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    VIDEO: Youthful Rebellion Dominates at Balmain in Paris

    Black leather and sexy hemlines mix with demure pastels and gold at Balmain's Spring/Summer 2014 collection with attitude, shown at Paris Fashion Week. An air of teenage rebellion dominated Balmain's latest Spring-Summer Pret-a-Porter collection, revealed in Paris Thursday, where classic fabrics clashed with youthful attitude. Grown-up dogtooth check was splashed over bomber jackets and feminine pastels were sexed up with studs and chunky gold jewelry. Models with hands in their pockets strutted down the catwalk with an adolescent swagger to a thumping soundtrack of eighties tunes including Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax".

    Hemlines were mostly high and finished with feathers. On the rare occasions they dropped below the knee, a thigh-high slit ensured they retained their sex appeal. Over the last few years, Balmain has turned a corner from a historic brand into a cutting-edge label now headed up by youthful designer Olivier Rousteing, which has dressed stars including Barbadian singer Rihanna.

    Watch more Fashion Week videos HERE. 

    Balmain, PFW 2014 Videos, Fashion Week Videos, Paris Fashion Week

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    VIDEO: Inmates Become Curators for Prision Exhibition

    Nine inmates from the Sud Francilien Penitentiary Center, an hour's drive from Paris, have spent more than a year selecting paintings, photographs and sculptures from Parisian museum collections to be exhibited for prisoners and their families.

    The exhibition is entitled "Journey", a provocative but deliberate choice explains Djamal, one of the convicts turned curator. Djamal describes the steps towards the exhibit, "Every Wednesday afternoon when we got together to prepare the exhibition, we left these walls. We discovered new places, we discovered Asia, Oceania, some Oceanic islands, we discovered lots of painters and sculptors."

    While the works on loan will be released when the exhibition closes November 17, prison officials say they are open to the possiblity of inmates planning new shows in the future.


    Exhibition, Paris, French penitentiary, Journey, Djamal

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    DATEBOOK: South Africa's Joburg Art Fair

    Is Johannesburg angling to be the next gritty city turned vibrant arts mecca? Organizers of the sixth edition of the Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre, September 27–29, certainly hope to capitalize on burgeoning interest in contemporary art from the African continent. This year 33 galleries have confirmed, with a dozen new participants, up from 22 total in the inaugural outing in 2008.

    Ross Douglas, director of the fair’s owner, Artlogic, says, “The first one drew a local audience, but we’ve since developed an international clientele for African contemporary art.” Among the 10,000 attendees last year, Douglas also noted “an increase in serious buyers from South Africa eager to build museum-quality collections, which is new for us.”


    In line with the success of Edson Chagas—whose award-winning “Found Not Taken” shots in the Angolan pavilion at the Venice Biennale were snapped up by former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz—photography is the fair’s focus this year. Locals Goodman Gallery and CIRCA have solo presentations of David Goldblatt and Roger Ballen, respectively. Comers from Cape Town include Brundyn + Gonsalves, with striking black-and-white prints by Mohau Modisakeng (starting at around $4,600), and Commune.1, bringing mixed-media works on paper by self-taught South African artist Ayanda Mabulu that incorporate tribal colors with contemporary—often political—imagery ($3,000–4,000)


    This article is published in the September 2013 issue of Art+Auction.

    Greg Streak  "… And this little piggy l-lll" (2013)

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    Metallics — an effect typically reserved for the wintry holiday season — are emerging as one of the big obsessions to come out of Paris Fashion Week so far for the Spring/Summer 14 season.

    Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz set the tone with his opening party-chic ensemble, pairing a shiny purple silk pencil skirt with a flirty hem with a rock ‘n’ roll metallic pink tuxedo jacket, worn over the shoulders to reveal a gleaming silk t-shirt marked with the slogan: Dream. He continued with an army of metallic mavens, from model Grace Bol in a metallic red shirt paired with a metallic fuschia  skirt, to a full-on silver jumpsuit worn by Saskia de Brauw.

    Balmain’s Christophe Decarnin, whose decision to send out models au naturel (as in, sans makeup) caused a buzz this week, crafted tops and skirts from latticeworks of silver beading embroidery that served as windows for flesh (Balmain is all about sexy dressing). The collection focused on mash-ups of classic “Madame” fabrics, however, with skirt suits in oversized houndstooth, and Chanel-esque quilted jackets.

    Dries Van Noten, who will be the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris next February, struck gold with his collection, layering a gold leather waistcoat under an organic cotton cream trench, using black ruffles and pleated gold discs as exotic decoration on skirts, edging sporty cream dresses with fringed gold trims or working them entirely out of gleaming golden guipure lace.

