Rene Ricard is one of the art world's sharpest critics and brightest luminaries. Once a fixture in Warhol's Factory days, he's been largely responsible for ushering people like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, and Francesco Clemente to success and universal acclaim. Rene is also a distinguished artist himself. His poetry and paintings (which, these days, are usually one and the same) have been quietly lauded by the more tasteful among us as an example of how to properly combine words and imagery. You'll find an interview with him, plus a bunch of photos of him by his friend Mirabelle Marden, in our next issue real soon. Tonight from 6 to 8 Rene will peek his head out of his permanent room at the Chelsea Hotel to exhibit a new assemblage of work at Half/Gallery. He's calling it "The Torturer's Apprentice" and we bet you $1,000 in counterfeit bills that his work will exude such a high level of quality it will make you feel dignified just for being there.