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Newsletter 284 - 12 - 28 - 2005


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#1 Violet

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 03:44 PM

Newsletter 284 - 12 - 28 - 2005
In this issue:

1) LOUVRE'S ART HEADING FOR ATLANTA'S HIGH MUSEUM
2) SPECIAL OFFER OF THE WEEK
3) HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS (AND BOOKSTORES, TOO)
4) THE ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG REUNION TOUR



Over 100 Signed/Numbered limited edition lithographs as low as $20! - Check out our Bargain Hunters pages. Bargain Hunters

Please check out our website at CJR Fine Arts for artists like Tarkay, Pino, Neiman, Ferjo, Fanch Ledan, Fairchild, Keeley, Schluss, Benfield, Maimon, Hessam, Treby, Kondakova, Mcknight, Shvaiko, Park and many, many more!


Receive our Free Newsletter via eMail: Sign Up Now!


1) LOUVRE'S ART HEADING FOR ATLANTA'S HIGH MUSEUM

Starting next year, art lovers won't have to cross the Atlantic to see sculptures and paintings at one of the world's finest art museums. The Louvre in Paris plans to display some of its renowned collections in the United States, but only at one museum -- Atlanta's High Museum of Art. It will mark the first time in the Louvre's 212-year history that the museum has agreed to share entire collections with another museum for an extended period.

The "Louvre in Atlanta" project will be launched in January with an exchange of high school students between Atlanta and Paris followed by the display of some Louvre exhibits at the High Museum starting in the fall of 2006. The arrangement breaks new ground in the international art world and scores a diplomatic success among tense Franco-American relations.

"On France's part, this is more than a gesture," French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres told The Associated Press in an interview from Paris. "It's an attitude that demonstrates that we are solid allies and friends."

As part of a goodwill tour in the United States that also took him to New Orleans, Donnedieu de Vabres traveled to Atlanta this month to award High Museum Director Michael Shapiro one of France's top cultural honors -- a knighthood in the Order of Arts and Letters -- for putting together the unique collaboration.

While it is routine for one of the world's most complete encyclopedic museums to lend works of art to traveling exhibits, they rarely leave for more than three months. The Louvre-High collaboration will last for three years, which is a first, de Vabres and Louvre officials said.

For decades, museums of all sizes have struck short-term international partnerships -- including FRAME, a program matching smaller French and U.S. museums -- but not such an extensive one, said Ed Able, president of the American Association of Museums.

For the High, which has been building an international reputation through popular exhibits and its Renzo Piano designed expansion that opened November 12, the partnership means hosting works of the caliber usually seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or the Art Institute of Chicago.

Large Louvre collections -- including the Greco-Roman antiquities of Napoleon's wife, the royal collection of prints and drawings and contemporary still-lifes -- will be on view in Atlanta, complemented by smaller exhibits such as one on the late 18th-century sculpted portraits by Jean-Antoine Houdon.

For the Louvre, the collaboration means a new step in making its art more accessible to visitors, and learning more about American fund-raising techniques.

Since 2002, a New York-based group, American Friends of the Louvre, has helped fund the museum's efforts to better serve visitors who don't speak French through bilingual informational pamphlets, labels and the Web site, said the group's director, Sue Devine.

About 1.2 million Americans visit the Louvre each year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the museum's visitors. Most come to see Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting -- which can't travel because it's too fragile and is the museum's top draw.

Americans also open their pocketbooks for the Louvre well beyond the $10.50 admission price. About five donors in Atlanta gave more than $1 million apiece to pay loan fees for the Louvre in Atlanta programs, Devine said.

The Louvre plans to use the nearly $10 million it is getting for the project to restore its galleries housing 18th-century decorative arts, Lerolle said.

The connection between the French government and the High started more than 40 years ago in tragedy. In summer 1962, 106 members of the Atlanta Art Association -- the group behind the High Museum's founding in the early 1900s -- died in a plane crash outside Paris. In response, France sent several masterpieces to be shown in Atlanta.
More recently, in 1999 and 2002, the directors of the High and Louvre collaborated on organizing two impressionism exhibits at the High.

While both credit their personal relationship with the Louvre's choice of the High for the partnership, the unprecedented Louvre partnership and de Vabres' recognition signal that the arts make a good bridge over the trans-Atlantic divide created by the war in Iraq, which continues to loom wide while the French lead Europe's desire for more independence from the United States.

"There is a growing understanding in the U.S. government of the importance of cultural diplomacy," said Karl Hofmann, second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. "This is something we strongly support."

"This is a magnificent initiative because it is very important to build and enlarge the links between Americans and Europeans," de Vabres said. "Through cultural and artistic links, people can discover one another's attractions."


2) INCREDIBLE SPECIAL OFFER OF THE WEEK- YURI TREMLER

This week, for our Newsletter Subscribers only, we are offering 20% off our already reduced CJR Prices on limited edition serigraphs by Yuri Tremler.