    Tokyo-based French designer Julien David, whose wave-themed collection — entitled The Tribe of the Seven Seas—  played out as a mesmerizing volley of innovative textiles, opted for glitter and hologram effects: the former used on oversized silk nylon waffle hoodies and stadium jackets embroidered with pixellated buoys; the latter trend surfacing on blue thermoplastic holographic polyurethane skirts, and dresses that gleamed like a dolphin emerging from the sea.

    Treading a destroyed lingerie theme, dull jewel-tone metallics shimmered across Sharon Wauchob’s poetic yet grungy collection, which also centred on textile effects. The designer tacked fluffy white feathers onto a black satin deconstructed dress, or black feathers onto a black lapel-free coat — resulting in a textured tone-on-tone effect — and peppered smocked chiffon dresses with crystals.

    At Rochas, dresses and coats were made of metallic floral jacquard for a retro fifties feel, with an oversized coat in pastel yellow lurex and a dull silver dress in sun pleats among the highlights.

    Avant-garde British designer Gareth Pugh used silver latex to heighten the futuristic feel of his sculptural collection, including one "beam-me-up" look of skinny silver pants, an architectural coat riding up in an arc at the shoulders and a shiny gray plastic bustier — not one many earthlings could pull off.

    For his debut collection for Paco Rabanne, Julien Dossena deftly reworked the house’s signature medium — chainmail — and sent out slinky vest tops and minidresses, as well as silver pants with zips running all the way up the leg,

    Cédric Charlier tested daring color combinations, pairing a red sequined t-shirt top with an iridescent pistachio-hued skirt, breaking up a collection otherwise centered on Japanese-inspired tailoring and pure kimono forms, in a classic palette of black, white, and navy.

    See all the best metallic looks in the slideshow here.

    SHINY SHINY: Metallics Rule the Runways in Paris
    (l-r) Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Gareth Pugh

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    VIDEO: Sting Performs Benefit Concerts for NY's Public Theater

    Sting kicked off a series of intimate benefit concerts in New York with songs from his new album "The Last Ship."

    "This is the first collection of new songs for me in almost a decade," Sting told the audience as he hit the stage.

    The British pop star, who rose to fame as the frontman of "The Police", is performing ten special concerts to raise funds for New York's non-profitPublic Theater.

    The concerts run from September 25 through October 9 at the 260-seat Anspacher Theater at The Public in Manhattan.

    "The Last Ship," was released on September 23 and draws inspiration from Sting’s childhood in northern England.

    The 61-year-old singer has released 10 albums since going solo around 1984. He has also acted in films such as "Quadrophenia," "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," and appeared as himself in TV shows including "The Simpsons."

    Sting, The Last Ship, New York Public Theater Art Organization,

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    Just as style bloggers have infiltrated the fashion world like an army of plucked-and-preened, flashbulb-seeking ants, so every Tom, Dick and Harry has jumped on the food blogging bandwagon in Paris, capitale de la cuisine— as it was traditionally, in any case.

    Cutting the wheat from the chaff, we turned to one of the true originals, food blogger extraordinaire Adrian Moore— assistant chef concierge at the Mandarin Oriental by day — to share his latest Paris addresses for great food and tipples. “This year has been a fruitful one with iconoclastic side projects from trendy and well established chefs, new inventive watering holes and fresh takes on international comfort food reinvented with the best of French produce,” said Moore. “This Parisian rentrée looks exciting for local foodies and jet setting hedonists alike.”

    With Paris Fashion Week in full swing, Moore shares with BLOUIN ARTINFO his top addresses du jour.

    Le Fantôme
    Sandwiched between the Gare de l’Est and the Gare du Nord in the increasingly hip 10th arrondissement, Le Fantôme, from the “Clique” collective behind the Le Baron nightclub and Hotel Amour, is an unusual black-lacquer-and-brick corner hangout complete with bar, pizzeria, and arcade machines for a time warp effect. Already popular with early adopter hipster-geeks and their skinny fashionista girlfriends. Le Fantôme, 36 rue de Paradis, 1oth. Tel.: +33 9 66 87 11 20

    The Sunken Chip
    Just off the Canal Saint Martin, The Sunken Chip is not your typical British chippy. Opened by Michael Greenwold, chef of the hot bistro Roseval, and James Whelan of the trendy Inconnu bar, the bar boasts top-quality line-caught fish. The Chip packs in a young, media-friendly local and international crowd for “feesh and cheeps,” mushy peas (egads!) and small production English beers and sodas. The Sunken Chip, 39 Rue des Vinaigriers, 1oth. Tel.: +33 1 53 26 74 46

    Le Sherry Butt
    It may be lodged in an unfashionable part of the historic Marais district, but the Sherry Butt packs in cutting-edge bar flies eager for artisanal cocktails and a wide selection of whiskies and Japanese beers. Be sure to try one of their copious bruschettas for a late night bite. Tattooed barkeep-cum-owner Amaury has an encyclopedic knowledge of drinks and drinking culture and has created a friendly and unique watering hole that was just what the Parisian scene needed. 
Sherry Butt, 20 rue Beautreillis, 4th. Paris. Tel.: +33 9 83 38 47 80

    Le Mary Celeste
    The Upper Marais’ hottest new bar and casual eatery is named after a historic ghost ship that was found empty of her crew but with a full load of rum. Venezuelan bartender Carlos crafts homemade cocktails, and Canadian chef Haan offers up excellent fusion cuisine inspired by his stint at Copenhagen’s Michelin-starred Thai Kiin Kiin. The oysters, in season and shucked right at the bar, are excellent. Le Mary Celeste, 1, rue Commines, 3rd.

