May 16, 2013
The Boroli family, owners of Locanda del Pilone—an inn and Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Langhe region of Italy—and a nearby winery called La Brunella, are as tied to the surrounding land as the grapevines they tend. In the Langhe for more than 150 years, the Borolis opened their doors to visitors last fall, introducing their beloved area to a new audience.
“It’s a lovely and quaint environment to indulge in some of the most simple pleasures in life: food and wine,” says winemaker Achille Boroli. “Many guests have told me that they enjoy staying at Locanda del Pilone because even though it’s a luxury inn, you get the feeling that you are at the home of an Italian friend.”
The six-room inn is a restored farmhouse; part of the restaurant is made of bricks from the original structure, which dates back to the 1600s. Food factors in heavily. Executive chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo and chef Misayuki Kondo produce delicious regional dishes at the Michelin-starred restaurant. Fish is popular (the area is a 90-minute car ride from the Mediterranean coast) and Piedmontese recipes, like pasta parcels stuffed with eggplant, mozzarella, sea urchin and tomato water, shine, as does the 1,200-bottle wine list of Italian, French and American offerings. (The surrounding Cascina Bompe vineyard grows Dolcetto and Barbera grapes for the Boroli winery.)
Located near the town of Alba, the inn offers cooking classes, truffle-hunting expeditions, wine-tasting seminars, hot-air balloon flights and horseback riding. But the panoramic views—from the Maritime Alps to Monviso to Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn—could be all you need to properly disconnect. Rooms start at $130; suites, $325; 34 Frazione Como; 39-0173/365-477; locandadelpilone.com.
May 16, 2013
© Ellsworth Kelly. Photo courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
The Barnes Foundation—a collection of works by Post-Impressionist masters such as Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse that Albert C. Barnes amassed between 1912 and 1952—is celebrating the first anniversary of its move to a new space on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Marking the occasion is a new contemporary exhibition called “Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall” (through September 2) that includes Kelly’s landmark work, Sculpture for a Large Wall (pictured here). The massive painting, which measures 65 feet wide by more than 11 feet tall, was originally commissioned for the Philadelphia Transportation Building in the 1950s and is returning to the city for the first time since 1988.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work with an artist of his caliber,” says Judith F. Dolkart, the foundation’s chief curator. “Ellsworth’s interest in line, form and color echo elements that were critical to Albert C. Barnes’s aesthetic theories and display practice.” In addition to Sculpture for a Large Wall, seven of Kelly’s other works will also be displayed.
Reflecting on the museum’s first year in its new location, Dolkart seems pleased. The foundation brought in more than 300,000 visitors, many of whom were experiencing the collection for the first time. And those who were already well acquainted with the Barnes Foundation got to see the works in a new light, literally, thanks to a state-of-the-art system that illuminates the pieces in all their detailed glory. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-278-7200; barnesfoundation.org.
May 16, 2013
Situated on Grand Avenue in Chicago’s growing design district, Martyn George—a small shop specializing in vintage kitchenware—is a find in and of itself. Owner Johanna Brannan Lowe, a photo stylist and former photographer, sources the store’s “culinary objects” herself, ensuring that the offerings are anything but run-of-the-mill.
“There is the potential to research a piece and have your own story about it, as well as a story unknown and mysterious from other lives before,” she says. “It’s fascinating to me that there are objects existing from one or two centuries ago that are still in perfect condition.”
Those objects make up a well-edited, sophisticated inventory that includes etched-glass coupes from the 1960s, English glass cake stands, bone-handled carving knives, cocktail and wine glasses and enamelware. On the day the store, which is named after Brannan Lowe’s father, opened last summer, a pair of soapstone bed warmers sold to the local prop house; currently items like vintage oyster sticks and a handsome amber-glass decanter from the ’40s are up for grabs.
Perpetually on the hunt for the next treasure, Brannan Lowe travels to her native England (for, in particular, 19th-century ironstone china) and closer destinations, such as Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan, where she has a 156-year-old home in the town of Buchanan. Needless to say, she has an eye worth following. 1855 W. Grand Ave.; 312-340-4666; martyngeorge.com.
May 10, 2013
Photo © Valeska Soares, Finale 2013/Courtesy of Galeria Fortes Vilca
Last year’s debut of Frieze New York received some 45,000 visitors at 180 booths. This year’s fair (May 10–13; friezenewyork.com) is likely to draw an even bigger crowd to the white tent on Randall’s Island in the East River. Granted, art fairs—especially those to which visitors take a ferry—are more exhausting than movie nights, but the themes of great classics, art gems and contemporary blockbusters play throughout Frieze’s exhibits. Here, we recommend the booths that will transform the fair from crowd-navigation exercise to cinematic experience.
For Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey
The Film: Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic famously begins with man’s first defining discovery of the tool and ends with a world devolved into floating, abstract shapes.
