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5 art exhibitions worth standing in line for
Murakami in Hong Kong, Dalí in France, Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. Now is a very good time for art lovers
From rock star art in London to the Frida Kahlo Museum's collaboration with Vogue showcasing fabulous fashion (it's been locked away in a closet for 50 years), curators around the world have been busy putting together fantastic exhibits.
Here are some new exhibitions getting attention in the global arts community.
1. "Flowers & Skulls" in Hong Kong
Who knew that even a highly successful artist like Takashi Murakami would anguish over how to survive as an artist?
Somewhat surprisingly, it also turns out that the artist is supremely conscious of his Asian heritage, especially in the context of Western art.
When talking about the work displayed in his first Hong Kong exhibit (which opens this week), Murakami was almost as intricate as his work, revealing that his inspiration is drawn from "how well I can arrange the unique flowers of Asia, moreover the ever-strange blossoms that have bloomed in the madness of the defeated culture of postwar Japan, into work that will live within the confines of Western art history."
The flowers are strange indeed. The 14 psychotically colorful paintings on display are surprisingly menacing, with Murakami's flowers and skulls offsetting each other in his signature "Superflat" style.
November 29-February 9.
Gagosian Gallery, 7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St., Central, Hong Kong; +852 2151 0555; Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; www.gagosian.com
2. "Dalí" in Paris
Salvador Dalí was fascinated with science, often creating paintings as visual representations of the most complicated concepts to emerge in the 20th century.
While many believe that the melting watches in his most iconic work, "The Persistence of Memory," is the artist's exploration of Einstein's space-time continuum, Dalí himself wrote that the painting was a "prediction of DNA" and that he had told James D. Watson as much during one of many meetings with the scientist.
On loan from New York's Museum of Modern Art, "The Persistence of Memory" is on display at the Pompidou Centre in Paris as part of the largest Dalí retrospective in 30 years.
Some 200 paintings, sculpture and films have been pulled from a number of museums around the world for the exhibit, which kicked off on November 21.
A record turnout is expected -- no mean feat given the colossal French appetite for art exhibitions. Visitors should be prepared for long, long lines and massive crowds.
November 21-March 25.
Galerie 1, Centre Pompidou, 19 Rue Beaubourg, Paris; +33 1 44 78 47 99; Wednesday-Monday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; www.centrepompidou.fr
3. “Matisse: In Search of True Painting” in New York
Notoriously hard-to-please critics have been raving about the upcoming Matisse show at the Met.
Organized as a series of paintings that show the French master's propensity for repeatedly copying his own work, the exhibit is meant to be as informative about Matisse's creative process as it is a stunning show of his principal works.
New York Times art critic Roberta Smith called it, "one of the most thrillingly instructive exhibitions about this painter, or painting in general, that you may ever see."
December 4-March 17.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY; +1 212 570 3894; Tuesday-Thursday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; www.metmuseum.org
4. “Coldplay and Paris for Kids Company” and "Amy-Blue" in London
David Bowie and Paul McCartney did it. Now it’s Coldplay's turn.
To raise money for their favorite children’s charity, Kids Company, the British supergroup is exhibiting their artwork for the first time at a gallery in Camden.
The exhibit will display three original paintings by Coldplay members in collaboration with "visual futurist” Paris, photographs from the group’s most recent world tour and the graffiti wall from the band’s studio. All the work is for sale, with all proceeds going to the charity.
“We built a special wall in our studio and sprayed it, wrote on it and threw things at it until it eventually became the artwork for [the album] ‘Mylo Xyloto,’" said lead singer Chris Martin. "This exhibition will be the first time that the wall has appeared in public."
November 29-December 2.
Proud Galleries, The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; +44 20 7839 4942; www.proud.co.uk
Continuing rock-star-art theme in London, a recently acquired portrait of Amy Winehouse went on display this week at the National Portrait Gallery.
Titled “Amy-Blue” and painted by South African artist Marlene Dumas following the death of the 27-year-old singer last July, the blue and black oil painting has been given a whole wall to itself in the contemporary section of the gallery.
The work is now part of the permanent collection.
Room 34, National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London; +44 20 7312 2463; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday; www.npg.org.uk
5. "Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo" in Mexico City
It's a fascinating story of uncovered secrets and promises.
Just before his death in 1957, Frida Kahlo’s husband Diego Rivera asked his friend and patron Dolores Olmedo to make a promise. No one was to open certain rooms in La Casa Azul (The Blue House), Frida Kahlo’s childhood home and the house where she lived with Rivera until her death in 1954.
Olmedo honored the promise, but when she died in 2004 the rooms were opened for the first time in more than 50 years. The contents were remarkable -- a collection of photographs, letters, art, jewelry (including earrings given to Kahlo by Pablo Picasso) and Frida’s extensive and unusual personal wardrobe.
Now, in collaboration with Vogue Mexico, nearly 300 pieces from the artist’s closet are on display at La Casa Azul, which also houses the Frida Kahlo Museum.
The exhibit showcases Kahlo's influence on modern fashion, with personal items such as Tehuana dresses and corsets, in addition to pieces by modern designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy.
The museum is already one of Mexico’s most popular museums, drawing more than 23,000 visitors each month.
The exhibit opened November 24 and will run for one year.
Frida Kahlo Museum, Londres 247, Col. Del Carmen, Coyoacan; Mexico City; +52 5554 5999; Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; www.museofridakahlo.org.mx
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