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    “This is our premier platform of the year and we always try to put together the most impactful sale,” says Jodi Pollack, head of 20th Century Design at Sotheby’s. Indeed, along with holiday parties, December design auctions are an important tradition for serious collectors. This month, however, collectors won’t only compose the bidding audience, but will be distinctly represented on the block by a duo of significant single-owner sales. Such sharp focus on cunningly curated groupings is expected to harness the typically eclectic nature of the category’s buyers, inspiring true connoisseurship across its many tributaries.

    The action gets started on December 17 at Phillips, where ceramics and furniture from the Betty Lee and Aaron Stern Collection join the more general Design and Design Masters sales. “They are legendary collectors,” says Meaghan Roddy, the house’s head of sale in New York, who was taken by the “in-depth holdings by specific designers,” including Hans Coper, Andre Dubreuil, Lucy Rie, and Ken Price. Italian design brings distinction to the general sale in the form of fresh-to-the-market unique pieces from the ’50s and ’60s by Ico Parisi, including a desk with a pair of chairs (est. $22,000-$28,000), sofa (est. $12,000-$18,000), 1954 coffee table (est. $5,000-$7,000), card table (est. $6,000-$8,000), and wall-mounted console (est. $6,000-$8,000) commissioned for a mid-20th-century family residence in Cantu; along with a rare settee (est. $12,000-$18,000) and armchairs (est. $12,000-$18,000) by Gio Ponti for the SS Andrea Doria. Harry Bertoia appears again after a strong spring showing with Golden Rod, a melt-coated wire sculpture (est. $150,000-$200,000). “There’s certainly fodder for a few casual holiday gifts,” jokes Roddy.

    For her part, Pollack offers Modern Design Masters: the Yurcik Collection, which will encompass some 30 lots focusing on Sheila and Joseph Yurcik’s postwar and contemporary holdings on December 18. “They ‘selected more than collected,” Pollack quips, repeating Joseph’s signature phrase referencing the rarified quality of works by Paul Evans, George Nakashima, and Harry Bertoia. She did, however, place Yurcik pieces in her Important 20th Century Design sale to lower frequency. “We’re being careful not to overwhelm the market with too much material from the same designers,” she says. That sale’s lead lot is an executive desk (est. $400,000-$600,000) and armchair ($80,000-$120,000), by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1935-1939, from the S. C. Johnson and Son Administration Building in Racine, Wisconsin; while a Ron Arad Big Easy loveseat, 1989 (est. $100,000 to $150,000), holds court in the Contemporary Design offerings. The house’s standalone Important Tiffany sale is anchored by a Louis Comfort Tiffany piano, designed in 1888 for his studio in the Charles Tiffany house. A family heirloom until now, Pollack calls the piece “a tour de force of aesthetic-movement design.” Knowing the devotion of Tiffany collectors, this writer questioned the conservative nature of the $200,000-to-$300,000 estimate, eliciting Pollack to confess her suspicion that the piece “could create some drama in the sale room.”

    Christie’s honors the winter solstice on December 20 with its 20th Century Decorative Art sale, leading with five lots by Jean Michel Frank, commissioned for the Kersey Coates Reed house, in Lake Forest, Illinois, designed by David Adler with interiors by Frances Elkins. The star lots comprise two table lamps, circa 1929, each estimated at $120,000 to $180,000. “Such Deco masterpieces are becoming rarer and rarer,” says Carina Villinger, 20th Century Design head of Christie’s, commenting on the strength of this market segment. Christie’s also brings to the block a particularly rare bench by Antoni Gaudi, which last sold at the house in 1979. Estimated at $200,000 to $300,000, a similar example sold in 2011 for $500,000. With that sort of performance and the current market strength, it’s not hard to wonder what on Villinger’s Christmas list. 

    http://www.blouinartinfo.com/photo-galleries/slideshow-preview-new-york-design-auctions-december-17-20To see images, click on the slideshow.

    PREVIEW: New York Design Auctions, December 17-20
    Frank Lloyd Wright Desk and Chair

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    From the looks of it, it was probably Karl Lagerfeld’s first time at the rodeo.

    For Chanel’s annual métiers d’art runway show in Dallas Tuesday night, the designer may have interpreted the “Wild” in “Wild, Wild West” a little too loosely, taking major liberties with mostly cowboy and Native American themes, reimagining Stetson hats and cowboy boots.