Yuri Tremler (born Yuri Trembovler) was born in the Ukraine in 1961. He attended the College of the Arts in Kharkov. He later continued his studies at the Kharkov Art & Design Academy as well as at the Gall Design School in Germany. After that, he returned to Kharkov and worked as a metal smith theater decorator. Tremler immigrated to Israel in 1996 where he worked in crafts, industrial design, interior design, jewelry design, and participated in many exhibitions. After exploring new media to work within, he finally decided to dedicate himself almost exclusively to painting in 1998. The artist's striking and spontaneous palette clearly expresses a gamut of emotional states and moods. The images in his masterful works saturate the emotions and remain in the imagination. His works are now exhibited in galleries and art shows throughout Israel and the United States..



Current Newsletter Special



Please Click Here to Order: https://cjrent.com/order_form.htm



3) HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS (AND BOOKSTORES, TOO)
BY JOHN STRAUSBAUGH


Neighbors often cooperate to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. George Preston and Kurt Thometz, who live two blocks from each other in Jumel Terrace at the top of Sugar Hill in Harlem, simply chose to do it in a slightly unusual way. On Nov. 10, they opened two new cultural institutions - in their homes.

Mr. Preston, 66, who grew up in the neighborhood and will retire at the end of this semester after teaching African art at City College for 32 years, turned three floors of his brownstone at 430 West 162nd Street into the Museum of Art and Origins, displaying his collection of African masks, figures and implements. Over at 426 West 160th Street, Mr. Thometz, 53, a dealer in rare and out-of-print books who moved to the neighborhood in 2004, converted a room of his brownstone into Jumel Terrace Books, featuring works on Africana, Harlem history, jazz, African-American literature and related topics.

Their dual opening night drew an array of literati, artists and intelligentsia, who made the two-minute stroll between the homes. The chain-smoking humorist Fran Lebowitz chatted with the Nigerian author Emmanuel Obiechina. Robert Farris Thompson, dean of African studies at Yale, signed a copy of his new book, "Tango: The Art History of Love," for the hip-hop legend Fab Five Freddy Braithwaite. The Harlem writer Playthell Benjamin, the soul music producer Billy Jackson (who co-wrote the Tymes' 1963 hit "So Much in Love") and Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, mingled.

It's not that Jumel Terrace needed help distinguishing itself. Perched on the highest elevation in Manhattan, the neighborhood feels like a slice of Colonial Williamsburg airlifted into the city. The Palladian Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765, is the oldest house in Manhattan, and was associated with George Washington and Aaron Burr. The mansion's tree-shaded grounds offer sweeping vistas across the Harlem River to Yankee Stadium and down to the spires of Midtown, glittering like Oz in the distance. There's also the implausibly quaint cobblestone street Sylvan Terrace, a single block lined with wood-framed row houses from 1882. The majestic brownstones of West 160th and West 162nd Streets that frame the area complete a pocket of almost startling gentility wedged between uppermost Harlem and Washington Heights.

Mr. Thometz said he and Mr. Preston were following an old and recently revived Harlem tradition of holding art exhibitions, literary salons and musical soirees in the home. At least 30 art galleries are currently operating in homes throughout Harlem. A few blocks from Jumel Terrace, Sherman Edmiston, a premiere dealer in the works of Romare Bearden, has operated Essie Green Galleries in his Convent Avenue brownstone since 1987. Around the corner from Mr. Thometz, the jazz musician Marjorie Eliot is host to weekly concerts in her Edgecombe Avenue apartment.

Mr. Thometz moved to New York City from Minneapolis in 1973, worked in various bookstores in the city, and by 1980 was organizing private libraries for clients including Diana Vreeland, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Felix G. Rohatyn and S. I. Newhouse. He has a special interest in African and African-American literature, and edited a book of Nigerian pamphlet writings, "Life Turns Man Up and Down," published by Pantheon in 2001.

Of the books on the shelves in his small shop Mr. Thometz said in a recent interview: "I've hand-picked every one. The books I haven't read I want to read." Unlike working in commercial bookstores, he explained with a smile, "I don't have to make any concessions to anyone else's taste."

On display during a recent visit to his shop (which is open "by appointment and by serendipity," he noted) was a signed first edition of "The Big Sea," by Langston Hughes, next to copies of a 1950's magazine called "Hep," promising "the lowdown on Sepia U.S.A." and featuring articles like "Elvis and the Brown Gal Who Loved Him Awful Bad." There were copies of Nina Simone's "I Put a Spell on You" and Bruce Davidson's classic photo essay "East 100th Street," the novels of Chester Himes and Ishmael Reed, and a fragile 1883 pamphlet titled "The Trial and Execution for Petit Treason of Mark and Phillis, Slaves of Capt. John Codman Who Murdered Their Master at Charlestown Mass., in 1755; And the Woman Was Burned to Death." Histories of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Haitian voodoo, Afro-Cuban music and hip-hop were also at hand.

Turning his home into a museum of African art (also open by appointment, with a $5 entrance fee) seems a natural step for Mr. Preston, who as a 21-year-old Beat poet opened the legendary Artist's Studio, a storefront on East Third Street. There, during its one year of existence in 1959, he was host to readings by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg and Frank O'Hara.

He made his first trip to Africa in 1968, doing fieldwork in Ghana toward his Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University, and built his collection during numerous visits since. In 2001, the Akan tribe of Ghana made him a chieftain, in a ceremony that involved holding dried herbs in his mouth for four hours. "That's because one of the first things for a chieftain to learn is how to keep his mouth shut," he explained.

