Cries & Whispers

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The Independent Culture
WORRYING news of the RA's 'American Art in the 20th Century', which arrives from Berlin on 16 September. A number of paintings shown in Germany will not now appear in Britain. They include three Rothkos, two Barnett Newmans, an Arshile Gorky, a Clyfford Still, a de Kooning, and three Jackson Pollocks. One of these, No 14, a fine example of Pollock's 1947-52 heyday, belongs to the Tate. 'They didn't want it,' a Tate spokesman tells me. 'They said there wasn't enough room.' The Tate offered to plug holes by lending works by Newman and de Kooning. Nothing doing. Surely the RA can't be that short of space, especially now that 36 later works are to be housed at the Saatchi Gallery?

FOLLOWERS of Jason Donovan, and readers of last week's interview, will be familiar with the 'Hustler' T-shirt he's been wearing lately. The intention seems obvious - a hint of sleaze, to emphasise Jason's new adult direction - but an air of intrigue surrounds the shirt itself. It is available off the peg in Australia, and at least one other Antipodean pop star (and fellow ex-beau of Kylie Minogue) hasn't been able to resist it: Michael Hutchence, who wore one for encores on INXS's recent tour. No surprises there. The real mystery surrounds the shirt's first recorded sighting in this country: on a fly-poster in Dalston, worn by U2's The Edge, apparently promoting the Zooropa tour. A spokesman for U2's wardrobe department now denies all knowledge of the shirt, thus also denying Mr Edge the unfamiliar accolade of fashion leader. But if the poster wasn't the work of the U2 publicity machine, where did it come from? Explanations gratefully received.

AS FEAR and loathing stalk the BBC, a bottle of champagne remains on offer for the choicest examples of how Producer Choice is working. Any thoughts, Dave?

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