    Not that he tried to deny it. As he told Style.com, “It's a reinvention of something I don't really know, but that I like to play with.”

    He also told reporters: “I love Dallas. Texas is wild, but I made it more romantic.”

    Well, the looks were definitely country, a little bit rock-and-roll, and plenty in between to boot.

    Speaking of boots, there were many iterations going around: in the form of trompe l’oeil stockings; and by being paired with the classic Chanel tweed suit — a look that “Coco” herself sports in The Return, the 30-minute fashion film that debuted in conjunction with the runway show.

    Ready-to-wear interpretations of the Lone Star State came in the form of a cocktail dress and matching jacket embroidered with thousands of red and silver stars; skirts resembling shag carpets; knitted caftans; high-necked prairie blouses; and denim looks paired with white frills — which is ironic since one of the choicest quotes in The Return was when Coco told an American journalist (played by Brit Rupert Everett with a curiously affected French accent): “Is that your idea of youth? Try wearing blue jeans — see what it does to your face.”

    Arm candy came in the form of buckled-and-fringed bags that were draped over the forearm like a horse saddle. Meanwhile, several models resembled Yankee Doodle riding into town with feathers in their caps.

    But the headdress of the evening belonged to Caroline de Maigret, who modeled the last look of the evening: An all-white, kitschy take on Native American feathered costumes. Naturally, it's already prompted some outrage.

    Of course, it’s a Lagerfeld trademark to stretch a theme to its hilt. His Paris-Bombay Métiers d'Art 2011/12 show riffed on the legendary gilt and excess of India’s maharajas; the 2009/2010 instalment in Shanghai explored several inappropriate themes including Communist Chinese uniforms and coolie straw hats.

    But if the purpose of the métiers d’art shows is to showcase and celebrate the intricate, awe-inspiring handiwork of the 11 couture workshops that Chanel has been buying since the 1980s, this was a collection that at least achieved that aim, even if not as elegantly as the previous shows.

    Kaiser Karl certainly pulled out all the stops again in Fair Park’s Automobile Building. The show featured all of Lagerfeld’s favorite models, including Brad Kroenig and his son Hudson, Stella Tennant, Lindsey Wixon and Erin Wasson, while the screening of The Return was conceptualized as a “drive-in” movie theater.

    Given the movie’s thin plot, bad acting, and non sequitur scenes of Chanel waxing lyrical about needing to be loved (a rather too literal and whiny supplication for critics to be lenient), the best part of the film was seeing guests like Andre Leon Talley, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Lynn Wyatt— the Houston socialite whom Lagerfeld said inspired the collection — pack into 50s convertibles to cozy up with one another.

    By the way, the show’s choice of Dallas pays homage to American retailer Stanley Marcus (of Neiman Marcus, headquartered in the Texan city), who championed Chanel’s return to designing in 1954 after a 15-year hiatus, despite the French press unanimously panning it.

    To see a slideshow of Chanel’s métiers d’art looks, click here.

    Watch The Return below:

    Chanel Métiers d'Art in Dallas: A Little Bit Country... Disaster
    Chanel's "Metiers d'Art" Show at Fair Park on December 10, 2013 in Dallas, Texas

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    Last week, art fairs across Miami—from exhibition halls and Art Deco hotels in South Beach to expansive white tents in the city’s Wynwood Design District—saw very high levels of attendance and sales. The organizers of the anchor fair, Art Basel in Miami Beach, reported a seven-percent uptick in attendance, for a total of 75,000 visitors over five days, while satellite fairs also appeared to thrive. 

    At the big fair, New York's Sean Kelly Gallery sold out its entire booth, including works by Callum Innes, Mariko Mori, and Marina Abramovic. Kelly, who has participated in the fair since its inception in 2002, said that “without any exception this is the most successful of all its editions in terms of quality, conversations, volume of visitors and new audiences — I wish we had brought more inventory.”

    Chicago and Berlin dealer Kavi Gupta scored at Art Basel in Miami Beach with works by Tony Tasset, whose inclusion in next year's Whitney Biennial was recently announced. Gupta sold two versions of the artist’s “Snowman” sculptures, made of glass, resin, and enamel paint, with bronze “sticks” for arms, at $75,000 each; and two versions of Tasset’s “Bear” for $65,000 each. Gupta also reported selling Roxy Paine’s “Labor Saving Device” to the Brooklyn Museum on the fair’s opening night, for $85,000. And he sold “almost all" of artist Theaster Gates’s "difficult but important Documenta installation pieces,” at prices that he stated ranged from $50,000 to $175,000. 

