RIST EXPECTING, PRESENTS EXPECTING: Pipilotti Rist’s latest exhibition at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht has gained the attention of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Online (FAZ.NET), which has gathered an in-depth dossier on the Swiss artist, including an interview and an overview of the international video-art market. Although Rist is pregnant, it appears that the title of her new work Expecting, 2001, has more to do with the immaculate conception than her upcoming motherhood: It was made expressly for the museum’s medieval chapel. The dossier also reveals that Rist plans to leave Europe next year to go to UCLA, where she will teach with Paul McCarthy. The exhibition continues until November 18: View FAZ.NET interview

SPAGHETTI MAN IN FRANCE: Meanwhile, Paul McCarthy’s exhibition at the Villa Arson in Nice has garnered reviews in Libération (read review) and Le Monde (read Le Monde review), which both seem to rely on the catalogue published by New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, where the show originated. Libération’s Elisabeth Lebovici makes a suggestive link between McCarthy and the Marquis de Sade but ends up quoting Rosalind Krauss’s The Optical Unconscious (1993) instead of Sade’s La Philosophie dans le boudoir (1795). Hélas. The Swiss are next to face McCarthy, whose “Pirate Drawings” will be on display in Zurich at Galerie Hauser & Wirth from August 25 to October 13.

KOONS TARGET IN EDINBURGH, DEFENDED IN AUSTRIA: Jeff Koons’s “Easyfun-Ethereal” paintings are receiving mixed reviews at the Fruitmarket Gallery during the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. It seems the forty-six-year-old artist gives the BBC’s Olive Clancy the giggles (read BBC review), though giving The Guardian’s Elisabeth Mahoney vertigo (read Guardian review). The reception seems more subdued at Austria’s Kunsthaus Bregenz, which is showing works from the same series, originally commissioned by Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. By contrast, FAZ reviewer Martin Engler takes a cool analytic tack, dismissing critics such as Robert Rosenblum who see Baroque or “Barococo” references in the paintings: Read FAZ.NET review

HAL FOSTER GETS UNDER GEHRY’S TITANIUM SKIN: In England, the BBC’s Steve Schifferes has dubbed Frank O. Gehry the “King of Pop” in an appropriately superficial review of the architect’s retrospective, now just winding down at New York’s Guggenheim Museum (read BBC review). In a lengthy study of Frank Gehry: The Art of Architecture (2001) in the London Review of Books, however, Hal Foster goes below the surface of Gehry’s “pop years” and wonders “Why all the hoopla?” (Read Foster review) Foster finds Gehry’s sculptural side in both Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg, though he seems to ignore Frank Stella’s 1991 architectural model for a Kunsthalle in Dresden. Elsewhere, Le Monde takes a tour of the site for Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (Read Le Monde article), while the FAZ’s Niklas Maak considers architecture’s growing love affair with organic forms, giving a nod to Gehry’s favorite computer program “Catia”:
Read FAZ.NET article

FRENCH AUCTION MONOPOLY COMES TO AN END: Also, Britain and France are getting closer in more ways than one this week as the protectionist French auctioneers’ monopoly came to an end after four and a half centuries. The change, which gives foreign auction houses the right to sell in France, is the result of EU reforms as well as pressure from Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Representatives from both houses are among the eleven members recently named to the “Conseil des ventes” that will review 458 French auctioneers and foreign applicants. The Guardian considers the end of protectionism (Read Guardian article), while the International Herald Tribune offers an insider’s view of an old-fashioned market set to disappear: Read Tribune article

LEAVING LONDON: It turns out that Lars Nittve is part of a trend: foreigners who abruptly abandon top jobs at cultural institutes in London. Nittve recently left the Tate Modern to head the Moderna Museet in his native Sweden, but also gone from the English capital are German Karsten Witt, who recently left the South Bank Centre, and American Michael Kaiser, who is no longer heading Covent Garden. The Guardian’s Vanessa Thorpe reflects upon the alarming trend, noting that Nittve didn’t even return to London after his summer holiday; she suggests that he “effectively left without saying goodbye”: Read Guardian article

HIRST, EMIN SPEAK OUT AGAIN: The YBAs may be getting on in years, but the British press still can’t enough of them. Child of Margate, Tracey Emin defends her provocative art for the BBC (Read Emin article) and gets coverage for appearing on a talk show in The Guardian this week (Read Guardian article). Both media outlets offer excerpts of an interview with Damien Hirst that will appear in Gordon Burns’s upcoming book On The Way To Work (October 2001). Hirst comments on his drug use and the British art world, adding the novel insight: “Charles Saatchi believed he could affect art values with buying power.” Even more startling is The Guardian’s addendum to the article: (Read Guardian addendum)