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Artbeat: Exhibitions | 2001

Audrey Irmas/MOCA

Photo: Audrey Irmas/MOCA

Philadelphia
Rudi Gernreich Institute of Contemporary Art (through Nov. 11). During the swinging sixties and liberated seventies, Austrian-born Gernreich invented the monokini, the no-bra, and the now infamous thong—as well as the unisex look. In an installation by the equally revolutionary architecture team Coop Himmelb(l)au, the designer who proclaimed "fashion will go out of fashion" gets his due.

Thomas Eakins Philadelphia Museum of Art (Oct. 7—Jan. 6). A very American painter, the city's native son was one of the first to use photography in his work, which is perhaps why he excelled at athletic scenes and penetrating portraits.

Washington, D.C.
Virtue and Beauty National Gallery 0f Art (through Jan. 6). Women—consorts and aristocrats, legendary beauties and belles bourgeoises—are the subject of a show that assembles portraits by Renaissance masters—Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Bronzino, and Rogier van der Weyden, to name a few.

Impressionist Still Life Phillips Collection (through Jan. 13). More than 80 paintings from 55 collections trace the progress of apples and oranges from Courbet to Cézanne. Includes rarely seen works by Monet, Manet, Berthe Morisot, and Gauguin.

Indianapolis
Gifts to the Tsars Indianapolis Museum of Art (through Jan. 13). Eastern Orthodox relics, presents from Ottoman sultans, and horse blankets from Western kings mingle with the personal effects of the likes of Ivan the Terrible.

Vatican Two: Rome's Newest Church
When American architect Richard Meier (renowned for his design of L.A.'s Getty Center) submitted his plans for a new church in Rome, he said to Pope John Paul II, "I can only imagine how Michelangelo felt when he presented his model to Pope Julius IV." The $10 million church, located four miles from central Rome on a site adjacent to a 1960's housing development known as Tor Tre Teste, will be completed next summer. Three curved white shells of precast concrete encase a central sanctuary, a smaller chapel for weekday use, and a baptistery. Commissioned by the Archdiocese of Rome to mark the new millennium, the Jubilee Church is one of 15 places of worship currently being built across the city that surrounds the Sistine Chapel.

Dream City Noir
A wildly idiosyncratic ride through the imagination of a homegrown American surrealist, Mulholland Drive, David Lynch's latest film, is named after the road that divides the fantasyland of Hollywood from the humdrum Valley. Opening this month, the film follows two actresses (Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring) from glamorous Modernist houses to seedy downtown Spanish nightclubs to the shabby haunts of legendary tap dancers. "The spark for my film," says Lynch (who shared the prize for best director at Cannes this year), "was the name Mulholland Drive on a signpost at night, partially illuminated by a car's headlights. It's a dark and mysterious road, with all kinds of stories attached to it. And drifting along it makes me dream."

Museum Milestone
Viennese-born art dealer and curator Serge Sabarsky spent a lifetime bringing Austrian art to New York. Five years after his death, the museum he conceived with art patron Ronald Lauder opens in a converted Beaux-Arts mansion. Galleries will be devoted to works by painters Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka, and the furnishings of architects Josef Hoffmann, Adolph Loos, and Otto Wagner. In keeping with Sabarsky's vision, there's even a café modeled on Vienna's 19th-century coffeehouses. Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Ave.; 212/628-6200.

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