    “It was an incredibly successful fair, to say the least,” Gupta said. “Our program has artists that are not as commonly known — the work tends to be difficult and has narrative — but we were able to spend time with collectors and most turned out to be extremely knowledgeable.”

    Major sales that occurred early in the Art Basel run included a Jeff Koons, bought sight unseen from David Zwirner, for $8 million (it was in the artist's studio and not included in the booth). Powerhouse gallery Pace reported selling a large 1962 sculpture by Alexander Calder, “Untitled,” for more than $1 million, following “a high level of interest from four different buyers,” according to a gallery spokesperson. Pace also sold a painting by Adolph Gottlieb, “White Halo-Black Ground” (1967), for $400,000.

    Mathias Rastorfer, co-owner of Swiss gallery Gmurzynska, called Art Basel in Miami Beach “a very successful fair,” and said the gallery “was consistently busy with sales. We sold important works by Scott Campbell, Wifredo Lam, Richard Meier, Enrico Castellani, Adolf Luther, and Tom Wesselmann. The price range of the sales were between $50,000 to $1 million.”

    And Marcio Botner, of Brazilian gallery A Gentil Carioca, called it “the strongest edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach in years,” and noted that there were “several new collectors from Asia due to Art Basel's new presence in Hong Kong.”

    The satellite fairs, too, were hopping. Nick Korniloff, partner and director of Art Miami LLC — which owns the Art Miami, Context, and (as of last year) Aqua Art Miami fairs — said that many seven- and mid-to-high six-figure sales were achieved at Art Miami, with an overall volume of sales that seemed to be double that of last year. Top sales at that fair included a Gerhard Richter painting that sold for $3 million at Munich’s Galerie Terminus; a sculpture by Henry Moore sold by Scott White Contemporary Art of La Jolla for $1 million; and a Lucio Fontana painting at Galerie von Vertes, Zurich, that sold for more than $1 million. Dealers from both Art Miami and Context, Korniloff added, “are still reporting sales after the fair.”

    At the beachfront tent of the Untitled Art Fair, now in its second year, “the most noteworthy thing was how many A-list collectors showed up for the preview, as opposed to last year — as if word got out,” said art dealer and blogger Edward Winkleman, a first-time exhibitor at Untitled. Winkleman’s sales included three 2013 “Binocular” videos by Leslie Thornton, priced at $8,000 each, which went to Louisville collectors Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown. Winkleman also sold a dozen small 3D-printed pieces by Shane Hope, including “Freerange-Femtofacture-Lure no 11,” priced at $850 each. “We will definitely consider it again,” said Winkleman of the fair. 

    Royale Projects of Palm Desert, California did well with luminous wall hangings by Phillip K. Smith III, selling all of an edition of three for $27,000 each. “The fair was a huge success and we were thrilled to return with the booth completely sold out,” said owner Rick Royale.

    Aqua Art Miami, held at the eponymous hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach, presented a lively roster of galleries from less art-centric cities like Saint Louis, Cleveland, and Santa Rosa. William Baczek, owner of William Baczek Fine Arts of Northampton, MA, said this was his sixth year at the event. In addition to selling a dozen paintings and drawings by Travis Louie, the gallery sold four paintings by Margaret Withers to a Swiss collector; and placed works by sculptor Anne Lilly, whose work is currently featured at an exhibition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology entitled “5,000 Moving Parts.” Baczek told ARTINFO: “Aqua did an excellent job in bringing in the collectors this year and I anticipate that to grow exponentially as news of the quality and variety of the fair spreads.”

    The ninth edition of the Pulse contemporary art fair, held in the Design District in Wynwood, welcomed more than 3,000 visitors on its opening night on Thursday, with many dealers reporting strong sales within the first few hours of the fair. First-time exhibitor MA2 Gallery, Tokyo, sold out of video works by Ken Matsubara. Hosfelt Gallery of San Francisco sold a six-figure “Basketball Drawing” by David Hammons. London’s New Art Projects sold a four-minute video piece, “Love Story,” to the Cisneros Foundation, the first piece of an edition of five (prices ranged from $6,000 to $12,000). And New York’s Bryce Wolkowitz sold out of Yorgo Alexopoulos’s “Crossing Over,” an edition of eight digital animation pieces for $11,000 each.

    http://www.blouinartinfo.com/photo-galleries/slideshow-sales-at-miami-art-week-2013To see images, click on the slideshow.

