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Michael Kurcfeld
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Michael Kurcfeld is a long-time print journalist and editor, including his role as Arts Editor at the LA Weekly in 1985-89. Since 1990 he has worked as a producer in electronic media—laserdisc, DVD, video, TV, internet. He has produced documentaries in Japan, Europe and the US, and worked for various media companies, including Voyager Co, Fox, IFC, New York Times, Yahoo,, Bravo, Wall St Journal and PBS—primarily covering the film world—via his own company, Stonehenge Media (

Entries by Michael Kurcfeld

"TOMORROW": Elmgreen & Dragset Build Their Latest Walk-through Fiction, at London's V&A. (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 12:52 PM

Why do artist duos so often operate with a sardonic sense of humor, in various shades of black? Think of the caustic wit that inflects the work of the Chapman Brothers, Fischli/Weiss, Gilbert & George, and Allora & Calzadilla. Elmgreen & Dragset, who have a wry installation on view at...

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FIAC Gets Real: Classical Painting in Contemporary Hands (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 1:46 PM

The game of trend-spotting at big-ticket art fairs has always been mostly about playing the numbers. What's selling, and to whom? But at this year's FIAC in Paris, amid the high-rolling and the splashy frontrunners, I began looking for a genre that refuses to stay moribund: classical painting, and specifically...

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FRIEZE FRAMES: 3 Videos Spotlight the Latest London Mega-Fair

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 10:39 AM

First, from amidst the madding crowd, an armchair sweep through some of what was on offer at this major 3-ring art-world gathering: Frieze London, Frieze Masters and the Frieze Sculpture Park. In 5 minutes. Mind the gaps. A highlight at the Masters tent was John Currin's on-stage conversation with the...

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Venice Biennale Highlight: LACMA's Michael Govan Talks About "Prima Materia" and Global Art

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 12:09 PM

2013-08-01-Dogana6.jpg 2013-08-01-palazzograssi.jpg
Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi

The Venice Biennale is the mother of all art gatherings, a months-long and city-wide celebration of international art that is blessedly cleansed of hard-sell commerce -- in one of the...

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WORLD OF WIRES: Jay Scheib Tackles the Meta-reality of Humans Trapped Inside Simulations (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 1:09 PM

It all began with a dreamt trip to Mars.

Jay Scheib, a stage director and professor who heads the theater arts program at MIT, was told by a student of his that she planned to be the first person on Mars. When he found out that a one-way mission to...

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FACE TIME: At Paris Photo 2012, Portraits Old and New Stood Out (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 10:36 AM

Portraits are back. Not that photographers ever stopped shooting people, but the pendulum that cyclically favors, say, formalist geometries or landscape over revealed persona, has swung back in full force this year. At least that was the takeaway at Paris Photo, the world's top photography gathering. Now in its 16th...

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FIAC 2012: 12 Paris Gallerists Talk About Favorite Artworks (VIDEOS)

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 2:07 PM

Art fairs, with exceptions like Documenta, have come to be judged in terms of money: What mega-sales were murmured down the aisles, to which high-profile collector or museum, and what might it all say about the state of the economy. At FIAC 2012 (the French acronym for the International Contemporary...

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"Occupy Wall Screen": A Renowned French Media Artist Takes On Wall Street (VIDEO)

(3) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 6:23 PM

French media artist Maurice Benayoun is way ahead of today's economists. He long ago figured out that collective emotions trackable on the Web might be used to predict market ups and downs. Recent books like Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy echo the notion that the market has...

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Pina Bausch: Her Top Dancer Keeps Her Work Alive (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 4:39 PM

When Dominique Mercy first met Pina Bausch, at the 1971 Saratoga Summer Dance Festival, they could scarcely communicate. But although neither knew the other's language at the time, they would go on to develop a vocabulary of movement so expressive and groundbreaking that Bausch's Wuppertaler Tanztheater would one day win...