The Fair: An array of roughly hewn tools arranged in a constellation on the outer wall of L&M Arts (B1) is immediately visible from the fair’s north entrance. The artist, Nick van Woert, is interested in Westerns, exploration and the pioneering spirit.
Works from Robert Rauschenberg’s “Glut” series, which recasts scrap metal and signage into new forms, are offset by a meteor-like sculpture at the Gagosian Gallery booth (B59).
Just next door, at David Zwirner (C48), enormous, abstract images (space, lunar surfaces, abstraction driven by camera technology) by Thomas Ruff have a magnetic pull.
For Fans of La Jetée
The Film: This disturbing work by Chris Marker, done almost entirely in still images and set in the apocalyptic aftermath of a nuclear World War III, features a man sent back and forth through time against his will, ultimately witnessing his own death.
The Fair: At Grimm (A6), a Nick van Woert contraption made from exercise machines with strap-in seats and Paleolithic-looking stone weights—part mechanism for self-improvement, part instrument of torture—gives the sense that it’s been set in motion by history.
Just across the aisle at Murray Guy (B5), Zoe Leonard’s arresting photos of animals (dead and alive) transform the natural world into something eerie and strange. Bent, burnt sheets of metal curl on the floor.
Outside Sprüth Magers Berlin London (C6), a Barbara Kruger poster reads “Truth” in bold red letters. Inside, the distorted humanity of George Condo and the history-collapsing collages of Cyprien Gaillard and Jenny Holzer suggest a disturbance of the natural order has already taken place.
For Those Anticipating The Great Gatsby
The Film: Premiering today, Baz Luhrmann’s effort promises to be a sumptuous display of romantic excesses with a tragic end, in which Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks to set-decorate his way into a new identity.
The Fair: At Galeria Fortes Vilaça (C50), Valeska Soares’s work—elegant, partially filled cocktail glasses of every shape and size sitting on a mirrored table—questions whether romantic objects can signify anything beyond the fact of themselves.
The fragility of the worlds we build ourselves is illustrated by Do-Ho Suh’s fine, life-size recreation of an 18th-century apartment, rendered in transparent green fabric at Lehmann Maupin (C11).
The subtle exhibit at Frith Street Gallery (C44) includes vent grills painted silver for a luminescent effect, silver dishes flattened and suspended like mobiles (exquisitely useless) and a condemning archival print from Dayanita Singh’s archive series, in which books lie disorganized and dusty—history ignored.
May 10, 2013
Photo courtesy of Ferragamo, L’Icona
When Ferragamo debuted its Vara shoe in 1978, the chic, mid-heel style with a grosgrain bow at the toe became an instant classic. Thirty-five years later, the label is celebrating Vara’s success with L’Icona, a digital portrait series of 20 stylish women photographed in their element and wearing the shoe. Curated and shot by photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank, the portfolio features the likes of Lauren Santo Domingo, Elettra Wiedemann, Olivia Palermo and Camilla Belle.
Furthering the anniversary fun, for the first time both Vara ($550) and Varina ($550), its ballet-flat sibling, are customizable, allowing wearers to play with color combinations and hardware. It is the perfect way to get reacquainted with the iconic footwear—and to get just the right amount of lift for the season. Icona.Ferragamo.com.
May 10, 2013
Dario Calmese for The Plaza
Opening today, Baz Luhrmann’s movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby is perhaps the most highly anticipated movie of the summer, if a bit of a guilty pleasure. And in the wake of a swell of projects and promotions inspired by the film (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan), we’ve selected a few of the most note-worthy spin-offs.
A Suite Worthy of Fitzgerald
Slated to open today in conjunction with the movie’s release, the new 700-square-foot Fitzgerald Suite on the 18th floor of New York’s Plaza Hotel is an homage to the glamorous Art Deco decor that defined the Jazz Age. (See our slideshow of more Art Deco hotels here.) The Fitzgeralds, who were frequent Plaza patrons, would likely feel at home in this suite, designed by costume designer Catherine Martin complete with period-inspired pieces like 1920s Odeon glass-fringe chandeliers, a Mayfair steamer desk and cast-iron Brooklyn Bridge bookends. The walls fit the theme, too, with Douglas Kirkland portraits of the new film’s cast and 1920s photographs from Vogue and Vanity Fair. Should you need to brush up on your Gatsby knowledge, the bookshelves are stocked with the complete collection of Fitzgerald’s work. Rates start at $2,795; 768 Fifth Ave.; 212-546-5219; theplazany.com.
A Slice of Literary History
Amid a slew of Fitzgerald-themed publications debuting this spring, Therese Anne Fowler’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (St. Martin’s Press, April 2013) stands out. The fictionalized first-person narrative is told from the point of view of Zelda Fitzgerald and based on newspaper clippings, photos, diary entries and letters. Fowler chips away at the misconceived depiction of Zelda as a mentally insane wife who drove Fitzgerald to alcoholism, a portrayal perpetuated by her husband’s friend and literary contemporary, Ernest Hemingway. Z navigates the Fitzgeralds’ tumultuous and oft-chronicled relationship, redefining our interpretations of Zelda, who set the stage for modern-day celebrity as one of history’s most notorious women. macmillan.com.