The arts of many tribes and periods crowd the rooms of his brownstone in warm, intimate profusion. Massive ceremonial masks painted in bold geometric designs glare down from the walls above tiny ancestral figures with exquisitely expressive faces; an Egyptian mummified falcon guards a doorway; a Chokwe chief's tobacco pipe, 40 inches long, has been rubbed to a glistening patina by many years of use. This is a museum where the curator gives the tour, explaining the provenance and meaning of every object.

Mr. Preston and Mr. Thometz are now planning collaborative exhibitions, lectures and musical events with other brownstone cultural institutions in the area. Mr. Thometz was hesitant to declare it a new Harlem Renaissance, then added, "But I can't resist calling us the new Sugar Hill Gang."


4) THE ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG REUNION TOUR
BY CAROL VOGEL


It's 7 o'clock on a Saturday evening, and Robert Rauschenberg has just entered his studio, a white loftlike structure overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. At 80, he moves with great difficulty, relying on a walker and two assistants, although he still has his bluff good looks and easy smile. And his excitement is evident as he takes in a bronze sculpture that has just arrived from nearby Sarasota.


Two years in the making, it's a cast of a whimsical piece from 1981 consisting of two Windsor chairs balanced precariously on a pair of weathered wooden steps. "It's been a challenge," he said as he scanned the work, which so resembles the wood original that it's hard to imagine that the bronze version weighs about 1,500 pounds. "If there had been cobwebs, they would have also been cast," he added with a grin.

It's not unusual for Mr. Rauschenberg, an inveterate night owl, to start working at this hour on projects like the remade sculpture, or the assemblages of photographs and painting that are his focus these days.

Not far from the bronze sculpture, an artfully arranged but seldom touched pile of objects is also on view in the studio - rusty wheelbarrows, an old sled, a bird cage, piles of clocks, a dirty porcelain bathtub, all of this now a half-century old. These relics were the stuff and substance of the artist's "Combines," the subject of a sprawling and widely anticipated exhibition that opens on Tuesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The works evoke a heady time in postwar American art, when Mr. Rauschenberg defied the dominant aesthetic of Abstract Expressionism and incorporated everything from a stuffed goat to newspaper clippings and fabric swatches into his work. Today, the artist is as prolific as ever, despite having suffered a stroke three years ago that left his right side paralyzed and forced him to learn to work with his left. And his sense of humor is intact. "If I get depressed, it's for a fleeting moment," he said. "I try to warp everything into something positive, but sometimes that takes some fast bending."

On a typical day, Mr. Rauschenberg gets up about noon, arrives in his studio by 3 and works there until 8 p.m. "It's all spontaneous," he said. "When I arrive, I'm a blank slate." He paused, laughing, and added: "Sometimes I'm still a blank slate when I leave. That's the gamble."

These days his work tables are covered with piles of enlarged photographs - material for his "Scenarios," a series of 7-by-10-foot canvases incorporating images of everything from street signs to windswept dunes. Standing up "until my legs give out," as he put it, he directs his assistants on the precise arrangement of the photographs.

At this point Mr. Rauschenberg is unable to take the pictures himself. "Any time anyone leaves the house, I hand them a camera," he said. "I never tell them what to photograph. The ones that look like something I would do I can't ever use."

Another difference from the earlier days is the signature. Without the use of his right hand, now gnarled and resting on his chest, he has taught himself to sign his paintings with his left, with a somewhat childlike result. Next to it he scrawls "2k+5."

In the year 2005, Mr. Rauschenberg remains one of the titans of the American art world, alongside a few others in his generation, like Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly. Of the three, he is perhaps the most outrageous, for the way he has consistently blurred the lines between painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, dance, technology and performance.

"I can't imagine living without confusion," he said at home the day after the studio visit, chattering amiably over the din of the Food Channel as he sipped white wine. (He has given up his daily quart-and-a-half Jack Daniels habit, and he no longer cooks on his own.) "I always was experimental."

It was Mr. Rauschenberg who coined the term "Combine." "Every time I would show them to people, some would say they're paintings, others called them sculptures," he said.

"And then I heard this story about Calder - that nobody would look at his work because they didn't know what to call it. As soon as he began calling them mobiles, all of a sudden people would say 'Oh, so that's what they are.' So I invented the term 'Combine' to break out of that dead end of something not being a sculpture or a painting. And it seemed to work."

When critics saw the first "Combines" in the mid-1950's, many dismissed them as junk. But ultimately, as Mr. Rauschenberg noted, they came around. "The public has never let me down," he said. "They have consistently remained about 30 years behind me. Only now are they slowly learning to appreciate the cardboard series I did in the 1970's."

Still, it is his earlier works, particularly the "Combines," that remain the most coveted. If one becomes available, museums scramble to buy it. In June, the Museum of Modern Art paid about $30 million for "Rebus" (1955), a three-panel work that incorporates found objects like an election poster, comic strips, an image of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus," a child's drawing, dripped paint, cloth, torn posters and newspaper photos. Last month, the Met bought "Winter Pool," a 1959 "Combine," for an estimated $15 million. It consists of two panels to which he applied metal, shirt cuffs and handkerchiefs along with blocks of colorful paint. In between, a wooden ladder propped against the wall forms a bridge between the two panels.

Mr. Rauchenberg said the thought of seeing dozens of his "Combines" reunited in one place - 65 are in the Met show - gave him a "joy, like seeing old friends you haven't seen in decades."