    For those looking for high-end, perfectly conceived Japanese food, look no further than this tiny 12-seater counter off of the Rue Saint Honoré, Jin. Hailing from Sapporo, Chef Taku turns out perfectly prepared sushi and sashimi, which is all best washed down with a saké from their extraordinary cellar. Food this fresh in Paris, a city known for its lack of top-notchNippon tables, comes with a price of course, but it’s well worth the splurge. Jin, 6 rue de la Sourdière, 1st. Tel.:+33 1 42 61 60 71

    One of the more unique restaurants to open in recent weeks is Lazare, helmed by the Bristol’s three-star Michelin chef, Eric Fréchon. Located in the Gare Saint-Lazare, this spacious 100-plus seater brasserie has a central bar perfect for grabbing breakfast or a quick dish of charcuterie and glass of wine, and serves classic French fare all day long. Could this be the start of a new revolution of decent brasseries in travel hubs? Lazare, Gare Saint-Lazare, 8th. Tel.:+33 1 44 90 80 80.

    Click here for a slideshow of these haute addresses.

    Paris Food Blogger Adrian Moore Shares His Must-Hit List
    Lazare, Gare St Lazare, Paris

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    Christie’s and Sotheby’s jumpstarted the fall auction season from September 25–27 with lively sales of contemporary art — known as “midseason” sales — that are increasingly becoming a barometer of the health of the market and reflecting the robust activity at relatively lower five- and six-figure price points.

    Christie’s “First Open” sale, aimed primarily at newer buyers, offers key pieces by emerging artists and lesser-known works by established 20th-century names. The sale took in $13.7 million. Of the 399 lots offered, 281, or 70 percent, found buyers. By value, the auction realized 84 percent.

    The top lot was Andreas Gursky’s photo diptych, “Pyongyang II” 2007, showing two scenes from North Korea’s annual Arirang Festival. It was followed by Tauba Auerbach’s acrylic on canvas, “Untitled FOLD XVIII,” 2010, which sold for $495,750, making it the second-highest price of the sale, and exceeding the $350,000 high estimate. A new auction record was set for Alfred Jensen when the diptych “Heaven: Per I and II,” 1971, soared to $477,750 on an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. A bronze sculpture by Alexander Calder, “Starfish,” 1944, netted $459,750, also far above its $150,000 estimate.

    One expected highlight that failed to find a buyer was Mark Rothko’s atypical but beautiful untitled work on paper, dating to 1944-45 and showing the influence of Surrealism. It carried an asking price of $200,000 to $300,000 but failed to sell. Meanwhile Howard Hodgkin’s vibrant, green “Down in the Valley,” 1985-88, cruised to $363,750, bypassing the high estimate of $300,000.

    Elsewhere, Sotheby’s first-ever “Contemporary Curated” sale on September 25, featured a wide range of picks from influential art world figures Jason Rubell, Adam Fields (vice president of artists and institutions for Artspace), fashion wunderkind Tamara Mellon, and somewhat surprisingly, disgraced author-turned-art world personality and artist pal, James Frey.

    The sale drew some stellar prices and pulled in a total of $13.8 million, which specialist and head of the sale Courtney Kremers said was the highest ever for a midseason contemporary sale at Sotheby’s. However, the buy-in rate of just over 40 percent — with 152 of 374 lots failing to sell — was on the high side, indicating that buyers were selective, even where blue-chip artist names were concerned. By value the sale realized a more solid 68 percent, reflecting strong prices paid for individual lots.

    The highlight was one of Fields’s picks, Mark Bradford’s dazzling, “Curtis”, 2007, mixed media on canvas comprised of acrylic, felt-tip pen, silver coated paper, and printed paper collage. It soared past its $500,000-to-$700,000 estimate to sell for an artist auction record of $2.3 million, snapped up by pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr, who ranks number 374 on the latest Forbes’ list.

    Other top sellers included Joan Mitchell’s untitled abstract painting, circa 1953, which notched $725,000, hurdling the high estimate, and Alice Neel’s “Portrait of the Judge as a Young Activist,” 1963, which sold for $437,000, more than doubling the high $150,000 estimate. The latter work had been owned by the same collector since the time it was painted, having been acquired directly from Neel.

