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  • 12/13/13--12:04: Chelsea
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    Leila Heller Gallery (formerly LTMH Gallery) located in the heart of Chelsea’s gallery district, promotes a cutting edge program of international contemporary emerging and mid-career artists. The gallery has gained recognition for fostering the careers of artists working across a multitude of disciplines and mediums, helping to establish them among the leading contemporary artists internationally. The gallery presents a dynamic exhibition schedule, actively engaging world renowned curators, hosting educational panels and producing catalogues with scholarly essays. The Gallery also participates in major international art fairs each year and stages offsite projects as a continuation of the program. Gallery artists have consistently participated in major international exhibitions and biennials, and are included in important institutional collections worldwide. The gallery has gained worldwide recognition for being a pioneer in promoting contemporary Middle Eastern artists. This specialization has positioned the gallery well within the burgeoning Iranian, Turkish and Middle Eastern art market. Most importantly, it is the gallery's mission to establish contemporary Middle Eastern art within a larger cultural and Art Historical context. The gallery remains dedicated to promoting the careers of its artists, and is ambitious in growing its program. In addition to its roster of contemporary artists, the gallery is also active in the American, European and Middle Eastern secondary art markets. With all of the gallery’s activities, it remains committed to fostering long-lasting bonds within the global art world through its professionalism and innovative vision. Leila Heller Gallery artists have been included in leading national and international museums and institutions, such as The New Museum, New York; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; the Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Asia Art Society, New York; the Farjam Collection, Dubai; the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; Domus Atrium Museum, Salamanca Spain; Santral Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, Turkey; Petacha Tikva Museum of Art, Israel; Hiroshima Contemporary Art Museum, Hiroshima, Japan; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran. After being based for 29 years on the Upper East Side, in 2011 the gallery moved to a 3,500 square foot ground floor space in the Chelsea gallery district, at 568 West 25th Street at the corner of 11th Avenue. The move to the new Chelsea location, designed by award-winning architect firm Hariri & Hariri, has allowed for an expansion of the gallery's internationally recognized artist roster as well as for larger, museum quality exhibitions. The gallery also maintains a rigorous art fair schedule, participating in fairs in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Hong Kong, Paris, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Istanbul.
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    Two historic Leica Luxus cameras from the 1930s were recently sold at a Bonhams auction in Hong Kong — fetching $620,000 each — indicating growing interest and value for early, collectible photographic materials, while in November, a one-of-a-kind Leica custom-made by Jony Ive and Marc Newson for the 2013 (RED) Auction sold via Sotheby’s in November for a whopping $1.8 million, proving there is an appetite for exclusively-designed gear.

    Stratospheric prices aside, collectors and photography enthusiasts are finding an increasing number of ways to ensure their equipment is unique and designed by boldfaced names — not to mention extremely good-looking. Here are BLOUIN Lifestyle’s gift ideas for the glamorous shutterbugs you'd have to consider very good friends in your life.

    Olympus PEN E-P5 Art Edition by Suzko
    This is a limited-edition collaboration between Japanese camera maker Olympus, British artist Suzko (Susie Lowe) and fashion photographer Jay McLaughlin. Each kit includes two Pen E-P5 bodies — one decorated by Suzko and another its standard, retro-designed glory, all the premium fast prime lenses, as well as a customised Vespa scooter and helmet.
    Available exclusively at Harrods in London for £16,000, or $26,200 at current exchange.

    Hasselblad Lunar
    World-renowned Swedish camera maker Hasselblad first made its mark on NASA's Apollo missions to the moon and its Lunar series pays homage to that legacy by reinterpreting the 500C, which, made in 1957, was the first camera to go into space. Most noticeable about this 24.3-megapixel, retro-designed, handcrafted piece of art — aside from its Carl Zeiss lenses — is the grip, which is customizable in a range of materials like wood or leather.
    Available at select retailers for $6,995.

    The Leica M9-P Edition Hermès
    Made by Leica in collaboration with Parisian luxury label Hermès and automotive designer Walter de'Silva, this gadget is the apex of luxury, not least because of the silver anodized finish and handcrafted leather hugging the camera’s body. The lenses are equally exquisite: Each limited-to-100-editions kit comes with a Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH;, a Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH; and a Leica APO-Summicron-M 90 mm f/2 ASPH.
    Available for $50,000 a pop.

