Murmurs – brief notes

murmurs – brief notes – Brief Article

Julian Schnabel’s “Before Night Falls” opened at the NY Film Festival, to good reviews. The New York Times reported that this film belongs to what might be called the “life-is-but-a-dream” school of biographical cinema in the way it hovers ethereally over its subject and conjures up fragments of his consciousness in brilliant, disconnected flashes. Exiled Cuban poet Reinaldo Areans is the movie’s subject.

With data supplied by 498 auction houses worldwide, the Art Sales Index reports that fine art sales internationally grew by 11.32 percent, or $2.85 billion, during the period from August 1999 to August 2000.

In Cologne, the Lempertz house sold Canaletto’s “View from the South to the Realto Bridge” for $775,000 and Pieter Breughel the Younger’s “Adoration of the Magi” for $552,000.

At the Swann Galleries in New York, a photograph of the nattily attired “Wild Bunch,” circa 1900, brought $85,000 and Roualt’s “Miserere,” complete portfolio with 58 aquatints, went for $68,500.

At the same time, Alice (International), a newly-established auction company specializing in 19th and 20th century fine art, held its inaugural sale on November 14 at Peterson Hall, 50 East 68th Street and Park Avenue in New York.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Thomas Ammann Fine Art announced an agreement with Phaidon Press to publish the complete works of Andy Warhol in six volumes, the first of which will appear in 2001.

In the wake of the Olympics, the National Gallery in Canberra is celebrating indigenous culture with the return of the exhibition “World of Dreamings: Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds.” The show packed in 425,000 visitors during its eight-week stay at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Following a trend for multimedia exhibitions, “Light! The Industrial Age 1750-1900: Art, Science, Technology and Society” examines 150 years of scientific and artistic innovation in the field of light. Following its exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the show moves to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

The new Dan Flavin light show in the former barracks of Fort Russell at Marla, Texas, was 20 years in the making and cost a total of $1.8 million, most supplied by the Lannan and Brown Foundations in Santa Fe and Houston.

Like so many of Russia’s landmarks, the Museum of Architecture–housed in a 17th century mansion in Moscow–is falling apart, symbol of a giant problem. Russia boasts 90,000 official architectural landmarks, with many also in danger. The World Monuments Fund has named seven Russian sites in its latest list of the world’s 100 most endangered landmarks, more than in any other country.

The line between the art and film worlds continues to blur with the new movie “Pollock.” Ed Harris’ film on Jackson Pollock opened to generally favorable reviews at the New York Film Festival. Said one critic: “The movie nicely evokes the tumult of New York in the 1940s, as well as the exalted hush that surrounded East Hampton before it became an art citadel.”

The Times also likes the sony Classics release of “Goya in Bordeaux.” The paper reported it mixes history, biography, fantasy and art appreciation in “a blend that, despite a lack of narrative drive, coheres through the sheer vividness of its imagery and the bluntness of its dialogue.”

Small wonder that Hollywood is licking its chops over the Christie’s Sotheby’s scandal and can’t wait for the tell-all books by the insiders. Diana (Dede) Brooks, the ousted president and c.e.o. at Sotheby’s, is expected to be first off the presses and Sharon Stone is being touted to play the role of the whistle-blowing blond auctioneer.

The backstory, according to one art world authority, “was a love affair that caused the whole mess.” Reportedly top Christie’s executive David Davidge had a falling-out with new owner Francois Pinault’s over the auctioneer’s attentions to a beautiful socialite from India–Amrita Jhaveri, one of Christie’s experts on Indian art. After the blow-up, Davidge went to authorities with a box of damning evidence.

Given the turmoil in the auction world, it figures that Phillips would be looking for new, larger quarters. Asked about how much space he was looking for, Phillips C.E.O. Christopher Thomas reported: “Someone has said Phillips is only the third largest auction house in the world, but in fact we are the largest auction house in the world not to be under criminal investigation.”

Christie’s London this month will be selling a group of old master paintings that belonged to the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild. Included is Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Lady, Aged 62,” signed and dated 1632, with an estimate of $5.6 million to $8.4 million.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has completed the first phase of its “Save Outdoor Sculpture!” project, completing an inventory of the status of the nearly 32,000 publicly accessible outdoor sculptures across the United States. New York tops the list with 2,629; North Dakota has the fewest, with 76.

Universal beige and institutional green may still be popular colors indoors, but in 2001, according to the Jolley Turner Group, automotive color consultants, you will be seeing more yellow, a graphic shade like egg yolks or school buses,” and two shades of red, “a purplish tone, like a deep, luxurious Bordeaux; and a spicy orange-red, like paprika.”

Antiques Show Returns to Greenwich

More than 40 dealers from around the world will venture to Greenwich, Conn., for The Antiquarius 2000 Antiques Show, taking place Dec. 1-3. This year’s theme is “Nature by Design” and features fine European, American and Asian furniture; paintings, prints and jewelry. Antiquarius 2000 events include the Antiques Show, the Gala Preview Party, a raffle and lectures by renowned experts. Revenues generated by the show support the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich.

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