They conjure a time in his life when he was barely getting by, struggling to sell his art and living in a grim downtown loft on Fulton Street. "It didn't bother me," he said. "I felt freer then."

"Jean Tinguely and I would frequently go foraging," he recalled, referring to the Swiss sculptor who, before his death in 1991, was known for fantastical machinelike sculptures. "We went to junkyards looking for things. I never wanted his kind of things, and he had a feeling for stuff I would like. He liked more mechanical objects like motors or old gears from cars, and I liked bathtubs and hedonistic things that were people-scale. I wasn't looking for movement and motion, and he was."

In those days, Mr. Rauchenberg said, he was so poor he had to sell everything he made as fast as he could. Once he was so far behind on his rent that he wrote to his landlord offering him two paintings in exchange for a month's rent, which was then $15. "The guy turned me down," he said - although he has since heard that the landlord bitterly regrets the decision.

Once he walked 30 blocks uptown with one of his so-called black paintings - canvases with expressionist black brush strokes that incorporated odd bits of detritus - and tried to sell it to a rich collector for $15. "I won't say who," Mr. Rauchenberg said impishly.

"She said she couldn't buy it so cheap," he continued. "I almost gave it to her, at the thought of walking another 30 blocks home with the painting. But I thought, well, if she couldn't afford to pay so little for it, she certainly couldn't afford to take it for nothing."

Longing to reclaim a "Combine" for himself, he bought back "Aen Floga" (1961), in which a wire attached to a metal vessel hangs from an old wood fragment on a canvas. Asked how he came up with the title, Mr. Rauschenberg said it was Swedish for something to do with flying or floating. (The Swedish word for fly is "flyga.")

"I'd just been to Sweden," he recalled. "It happens to be the only few Swedish words I know." He bought it for $1.5 million from the estate of Abraham Sherr, a New York collector who had bought it for about $1,000 soon after Mr. Rauschenberg made it.

After the Leo Castelli Gallery began representing him in the late 1950's, Mr. Rauschenberg's career and his prices soared. Despite a decades-long relationship with that legendary dealer (who died in 1999), he insists it wasn't Castelli who represented him but Illeana Sonnabend, who was then Castelli's wife and has always been the artist's biggest supporter.

She still owns one of his most best-known "Combines," "Canyon" (1959), which includes a real stuffed bald eagle and cannot be sold to anyone outside the United States because of a federal prohibition against trafficking in endangered species.

After his stroke two years ago, Mr. Rauschenberg's companion, the artist Darryl Pottorf, took some found objects - those artifacts from a half-century ago - that Ms. Sonnabend had sent to Captiva and moved them into Mr. Rauschenberg's studio in the hope that they would inspire him to experiment anew. But their presence had just the opposite effect.

"Every time I think I have an idea for them, all of a sudden the monster that they were rears up, and they go back to their original selves," the artist said. "There's too much history." Other vestiges of the "Combines," like bolts of old fabrics, lie in boxes in a back room.

Which is not to say Mr. Rauschenberg has abandoned his old styles or works. In the case of the bronze sculpture, a remake of "The Ancient Incident (Kabal American Zephyr)" (1981), he thought he needed a garden sculpture and decided that recycling the old project would be fun. But to cast the original chairs and steps would have destroyed the piece, he said, because the wood was too fragile.

Instead, he sent the chairs to the Philadelphia Windsor Chair Company to have them copied. Lawrence Voytek, a studio assistant who has worked for the artist since 1982, replicated the steps right down to the rusty nails before the piece was shipped off for casting at a foundry in Sarasota.

Mr. Rauschenberg hasn't decided where on his many properties in Captiva the sculpture will be placed. He began traveling to this small barrier island since the early 1960's and moved there officially in the 1970's, though he still keeps his Gothic Revival-style house on Lafayette Street in the East Village, bought in the 1960's for $65,000.

Today, Captiva is where his heart is, and over the years he has bought houses and land there as they became available, making him one of the island's largest landowners. When Hurricane Charley ravaged the island in August 2004, Mr. Rauschenberg, Mr. Pottorf and several assistants moved into the studio, which was built in 1993 to withstand hurricanes and even has a generator. (Although Mr. Rauschenberg was initially determined to ride out the storm, he ultimately evacuated by helicopter.) But the roof of his studio leaked, and his house was hit so hard that he had to move out for several months.

Today the artist is the island's local celebrity, known at all the restaurants. Not infrequently, he enjoys himself so much he closes them down.

Despite his age, he still likes to be the last to arrive at parties and the last to leave, because "that's when things get interesting." And he jumps at the chance of traveling. This month he attended the Art Basel Miami contemporary art fair to keep up with the art world buzz. And he has no intention of missing the opening of his "Combines" show.

"Of course I'll be there," he said, looking forward to the full schedule of lunches and dinners in his honor. "How many times do you get a show at the Met?"



Please check out our website at CJR Fine Arts for artists like Tarkay, Pino, Neiman, Ferjo, Fanch Ledan, Fairchild, Keeley, Schluss, Benfield, Maimon, Hessam, Treby, Kondakova, Mcknight, Shvaiko, Park and many, many more!


