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May 20, 1999|CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT

Would Diego Rivera and Eleanor Antin have gotten along? Rivera's long-suffering wife, self-proclaimed Mexican Realist painter Frida Kahlo, has become a feminist icon in the United States, while Antin is prominent among the first generation of feminist artists who helped transform American art culture during the past 30 years. Well, probably not. But the great Mexican muralist and the American pioneer of photographic narrative, performance and installation art will nonetheless be the subjects of concurrent retrospectives at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: "Eleanor Antin" (Sunday-Aug. 23) and "Diego Rivera: Art and Revolution" (May 30-Aug. 16).

Frank O'Hara was an eloquent literary voice intimately involved with the visual art of his time--a sort of American Apollinaire. At the Museum of Contemporary Art, his influence as a poet, critic and curator on the Manhattan art scene of the 1950s and early 1960s is examined through works of art by Willem De Kooning, Franz Kline and Jasper Johns in the show "In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O'Hara and American Art" (July 11-Nov. 14).

If you think the genre of celebrity pictures is a new one for art, think again: Andy Warhol may have photographed '70s dance-pop diva Grace Jones, but brilliant 19th century Parisian photographer Nadar did the same with the divine Sarah Bernhardt. Those and other celebrity images highlight the unusual pairing, "Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York," at the J. Paul Getty Museum (July 20-Oct. 10).

And if that doesn't convince you, perhaps this will: Sir Joshua Reynolds' flamboyant Romantic portrait of famous British actress Sarah Siddons was painted more than 200 years ago, in 1784. An array of prints, drawings and paintings that helped define and elevate the actress' public profile will be on view at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (which owns the Reynolds) in "Cultivating Celebrity: Portraiture as Publicity in the Career of Sarah Siddons, Star of the Georgian Stage" (July 27-Sept. 19). Meanwhile, at the Getty, a related show of 10 paintings by George Romney, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Gilbert Stuart and others will elucidate "A Passion for Performance: Sarah Siddons and Her Portraitists" (July 27-Sept. 26).

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