    Samsung NX300 Gold Edition
    Perhaps one of the easiest ways to bling up an accessory to gild it. This specimen of the critically-adored NX300 is plated with 22-karat gold, which gives it a vintage look and feel. Each one comes with a unique serial number and engraved signature, two lenses and some accessories.
    Available only in Saudi Arabia through Axiom Telecom, where, just in time for Christmas, it is now on sale for 4,000 riyals, or $1,066 (originally  10,000 Saudi riyals, or $2,666).

    Restored Argus C3
    A 1939 model of this icon, which  was the best-selling 35mm camera in the world for nearly three decades, and is said is to be responsible for popularizing the use of 35mm film, gets a beautiful makeover by Ilott Vintage, a firm that collects and restores vintage rangefinder cameras and replaces leathers with premium quality wood veneers.
    Available for $1,850 at Ilott Vintage

    To view these eye-catching gadgets, click on the slideshow.

    Gift Guide 2013: Luxuriously Designed Cameras
    Olympus PEN Art Edition

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    WEEK IN REVIEW: From Miami to Santa Fe, Our Top Visual Art Stories

    —  In a two-part presentation, Modern Painters gave us insight into 25 artists to watch in 2014.

    — Eileen Kinsella took a final look back at this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach, which saw a boost in buyer turnout.

    SITE Santa Feannounced the first 13 artists in their rebooted, Americas-focused 2014 biennial.

    — Anna Kats reviewed the Frank Gehry-designed Calder survey at LACMA.

    Coline Milliard spoke to Whitechapel's Iwona Blazwickabout a survey of 30 years of Jasper Johns prints in Vero Beach.

    — Benjamin Sutton got the scoop on next year’s FotoFest in Houston, which will feature 50 artists from the Middle East.

    — Ashton Cooper interviewed Garage Center for Contemporary Art curator Kate Fowleon the organization’s performance art conference this week in Moscow.

    — Deborah Wilk looked ahead at New York’s December 17-20 design auctions.

    — Anna Kats asked: Will Moshe Safdie lead the future of museum design?

    — Artist and independent filmmaker Amar Kanwar spoke about his recent project “The Sovereign Forest.”

    This Week's VIDEOS:

    Roxy Paine's "Labor Saving Device"  (2013)

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  • 12/14/13--09:59: Berlin
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  • 12/14/13--09:59: London
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    Peter O'Toole's Undiluted Magnificence

    Just once, Peter O’Toole, who died on Saturday at age 81, seemed like the most beautiful man the cinema had ever dreamed up. With his burnished skin and his faraway blue eyes, offset by a white Bedouin robe and burnoose, O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence in “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) was the apotheosis of the desert visionary — the quintessential English gentleman-adventurer, whose ecstasy and agony reminded us how novelettish had been Rudolph Valentino’s sheiks.

    If Valentino was a shopgirl’s dream ravisher, O’Toole, as Lawrence, is a more intricate gay fantasy figure. David Lean’s film indicates how Lawrence, generally believed to have been asexual, was traumatized by being beaten and raped in captivity by Ottoman Turks in 1916. Whether or not the experience left him a masochist, the film hints at the exquisiteness of his suffering, magnified by O’Toole’s pristine handsomeness and his neurotic intensity.

    Lawrence’s personal anguish is echoed in the disillusion that grasps him once his vision of an independent Arabia is thwarted by the Allies’ encouragement of factionalism on the peninsula. Gregory Peck won the 1962 Best Actor Oscar for his noble Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but O’Toole, a fellow nominee, gave the more nuanced performance.

    His eight nominations in that category are the most by an actor who never won the award, though in 2003 he was awarded an honorary Oscar. Had he have refused it, which he nearly did, stating he still wanted to win one for an individual performance, he would have echoed Lawrence’s refusal of the Victoria Cross and a knighthood.

    In the public mind, O’Toole’s alcoholism placed him on the same runaway train as Richard Burton, Richard Harris, and Oliver Reed — they were the subjects of Tim Sellers’s 2009 book “Hellraisers.” Yet his early glamour more persuasively links him to Sean Connery as James Bond, the Terence Stamp of “Billy Budd” (1962), the Michael Caine of “Zulu” (1963), and the Albert Finney of “Tom Jones” (1963). The 50 years since have not produced such a raft of British Adonises.

