Arts + Culture
No, a UFO hasn’t landed on Houston’s Rice University campus—it’s the latest Skyspace from artist James Turrell. Named the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion (for a Rice alumna and Turrell’s former assistant), the ethereal installation frames the sky through an aperture in a thin steel roof; at dawn and dusk, colored lights transform the structure, creating a mesmerizing effect. The space also hosts concerts—fitting, since the renowned Shepherd School of Music is next door.
Photo by Casey Dunn for Texas Monthly
Far from the frenzied hype of most art-world capitals, contemporary art’s utopian aspirations come to rest 25 miles north of Copenhagen. There, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art strikes that rarest of balances between landscape, architecture, and art. In 1958, visionary Danish manufacturer Knud W. Jensen transformed a 19th-century villa on the Øresund strait into a Modernist oasis, adding low-slung glass pavilions and a surrounding sculpture park (the name is derived from the previous owner’s three successive wives, all called Louise). Today, despite numerous expansions, visitors still arrive through the villa’s modest entrance hall, as if coming to see an eccentric, slightly stodgy country uncle. But the latest in video art and photography await, alongside masterpieces by Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, and Alexander Calder, in dialogue with spectacular light and views, the wind, and the sounds of the sea.
Photo by Jens Frederiksen
One of the cultural highlights in London this spring was the exhibition Lucien Freud: Portraits, which encompassed seven decades of the work of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, and arguably the greatest postwar portraitist. Happily for American travelers, the show, organized by the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, opened last month in Texas—its only other venue—and is on view through late October.
André Hermann, a 38-year-old photography instructor at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, has a rather interesting pastime: After creating 20 photography booklets filled with street images taken from his iPhone, he hides them all over the city, posting a clue to his blog each time. Why? To get people outside, of course, and to have them experience something new in their own home turf. With over 100,000 followers on Instagram and a huge fan base that covers several continents, the project has evolved into something much bigger, something that Hermann plans on expanding. We sat down to talk with him about how this project came about and where he sees it going in the future.
Q: So did you do this project to get to know the city more?
A: I actually know San Francisco really well. I made it my mission to walk all around. It’s finding the pulse of the city, finding its beat. You connect to it as a photographer and you find places that are overlooked, places that are new and or that you knew of already and had passed it, without ever exploring it. It’s street photography. I like watching people and look for things that catch my eye: similarities, contrast, contradictions. Thing like these moments that are overlooked because we’re too busy with our noses buried in our phones.
Just as most summer music festivals are winding down in the United States and abroad, the Stresa Festival at Lake Maggiore, set on the southern banks of the Italian Alps kicks into high gear. The festival runs a fortnight, August 24-September 8, and although this year marks its 51st season, the Settimane Musicali di Stresa may still be one of the best-kept secrets in the music world. But not for long.
Beginning December 4, 2012, over 200 of the Louvre’s works will be on display in the museum’s new satellite in Lens, a northern city in the Pas-de-Calais department, Picardie. The collection will remain in the museum, Galerie des Temps, for several years.
No, this isn’t part of a gypsy-laden renaissance fair. London’s The Tate Modern recently opened its doors to six psychics for the opening weekend of Undercurrent, a festival at the new The Tanks gallery running through August 27th. Images of crystal balls and large warts may fill your head, but according The Guardian, the trained fortunetellers' accessories and setting are much less theatrical; they sat in plain wooden booths inviting museum-goers to interact.
The art exhibit was part of Jon Fawcett’s EIR installation piece, which opened the 11-day-long show. Undercurrent’s remaining exhibits include Touch and Vision, which blasts museum-goers with music and records the effects, and Tweet Me Up!, a spontaneous photography collaboration via proverbial social media outlets. The combination of off-the-wall acts is something no one could foretell. Well, no one but the psychics that is.
Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo by iStockphoto
With a spritely klatch of scantily-clad models flying around a pop-up pool party, slapping around beach balls and cavorting to a live deejay's techno music, Florida’s most hyperactive playground kicked off a fitting new tourism campaign, “It’s So Miami,” on a recent balmy afternoon in New York City’s Union Square. The slogan is clearly more about reinforcing the Latin-infused city’s authority as America’s preeminent destination for escapism than proffering anything newfangled or undiscovered. But the irony of Miami’s decision to double down on its hedonistic caricature is that the city truly is emerging as a genuine cultural hub with gravitas and depth.
Shanghai urban planners rival their New York real estate agents in their imaginative renaming of neighborhoods. Some have been flops: Sinan Mansions and the South Bund are still largely deserted, the latter despite the industrial-chic Waterhouse and a solid restaurant by Jason Atherton. I’m now hearing that the area around the Rockbund Art Museumis shaping up to be an emerging ‘hood. (It’s called, rather unimaginatively, Rock Bund.)
Mostly Mozart, the 46-year-old summer festival at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is in full swing and more vibrant than ever. Significantly, this year’s edition marks the tenth anniversary season of French conductor Louis Langrée as music director who, along with Jane Moss, artistic director, has been responsible for revitalizing Mostly Mozart, in particular, its heartbeat, the festival orchestra. He's credited with raising its playing standards and adding inventive programming that features soloists, both established and debut artists, period instrument bands, and contemporary music ensembles.
Year to year, the mix may include dance, sound installations, film, video. This year, Mostly Mozart takes up the theme of birds, “the originators of song and an inspiration for countless composers,” according to Moss, as a point of departure for a range of programming. Indeed, in the age of twitter, birdsong may never sound as pure. T+L spoke with Louis Langrée earlier in the season during a stopover in New York en route to Paris about Mostly Mozart, a conductor’s role, American audiences, and why the festival remains popular with travelers and New Yorkers alike.
Q: What are your thoughts on your 10th anniversary?