    Kenneth Noland’s “Color Pane,” 1967, also outperformed expectations, taking $341,000, well above the $200,000 high estimate. And Eric Fischl’s “Mussel Eaters,” 1992, fell midway between expectations when it scored $305,000 against an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000,

    Did collectors trust Frey’s art picks more than his ability to tell the truth about his own life? Apparently so. Among his selections listed on Sotheby’s site, all five works sold, including Dan Colen’s piece consisting of chewing gum and wrappers on canvas, “I Can Go Steady With Any Girl I Please,” 2007-08, which topped its $80,000 estimate to sell for $93,750. Of Colen’s gum paintings, Frey says: “It’s hard to look at them and not smile, not have the wrappers bring back some happy childhood memory.” Frey says he is a big fan of Colen’s work but notes that the large scale versions of these pictures have gotten “incredibly expensive. If 600,000 to 800,000 dollars is beyond you, buy this picture. The reaction you’ll get from it is exactly the same.”

    Other Frey picks that found willing buyers included Jenny Holzer’s verde antique marble bench, “When There Is No Safe Place to Sleep,” 1997, which sold for $43,750 (est. $40–60,000), and Adam McEwen’s pencil on graph paper in a graphite frame “Untitled Text Msg (Steve),” 2009, which includes the text: “Gotcha. At my apt banging the intern.” It sold for $22,500, just clearing the high $22,000 estimate.

    Frey also picked a small Koons balloon dog — a 10 1/2-by 101/2-by-5-inch red porcelain one, dated 1995 (from an edition of 2,300) — which almost doubled the high $7,000 estimate when it sold for $13,750. Frey said a similar one he had received from his wife as a gift ranks among his all time favorites: “I love the large scale Balloon Dogs, and I joked that I should get one of these because there was no version of the future that would allow me to ever own one of them. For my next birthday, she got it for me. My wife is cool. I’m lucky. Woohoo!”


    A Pair of Colorful Contemporary Auctions Show Fall Already Heating Up
    Mark Bradford, "Curtis," 2007

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    VIDEO: Montana Dueling Dinosaurs to be Sold in New York City

    Two fossilized dinosaur skeletons found on a Montana ranch in 2006 are coming up for sale in New York City.

    The nearly complete skeletons are billed as the Montana Dueling Dinosaurs, and are being sold by Bonhams auction house.

    According to Thomas Lindgren, Bonhams Co-Consulting Director of Natural History, the fossils “are the rarest dinosaurs that have ever been found.”

    Lindgren says the dinosaurs - a Nanotyrannus (a meat-eater) and a Ceratopsian (a plant-eater ) appear to be locked together in mortal combat. Hence the name Dueling Dinosaurs.

    “The Nanotyrannus itself has never been found as a skeleton before. Only partial skeletons and actually only two skulls exist and they are partial skulls,” according to Lindgren.

    They’re being sold by the owners of the ranch where the fossils were found.

    It's located in the fossil-rich Hell Creek formation, where dinosaurs are believed to have once roamed.

    Clayton Phipps, the amateur paleontologist who found the dinosaurs, calls himself lucky to have found the fossils.

    “I am hoping that it will be studied and professionally academically studied and you know I want to know more about ‘em,” Phipps said.

    Each of the specimens is well preserved.

    Paleontologists believe one may be a close relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.

    The other may be a new species similar to a Triceratops, but this has yet to be independently verified.

    The fact that these dinosaurs were commercially collected has created some controversy in the scientific community.

    “There are those scientists that believe unless they have had the opportunity to actually work on them themselves they have no value. Yet there are the other scientists that say this is the most amazing discovery in the dinosaur world of all time,” according to Lindgren.

    The two dinosaurs are slated to be offered as a single lot at Bonhams auction house on November 19th.

    The auction house estimates it could bring $7 million to $9 million.

    Montana Dueling Dinosaurs

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    Q&A With Anne-Marie Duff: A Lady Macbeth “Swollen With Humanity”

    Study the acting resume of Anne-Marie Duff and “fearless” is an adjective that pops into one’s mind: George Bernard Shaw’s “Joan of Arc,” Racine’s “Berenice,” Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” Ibsen’s “Nora,” and Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude.” That’s not to mention Queen Elizabeth in “The Virgin Queen,” an acclaimed BBC-TV miniseries. Now the 43-year-old London-born actor is making her Broadway debut in the Everest of classical female roles: Lady Macbeth in the Lincoln Center Theater’s production of “Macbeth,” with Ethan Hawke in the title role and directed by Jack O’Brien.

    Hawke has praised his co-star, the daughter of Irish immigrants, as being able to tap a “huge trove of emotion,” an actor who is unafraid to expose body and soul to uncover the complexities of every character she undertakes. Lady Macbeth almost eluded her. She was asked to play the role when her husband, actor James McAvoy, assayed Macbeth earlier this year in a West End production. She refused, noting that a husband-wife pairing in the roles of Shakespeare’s most famously uxorious couple would distort the production and become fodder for the tabloids. “That’s all people would talk about,” she says. It was a gift then when O’Brien approached her to play the role. ARTINFO recently spoke with Duff about her explorations into a woman whom she considers one of the most misunderstood anti-heroines in literature and the humanity with which she has tried to imbue the Lady’s tortured soul. 