    Inevitably, O’Toole played more conflicted or compromised men after Lawrence — the disgraced seaman in “Lord Jim” (1965), Henry II twice, in “Becket” (1964) and “The Lion in Winter” (1968) — while his charm particularly suited Arthur Chipping (“Goodbye Mr. Chips,” 1969), Don Quixote (“Man of La Mancha,” 1972), Henry Higgins (on stage and then on TV in “Pygmalion,” 1983), and young Puyi’s tutor, Reginald Fleming Johnston, in “The Last Emperor” (1987).

    In keeping with the dissolution O’Toole relished, an aura of decadence — exaggerated by his rhetorical flamboyance — pervaded his work, thus the extremes of “What’s New Pussycat?” (1965), “The Stunt Man” (1980), and “Caligula” (1979). In the “Zulu” prequel “Zulu Dawn” (1979), he played the desiccated Lord Chelmsford, whose superior British forces were devastated by assegai-bearing indigenous warriors at Isandlwana in 1879. It was an unsubstantial role in an epic, but O’Toole’s epitomizing of imperialist hubris made the character a kind of anti-Lawrence.

    Having portrayed the mad British aristocrat with a Jesus complex in “The Ruling Class” (1972), O’Toole was at his elegant and outrageous best channeling Errol Flynn in “My Favorite Year” (1982). He died more or less with his boots on, earning the last of his Oscar nominations for his tender evocation of late-flowering lust in “Venus” (2006) and voicing the restaurant critic Anton Ego with heartfelt epicurean hauteur in “Ratatouille” (2007). There was a consistency to O’Toole’s tortured romantic persona that carried over from his love of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, all 154 of which he knew by heart.

    His theater career, meanwhile, spanned 44 years and included Jimmy Porter in “Look Back in Anger,” Henry Higgins, Shylock, an Olivier-directed “Hamlet,” “Baal,” Vladimir in “Waiting for Godot,” John Tanner in “Man and Superman” (he also starred in the film), and the title character in “Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell,” for which he won an Olivier Award. Despite O’Toole’s disastrous Macbeth in 1980, the stage was perhaps his true medium as it often is with larger-than-life actors.

    No one around can match his magnificence or his cool.

    Peter O'Toole

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    Victory Snatched From Defeat: Hopi Leader Reacts to Annenberg Buy

    After two failed lawsuits in French courts this year to stop auctions of sacred objects, the Native American Hopi tribe had a small victory on December 10 when the Los Angeles-based philanthropic organization the Annenberg Foundation announced that it had stepped up in the second auction to buy 21 Hopi items, along with three originating from the Apache people, from Paris’s EVE auction house. The Foundation would return the objects to the tribes, it said. “These are not trophies to have on one’s mantel,” said Annenberg Foundation Vice President and Director Gregory Annenberg Weingarten in a statement.

    In November, the Hopi had taken EVE to court in an effort to stop the sale of 25 sacred masks included in the December 9 auction, artifacts dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that, according to Hopi tradition, contain divine spirits. On December 6, the French court ruled that the auction house was within its rights to sell the items as they were not connected to human remains and therefore their sale did not violate French law. While the Annenberg Foundation’s purchase reclaimed a large portion of objects this time round, the Hopi expect more legal battles in the future. ARTINFO spoke to Sam Tenakhongva, a cultural leader in the Hopi community in Arizona and a driving force behind the legal action. 

    Why were you fighting to stop the sale of these masks?

    Well, we don’t call them masks.

    What do you call them?

    They are our friends. They are an integral part in our spiritual and cultural life and that’s why we refer to them as such. They play a significant role in our cultural identity. They are living beings. They are a part of us. The spirituality they represent for us is really significant; therefore, in regards to the sale or any auction, we take offense to that because of that fact.

    Did you know that the Annenberg Foundation was going to buy these objects?

    We didn’t know their motivations. We were focused on the legal challenge and the legal battle and having our items removed from the sale so we could have time to investigate and look into and prove provenance and ownership. When we found out about the court decision the previous Friday to the proposed sale we went into it knowing that they hadn’t decided in our favor and we would have to leave it up to our hopes and prayers. We had no idea that the Annenberg was planning to do that on our behalf.

    Have you worked with them in the past?

    We haven’t previously worked with them or talked to them.

    Is there a specific group or organization that you work with when you’re trying to get these objects back? 

    I have a regular eight-to-five job, which is with the Hopi Education Endowment Fund. We’re charged with raising funds to support educational opportunities for Hopi students, including college scholarships. Outside of that, my religious and cultural responsibilities lie within my community and my village and with the tribe as a whole. It’s not volunteer, it’s not something I’m paid for, it’s something I’m charged with by my family, by my clan, by my people.