    At This Year's Miami Art Fairs, a Boost in Buyer Turnout
    Tony Tasset, "Snowman with Scarf," 2013

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    Steve Martin Curates Hammer Show, NEA Grants for Sze, Aitken, and More

    Steve Martin Curating Show at the Hammer: Comedian, actor, and collector Steve Martin will co-curate an exhibition devoted to Canadian artist and Group of Seven founder Lawren Harris at the Hammer Museum, along with its deputy director of curatorial affairs, Cindy Burlingham, and the Art Gallery of Ontario's curator of Canadian art, Andrew Hunter. Slated to open in the fall of 2015, it will be the first major Harris exhibition in the U.S. since a show at the Americas Society Art Gallery in New York in 2000. [Globe and Mail]

    NEA Grants for Sze, Walker, MOCA, and More: This year's NEA grants have been announced, with artists, art institutions, and non-profits around the U.S. receiving major boosts in funding. Among them, the Bronx Museum of the Arts got $50,000 to send Sarah Sze's installation for the U.S. pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale on tour; Creative Time received $75,000 to commission a Kara Walker installation at Williamsburg's Domino Sugar Factory; MOCA L.A. received $50,000 to help fund its presentation of the Mike Kelley retrospective currently on view at MOMA PS1; and SFMOMA received $75,000 to mount a major Doug Aitken video trilogy. [NEA]

    Fawcett Warhol Trial Continues: The Ryan O’Neal vs. University of Texas trial over an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett continues this week with testimonies by two art appraisers and O’Neal himself. While last week an expert valued the work at $12 million, another appraiser, Karen McManus, says it is actually worth $800,000 to $1 million. Meanwhile, O’Neal told the jury that he has a very deep connection to the work. "I talk to it," O'Neal said. "I talk to her. It's her presence. Her presence in my life.” [AP]

    Curator Leaves El Museo del Barrio: More trouble and senior staff departures at El Museo del Barrio as curator Chus Martínez announces her departure. [Artforum, TAN]

    Hopi Masks to Return Home: The Annenberg Foundation will return 24 of the the Hopi masks that were sold at auction in Paris to the tribe. [NYT]

    Sculptor Honors Mandela: Sculptor Ousmane Sow, the first African to ever receive the French Legion of Honor, dedicated it to Nelson Mandela at a ceremony on Wednesday. [Le Monde]

    Ragnar Kjartansson, Sharon Lockhart, Theaster Gates, and Omer Fast are among the ten artists shortlisted for this year's Artes Mundi prize, which comes with £40,000. [BBC]

    – Eighty of the 600 artworks seized from former South Korean president Chun Doo-hawn were auctioned in Seoul, bringing a total of $2.43 million. [Yonhap News Agency]

    – Art collector and cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder plans to lobby Germany to create a task force of restitution experts and provenance researchers to comb the country's art collections for Nazi loot. [WSJ]

    ALSO ON ARTINFO

    At This Year's Miami Art Fairs, a Boost in Buyer Turnout

    Modern Painters Presents 25 Artists to Watch in 2014: Part 1 of 2

    PREVIEW: New York Design Auctions, December 17-20

    Paula Cooper Opens Pop-Up Holiday Shop in Chelsea

    Sotheby’s Sued by Windex-Maker S.C. Johnson Over Frank Lloyd Wright Desk and Chair

    VIDEO: Examining Race and Gender With Kara Walker in London

    Sale of the Week: Wine at Hart Davis Hart

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

    Steve Martin

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    NEW YORK — There’s no gold like old world gold, especially if it originated a couple of thousand years Before the Common Era.

    And there’ll be plenty of such rare, gilded specimens up for grabs at Christie’s 15th annual Ancient Jewelry sale on December 13, which features nearly 150 lots of exquisite craftsmanship from the ancient world, ranging in date from about 3000 B.C. to 1000 A.D.

    According to G. Max Bernheimer, Christie’s international head of antiquities, the pieces offered in this sale have “survived remarkably well [given their age because] compared to other metals, gold does not deteriorate. Plus, ancient gold is generally 93% pure, or better.”

    Molly Morse Limmer, head of antiquities at Christie’s Americas, added that the focus of the sale this year was on jewelry, even though some of the “original gold is more fragile and ends up being more display object than wearable art.”

