At last count, there were 189 international art fairs, enough to keep the affluent and avant-garde in champagne and envy 365 days a year. But on the heels of Documenta and at the apex of the spring fairathon that started with Frieze NY back in early May, Swiss mothership Art Basel—which had its 43rd outing last week—is still the biggest, the brightest, the only fair the art crowd literally can’t afford to miss: last year, Gagosian sold $45 million-worth in the first 45 minutesalone, and, at last Wednesday's VIP preview, someone with a good eye and an even better balance-sheet snagged a Gerhard Richter for north of $20 million—a price-point generally reserved for auction houses.
That's because Art Basel is special: where its Miami Beach iteration has a “Woodstock for the Wealthy” vibe and Documenta is cloaked in anti-commercial intellectualism, Basel distinguishes itself as a serious forum for the exchange of ideas and cash. Which is why, over the weekend, 65,000 art-lovers rendez-vous'ed on the banks of the Rhine.
The 23rd annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival kicked off Friday night with the New York premiere of journalist and first-time director Alison Klayman’s documentaryAi Weiwei: Never Sorry. Intriguing as much as it is troubling, the film—which won audiences over at Sundance this year—looks at the life of the artist and political activist who pushes China to grapple with its own social and political shortcomings, and challenges the government’s capricious, heavy-handed approach to silencing political dissent.
For the next two weeks Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater will be festival HQ, hosting a series of new films (14 New York debuts), panel discussions with experts and filmmakers, and an exhibition by South African photographer Brent Stirton, which investigates rights abuses committed against residents living near Papua New Guinea’s Porgera gold mine.
There may be few places as exciting as London this summer. First, there is that small, international sports event known as the Olympics, starting in late July. Second, the London 2012 Festival, an olympiad of arts and culture of unprecedented scale—more than 25,000 artists from all 204 competing Olympic nations participating in 12,000 events and performances throughout the UK—spans the period June 21 to September 9 and involves the widest range of music, theater, dance, art, film, and then some.
The Centre Pompidou Metz is marking the centennial of WWI with “1917,” a new exhibition running through September 24. It’s the kickoff event in a series of international commemorations of the Great War and will feature Picasso’s largest work (pictured), a 33-foot-by-33-foot canvas stage curtain made for the controversial ballet “Parade.” Don’t miss Chagall, Rodin, Klee, and the two hundred other artists represented in this highly anticipated retrospective.
Tina Isaac is Travel + Leisure’s Paris correspondent.
Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: Few cinemas are as iconic as the films they show, but The Paris Theatre, America's oldest continuously operated art-house cinema, is itself a celebrity. The cinema, located just a stone's throw away from The Plaza Hotel, was opened by Marlene Dietrich in 1948 and remains one of the New York's last single screen theaters. You won't catch this summer's blockbuster here (the theater shows only movies shot on film), but you'll be sure to see some of the finest independent and foreign films. While only one flick is shown each week, this cinephile wonderland never ever plays any pre-show ads.
If the Alan Lomax collection had a time travel section, that’s where you’d find the 78 Project. Rather than just observing and preserving present-day culture, the project combines technology and traditions from the past with modern musicians—an active exploration of antiquity that’s more mad scientist than history professor.
Filmmaker Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright (with the support of executive producer Erik Nelson) created the project, and serve as its field recording team, but the PRESTO recorder—a later model of the device that Lomax used for his Library of Congress recordings in the ‘30s—is the one who’s really in charge.
With Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History opening May 25 at the recently renovated New-York Historical Society (in which you’ll learn that home-brewing has been around in New York City since the 17th century), now is the perfect time to check out some of the city’s newest brew-centric spots.
Top Hops Beer Shop(pictured): A former distributor for Anheuser-Busch/In Bev, owner Ted Kenny is the mastermind behind this Lower East Side beer emporium. The 700- bottle selection fills refrigerators in the back, while the custom wood-and-polished aluminum bar up front offers 20 beers on tap (tip: order a flight). The menu is limited, so don’t come hungry—just really thirsty. 94 Orchard St.; 212-254-4677.
Late last month Denver’s newest museum, the History Colorado Center opened the first phase of its three-tiered reveal to the 90,000 visitors they expect in their first year. Designed to share 10,000 years worth of stories and artifacts about the state and its people, at the same time the museum successfully looks forward to the future with high-tech exhibits and a hands-on experience for a new generation of museum-goers, bringing history to life, and having fun in the process. Night at the Museum anyone? Well, maybe not quite.
The new campus of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia represents, simply put, a game changer for what a museum can be, the experience of art, and role architecture plays in both. It is also a game changer for Philadelphia, at a moment of splendid cultural renaissance.
When it opens to the public on Saturday, May 19th, visitors will find the celebrated collection displayed in a series of galleries that preserve the scale, proportion, and configuration of the original institution in Lower Merion (located in suburban Philadelphia), but now placed in a larger setting that invites contemplation and offers many pleasures.