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#2 Bob

Bob

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE(Violet @ Dec 28 2005, 03:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Newsletter 284 - 12 - 28 - 2005
In this issue:

1) LOUVRE'S ART HEADING FOR ATLANTA'S HIGH MUSEUM
2) SPECIAL OFFER OF THE WEEK
3) HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS (AND BOOKSTORES, TOO)
4) THE ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG REUNION TOUR

Over 100 Signed/Numbered limited edition lithographs as low as $20! - Check out our Bargain Hunters pages. Bargain Hunters

Please check out our website at CJR Fine Arts for artists like Tarkay, Pino, Neiman, Ferjo, Fanch Ledan, Fairchild, Keeley, Schluss, Benfield, Maimon, Hessam, Treby, Kondakova, Mcknight, Shvaiko, Park and many, many more!
Receive our Free Newsletter via eMail: Sign Up Now!
1) LOUVRE'S ART HEADING FOR ATLANTA'S HIGH MUSEUM

Starting next year, art lovers won't have to cross the Atlantic to see sculptures and paintings at one of the world's finest art museums. The Louvre in Paris plans to display some of its renowned collections in the United States, but only at one museum -- Atlanta's High Museum of Art. It will mark the first time in the Louvre's 212-year history that the museum has agreed to share entire collections with another museum for an extended period.

The "Louvre in Atlanta" project will be launched in January with an exchange of high school students between Atlanta and Paris followed by the display of some Louvre exhibits at the High Museum starting in the fall of 2006. The arrangement breaks new ground in the international art world and scores a diplomatic success among tense Franco-American relations.

"On France's part, this is more than a gesture," French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres told The Associated Press in an interview from Paris. "It's an attitude that demonstrates that we are solid allies and friends."

As part of a goodwill tour in the United States that also took him to New Orleans, Donnedieu de Vabres traveled to Atlanta this month to award High Museum Director Michael Shapiro one of France's top cultural honors -- a knighthood in the Order of Arts and Letters -- for putting together the unique collaboration.

While it is routine for one of the world's most complete encyclopedic museums to lend works of art to traveling exhibits, they rarely leave for more than three months. The Louvre-High collaboration will last for three years, which is a first, de Vabres and Louvre officials said.

For decades, museums of all sizes have struck short-term international partnerships -- including FRAME, a program matching smaller French and U.S. museums -- but not such an extensive one, said Ed Able, president of the American Association of Museums.

For the High, which has been building an international reputation through popular exhibits and its Renzo Piano designed expansion that opened November 12, the partnership means hosting works of the caliber usually seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or the Art Institute of Chicago.

Large Louvre collections -- including the Greco-Roman antiquities of Napoleon's wife, the royal collection of prints and drawings and contemporary still-lifes -- will be on view in Atlanta, complemented by smaller exhibits such as one on the late 18th-century sculpted portraits by Jean-Antoine Houdon.

For the Louvre, the collaboration means a new step in making its art more accessible to visitors, and learning more about American fund-raising techniques.

Since 2002, a New York-based group, American Friends of the Louvre, has helped fund the museum's efforts to better serve visitors who don't speak French through bilingual informational pamphlets, labels and the Web site, said the group's director, Sue Devine.

About 1.2 million Americans visit the Louvre each year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the museum's visitors. Most come to see Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting -- which can't travel because it's too fragile and is the museum's top draw.

Americans also open their pocketbooks for the Louvre well beyond the $10.50 admission price. About five donors in Atlanta gave more than $1 million apiece to pay loan fees for the Louvre in Atlanta programs, Devine said.

The Louvre plans to use the nearly $10 million it is getting for the project to restore its galleries housing 18th-century decorative arts, Lerolle said.

The connection between the French government and the High started more than 40 years ago in tragedy. In summer 1962, 106 members of the Atlanta Art Association -- the group behind the High Museum's founding in the early 1900s -- died in a plane crash outside Paris. In response, France sent several masterpieces to be shown in Atlanta.
More recently, in 1999 and 2002, the directors of the High and Louvre collaborated on organizing two impressionism exhibits at the High.

While both credit their personal relationship with the Louvre's choice of the High for the partnership, the unprecedented Louvre partnership and de Vabres' recognition signal that the arts make a good bridge over the trans-Atlantic divide created by the war in Iraq, which continues to loom wide while the French lead Europe's desire for more independence from the United States.

"There is a growing understanding in the U.S. government of the importance of cultural diplomacy," said Karl Hofmann, second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. "This is something we strongly support."

"This is a magnificent initiative because it is very important to build and enlarge the links between Americans and Europeans," de Vabres said. "Through cultural and artistic links, people can discover one another's attractions."
2) INCREDIBLE SPECIAL OFFER OF THE WEEK- YURI TREMLER

This week, for our Newsletter Subscribers only, we are offering 20% off our already reduced CJR Prices on limited edition serigraphs by Yuri Tremler.