    Among the most valuable lots is an intricately designed Greek gold and carnelian ring from the Hellenistic period, circa 330-300 B.C (lot 255; est. $120,000-180,0000). The face of the ring features a carnelian stone engraved with the head of Herakles, depicted as an older man with a thick voluminous beard and a wreath of laurel in his hair, and an oval box bezel embellished with ropes and filigree spirals punctuated with granules, while the ring is formed from a hollow tube overlaid with equally detailed, twisted rope wires.

    While the quality of the fine filigree workmanship on such pieces is extraordinary, it’s not just the biggest ticket items in the sale that are necessarily the most exciting, experts told BLOUIN ARTINFO, noting that lots that are low on estimates but high on historical significance should be of particular interest to collectors.

    For example, Bernheimer’s favorite piece is an oval-shaped Mycenaean carnelian seal stone from the late Helladic period, around 1375-1250 B.C., that is engraved with two heraldic griffins, each standing with its crested and beaked head turned back (lot 242; est. $6,000-8,000).

    “It’s of a stunning color and the quality of engraving is very good,” he said. “The fact that it was made in the very early days adds to its intrigue and historical rarity.”

    Meanwhile, Morse Limmer is partial to a Byzantine gold and rock crystal pendant. The double-sided, circa 6th-7th century A.D. piece has one side engraved with a Nativity scene, and the other engraved with the Adoration (lot 338; est. $25,000-35,000).

    Musing that “for some reason, this collection is very Greek-heavy,” the auction house’s experts observed that many pieces come to auction by way of a certain German collector, and said the sale is well-timed in December for “collectors and people who like to give wearable things during the holidays.”

    Click on the slideshow to see the highlights of Christie’s Ancient Jewelry Sale, December 13, Rockefeller Plaza, New York. 

    Unearthing Treasures in Christie's Ancient Jewelry Sale
    Christie's Ancient Jewelry

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    Today, Dasha Zhukova’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow launched its very first international conference, titled “Performance Art: Ethics in Action.” In session through Saturday, the event brings together performance art experts and artists from around the globe to converse and do research for a large-scale exhibition on the history of Russian performance, set to debut late next year. On Thursday night Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg was scheduled to give a lecture and launch the Russian translation of her book “Performance Art,” for which she has added a new chapter. Simon Critchley and Elena Petrovskaya will also speak at the conference, and quite a few international artists will be present, including Beijing-based Song Dong; Rio-based Laura Lima; Nástio Mosquito from Luanda; Moscow-based Anatoly Osmolovsky; and  Tanja Ostojic, based in Berlin. ARTINFO spoke with Garage chief curator Kate Fowle on state cencorship, what it’s like to curate in Russia, and how social media is changing the way performance artists work.

    This is the first conference that Garage is doing. What prompted the decision to do this kind of project?

    It’s one step in a four-year research process we started in 2010 that is looking at Russian performance.  One important trigger was creating an archive at Garage through which we have acquired some great and rare materials on the subject. Ultimately we’re building up to a big exhibition that charts the history of Russian performance that will happen at the end of next year. With the conference we want to present a wide range of perspectives on what’s going on and connect it to what’s happening internationally. It’s the first time Garage has ever done a long-term research project and I think its important that its been focused on this subject because if you understand the history of performance in Russia you’re actually focusing on the history of contemporary art there. It’s so intertwined.

    So then what are the major milestones that you’re charting out?

    The reason the conference made sense right now is because it is the centenary of [Kazimir Malevich’s] “Victory Over the Sun,” [an avant-garde, Cubo-Futurist theater production,] which was first presented in St. Petersburg in December 1913. Historically that’s now understood as the first performance in Russia. It was reportedly despised by most of the audience because it was so avant-garde. Malevich designed the costumes and the stage settings. Apparently, in 1915, it was during [a run of] “Victory Over the Sun” that he made his first black square. Anyway, that’s the logical place to start looking at the history of Russian performance. At the conference we are going to focus more on the ’70s forward. During the ’90s there was a public resurgence of the form, with people like Anatoly Osmolovsky — who is speaking at the conference — doing all these performances that were reflecting the dramatic changes that were happening in the society then.

    Tell me more about the theme “Ethics in Action.”