    So in your cultural responsibility to protect these sacred objects are you working with other members of the tribe? Who did you work with on the lawsuits? 

    There are several different layers. I contact other leaders who are charged with similar responsibilities throughout our villages. From there we look at our tribal government who have connections to higher levels of government like the State Department who can correspond with other international offices to help do this work. Going back to the previous auction in April [— a sale by French firm Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou that the tribe sued to stop, but that went ahead and generated €930,000 in sales after a Paris court ruled it legal —] what we found out is there’s a lot of support for us. There’s more talk going on around this issue, not just related to Hopi, but other groups throughout the world. It really is on an international level. It just so happens that with ours there’s such a big collection of our objects and it made such an impression in the media that we’ve kind of been put to the forefront. We’re working with limited resources, but to be able to get it this far for people to discuss and to think, I think we’ve come quite a long way. But the work isn’t over.

    Is there a group of people who meet and strategize when these types of issues with sacred objects come up?  

    There’s a select group of people. Throughout this process, we’ve been working with other native nations in discussions and talks because they’ve had similar issues as well. We’re looking forward to trying to get a consortium of people together to really start discussing different alternatives, different methods to remove some of these concerns and issues in the future. At the moment it’s really been a select group of people, myself, our cultural preservation office, as well as Survival International[, a Los Angeles-based philanthropic organization,] and Pierre Servan-Schreiber, our lawyer, who we’ve been working closely with.

    You’re hoping to form an inter-tribal group that can more specifically work on getting these types of objects back?

    It’s really about a strategy of how to protect what’s here, strengthen what we already have in place, because there are laws for the U.S., and create more language so when it becomes a case such as we had in the [French] court, so there [will be] laws and language put in place that will be recognized. Currently it's not as strong as it can be, not as clear as it can be. 

    What type of laws do you want to see put in place? 

    That’s up for debate. We have to really be thoughtful and think about how it really affects us. What we want to do is create something to protect what we have and what we deem significant. When we bring those to the courts, that they are recognized as such.

    You’ve gotten public support from David Killion, the U.S. ambassador to UNESCO,  on this issue. Does that feel like some sort of progress?

    On some level, but it’s kind of difficult. Last time, in April, it was a short process. This time, since we had been through it before, we really knew what we needed to do. It was really great that we were able to get to the right people and have them step up and make a statement on our behalf. 

    Do you think auction houses do these sales in France because they feel like they can get away with it there and they couldn’t here?

    Going back to April, when we first started investigating and researching these types of sales, I came across numerous articles [about] people facing with the same challenge. Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, a lot of South American countries, even African nations. A lot of their items being put up for sale in the country of France. What I’ve come to recognize and realize is that they view things from a secular perspective where spiritual beliefs are oftentimes put to the side, especially if it’s not understood. Once something is transported or taken away from where it originated, it loses all sacred value. In this case if it went from one French citizen to another French citizen it’s seen merely as a transaction. We have to go back further and visit the origins of that. Were they given the authority? Was it a legal transaction? For the Hopi, it’s not. These sales are continuing to happen, some of them on a small scale, some of them on the scale of this one. The way that their courts and their laws are interpreted we have to understand that it is in another country. They have their sovereign rule, but it also has to be considered how other people around the world are viewing these things.

    So would you call yourself an activist for your community?

    I wouldn’t label myself as an activist. I’m a member of the tribe and I’m charged with certain cultural obligations and responsibilities and unfortunately this has become part of it, to protect what we deem valuable and culturally significant to us. In the Hopi perspective, I work for everybody. Not just for my people or my family, but for all humanity across the world. If something good can come from this and the work that we are doing for others, then it’s all the better.

    Survival International

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    Zimmerman's Flag Art Hits eBay, $142M Bacon Goes to Portland, and More

    George Zimmerman’s eBay Art Sale: George Zimmerman, who just recently faced domestic violence charges, has taken to eBay to sell his patriotic, American flag-themed artwork. The auction started at $50, but as of this writing, with four days to go, the American flag-themed work is already at $99,966. In the description, Zimmerman writes: "First hand painted artwork by me, George Zimmerman. Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself. I found a creative, way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences." [NYMag]