    In what way do you see this as a love story that has gone terribly awry?

    That was our main objective when I first spoke to Jack [O’Brien] many moons ago about doing a production. That’s what he was kind of obsessed with, that they’re desperately in love with each other and there’s enough information in the text to support that. As storytellers, we hope that the audience will become invested in their love. Many people who don’t know the play have this assumption that it’s about a man who has a Machiavellian wife who leads him astray. But it’s a two-way street. They both have bloody hands.

    Lady Macbeth’s reference to milk in her breasts seems to indicate that they may have just lost a baby. How does that influence their relationship?

    We kept thinking about that possibility and it’s helpful in finding them and in finding her. She’s a tricky one. You can look at a film-noir version of the play and here’s a man who makes a mistake and is led down in a spiral of shame. It’s not easy to rationalize her. So it was a good base camp from which to climb this mountain. If that’s their starting point, then they need to find a future, one without offspring. How can they move forward? And so they become immersed in this incredibly perverse vision of tomorrow.

    This is a very sexual “Macbeth.” Are there elements of S&M to their relationship?

    Ethan and I joke about it but we definitely think there is. That’s the dynamic between them — pleasure and pain. I don’t want to be flippant or jokey about it because it can easily teeter in the wrong direction, but there are a lot of relationships that thrive for many years in strange territories.

    It intimately bonds them?

    There you go. It’s about intimacy. People feel closest when they’re fighting, having mad sex, as opposed to being quietly intimate.  Passion is a funny monster and it manifests itself in different ways.

    Does it manifest itself in her goading him to murder the king through emasculating him?

    [Laughs] She does a lot of that throughout the play. “C’mon lady, give him a break.” But it’s cloaked in her saying, “I want you to be more of yourself.” That’s probably a terribly 21st century [thing] but I also think it’s the most human. To try to give it more nerve endings is to say, as she does, “You’d be so much more the man.” When I say that, I think, “Yes, more of who you truly are rather than just some sort of macho version of that.” And he thrives on that. He’s constantly saying, “Push me, push me, push me.” And now he’s pushed.

    She can push his buttons. Can Macbeth push hers?

    I hope that’s the story we’re telling. It feels like he takes over control and that he’s ironically more hungry. I feel that she’s happy enough with the death of Duncan. “Stop. We have what we want for ourselves.”  She’s not blood thirsty. But he develops a thirst for it. And then he starts to chip away at her confidence. After the coronation, he says, “Go away now.” It’s this weird two-way street with them.

    Speaking of a “weird two-way street,” how is it working with Ethan Hawke?

    Great fun. We have really good laughs. You have to when you’re playing such unhealthy people. He’s a lovely, generous actor with a huge emotional capacity. He’s wide open, not just as an actor but also offstage. We take care of each other and that’s been a huge relief. It’s such a huge leap of faith when you get involved in a production, especially thousands of miles away from home.

    You’ve played characters as disparate as Lady Macbeth and Saint Joan. What’s the main difference in your approach to these two?

    This will sound bizarre to people outside the creative process, but they’re very similar. They’re both yearning to move forward in the world in the way they’ve committed to it. That’s what we’re all trying to do as human beings. But these women are at a point of crisis where their mettle is being tested. And it is curious to explore in the cavities of yourself some aspect of humanity with which to play them. Each application of emotion is different. But you don’t say, “Gosh, I’m playing such a different character.” You just try to make them swollen with humanity in whatever way you can.

    Does she have a greater ambition to be queen than he has to be king?

    She may have a burning ambition to be queen. That’s a tangible thing to which she can apply herself as a woman. “I’ve achieved this in my lifetime.” But she’s not a sociopath. She’s still capable of feeling shame and guilt. And loss. And the greater loss for her is the loss of him. As conflicted as their love is, it is full of integrity. She gets to a point that not only has she lost him but she also has blood on her hands. Then she’s truly bereft.

    So her famous sleepwalking mad scene is as much about losing him as it is about her guilt?  

    I think that plays an enormous part. That’s my interpretation.

    Most scholars think that Shakespeare left her unfinished, that she needs another scene. Any idea what it would be about and where it’d go?

    It feels like there should be a scene — just before the sleepwalking scene — in which she begs him to stop the killing. I think it’s that. And his refusal and his bloody-minded commitment to this insane path is what tips her completely over the edge.

    How do you negotiate the gender ambiguities of Lady Macbeth, who calls on the evil spirits to “unsex” her, to make her void of feminine feelings of compassion and empathy?