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COCTEAU WINS: The New Jean Cocteau Museum Gives The Protean Artist His Due (SLIDESHOW)

(6) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 4:29 PM

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was the kind of artist who could turn a ravaging addiction to opium, or the death of a lover, into masterpieces of literature and graphic art. An astonishingly versatile creator (poet, filmmaker, novelist, designer, playwright), Cocteau remains on the shortlist of canonized geniuses in a...

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Doing Shots: The Old and the New at Paris Photo 2011 (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2011 | 10:19 AM

If you've ever been to Paris Photo, the most important international photography art fair in the galaxy, you might want to bypass what I write here and go straight to the videos of gallerists talking up their wares (below), because I'll bore you with the enthusiasm of the newly initiated.

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Beatles Genesis: Backbeat Rocks London's West End (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 10:28 AM

How does one credibly portray the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time without benefit of their recorded music? In 1994, British director Iain Softley released Backbeat, with Ian Hart as John Lennon, Stephen Dorff as Stuart Sutcliffe (Lennon's best friend and a fleeting band member), and Sheryl Lee...

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PARIS PICKS: What Galleries at FIAC Wanted You to See (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 1:30 PM

At last year's FIAC -- Paris' post-Frieze international art fair -- I spoke with dealers about economic health and buying trends in the art market. But by now, everyone pretty much knows the score: the art market has pulled itself back from the precipice of the 2008 downturn and seems...

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LONDON BINGE: Love & Money at FRIEZE Art Fair (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 6:30 PM

London's Frieze Art Fair, in its 8th year, is one brash trumpet in a symphony (or is it a cacophony?) of international cities that are clearly gaining ground on New York in nurturing top artists and dealers, and attracting major collectors. Held every October in Regent's Park, this year it...

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(13) Comments | Posted September 18, 2011 | 5:20 PM

Google is the engine that keeps on giving. A while back, the colossus of search gave us its master plan of digitizing every book in the world, with the express purpose of making all written knowledge, wisdom and diversion accessible to anyone with a web connection. Earlier this year, as...

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"CHANCE" Encounter: Christian Boltanski Weighs Birth and Death at the 2011 Venice Biennale (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 9:53 PM

It's not every day that a journalist becomes part of a work of art. In a stroke of autobiographical fervor a few years ago Christian Boltanski had sold the rights to his daily life to a wealthy collector, who installed 24/7 live cameras all over his studio at the southern...

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'ROSE C'EST PARIS': Photographer Bettina Rheims Channels The Surrealists (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

(3) Comments | Posted May 25, 2011 | 3:06 AM

Surrealism is eternal. The quaintly comical provocations of the original Surrealist gang of the 1920s have been so absorbed into high and low culture -- particularly film and fashion -- that we revisit its roots with a reverence both mock and real. Paris-based photographer Bettina Rheims, whom some have called...

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Monster In A Box: In "Trust" Clive Owen Is A Dad At War With An Online Predator (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted March 29, 2011 | 1:36 AM

For 10 years, David Schwimmer made you chuckle as earnest, feckless Ross on Friends. But in his second outing as a film director, Trust, he will infuriate you and make you cringe -- especially if you're attempting to parent a teenager. Unlikely as this shape-shift seems, Schwimmer in real life...

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Loving 'Home': Director Yann Arthus-Bertrand's Aerial Ode To Earth Is a Wake-up Call (VIDEO)

(7) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 11:55 AM

20 years ago, Yann Arthus-Bertrand managed an animal reserve in France and decided to take his wife to see the lions at Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. Taking photographs of the lions, to study their behavior, changed his life. An avid hot-air balloonist, he began shooting from great heights and eventually...

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PARIS RISING: FIAC is more than an art fair - It's An X-Ray Of Paris' Vibrant Art Scene. (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted November 12, 2010 | 4:35 PM

The Euro is spiking again, and so is Paris' reputation as a crucial destination for both casual art pilgrims and serious collectors. Its pedigree as the cradle of Modern art is forever assured, but in recent years the buzz of contemporary art has been elsewhere--Berlin, London, Shanghai. However, there was...

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