Arts + Culture
With galleries and boutiques leading the way, a historic downtown Vancouver neighborhood is coming into its own. Here, where to see and be seen.
Rennie Collection at Wing Sang: Culture mavens seek out works by risk-taking artists such as Mona Hatoum and Richard Jackson at this opium factory turned gallery. 51 E. Pender St.
Peking Lounge: The museum-like showroom peddles a carefully curated mix of contemporary furniture and Chinese antiques (vintage armoires and chairs; Tang dynasty clay ladies). 83 E. Pender St.
Superstorm Sandy and her little sister Athena recently wreaked havoc across the northeast, including on the bay-facing boardwalk of Atlantic City, but that hasn't deterred the East Coast's Las Vegas from unveiling its latest initiative, ARTLANTIC, a five-year multi-phase public art project that is overtaking large, abandoned lots of leased land along the boardwalk and converting them into open green spaces and impressive public art installations.
Presided over by San Francisco- and New York-based curator Lance Fung, in collaboration with the Atlantic City Alliance and Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the first $3 million phase of the project, ARTLANTIC: wonder, was unveiled last Saturday, giving visitors to the beachside city something to explore beyond slot machines and nightclubs.
Spectacular art and design share the spotlight at these new additions to the culture map.
Philadelphia: Barnes Foundation
With its stunning new campus downtown, the Barnes—known for shaking up the way art is understood with its provocative arrangements of Renoirs and Matisses next to metal hinges and hooks—is helping visitors see Philly’s impressive arts scene in a new light.
Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum
A thorough renovation and expansion shows off the Stedelijk’s singular modern and postwar art as well as its renowned design collection. A highlight: Gerrit Rietveld’s 1926 Harrenstein Bedroom, as perfectly balanced as a Mondrian painting.
November 21 through 25, a.k.a. Thankgsiving Weekend 2012, is a good time to be in Latin America. It's warm, your weird aunt probably won't be there, and you don't have to eat bone-dry turkey leftovers for days. It is also when Festival 4+1 takes place.
The 4+1 film fest is held simultaneously in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid, which is where the good people of Fundación Mapfre, the event's organizers, are based.
Three reasons we’ll be seeing spots, courtesy of 83-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
• New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art hosted Kusama’s first U.S. show in 15 years. Open July 12-September 30—following stops in Madrid, Paris, and London—it presented work from her six-decade career, including immersive mirrored rooms that appeared to go on forever.
• Recently released in English, Kusama’s autobiography, Infinity Net (University of Chicago Press), recounts her colorful life, from hanging out with Donald Judd and Andy Warhol in 1960’s New York to her years in a Tokyo psychiatric hospital, where she still lives today.
• The Princess of Polka Dots has collaborated with Louis Vuitton on a new line of ready-to-wear looks and accessories—which means we’re still seeing her splashy creations long after the Whitney retrospective closed in September.
Photo courtesy Louis Vuitton
With so many options on this season’s arts calendar, how’s a traveler to choose? Here are four standouts.
Opera: Milan’s fabled Teatro alla Scala devotes most of this season to titans Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, both of whom celebrate their bicentennials in 2013. Wagner’s Lohengrin kicks off the party in a new production starring tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who looks and sounds like a Wagnerian god. Dec. 7–27.
Theater: Jessica Chastain, known for her Oscar-nominated turn in The Help, comes to Broadway in the title role of The Heiress, adapted from Henry James’s Washington Square. David Strathairn, Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, and director Moisés Kaufman (I Am My Own Wife) round out the pedigreed production. Opens Nov. 1.
Art: “Impressionism and Fashion,” a groundbreaking exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, will consider the relationship between Manet, Degas, Caillebotte, and other painters and the then-emerging fashion industry, pairing Impressionist masterpieces with rarely exhibited finery of 19th-century Parisians. Sept. 25–Jan. 20.
Dance: American Ballet Theatre star David Hallberg is also a premier danseur at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet. It’s an intriguing partnership: the Russian company is legendary for its bravura style, while Hallberg is a paragon of classical restraint. See the results of the cross-pollination this season, when Hallberg dances signature roles in Swan Lake and Jewels. Sept.–Dec.
Photo by iStockphoto
We Americans often feel insecure when we can't speak other languages when we travel overseas. Granted, maybe not insecure enough to actually learn another language—but smiling, nodding, and frequently yelling "Merci!" is a good start, right?
The good news: It turns out we may not be the world's biggest linguistic laggards. According to a recent TripAdvisor survey of Europeans, the British ranked as the worst at speaking another tongue when traveling. Only 11 percent of those surveyed could speak another language fluently, while 22 percent of them couldn't speak even one word in another language. Plus, a whopping 74 percent of Britons expected people overseas to be able to speak English.
So what about those stats that say that half of all Europeans are fluent in another language, compared to the 18 percent of Americans? That holds true in Italy and France, where 51 and 50 percent, respectively, can speak fluently in another language, according to the survey. The Germans, meanwhile, blow the curve, boasting 70 percent who are fluent in another language (and only 1 percent is clueless in another tongue).
In defense of the Brits (and ourselves), we could say that the other Europeans are just making it too easy for us to be linguistically lazy, at least in the Eurozone. It's a good bet, after all, that the second language all those Germans, French and Italians speak is English.
Photo © Chad Ehlers/ Alamy
Starting at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, expect a line–a very long line–out the door at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and learn to deal with it; it’ll be a fixture on the West 53rd streetscape for a while.
For the next six months, MoMA is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the work of Norwegian Symbolist painter Edvard Munch whose iconic portrait, The Scream (1895) the show's centerpiece, and a lucid depiction of modern existential angst, is on display in a single gallery on the fifth floor, alongside other works from the same period gathered from the museum's permanent holdings.
One of the most highly anticipated events of the New York cultural season—The Tempest by British composer Thomas Adès—blows onto the stage of the Metropolitan Opera this week. The work, based on the Shakespeare play about betrayal, retribution, and the redeeming power of love, had its premiere in 2004 at London’s Royal Opera House and garnered for the 32-year-old Adès critical acclaim and popular success. Since then, the contemporary work has made a strong bid for a place in the operatic repertoire, and after productions in Germany and the American premiere by the Santa Fe Opera, The Tempest arrives in New York, in a staging by Robert Lepage.
Take a vibrant mix of Victorians and historic warehouses. Fill them with inventive boutiques and restaurants. Add an industrial waterfront district—and you’ve got San Francisco’s newest creative epicenter.
The area’s beating heart is an 1890’s stable that now houses Piccino ($$)—a convivial restaurant dedicated to thin-crust pizzas and small plates—as well as an outpost of Modern Appealing Clothing, known for avant-garde fashions, and Dig, a wine shop and bar. Minnesota and 22nd Sts.
Head here for goods crafted by hand on-site, including silk crepe dresses from Paris-based designer Aurore Thibout and wood-and-leather wedges from local artisan Martha Davis. 833 22nd St.
Cult brand Recchiuti Confections’ long-awaited café serves rich desserts such as mandarin-chocolate-mousse cake and lime-meringue tartlets. A few doors down is Little Nib, their new retail shop. 801 22nd St.