    She’s not Joan. She doesn’t chop off her hair and assume a new sexual persona. She wants to rid herself of any emotional obstacle — sensitivity, culpability — that will get in the way of their ambitions. So yeah, I still see her as having a strong feminine power that she does not negate. But the play’s not set in 2013, it’s set in a no-time nightmare world though we do adhere to an historical sense of the play. She’s still a woman in a man’s world. She could never run for president in this world.

    Do you feel that a woman who runs for president now would have to utter “Unsex me now” before she did?

    Yes. Absolutely. You’d be obliged to otherwise you’d be operating in a room full of men who’d be more than happy to accuse you of being too emotional, too empathetic, too sensitive. It’d be an absolute necessity.

    You’re married to an actor —

    Am I? [Laughs]

    — do you give each other notes?

    Not so much notes but help sometimes — and encouragement because certainly in the early stages of performance, that’s so important. We’re like in a corner of a boxing ring and either of us are there with the sponge, cleaning up the blood and changing the [mouth] guard. You got to be a team. If you’re playing the same sport, you may as well play as a team.

    Ethan Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff in "Macbeth" at Lincoln Center.

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    WEEK IN REVIEW: From Bacon to Brant, Our Top Visual Art Stories

    — Judd Tully was on the scene for all of the week’s blockbuster sales including Monday’s strong $68M sale at Phillips, the record-breaking $142 million Bacon sale at Christie's, and the sale of Warhol’s crash painting at Sotheby’s for $105,455,000.

    — Ashton Cooper interviewed Iranian-American artist Shadi Yousefian about the power of sending and receiving letters.

    — Five big-time collectors, including Howard Rachofsky and Lisa Perry, filled Eileen Kinsella in on the one that got away.

    — Rozalia Jovanovic trekked out to the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut to review the first major U.S. survey of Julian Schnabel’s work since 1987.

    — Katya Foreman reported from Paris on standouts from this year’s Paris Photo fair.

    Twenty-five works from the Munich art hoard, including pieces by Otto DixHenri Matisse, and Marc Chagall, were put online this week by German officials.

    Lady Gagadebuted her new album with a massive Jeff Koons exhibition and artRave at the Brooklyn Navy Yards.

    — Modern Painters profiled painter Arnaldo Roche and his recent blue period.

    — Coline Milliard spoke to Bonhams CEO Matthew Girling on the auction house’s new headquarters and global overhaul.


    Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale

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    "Let's Get Lost": Bruce Weber's Love Letter to Chet Baker

    “Let’s Get Lost,” Bruce Weber’s expressionistic portrait of tragic jazzman Chet Baker, is coming back to Film Forum after 25 years, as part of a retrospective of the filmmaker’s work. Never in vogue among jazz critics, who saw him, over the years, as holding on for dear life to the “cool jazz” style that had defined him, Baker became more well known for his life outside the smoky clubs. Plagued by addiction, the trumpet player would go through numerous wives, multiple drug busts, and one famous incident where his teeth were knocked out, allegedly by angry drug dealers. His bad-boy good looks — many would compare him to James Dean— hardened with age, and his renegade lifestyle hit the brakes on May 13, 1988, when he was found dead in the street outside a hotel in Amsterdam.

    Photographed in gorgeous shades of black and white, Weber’s documentary is a meandering and nebulous film that formally attempts to mirror Baker’s hushed vocalizing and sinewy, focused horn playing — what the critic Dave Hickey called “subversive premeditation.” It’s also very much in line with Weber’s large body of work as a fashion photographer. “Let’s Get Lost” is a film of constant movement, nostalgic for a mythic time when everyone was cool and beautiful, living in a dream world of morning beach walks and nighttime convertible rides.

    It’s clear from the beginning that what you’re getting is less an objective portrait — if an objective portrait is even possible — and more of a love letter. Weber hints at some of the trouble of Baker’s life, interviewing various wives, girlfriends, and children he left behind, and his conversations with Baker, who is often deep into a dope haze, reveal more about the musician than any amount of analysis could. But Weber’s overbearing interest in the glossy polish of Baker’s life hinders the film. It’s a film about loving the image, not the man himself.

    But as a film of surfaces, “Let’s Get Lost” does the trick. It’s breezy, often funny, and beautiful to look at. It takes a man who, for the sake of his art, hurt a lot of people in his life, and cements his mythic status, while at the same time lamenting an era when all great artists were alluring and damaged. It’s a world that doesn’t hold up, but it’s nice to spend a day absorbed by its trance.

    “Let’s Get Lost” screens now through November 21 at Film Forum.

