Books 11/15/01

WHAT IS IT ABOUT VINCENT? A new van Gogh show is a big hit in Chicago. But why? "More than a century after van Gogh's death, many of his images are entrenched in the cultural conscience, and his name attracts people in a way that curators and art historians struggle to understand." The New York Times 11/08/01 (one-time registration required for access)

ROAD TO NOWHERE: New York art dealers are pushing for a plan to turn a 70-year-old elevated roadway that cuts through Chelsea into a long 300,000-square-foot park. Some - including outgoing mayor Rudy Giuliani, would prefer to tear the structure down. The Art Newspaper 11/06/01

ANCIENT MOSAIC DISCOVERY: A construction worker digging beneath some old barns in Somerset, England, unearths an ancient Roman mosaic, one of the largest and "most spectacular" ever found in Britain. It's "a superb six by 10 metre mosaic, featuring a dolphin, wine urns and twining vines, and a plainer strip of mosaic, probably the corridor leading to a summer dining room." The Guardian (UK) 11/08/01

RIFKIN TO HIRSHHORN: "Ned Rifkin, director of the Menil Collection in Houston, will be the new head of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, sources say." It's a homecoming; Rifkin spent much of the 80s as a curator at the Hirshhorn. Washington Post 11/07/01

THE GREAT AUCTION HOUSE TRIAL: The trial against Sotheby's ex-chairman opens this week. "For the incestuous art world, where auction-house proles can grow up to be lordly dealers, the price-fixing trial has a certain Freudian tone. Alfred Taubman, the former Sotheby's chairman - and still its largest shareholder - plays the role of overbearing father, and Dede Brooks, his former protégée, is the bossy big sister. 'Of course he's guilty,' said one spectator, relishing the Lear-like scene. 'He's such a megalomaniac'." New York Magazine 11/05/01

ARCHITECT OF ANOTHER TIME: When he died in 1974, Louis Kahn was considered by some to be America's leading architect. "Kahn used the basic tools of architecture—space, proportion, light, texture—sparely and with an almost religious reverence." But his personal life was messy and produced, on parallel tracks, three families. The New Yorker 11/12/01

Wednesday November 7

VATICAN ART SCANDAL: Two Vatican officials "are accused of trying to sell works of art falsely attributed to artists such as Michelangelo, Guercino and Giambologna, to art institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the National Gallery in Washington." The Guardian (UK) 11/07/01

SAME OLD SAME OLD: This year's Turner Prize show features a lot of art that looks familiar. "For those of us familiar with the four artists and their recent exhibitions, too much of the work has been seen before." The Guardian (UK) 11/07/01

  • ART OF ENLIGHTENMENT: This year's Turner Prize exhibit is up, and what's grabbed the early attention? Martin Creed's empty room with a light that flips on and off at intervals. "Creed's installation does exactly what is says. Every five seconds the lights go on and off in the biggest and emptiest room of this year's show at Tate Britain. There was also much muttering about whether Creed, 33, had simply recycled a five-year-old piece and why the electrician who had made it had seemingly not been credited." The Guardian (UK) 11/07/01
  • END OF THE AGE OF DECADENCE? "The trouble with the shortlist is that the judges were too sophisticated by half, deliberately choosing the difficult, the passe and the unknown, while overlooking artists who had genuinely appealed to public taste." The Telegraph (UK) 11/07/01
  • LESS SHOCK: "We would be wrong to conclude that the shortlisted contenders are dull. The ability to shock is no guarantee of quality, and this year’s Turner artists know how to sustain our interest." The Times (UK) 11/07/01

WILL SELL ART FOR FOOD: Ireland's national airline Aer Lingus is losing £1.5 million a day. To raise money, the airline has decided to sell as many as 25 works works of art, hoping to earn about £400,000. London Evening Standard 11/07/01

INTRODUCER TO ART: Ernst Gombrich, who died last weekend at the age of 92, was one of the most influential figures in visual art. His The Story of Art was basic history. In he "past half-century the book, which has gone through 16 editions and been translated into 32 languages since its publication in 1950, has been the chief introduction to western art for millions of people around the world." The Guardian (UK) 11/07/01

Tuesday November 6

SAVING AFGHANISTAN'S CULTURE: "A brightly colored fresco lines the halls of an old temple, depicting images of a thriving culture. A museum with an impressive modern art collection attracts tourists from all over the world. This was Afghanistan 25 years ago... But because the majority of Afghanistan's intellectual and artistic community has left, the country's cultural history is on the verge of extinction. Farhad Azad is hoping to bring it back. With his website, he wants to archive what he believes to be a vital piece of Afghanistan's history." Wired 11/06/01