    $142M Bacon Heads to Portland: The most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" — which sold for $142 million at Christie's last month — will go on view at the Portland Museum of Art on December 21 and remain on view through March 30, 2014. PMA chief curator Bruce Guenther managed to track down the work's mystery buyer and secure the loan — though he wouldn't name the lender, Guenther revealed that the collector is based on the West Coast. A museum press release announcing the loan credited the support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, fueling speculation that the buyer is Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. [NYT]

    Resale Royalties Recommended to Congress: Reversing a recommendation made in 1992, the U.S. Copyright Office has come out in favor of artists being granted resale royalty rights, known as droit de suite, which would award artists royalties when their work is resold for a profit. In a new report, the office says visual artists should receive royalties in the same way writers or composers do and they have asked congress to "consider ways to rectify the problem." While 70 other countries have droit de suite rules, they have failed to gain significant support in the U.S. [NYT]

    Hirst Less Popular Than God: The Qatar Museums Authority has released attendance figures for its current exhibitions — which include major shows by Adel Abdessemed and Francesco Vezzoli, and a Damien Hirst retrospective — revealing that more people visited an exhibition devoted to the pilgrimage to Mecca at the Museum of Islamic Art than the Hirst show. [FT]

    National Park Service Crushes George Lucas Museum Dream: The National Park Service has submitted a "strong recommendation" that San Francisco's Presidio Trust hold off on picking one of three projects — including George Lucas's proposed art museum — for its Crissy Field plot for several years until other nearby construction projects are completed. [SF Chronicle]

    Real Estate Industry Helps Museum Expansion: The board of New York City's Tenement Museum is expected to raise $1 million at the institution's spring gala towards an $8-million expansion project, with the bulk of that sum coming from the 10 or more real estate industry bigwigs on the board. [WSJ]

    – New York cookie and noodle empire Momofuku’s popular publication "Lucky Peach" is holding an exhibition of contributors’ artwork at the Bleecker Street Arts Club. [Eater]

    MOCAtv’s new series "Ambiance Man," which is part-sketch comedy, part-art criticism, features Jack Black and Fred Armisen and debuts on Friday. [Press Release]

    – The Tate Modern has named Andrea Lissoni, formerly curator of Pirelli HangarBicocca, as the museum’s new film and international art curator. [Press Release]

    ALSO ON ARTINFO

    The Top 20 Contemporary Art Auction Prices of 2013

    Victory Snatched From Defeat: Hopi Leader Reacts to Annenberg Buy

    VIDEO: Paolo Troilo, The Man Who Paints With His Fingers

    Artist Criticized Over Ant Colony-Killing Sculptures

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

    George Zimmerman and his flag art

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    VIDEO: Streep and Roberts Share Spotlight at "Osage County" Premiere

    LOS ANGELES – Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts arrived on the red carpet Monday night amid and Oscar buzz for the premiere of their latest dysfunctional family drama film, “August: Osage County, at the Regal Cinemas in L.A.

    The film tells the story of a family that is “messed-up” on several levels, starting with Violet, Meryl Streep’s pill-popping, viper-tongued matriarch. Barb, played by Roberts offers strong support on screen, as the bitter daughter who bristles at Violet’s barbs and wallows in a world of unfulfilled promise.

    Add a “pickled” alcoholic poet of a father, an old-maid sister, the flighty daughter, the cowed cousin, the pot-smoking teen, the philandering husband and the sleazy boyfriend, and the family picture is not pretty.

    Although the film is rooted in dysfunction, Roberts added that everyone on the cast really liked each other, “just that we are all still friends and that we see each other. Because really, that we are all still friends is a testament to how much we can endure being screamed at.”

    “August: Osage County” has garnered positive reviews and recently earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Roberts and Streep.

    The film hits theaters on December 27.

    Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, August: Osage County,

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    VIDEO: Director David O. Russell Honored in Capri

    CAPRI, Italy – The American director, David O. Russell, receives the Capri, Master of Cinematic Art Award from the Capri Hollywood Film Festival.

    Russell was given the award before the start of the festival, which runs from December 27 to January 2.

    After receiving the award for his 2012 film “Silver Linings Playbook” Russell explained his process for directing, “everybody does it differently. I think some people do it, you know, everybody does it different. For me I had to learn, it took me all my life to come to this point to make these three movies. To learn that these are the movies that I feel from my heart. I had to make the other movies I had to lose my way, I had to get lost. I had to find - and then I had to wake up again. That’s what happened to me, that's what happened to my characters,” said Russell.

    The film festival will also honor filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino.