Yuri Tremler (born Yuri Trembovler) was born in the Ukraine in 1961. He attended the College of the Arts in Kharkov. He later continued his studies at the Kharkov Art & Design Academy as well as at the Gall Design School in Germany. After that, he returned to Kharkov and worked as a metal smith theater decorator. Tremler immigrated to Israel in 1996 where he worked in crafts, industrial design, interior design, jewelry design, and participated in many exhibitions. After exploring new media to work within, he finally decided to dedicate himself almost exclusively to painting in 1998. The artist's striking and spontaneous palette clearly expresses a gamut of emotional states and moods. The images in his masterful works saturate the emotions and remain in the imagination. His works are now exhibited in galleries and art shows throughout Israel and the United States..
Current Newsletter Special
Please Click Here to Order: https://cjrent.com/order_form.htm
3) HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS (AND BOOKSTORES, TOO)
BY JOHN STRAUSBAUGH


Neighbors often cooperate to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. George Preston and Kurt Thometz, who live two blocks from each other in Jumel Terrace at the top of Sugar Hill in Harlem, simply chose to do it in a slightly unusual way. On Nov. 10, they opened two new cultural institutions - in their homes.

Mr. Preston, 66, who grew up in the neighborhood and will retire at the end of this semester after teaching African art at City College for 32 years, turned three floors of his brownstone at 430 West 162nd Street into the Museum of Art and Origins, displaying his collection of African masks, figures and implements. Over at 426 West 160th Street, Mr. Thometz, 53, a dealer in rare and out-of-print books who moved to the neighborhood in 2004, converted a room of his brownstone into Jumel Terrace Books, featuring works on Africana, Harlem history, jazz, African-American literature and related topics.

Their dual opening night drew an array of literati, artists and intelligentsia, who made the two-minute stroll between the homes. The chain-smoking humorist Fran Lebowitz chatted with the Nigerian author Emmanuel Obiechina. Robert Farris Thompson, dean of African studies at Yale, signed a copy of his new book, "Tango: The Art History of Love," for the hip-hop legend Fab Five Freddy Braithwaite. The Harlem writer Playthell Benjamin, the soul music producer Billy Jackson (who co-wrote the Tymes' 1963 hit "So Much in Love") and Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, mingled.

It's not that Jumel Terrace needed help distinguishing itself. Perched on the highest elevation in Manhattan, the neighborhood feels like a slice of Colonial Williamsburg airlifted into the city. The Palladian Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765, is the oldest house in Manhattan, and was associated with George Washington and Aaron Burr. The mansion's tree-shaded grounds offer sweeping vistas across the Harlem River to Yankee Stadium and down to the spires of Midtown, glittering like Oz in the distance. There's also the implausibly quaint cobblestone street Sylvan Terrace, a single block lined with wood-framed row houses from 1882. The majestic brownstones of West 160th and West 162nd Streets that frame the area complete a pocket of almost startling gentility wedged between uppermost Harlem and Washington Heights.

Mr. Thometz said he and Mr. Preston were following an old and recently revived Harlem tradition of holding art exhibitions, literary salons and musical soirees in the home. At least 30 art galleries are currently operating in homes throughout Harlem. A few blocks from Jumel Terrace, Sherman Edmiston, a premiere dealer in the works of Romare Bearden, has operated Essie Green Galleries in his Convent Avenue brownstone since 1987. Around the corner from Mr. Thometz, the jazz musician Marjorie Eliot is host to weekly concerts in her Edgecombe Avenue apartment.

Mr. Thometz moved to New York City from Minneapolis in 1973, worked in various bookstores in the city, and by 1980 was organizing private libraries for clients including Diana Vreeland, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Felix G. Rohatyn and S. I. Newhouse. He has a special interest in African and African-American literature, and edited a book of Nigerian pamphlet writings, "Life Turns Man Up and Down," published by Pantheon in 2001.

Of the books on the shelves in his small shop Mr. Thometz said in a recent interview: "I've hand-picked every one. The books I haven't read I want to read." Unlike working in commercial bookstores, he explained with a smile, "I don't have to make any concessions to anyone else's taste."

On display during a recent visit to his shop (which is open "by appointment and by serendipity," he noted) was a signed first edition of "The Big Sea," by Langston Hughes, next to copies of a 1950's magazine called "Hep," promising "the lowdown on Sepia U.S.A." and featuring articles like "Elvis and the Brown Gal Who Loved Him Awful Bad." There were copies of Nina Simone's "I Put a Spell on You" and Bruce Davidson's classic photo essay "East 100th Street," the novels of Chester Himes and Ishmael Reed, and a fragile 1883 pamphlet titled "The Trial and Execution for Petit Treason of Mark and Phillis, Slaves of Capt. John Codman Who Murdered Their Master at Charlestown Mass., in 1755; And the Woman Was Burned to Death." Histories of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Haitian voodoo, Afro-Cuban music and hip-hop were also at hand.

Turning his home into a museum of African art (also open by appointment, with a $5 entrance fee) seems a natural step for Mr. Preston, who as a 21-year-old Beat poet opened the legendary Artist's Studio, a storefront on East Third Street. There, during its one year of existence in 1959, he was host to readings by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg and Frank O'Hara.

He made his first trip to Africa in 1968, doing fieldwork in Ghana toward his Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University, and built his collection during numerous visits since. In 2001, the Akan tribe of Ghana made him a chieftain, in a ceremony that involved holding dried herbs in his mouth for four hours. "That's because one of the first things for a chieftain to learn is how to keep his mouth shut," he explained.