    One of the focuses is ethics and that’s for a number of reasons. First, to completely over-simplify Aristotle and put his ideas into one sentence — he described ethics as an independent philosophy that exists between the soul and the state, or in other words between psychology and politics. We know the relationship between those two has changed dramatically since, but we thought bringing ethics in as a central theme was really important because performance is one of the ways that artists can connect to real life most immediately, and audiences can see ways that artists are understanding social, political, cultural issues. It’s a very, very immediate form. Within that, what are the professional ethics? What are the limits? What are the personal ethics? It’s a way of being able to talk across a number of issues. Ethics and aesthetics need to be included together but ethics is the thing that connects it into everyday life. Simon Critchley is giving the keynote speech on the first day, followed by Elena Petrovskaya, who is speaking about Pussy Riot. The whole event that started the focus on Pussy Riot has never really been properly discussed or put into context. She’s thinking about the fact that the consequences of that action were impossible to predict at the outset. That intervention represents a radical shift in a public exposure for performance insofar as it was produced for social media.

    Pussy Riot brings up the question: Are certain forms of performance art actually possible in Russia? Recently performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky nailed his scrotum to Red Square.

    Which sounded so painful. I was in Moscow at the time and loads of artists were talking about it when it went viral.

    He’s facing jail time now too. Will the conference address the policing of artists? Is it possible that a performance staged at the conference could cause an artist to be arrested later?

    We’ve talked around these topics at Garage for a while. It’s not only about the arrests and not arrests, or what is perceived as arrestable and what isn’t. There are plenty of performances where protagonists weren’t arrested. When you nail your scrotum to Red Square, the viral aspect was what drew attention to it. The difference between Oleg Kulig, who was known for his performances as a dog in the ’90s, or Alexander Brener, who put on his boxing gloves in Red Square and called for the president to come and fight him, and what’s happening now, is social media. The speed at which artists’ messages get circulated now and how people become aware of actions is completely different.

    So will you be addressing censorship issues?

    Not just censorship because ethics goes way beyond that. We want to expand the conversation. The artists that are presenting from Brazil, Angola, Serbia and China as well as Russia are all dealing with “art and life,” but each as a result of very different experiences, intentions and approaches.

    Are there challenges you face working in Russia? Issues with censorship or homophobia?

    Honestly one of the biggest challenges is the prejudices of people who have not spent any time in Russia. It’s driving me mad. In Moscow we are having ongoing conversations about a number of different pressing issues around the development of culture, including the gay legislation. The international media immediately wants to go for the sensational. For example, there’s a magazine called Afisha in Russia that published a whole issue in March featuring a number of people in culture coming out as gay. There are many things like that that aren’t even mentioned in the press. One of my jobs is to try and raise awareness of things that are actually going on. What’s frustrating for a lot of practitioners in Moscow is that they feel like they’re shouting into a vacuum because what gets reported on are the negative things rather than the steps that people are taking to develop culture and society. I worked in Beijing for two years, and there I can tell you about a far more direct censorship. In Russia, we don’t have to give a list of works to the government to decide if they can be shown or not, for example.

    The use of language is also interesting and the assumptions we make that we all understand what a word really means to people. Take the word “institution,” which I discovered during a staff retreat at Garage has such strong relations to the soviet era that the new generations do not want to associate with it. They told me Garage is not an institution. It is a platform, which to me seems less important, but for many who I talk to suggests something more flexible. We’ve since had conversations that are changing the use of the word institution in our materials, but as you can imagine, these kind of complexities are the things that make situations much less black and white. It’s really interesting to think through how to actually communicate alongside the new generation that are the people that are going to make the change in the end.

    Dasha Zhukova’s Garage Probes the State of Russian Performance Art
    Artem Lokustov, "From the Montration, Novosibirsk," 2012

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  • 12/13/13--02:20: Southampton
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    Nothing says holiday style better than furs and haute couture, and BLOUIN Lifestyle has its eye on an Artcurial sale taking place December 14 at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris.

    Leading the evening dresses is an ultra chic LBD by Moschetti-Giaubert based on a Christian Dior pattern from the Yves Saint Laurent era, likely from the house's F/W 1959-1960 collection (est. 100-150). An ivory silk Pierre Cardin number with a black sequin body has a more fun, disco vibe to it, as does a 1955 Christian Dior frock in degradé peach tulle embroidered with beads (est. 500-600 ).

    In the fur camp, a double-breasted fur coat in dwarf leopard by Schamroth, circa 1965, has a nice classic feel to it (est. 800-1200), while an anonymous circa 1970 fox fur is great for those feeling a little more in touch with their wild side (est. 400-600).