    David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook, Master of Cinematic Art Award,

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    Beatles For Sale, But Not in America

    A strange thing happened yesterday. The Beatles, only two of whom are currently living, released an album of new music. Technically it was old music, but to most listeners, it was new. The release, rumors of which leaked last week, features recordings the band made in 1963. The album appeared quietly yesterday on iTunes in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, other parts of Asia, before quickly disappearing. It never appeared in the iTunes store in America, and reports are not clear if it ever will.

    So why are the Beatles releasing albums with little to no publicity? It’s due to the European Union’s new copyright law, which, according to the New York Times, is getting ready to extend copyright protection from 50 to 70 years, “but only for recordings that were published within 50 years after they were made.” Hence, the Beatles are releasing a collection of never-before released recordings from 1963. If the material is not released before the end of the year, it will lose its copyright protection.

    The Fab Four are not the only musicians quietly dumping material in a bid to protect their songs. Bob Dylan, who has been releasing a “Bootleg Series” of albums featuring unreleased material over the last decade, has also been releasing unheard recordings and outtakes on albums, some with limited runs of 100 copies. The Beach Boys and Motown records have also released albums featuring unpublished material recently, in an attempt to sidestep the new law.

    For diehard fans, many of the recordings by these artists have traded hands on bootlegs over the years, and it appears many of these new releases will have a similar fate. You can purchase a copy of “The 50th Anniversary Collection,” a set released by Bob Dylan last year in a limited run, for almost $2,000. 

    The Beatles

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    VIDEO: Nirvana, KISS Among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees

    Nirvana, the influential Seattle grunge band founded by the late Kurt Cobain, and the flamboyant 1970s rockers from KISS are among six new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    British singers and songwriters Peter Gabriel and Cat Stevens, folk-pop singer Linda Ronstadt and rock and soul duo Hall and Oates completed the list of performer inductees to the prestigious Hall of Fame, chosen from 16 nominees.

    The induction ceremony will take place at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY on April 10, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation said in a statement.

    Nirvana, formed by singer and guitarist Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in the late 1980s, brought grunge music to the mainstream and was considered the flagship band of Generation X with songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and“Come As You Are.

    Cobain committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27 and the band broke up after just three full-length studio albums in a seven-year career, during which Nirvana sold 75 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling acts in music history.

    Nirvana was chosen as an inductee in its first year of eligibility. The Cleveland-based Hall of Fame establishes that an artist or group must have released their debut album or single at least 25 years earlier to be eligible.

    KISS shocked the music world in the mid-1970s with its outlandish black-and-white makeup, racy costumes, hard-pounding tunes and elaborate shows. Songs such as the trademark “Rock and Roll All Nite” helped define a hard rock-and-shock style that continues to thrive today.

    Peter Gabriel, 63, was lead vocalist and flautist for the progressive rock band Genesis, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010 inductee, before pursuing a solo career that produced hits including “Sledgehammer.

    Cat Stevens, the former stage name for Yusuf Islam, shook up 1970s rock with his distinctive voice and compositions such as “Wild World” and “Moon Shadow. He later converted to Islam and today at 65 years of age combines music with philanthropy and humanitarian causes.

    Linda Ronstadt, known as the “First Lady of Rock,” was a mainstay of the 1970s rock scene with hits including “You’re No Good” in 1975. The 67-year-old revealed this year that she could no longer sing due to Parkinson’s disease.

    Daryl Hall and John Oates broke out in 1976 with the hit“Rich Girl” and ruled the charts in the 1980s with bouncy melodies “Kiss on My List” and “Private Eyes.”

    The inductees were chosen by more than 700 voters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, but fans were also allowed to cast votes online for the artists they believe were the most deserving of induction. Three of the top five artists from the fan ballot will be inducted in 2014.

    “This year’s Hall of Fame Inductees really capture the passion of the fans,” said Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

    The E Street Band, the group behind singer Bruce Springsteen, will be inducted through the Award for Musical Excellence, the foundation said.

    The late music entrepreneur who managed The Beatles, Brian Epstein, and Andrew Loog Oldham who managed The Rolling Stones will be inducted with the Ahmet Ertegun Awards for lifetime achievement, named after the late founder of Atlantic Records.