    Chet Baker in Bruce Weber's "Let's Get Lost" (1988)

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    GALLERY NIGHT [VIDEO]: Chelsea Art Trek, 8 Galleries in 1 Night

    Hundreds of people wound their way from gallery to gallery on two art walks through Chelsea Thursday night.  The walks sponsored by BLOUIN ARTINFO and Hendricks’s Gin entitled “The CURIOUSLY Inspired CHELSEA ART TREK” each hit four galleries with exceptional exhibitions. Clues were given at each gallery in each walk and the answers became the invitation to a reception that followed at the Hotel Americano.

    The first walk, called “The Exquisite Spatial Adventure”, brought participants to the Driscoll Babcock Gallery where Jenny Morgan is showing her figurative paintings entitled “How to Find a Ghost”.

    Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is showing paintings by Eric Blum. “Foreign Parts” is a series of poetic interpretations of uncertain spaces.

    The Mixed Greens exhibition is showing “Unauthorized Biographies”, paintings by Brad Greenwood.  Residing somewhere between abstraction and figurative work, the works are modestly dramatic and very personal.

    The fourth gallery on the walk, C24 Gallery is showing paintings by New Orleans-based artist Regina Scully. Entitled “Entrance”, the works are labyrinth-like and suggestive of architectural or urban spaces. All four exhibitions on the path of “The Exquisite Spatial Adventure” have an uncanny relation to each other through the explorations of subjective space by four young artists.

    The second walk was called “The Journey Through History and Time”. The DC Moore Gallery has an exhibition by the well-known artist Mary Frank. Her “Elemental Expression” title refers to her unorthodox use of clay accompanied by paintings and photographs which complement her innovative sculptural works. A catalogue by the well-known critic John Yau accompanies the exhibition.

    At Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Varujan Boghosian riffs on the legend and history of Marcel Duchamp in a series of collages and humorous constructions.

    At Fischbach Gallery, Jeff Gola is exhibiting is first New York solo exhibition of exquisite egg tempera paintings of luminous and mysterious landscapes in a show  entitled “Unspoken Beauty”.

    At Leila Heller Gallery, “FAKE: Idyllic Life”, new, complex, works by Shoja Azari are shown with both paintings and video works melded. The works are innovative in creating slow-moving narratives on paintings through video. Persian miniatures are the basis of new images, quickened by the video images with which they overlap.

    The eight shows included in the Chelsea Art Trek are staying up for varying lengths of time. Check gallery websites for more information.

    To watch more videos in our ARTINFO series "Gallery Night", click HERE. 

    Chelsea Art Trek

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    VIDEO: Three Great American Photographers at Paris Photo 2013

    As Paris Photo has grown into a truly global event, it has come to be good place to find exceptional works of America’s most talented photographers.

    BLOUIN ARTINFO’s Judith Benhamou-Huet, curator and author of “The Worth of Art,” found some remarkable images from Americans represented at Paris Photo.

    Some are very well-known figures in the art market like William Eggleston, shown by Rose Gallery from Santa Monica.

    But others like Peter Hujar (at Pace/MacGill and Fraenkel Gallery booths) or Gordon Parks(at Howard Greenberg) are still quite underrated.

    To watch other ARTINFO videos from Paris Photo 2013, click HERE. 

    Judith Benhamou-Huet at Paris Photo 2013

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    Following its 2012 debut, the Salon: Art + Design is back at the Park Avenue Armory for a second round, delivering, as expected, all things modern. With design, pristine lines, right angles, and rich woods abound, one example being the beloved Eames storage units that mid-century specialist Mark McDonald has brought back; as well as the Art Deco of Galerie Vallois, where a hybrid circular bookcase and table by French architect Pierre Chareau packs such startling magnetism for its compact (double-duty and space-efficient, even) size; and even the wondrous tables, shelves, and lamp French designer André Sornay was able to craft out of mere rectangular slabs of wood in the 1930s, on view courtesy Galerie Alain Marcelpoil. In art, there was no shortage of ChagallsPicassos, and Schieles (Waterhouse & Dodd brought two out of three, and more).

    For all its promised modern-centricity, the Salon offers far more to visitors; with its breadth of movements, media, and periods reaching into the distant past and extending to the near future, the new fair is an ostensive mini-museum with many, many different wings. Exhibits not dominated by Europe or the Americas include Lucas Ratton’s array of West African 19th- and 20th-century objects; another that reaches into a more ancient past is that at Galerie Mermoz, with pre-Columbian works by the Aztec, Maya, and Olmec, among them a slate-gray Olmec terracotta vessel engraved with a dragon dating back to 900 B.C. In the contemporary wing, Junko Mori’s urchin-like, matte-black ceramic sculptures are a highlight at Adrian Sassoon. And for the future of design, see the R 20th Century booth, featuring works by the up-and-coming Haas Brothers, whose hedonistic aesthetic somehow comes across in an object as simple a lamp, voluptuously sculpted and extravagantly laid with hexagonal brass tiles.