DOES TOO MUCH INFO LESSEN UNDERSTANDING? The problem with studying art history? Too much information. "The piles of information smother our capacity to really feel. By imperceptible steps, art history gently drains away a painting's sheer wordless visceral force, turning it into an occasion for intellectual debate. What was once an astonishing object, thick with the capacity to mesmerize, becomes a topic for a quiz show, or a one-liner at a party, or the object of a scholar's myopic expertise." Chronicle of Higher Education 11/05/01

AUCTION SEASON KICKS OFF: Think art auctions, and most people think of Sotheby's and Christie's, and little else. But there's an upstart in the world of art sales these days, and it opened the fall season yesterday with a much-improved showing. Phillips' sold 67 of 72 available lots, and earned some $86 million for the sale of mainly Impressionists and Modernists. BBC 11/06/01

ART IN A TIME OF WAR: "What is the point of encouraging them in the 21st century, when the demand for visual immediacy makes the war artist seem obsolete?" And yet, artists have a unique ability to convey a sense of war. Here's one critic's list of artists he send to capture a sense of the conflict. The Times (UK) 11/06/01

TURNER SHORT LIST TO GO ON DISPLAY: The folks in charge of England's controversial Turner Prize have released the list of finalists for this year's award, and now the public will get a chance to see what's competing. "The shortlist for the award is often seen to have favoured avant-garde, outlandish and daring work. But this year's list... was criticised for including no women artists." BBC 11/06/01

SUDAN'S SUFFERING ART: "After a decade of Islamist government, Sudan's art is suffering. The respected Khartoum fine art school, now in its 50th year, is badly run down. Every leading artist has fled: Ibrahim al-Salahi is in Oxford, Omer Khalil in New York, Mohamed Shadad in Cairo." But whereas 10 years ago the minister of culture was smashing statues, the current regime seems more tolerant. The Guardian (UK) 11/06/01

SIR ERNST GOMBRICH, 92: The eminent art historian's "The Story of Art (1950, 16th edition 1995) has been the introduction to the visual arts for innumerable people for more than 50 years, while his major theoretical books, Art and Illusion (1960), the papers gathered in Meditations on a Hobby Horse (1963) and other volumes, have been pivotal for professional art historians. The Guardian (UK) 11/06/01

Monday November 5

THE BIG AUCTION HOUSE TRIAL: The former heads of Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses go on trial next week "as the masterminds behind a conspiracy to fix prices and cheat more than 130,000 customers over six years. Next week's courtroom drama will feature a cast of characters as diverse as the treasures that fill the refined and hushed halls of the two auction houses on Manhattan's upper East Side." New York Daily News 11/04/01

  • POSSIBLE JAIL TIME: "If past cases are anything to go by, the odds are against [former Sotheby's chairman] Alfred Taubman's acquittal, as 60 per cent of defendants in recent American anti-trust trials have been found guilty. If convicted, he could go to prison for up to three years." The Telegraph (UK) 11/05/01

PROOF OF LIFE: This year's Turner Prize shortlist proves British art is regaining its footing - away from the sensational and broadening its focus. "Contemporary British art is as strong as it has been for a decade. We have merely emerged from the days of sensation-seeking into a world where art is at last taken seriously." The Scotsman 11/04/01

  • Previously: LONDON'S TIME PASSED? In the runup to this year's Turner Prize, some are wondering if the edge is off London's contemporary art scene. The buzz seems to be gone, and some are trying just a little too hard to make buzz. "Once something becomes widely visible, that is its moment of collapse. Tate Modern is the curtain call for British art." The Telegraph (UK) 11/03/01

NEW ZEALAND'S TURNER: New Zealand launches a $50,000 art prize. Inspired by the Turner Prize, "the biennial prize is open to artists around the world but their work must be inspired by their experience of New Zealand. Artists will not submit work for the prize but will be nominated by a panel of four yet-to-be-named judges who remain secret until the announcement of the finalists next March 2002." New Zealand Herald 11/04/01

RUSSIAN MUSEUMS UNIONIZE: Some 600 museums across Russia have formed a museum union to lobby for the industry. "The Museums' Union must define and defend the professional interests of the country's existing museums and create a basis upon which new museums can emerge and develop." St. Petersburg Times (Russia) 11/2/01

MILWAUKEE'S NEW STAR: The Milwaukee Art Museum Calatrava-designed addition is a big hit, and crowds have been coming to see it. "It is an astonishing thing, an engineering feat made of 72 fins of white painted steel that unfurls at the touch of a button. In the course of a few minutes the hydraulically powered tubes rise into the air, transforming a steep, stable conelike form into a graceful creature whose mighty wings, spreading 217 feet, run parallel to Lake Michigan's distant horizon." Washington Post 11/04/01

Sunday November 4

WHAT'S IT MEAN TO BE BRITISH? "Until very recently Britain hasn't had much interest in self-consciously using its national museums to say anything much about its identity. It's the unconscious message that is more revealing. If the received wisdom is to be believed, confident states don't need to worry about that kind of thing. But with the division of the Tate into two, and the creation of the Victoria and Albert's new British Galleries, the country has started to think more carefully about the nature of culture as an expression of national identity, which seems to suggest the onset of a bout of insecurity." The Observer (UK) 11/04/01