    Nirvana, KISS, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens,

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    For most visitors, the current Isa Genzken retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art is likely to be somewhat disorienting. The 65-year-old German artist is beloved by her peers and has been rediscovered as a godmother of today’s generation of under-produced, funky-junky sculpture and installation — but she’s notoriously cagey about herself, and this caginess comes through in her sculptures. On the one hand, this show conveys the clear impression of a forceful artistic sensibility. On the other, it is very hard to actually distill that sensibility down to an essence, since she has been so willfully eclectic.

    In the exhibition’s first gallery, you encounter some long, narrow wooden pieces from the late 1970s known as “Hyperbolos” and “Ellipsoids”: painted, machine-produced forms that lie on the floor. These are juxtaposed with proto-photoconceptualist works from the same period — blown-up ads for hi-fi stereos, whose sculptural qualities apparently intrigued the artist. In these works, Genzken finds personality in inscrutable industrial processes.

    Experiments in various directions follow: rough concrete casts of ruined forms, set on plinths; resin sculptures of windows; a large, crisp photo of a woman’s ear; concept-driven paintings made from squeegeeing over debris on her studio floor; X-ray photos of her own head in profile while she drinks, rendering her a festive skeleton; photographs documenting her trips to New York, at once diaristic and coldly formalizing.

    Then, after all these swerves, Genzken undergoes a particularly clear transformation in the late ’90s, starting with her “Gay Babies”: small, beaten-up, vaguely anthropomorphic metal objects, strung together and sloppily spray-painted. At 50, the artist here finds her signature style of assemblage and goes on to create quirky maquettelike constructions and installations made of stuck-together bric-a-brac. It is as if Genzken has suddenly discovered a singular way of working that can contain her restless zigzag energy.

    If you knew only the names of the most recent installations on view — Empire/Vampire, 2003/2004, The American Room, 2004, and Ground Zero, 2008 — you’d think she’d made a sharp political turn. And yet these loose-limbed installations are more conversational than propagandistic, formal exercises in artfully arranged messiness inspired by newsy topics. (For instance, the catalogue suggests that a chaotic cylindrical structure from her Ground Zero series, titled Osama Fashion Store, is about how its form resembles a turban. Huh?)


    "Hospital (Ground Zero)" and "Disco Soon (Ground Zero)"  [Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin. © Isa Genzken]

    In the lead-up to the show, an article from Der Spiegel drew some attention for putting the artist’s long-standing personal struggles with bipolar disorder and alcoholism in the spotlight. MoMA’s presentation sticks to the better-known gossip: Genzken’s time as a model, her student days in Düsseldorf, her marriage to painter Gerhard Richter. Of course, a good tortured-artist story is great marketing, so the show’s reticence about hers may have to do with Genzken insisting on her privacy.

    Some awareness of this missing background is, in fact, illuminating — both positively and negatively. It throws into high relief the underlying themes that unite her works, specifically the sense of vulnerability seen, for instance, in Genzken’s attachment to pathos-laden materials, whether in her early, half-formed concrete objects or her later, rickety constructions. (It also makes that X-ray of herself drinking rather chilling.) But a reluctance to talk about personal struggles might explain her oeuvre’s intriguingly inscrutable character, as if the lived experience that held it all together was something that she was trying to reflect only indirectly. This note of aloofness, in fact, makes Genzken’s messy contemporary work very classical in spirit, an example of the rhetoric of art being used to elevate us above the tangle of life.

    The Inscrutable Charm of Isa Genzken, on View at MoMA
    "Isa Genzken: Retrospective" installation view

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    Net Artists Court Shaq, NY Auction Sellers Stay Anonymous, and More

    Shaq Targeted by Art Collective: Julian Garcia and Matt Goerzen, members of the Montreal-based digital art collective Boca Gallery, have launched a new online project dubbed "Shaq Attack!" in hopes of catching the attention of former NBA star, collector, and curator Shaquille O'Neal, and then selling him an artwork that they have designed to appeal specifically to his tastes — a "dunk ring" they will manufacture from exotic woods, once they secure their hoped-for commission. By using Google AdSense to buy advertisements for the artwork on sites they suspect O'Neal frequents — like one that reads "Are you Shaquille O'Neal - Want to see your dream artwork? Shaq saves 20%!" — and engaging with him on social media, the pair hopes to hook its dream patron through a process it has dubbed "Artisanale Data Mining." [Gizmodo]