    What’s interesting about the Salon is that, in addition to its mish-mash of time periods, visitors will also find a blurred distinction between art and design, and even architecture, so closely juxtaposed that they nearly seem to bleed into each other. New York’s Menconi + Schoelkopf’s solo booth of Charles Biederman, showcases colorful geometric abstractions made manifest in sculptural wall hangings and architectural paintings, with bold forms that bring to mind postmodern design. Similarly, at the entrance of the fair, brilliantly colored, blown-glass works of Italian architect Ettore Sottsass line the booth wall of the Friedman Benda booth. (Marc Benda, for the record, says that despite partner Barry Friedman’s recent retirement, “Nothing is going to change.”)

    Nearby, “100 Years of Nudes” is written on the wall of Swiss heavyweight Galerie Gmurzynska’s booth, where the women of Pablo Picasso’s “Femme debout” (1969) and Yves Klein’s “ANT” (1960) hold court. There’s a surprise hanging on the wall directly opposite: Three of the little-known and seldom-seen collages of architect Richard Meier.

    Stray observations, for the more whimsical: Mary Ryan Gallery has a collection of 1980s Laurent de Brunhoff illustrations of beloved French elephant prince Babar. And furs — whether they be the cow hide on Galerie Downtown’s Oscar Niemeyer Low Armchair and Ottomon, the white alpaca on Vallois’s Chareau armchairs, or the sheepskin of Modernity’s Flemming Lassen armchairs — make excellent seating.

    To see works from the 2013 Salon: Art  + Design, click on the slideshow.

    The Highs of Salon: Art + Design, From Art Deco to the Aztecs
    Robilant + Voena's booth

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    Munich Art Hoarder Speaks, MC Hammer Backs Lucas's SF Museum, and More

    Gurlitt Finally Speaks: Munich art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt has finally spoken out to tell his side of the story in an interview with Der Spiegel and it’s a doozy. Gurlitt claims he hasn’t watched TV since 1963, he’s never been on the internet, and he has a daily ritual of admiring and talking to his favorite artworks — works on paper he keeps in a small suitcase. "There is nothing I have loved more in my life than my pictures," he said. Gurlitt also told the German newspaper that he knew quite a bit about the provenance of the hundreds of works in the collection, but he is not sharing that information with the authorities who are still trying to determine the rightful ownership of the cache. [NYT, Der Spiegel]

    MC Hammer Stumps for Lucas Museum: In an email sent to the Presidio Trust— which is currently picking between three proposals for cultural institutions for San Francisco's Crissy Field — Ron Conway, an investor in "Star Wars" director George Lucas's proposal for a $1-billion museum of visual storytelling, shared messages of support from tech giants including Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs, Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and others, as well as football legend Joe Montana and parachute pants popularizer MC Hammer. The Trust's board is due to review the three final proposals in a meeting on Tuesday. [San Francisco Chronicle]

    Art Crime Spikes in U.K.: Senior law enforcement officials in the U.K. say that with some £300 million worth of art being stolen every year in Britain, art theft has now become the country's second-most lucrative illegal trade — after drug trafficking — prompting authorities to launch a new interdepartmental art theft task force today under the guidance of the Association of Chief Police Officers along with help from the National Crime Agency and English Heritage. "What we're seeing is that the value of items is increasing but also the level of violence that they are prepared to use is increasing, which is obviously a major concern to law enforcement," said detective superintendent Adrian Green. "It's robbing our communities of their heritage but it's also putting millions of pounds into the pockets of criminals." [BBC]

    Sobbing at Sotheby’s: "Meyer — renowned in the art world for his poise on the auction block — steps behind a wall and into a side gallery where privately, quietly, he wipes a few tears from his cheeks." Tobias Meyer, head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, is having a rough time staying competitive with Christie’s. [Newsweek]

    Koch’s Art Hits the Block: Former New York mayor Ed Koch’s art collection, trove of letters, and Frank Lloyd Wright dining room set are up for auction. [NY Daily News]

    Fossil Fight!: A handful of fossil purists and paleontologists are none too pleased with the San Diego Natural History Museum for deciding to sell off fossils, stones, and bones from its collection at a New York auction this Tuesday. [UT San Diego]

    – "Art is a way to clean up your dirty wealth," Michael Wolff declares while speculating on the likely under-reported commingling between organized crime and the high-end art market. [USA Today]

    – Tate Britain unveils the fruits of a major £45-million renovation tomorrow, which included building a new spiral staircase into its rotunda and restoring Rex Whistler's famous 1926-28 mural, "The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats." [BBC]

    Emin Faki, 20, has been charged with reckless endangerment for driving his BWM down the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. [AP]


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    Then and Now: A Paris Photo Exhibition Tracks Brazil's Changing Cities

    The Highs of Salon: Art + Design, From Art Deco to the Aztecs

    GALLERY NIGHT [VIDEO]: Chelsea Art Trek, 8 Galleries in 1 Night

    Check our blog IN THE AIR for breaking news throughout the day.

    Cornelius Gurlitt

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