The arts of many tribes and periods crowd the rooms of his brownstone in warm, intimate profusion. Massive ceremonial masks painted in bold geometric designs glare down from the walls above tiny ancestral figures with exquisitely expressive faces; an Egyptian mummified falcon guards a doorway; a Chokwe chief's tobacco pipe, 40 inches long, has been rubbed to a glistening patina by many years of use. This is a museum where the curator gives the tour, explaining the provenance and meaning of every object.

Mr. Preston and Mr. Thometz are now planning collaborative exhibitions, lectures and musical events with other brownstone cultural institutions in the area. Mr. Thometz was hesitant to declare it a new Harlem Renaissance, then added, "But I can't resist calling us the new Sugar Hill Gang."
4) THE ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG REUNION TOUR
BY CAROL VOGEL


It's 7 o'clock on a Saturday evening, and Robert Rauschenberg has just entered his studio, a white loftlike structure overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. At 80, he moves with great difficulty, relying on a walker and two assistants, although he still has his bluff good looks and easy smile. And his excitement is evident as he takes in a bronze sculpture that has just arrived from nearby Sarasota.
Two years in the making, it's a cast of a whimsical piece from 1981 consisting of two Windsor chairs balanced precariously on a pair of weathered wooden steps. "It's been a challenge," he said as he scanned the work, which so resembles the wood original that it's hard to imagine that the bronze version weighs about 1,500 pounds. "If there had been cobwebs, they would have also been cast," he added with a grin.

It's not unusual for Mr. Rauschenberg, an inveterate night owl, to start working at this hour on projects like the remade sculpture, or the assemblages of photographs and painting that are his focus these days.

Not far from the bronze sculpture, an artfully arranged but seldom touched pile of objects is also on view in the studio - rusty wheelbarrows, an old sled, a bird cage, piles of clocks, a dirty porcelain bathtub, all of this now a half-century old. These relics were the stuff and substance of the artist's "Combines," the subject of a sprawling and widely anticipated exhibition that opens on Tuesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The works evoke a heady time in postwar American art, when Mr. Rauschenberg defied the dominant aesthetic of Abstract Expressionism and incorporated everything from a stuffed goat to newspaper clippings and fabric swatches into his work. Today, the artist is as prolific as ever, despite having suffered a stroke three years ago that left his right side paralyzed and forced him to learn to work with his left. And his sense of humor is intact. "If I get depressed, it's for a fleeting moment," he said. "I try to warp everything into something positive, but sometimes that takes some fast bending."

On a typical day, Mr. Rauschenberg gets up about noon, arrives in his studio by 3 and works there until 8 p.m. "It's all spontaneous," he said. "When I arrive, I'm a blank slate." He paused, laughing, and added: "Sometimes I'm still a blank slate when I leave. That's the gamble."

These days his work tables are covered with piles of enlarged photographs - material for his "Scenarios," a series of 7-by-10-foot canvases incorporating images of everything from street signs to windswept dunes. Standing up "until my legs give out," as he put it, he directs his assistants on the precise arrangement of the photographs.

At this point Mr. Rauschenberg is unable to take the pictures himself. "Any time anyone leaves the house, I hand them a camera," he said. "I never tell them what to photograph. The ones that look like something I would do I can't ever use."

Another difference from the earlier days is the signature. Without the use of his right hand, now gnarled and resting on his chest, he has taught himself to sign his paintings with his left, with a somewhat childlike result. Next to it he scrawls "2k+5."

In the year 2005, Mr. Rauschenberg remains one of the titans of the American art world, alongside a few others in his generation, like Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly. Of the three, he is perhaps the most outrageous, for the way he has consistently blurred the lines between painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, dance, technology and performance.

"I can't imagine living without confusion," he said at home the day after the studio visit, chattering amiably over the din of the Food Channel as he sipped white wine. (He has given up his daily quart-and-a-half Jack Daniels habit, and he no longer cooks on his own.) "I always was experimental."

It was Mr. Rauschenberg who coined the term "Combine." "Every time I would show them to people, some would say they're paintings, others called them sculptures," he said.

"And then I heard this story about Calder - that nobody would look at his work because they didn't know what to call it. As soon as he began calling them mobiles, all of a sudden people would say 'Oh, so that's what they are.' So I invented the term 'Combine' to break out of that dead end of something not being a sculpture or a painting. And it seemed to work."

When critics saw the first "Combines" in the mid-1950's, many dismissed them as junk. But ultimately, as Mr. Rauschenberg noted, they came around. "The public has never let me down," he said. "They have consistently remained about 30 years behind me. Only now are they slowly learning to appreciate the cardboard series I did in the 1970's."

Still, it is his earlier works, particularly the "Combines," that remain the most coveted. If one becomes available, museums scramble to buy it. In June, the Museum of Modern Art paid about $30 million for "Rebus" (1955), a three-panel work that incorporates found objects like an election poster, comic strips, an image of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus," a child's drawing, dripped paint, cloth, torn posters and newspaper photos. Last month, the Met bought "Winter Pool," a 1959 "Combine," for an estimated $15 million. It consists of two panels to which he applied metal, shirt cuffs and handkerchiefs along with blocks of colorful paint. In between, a wooden ladder propped against the wall forms a bridge between the two panels.

Mr. Rauchenberg said the thought of seeing dozens of his "Combines" reunited in one place - 65 are in the Met show - gave him a "joy, like seeing old friends you haven't seen in decades."