LONDON'S TIME PASSED? In the runup to this year's Turner Prize, some are wondering if the edge is off London's contemporary art scene. The buzz seems to be gone, and some are trying just a little too hard to make buzz. "Once something becomes widely visible, that is its moment of collapse. Tate Modern is the curtain call for British art." The Telegraph (UK) 11/03/01

MILLENNIUM DOME TO NEW YORK? The man hired by the British government to oversee the Millennium Dome suggests the structure be given to New York to cover the World Trade Center site. “It would be a wonderful gesture on the part of the Government to give the Dome to the City of New York. It would be a marvellous means of seeing the Millennium Dome having a meaningful purpose to its life.” The Times (UK) 11/03/01

Friday November 2

LEONARDO BRIDGE OPENS: A bridge that Leonardo da Vinci designed 500 years ago was rejected by the Turkish sultan, and criticized as being unbuildable. This week the bridge was finally opened, in Norway, about 1,500 miles north of where Leonardo intended - in Norway. Fans call it the 'Mona Lisa of bridges'. "This is the first time any of Leonardo's architectural and civil engineering designs has been built. There have been models, but this is the first in full size." The Guardian (UK) 11/02/01

REMBRANDT AUTHENTICATED: A small 17th Century Dutch painting, purchased by the National Gallery of Ireland for £20 in 1896 has been authenticated as a genuine Rembrandt. At the time of its purchase "it was believed to have been painted by another 17th-century Dutch artist, Willem de Porter. While it is almost impossible to judge the precise value of La main chaude, it is certainly now worth millions of pounds." Irish Times 11/01/01

THE SAFETY-CONSCIOUS BUILDING: Frank Gehry warns that new architecture will change after September 11: "Priorities are going to change. Architecture might become marginalised because safety will become paramount. People are bound to feel apprehensive about skyscrapers ... so we'll have to think about installing fire escapes on the outside of buildings and improving fire-resistant materials." The Independent (UK) 11/01/01

DICTATOR'S RIGHTS? Former Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceausescu's son Valentin is suing the Romanian government for paintings he says were confiscated from him by the country's art national museum in the 1989 uprising against Communism. BBC 11/02/01

PRESSURE MOUNTS TO RETURN MARBLES: A group of 14 British MP's are calling on the British government to return the Parthenon Marbles. Greece announced last month it was building a museum for the disputed artwork. BBC 11/02/01

Thursday November 1

TRAPPED PAINTINGS: A group of El Grecos is trapped in Vienna. On loan from America for a show last summer, their owners are reluctant to let the canvases travel after September 11. "This apparently timeless ensemble on the venerable museum walls is thus deceptive. The gallery has become a depot where the pictures wait before being shipped out. The museum has added a few works by contemporaries of El Greco to justify their display, and looking at the unexpected works has an almost illicit feel to it." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11/01/01

UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES: Anthrax scares, terrorist threats, and indicted executives are all contributing to a nervous climate at the big New York auction houses this fall. November is a big month for art auctions, but those in the know are worried that the September 11 fallout will make for a dismal season of autumn sales. The New York Times 11/01/01 (one-time registration required for access)

THE AFGHAN ART TRADE: Long before the latest war began, the fabulous art treasures of Afghanistan — deposited there by overlapping Greek, Buddhist and Islamic civilizations — were presumed gone, destroyed by 20 years of war, economic desperation and, most recently, by the Taliban's fundamentalist brand of Islam. And yet during the last decade, much of the art has made its way out of Afghanistan to North America, Western Europe and, in particular, Japan. The New York Times 11/01/01 (one-time registration required for access)

    • Previously: THE MOST DANGEROUS RELIGION (HINT: IT'S NOT ISLAM): The world has watched in horror as Afghani fundamentalists willfully destroyed cultural treasures. But destruction of art is only a piece of a larger cultural battle going on here. Is international cultural conflict replacing political Cold War conflict? ArtsJournal 03/16/01

REDUCED GREAT COURT HOURS: The cash-strapped British Museum has decided to reduce the evening hours of the £100 million Norman Foster-designed Great Court which opened last year. The Great Court has been open until 11 pm, but attracted few evening visitors. BBC 11/01/01

TAKING ART LOCAL: In Los Angeles, a movement has been springing up over the last several months that is changing the way the city's residents look at art. Suddenly, the hottest destination for fans of new art is a parade of small, locally owned, and almost amateurish galleries. These new-fangled exhibition centers are distinctive, reflective of their neighborhoos surroundings, and, most importantly, exist not to turn a profit, but to fulfill the dreams of the people who have opened them. Los Angeles Times 11/01/01