    The sale also offers a range of accessories to finish off the looks, ranging from Chanel handbags to Goosens jewelry by Yves Saint Laurent, not forgetting a collection of jewelry pieces once belonging to Elsa Schiaparelli.

    To see our selection of furs and couture frocks from the sale, click on the slideshow.

    BLOUIN Lifestyle Pick: Furs and Haute Couture
    Haute Couture creations from the Artcurial sale

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    VIDEO: Madonna is Top Earning Female Singer for 2013

    With earnings of $125 million, pop singer Madonna is the highest-paid woman in music, easily surpassing Lady Gaga and country-pop singer Taylor Swift, according to Forbes.

    Her income for the 12-month period used by the magazine also made her the highest-earning celebrity overall, it said.

    Much of Madonna’s earnings from June 2012 to June 2013 were from her worldwide MDNA Tour, which pulled in $305 million. But the 55-year-old singer, who jumped from ninth place in 2012, also made money with merchandising sales, her fragrance and from her Material Girl clothing line.

    She is “music's top earner of any genre or gender and the highest-paid celebrity of any stripe,” according to Forbes.

    Lady Gaga, with $80 million, jumped from No. 4 to No. 2 this year, despite her Born This Way Ball tour being cut short due to an injury. Gaga, 27, released her album “ARTPOP” after the cut off date for Forbes’ annual earnings calculations.

    Swift, 23, dropped from second place in 2012 to third this year. Her $55 million in earnings came from sales of her latest album“Red” as well as endorsement deals, records sales and touring.

    Forbes compiled the list after estimating pre-tax income based on record sales, concert tickets, touring information merchandise sales and interviews with concert promoters, lawyers and managers. It also looked at data from the Pollstar trade magazine, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.

    Singer Beyonce, 32, came in fourth, not far behind with $53 million. The R&B star, who rose two places from last year, was also on the road with her Mrs. Carter World Tour, and earned cash from her House of Dereon clothing line and endorsement deals.

    Jennifer Lopez, 44, rounded out the top five women with $45 million. Although her earnings dropped after she left her spot as a judge on the TV singing competition show “American Idol, she still earned plenty of money from her world tour and the Latin singing competition show “Q’Viva” for the Fox television network.

    Country singer and 2005 “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood, 30, was a newcomer to the list at No. 9. Underwood, who played the lead role of Maria in a live version of “The Sound of Music” for television earlier this month, earned $31 million from her latest album“Blown Away” and touring.

    The full list can be found HERE.

    Madonna

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    Body: 

    An upcoming tome of polaroids by photographer Lukas Birk gets at the ethereal heart of the Middle Kingdom

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    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas B
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    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas B
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    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by Glitterati Incorporated, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Book Cover + Luka Birk portrait
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    Spurred by a sense of stagnation while living in Austria, photographer and multimedia artist Lukas Birk did what many a young, creatively minded expat has did in the aughts: moved to China to make his way. Based in Beijing, a heady, booming place that drew Birk for its ability to somehow “break with its past — to just fall completely into the new,” he founded the Austro Sino Arts Program in 2007. After rescuing a cache of expired polaroid film from his father’s trash, he came to realize its deteriorating imperfections were the perfect medium/metaphor to capture what he viewed as mix of nostalgia and melancholy in the rapidly developing country. Collected in a forthcoming tome, Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China (out February 1, 2014), his images create a gorgeous and ethereal portrait of a nation and people in flux.

    Or as Birk puts it, “this volume presents a sense of something from the past interrupted by modern motives, a collision of old and new world visions.”

    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Hutong Feast II, Beijing, 2009
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    Hutong Feast II, Beijing, 2009
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Shanghai View, Shanghai, 2008
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    Shanghai View, Shanghai, 2008
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Trash Collector Family, Pingyao, 2008
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    Trash Collector Family, Pingyao, 2008
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Beidahe, Beidahe, 2009
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    Beidahe, Beidahe, 2009
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Musing Over Tiananmen, Beijing, 2010
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    Musing Over Tiananmen, Beijing, 2010
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Mao Tattoo, Beijing, 2008
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    Mao Tattoo, Beijing, 2008
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    View on the Bund, Shanghai, 2008
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    View on the Bund, Shanghai, 2008
    Credit: 
    Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk, published by <a href="http://glitteratiincorporated.com/" target="_blank">Glitterati Incorporated</a>, Available nationwide: February 1, 2014.
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    Art of Travel: “Journey of Feeling” through China
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