    Auction Sellers May Remain Anonymous: On Tuesday the New York Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that auction houses operating in New York State need not reveal the identities of sellers — reversing an October 2012 decision by a four-judge panel in New York Supreme Court's Appellate Dvision, which ruled that buyers be allowed to know sellers' identities after an auction. Had the earlier decision — which was delivered in a case stemming from a 2008 auction of a 19th-century antique box from czarist Russia — not been reversed, auction companies in New York may have been forced to provide more details about sellers than the standard "private collection." [NYT]

    Aussie National Gallery Shows Stolen Statue: A 900-year-old statue of the Indian deity Shiva that is valued at $5 million and is known to have been stolen from a temple in India in 2006 is currently on public display at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, which acquired it (along with 13 other objects) from New York antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor— who is being held in India for his role in a $100-million antiques-smuggling ring. While the National Gallery of Art has filed suit against Kapoor, and contacted India's high commission in order "to discuss avenues or restitution," according to a statement from the gallery, the stolen work remains on view. [Guardian]

    Smithsonian Acquires Indie Video Games: Following in MoMA's footsteps, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has acquired its first video games, though its acquisitions are very contemporary and indie: Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago's 2009 pastoral "Flower" and Ed Fries' 8-bit shooter "Halo 2600" from 2010. [Press release]

    Italy Helps Alexandria: The Italian government, through direct funding and a debt-swap program, will contribute $8 million to the renovation of Alexandria's Greco-Roman Museum, which closed in 2008 so conservation work on its building, and has been closed ever since. [TAN]

    Norton Simon Won't Share Memling: Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum has developed a reputation for not loaning out works from its collection to other institutions, and it recently even refused to lend one of its prized works — Hans Memling's "Chris Blessing" (1478) — to the nearby Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens for its new exhibition devoted to Renaissance painting in Northern Europe. [LAT]

    James Jenkins, the executive director of Printed Matter, is leaving the New York non-profit — where he has been since 2011 — to be the director of enterprise management for the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, which is a part of the Clinton Foundation. [AiA]

    – The heirs of Dutch art dealers Nathan and Benjamin Katz are auctioning off Ferdinand Bol's 1642 painting "Portrait of a Man" — which was restituted to them in 2012 — in order to fund their fight for 188 works the dealers sold to the Nazis under duress. [TAN]

    – Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest has made good on a promise to donate $27-million to the Philadelphia Museum of Art if other donors could match his gift, thus completing the institution's $54-million capital campaign to endow 29 staff positions. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    ALSO ON ARTINFO

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    Sotheby’s Withdraws Frank Lloyd Wright Desk and Chair From Auction

    Detroit Institute of Arts Awaits Christie’s Appraisal

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    DEALER'S NOTEBOOK: James Mayor on Setting the Curve on Zero Art

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

    Shaquille O'Neal

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    VIDEO: Holocaust Museum Gets Long Lost Diary From Top Hitler Aide

    WASHINGTON – The long-lost diary kept by a top aide to Adolf Hitler as he oversaw the genocide against Jews and others during World War Two, a key piece of evidence during the Nuremberg trials, has been handed over to the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found and seized Alfred Rosenberg’s 400-page diary in Wilmington, Delaware this year, ending a nearly 70-year hunt for the diary which disappeared after the Nuremberg trials in 1946.

    “The finding and return of the Rosenberg Diary is one more small but significant step towards a full and complete understanding of the depraved mindset of those responsible for the mass killing of Jewish people and ethnic groups during World War Two,” said U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly.

    Rosenberg was privy to much of the planning for the Nazi state, the mass murder of the Jewish people and other ethnic groups as well as planning of conduct of World War Two.

    Rosenberg was a defendant at the Nuremberg Trials in Germany, from 1945 to 1946. He was found guilty on all four counts of the indictment for conspiracy to commit aggressive warfare, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Rosenberg was hanged on Oct. 16, 1946.

    After the surrender of Germany in 1945, allied forces took ownership of all documents created by the defeated German government. To prepare for war crimes trials, U.S. government agencies selected relevant documents as potential evidence, including the Rosenberg diary.

    One of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trials, Robert Kempner, removed various documents including the Rosenberg diary from U.S. government facilities in Nuremberg and smuggled them back to the United States .

    After Kempner’s death in 1993, heirs to his estate agreed to forfeit his possessions to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, but the diary was not among them.

    The museum began searching for it and eventually Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found and seized the diary.

    ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents focus heavily on criminal investigations that involve the illegal importation and distribution of cultural property. 

    Adolf Hitler, Holocaust Museum, Nuremberg trials, Alfred Rosenberg,

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