They conjure a time in his life when he was barely getting by, struggling to sell his art and living in a grim downtown loft on Fulton Street. "It didn't bother me," he said. "I felt freer then."

"Jean Tinguely and I would frequently go foraging," he recalled, referring to the Swiss sculptor who, before his death in 1991, was known for fantastical machinelike sculptures. "We went to junkyards looking for things. I never wanted his kind of things, and he had a feeling for stuff I would like. He liked more mechanical objects like motors or old gears from cars, and I liked bathtubs and hedonistic things that were people-scale. I wasn't looking for movement and motion, and he was."

In those days, Mr. Rauchenberg said, he was so poor he had to sell everything he made as fast as he could. Once he was so far behind on his rent that he wrote to his landlord offering him two paintings in exchange for a month's rent, which was then $15. "The guy turned me down," he said - although he has since heard that the landlord bitterly regrets the decision.

Once he walked 30 blocks uptown with one of his so-called black paintings - canvases with expressionist black brush strokes that incorporated odd bits of detritus - and tried to sell it to a rich collector for $15. "I won't say who," Mr. Rauchenberg said impishly.

"She said she couldn't buy it so cheap," he continued. "I almost gave it to her, at the thought of walking another 30 blocks home with the painting. But I thought, well, if she couldn't afford to pay so little for it, she certainly couldn't afford to take it for nothing."

Longing to reclaim a "Combine" for himself, he bought back "Aen Floga" (1961), in which a wire attached to a metal vessel hangs from an old wood fragment on a canvas. Asked how he came up with the title, Mr. Rauschenberg said it was Swedish for something to do with flying or floating. (The Swedish word for fly is "flyga.")

"I'd just been to Sweden," he recalled. "It happens to be the only few Swedish words I know." He bought it for $1.5 million from the estate of Abraham Sherr, a New York collector who had bought it for about $1,000 soon after Mr. Rauschenberg made it.

After the Leo Castelli Gallery began representing him in the late 1950's, Mr. Rauschenberg's career and his prices soared. Despite a decades-long relationship with that legendary dealer (who died in 1999), he insists it wasn't Castelli who represented him but Illeana Sonnabend, who was then Castelli's wife and has always been the artist's biggest supporter.

She still owns one of his most best-known "Combines," "Canyon" (1959), which includes a real stuffed bald eagle and cannot be sold to anyone outside the United States because of a federal prohibition against trafficking in endangered species.

After his stroke two years ago, Mr. Rauschenberg's companion, the artist Darryl Pottorf, took some found objects - those artifacts from a half-century ago - that Ms. Sonnabend had sent to Captiva and moved them into Mr. Rauschenberg's studio in the hope that they would inspire him to experiment anew. But their presence had just the opposite effect.

"Every time I think I have an idea for them, all of a sudden the monster that they were rears up, and they go back to their original selves," the artist said. "There's too much history." Other vestiges of the "Combines," like bolts of old fabrics, lie in boxes in a back room.

Which is not to say Mr. Rauschenberg has abandoned his old styles or works. In the case of the bronze sculpture, a remake of "The Ancient Incident (Kabal American Zephyr)" (1981), he thought he needed a garden sculpture and decided that recycling the old project would be fun. But to cast the original chairs and steps would have destroyed the piece, he said, because the wood was too fragile.

Instead, he sent the chairs to the Philadelphia Windsor Chair Company to have them copied. Lawrence Voytek, a studio assistant who has worked for the artist since 1982, replicated the steps right down to the rusty nails before the piece was shipped off for casting at a foundry in Sarasota.

Mr. Rauschenberg hasn't decided where on his many properties in Captiva the sculpture will be placed. He began traveling to this small barrier island since the early 1960's and moved there officially in the 1970's, though he still keeps his Gothic Revival-style house on Lafayette Street in the East Village, bought in the 1960's for $65,000.

Today, Captiva is where his heart is, and over the years he has bought houses and land there as they became available, making him one of the island's largest landowners. When Hurricane Charley ravaged the island in August 2004, Mr. Rauschenberg, Mr. Pottorf and several assistants moved into the studio, which was built in 1993 to withstand hurricanes and even has a generator. (Although Mr. Rauschenberg was initially determined to ride out the storm, he ultimately evacuated by helicopter.) But the roof of his studio leaked, and his house was hit so hard that he had to move out for several months.

Today the artist is the island's local celebrity, known at all the restaurants. Not infrequently, he enjoys himself so much he closes them down.

Despite his age, he still likes to be the last to arrive at parties and the last to leave, because "that's when things get interesting." And he jumps at the chance of traveling. This month he attended the Art Basel Miami contemporary art fair to keep up with the art world buzz. And he has no intention of missing the opening of his "Combines" show.

"Of course I'll be there," he said, looking forward to the full schedule of lunches and dinners in his honor. "How many times do you get a show at the Met?"
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Violet I really like keeping in touch with your news letters but I have to admit that.
(CASINO MAGNATE POKES HOLE IN $139 Mill PICASSO DEAL)
That got me. Man Oh! Man, How would you feel. I have done some silly things in my lifetime but nothing like that.
The burning question is did it devalue the painting or add value to it in the future?
This is a way of immortalizing oneself in some sickening way to the Picasso history of works.
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