News

  • New Life for Old Standard in LA's Chinatown

    Architect Mark McManus, artist Jorge Pardo, and gallerist Steve Hanson are reopening—and reconceiving—the much beloved but long-shut General Lee restaurant in Los Angeles's Chinatown. The new bar-cafe has won the support of reigning Lee patriarch David Fon Lee, 81, building owner and the restaurant's former proprietor, under whose watch Rudi Gernreich designed the waiters' uniforms, which appeared in the pages of Life magazine in 1956. “I'm not sure that people will know what they're going to get, and I'm not sure we know what we're putting out,” says Pardo. “I'm interested in setting up an

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  • Spiral Jetty Reemerges From Great Salt Lake

    The Great Salt Lake's falling water level has revealed Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty for the first time in a decade. “Smithson's own writings talk about the jetty submerging and reemerging as part of the work of art because it changes every time it reappears,” said University of Utah art professor Nathan Winters. Built in 1970, three years before Smithson's death in a Texas plane crash, Spiral Jetty is considered his last masterpiece.

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  • A New Museum of Modern Art for Munich

    Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne will open on September 16 after delays due to political disagreements and budgetary difficulties. Built on the scale of Tate Modern or the Centre Pompidou, the Pinakothek der Moderne will be among Europe’s largest modern-art centers. Set next to the Alte Pinakothek (Old Masters) and the Neue Pinakothek (nineteenth century), it firmly establishes Munich as Germany’s second art capital, after Berlin.

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  • Prague's Priceless Documents: Freeze Before Drying

    Prague's priceless and now waterlogged documents have found temporary homes in conventional freezers as libraries and archives try to locate vacuum-drying equipment. In Mochov, twelve miles east of Prague, Vladimir Blaha was packing frozen vegetables into the chilled storerooms of his frozen food factory when he received a desperate phone call from Prague's city library. Now he stores the Prague bible of 1488, the first in vernacular Czech. Music scores by Mozart, the original manuscripts of poems by the Czech romantics, letters by Leos Janacek from the archives of the Czech Philharmonic, valuable

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  • Building a Bohemia in the Mojave

    Andrea Zittel, Jack Pierson, Ed Ruscha, and others have carved out an idiosyncratic domestic utopia in the Mojave desert, forming a small community that's an antidote to the art centers on the coasts. Located near the Joshua Tree National Park, the area has long been a hub for rock climbers, dirt bikers and visionary eccentrics, among them George Van Tassel, a test pilot who in the 1950s built a thirty-eight-foot-high “rejuvenation machine” called the Integratron that is a local landmark. For Zittel, who grew up in Southern California, the lunarlike terrain is the perfect setting for the research

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  • Where Have All the Sellers Gone?

    Suspicions that the art market is “drying up” of art receive unexpected support in statistics released by Sotheby’s this week. Lots sold worldwide in 1989 were just over 200,000; in 1990, 188,000; in 2000, 110,000. In the US, UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Italy, the big art-buying countries, many collectors are buying with no intention of selling at all, or selling only when absolutely necessary. Art has become an asset that protects wealth against tax erosion.

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