A Charleston Dance Lesson
Claridge’s, the ever-elegant hotel in the heart of London's Mayfair, honors the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age with high-energy, 90-minute dance classes ($195) in its historic ballroom. Taught by the Bee’s Knees—a London-based dance team that specializes in performing and teaching the Charleston—aspiring dancers will learn the toes-in, heels-out dance craze that swept the nation in the 1920s. For added flair, the hotel provides Gatsby-style accessories (pearls, elbow-length gloves, sequined headbands) and each lesson concludes with a flapper-style cocktail of crème de cassis, strawberries and Champagne, created in honor of the ballroom, which opened in 1929. 49 Brook St.; 44-20/7201-1618; claridges.co.uk.
May 09, 2013
"Human Nature"/ Photo by James Ewing, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
From the opening of the New Museum in 2007 to November 2010, the art installation “Hell, Yes!” (2001) affirmed the burgeoning Bowery scene with a lit-up rainbow arc bolted to the museum’s facade. Some were sad to see it go, some called it blasphemous and some called it the curatorial equivalent of “wearing a baseball cap over a wedding veil.” But the artist behind the piece—Swiss-born, New York–based Ugo Rondinone—made a name for himself.
Under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, the sign-maker and sculptor’s most recent body of work was unveiled last week on the plaza at Rockefeller Center. “Human Nature,” a convocation of nine stone figures (each between 16 and 20 feet tall), will stand on their poured-concrete platform through June 7, silently and deliberately provoking 30 Rock’s gilded angels. They simultaneously recall Stonehenge and a comic-book invasion of armless bluestone giants.
Whether they will be embraced or derided remains to be seen, but their rough-cut, primal scale is sure to elicit something. (“It’s Ugohenge. Isn’t that what everyone’s calling them?” said painter Elizabeth Peyton, quoted in The New York Times.) But there is a peace to them, perhaps born of their elemental nature; they are too basic for us to move them, so they move us.
Rondinone’s New York moment will continue through the summer with a similar exhibit called “soul,” opening May 10 at Gladstone Gallery (530 W. 21st St.; gladstonegallery.com), and a video piece at MoMA’s PS 1 (22–25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City; momaps1.org). His work will also appear in Chicago (five large rocks at the Art Institute), Dallas (public installations courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center) and Zurich (stone giants in miniature at Gallerie Eva Presenhuber). Hell, yes. “Human Nature” will be on view at Rockefeller Center through June 7.
May 09, 2013
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
The highbrow trappings of English country living—personified in the oeuvres of writers like Nancy Mitford, Jane Austen and D.H. Lawrence—have been tempting Americans for decades. But for most, invitations to grand manor houses are few and far between. Happily, those with a penchant for the aristocratic life can tap into their imperial dreams by checking into the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire at Dogmersfield Park.
Located about an hour from London, the Georgian estate-turned-hotel offers a perfectly curated rural retreat, complete with lodging at a former medieval palace, elegant afternoon tea served in an airy library and sweeping views of 500 acres speckled with stables, grazing cattle and pigs.
Dogmersfield Park’s impressive royal affiliations include being cited as the first meeting place of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Today, the hardest choice you’ll face is which pursuit to pursue. Choose from fly-fishing, narrow-boating, clay pigeon shooting or horseback riding (known as “hacking” around the estate). Swim in the indoor-outdoor pool, relax in the spa (converted 18th-century stables) or visit flea markets in the neighboring villages.
In the late afternoon, borrow a Barbour coat and wellies from the concierge and meander Elizabeth Bennet–style through the lush meadows. We highly recommend a falconry session; engaging with birds of prey is a magnificent and moving experience.
The integrity of the property is spectacularly preserved even though the rooms and bathrooms have been renovated. The food is also up-to-date. The British-inspired fare served at Seasons and the more casual Bistro is delicious and almost 100 percent locally sourced. Guests are even invited to visit the hotel chicken coop to collect morning eggs. How idyllic. Rooms start at $434; Dogmersfield Park, Chalky Ln., Dogmersfield, Hampshire; 44-1252/853-000; fourseasons.com.
May 09, 2013
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph (left)
© Dennis Morris - all rights reserved / (right) Photograph by Catwalking
At its core, the rough-and-tumble punk philosophy would seem to have little in common with high fashion. But the movement had an irrefutable effect on elevated style, and that colorful, complicated relationship comes to life in “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” a new exhibit (opening May 9) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
The show introduces punk with nods to pioneers like Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood, whose Seditionaries boutique was instrumental in the London scene; CBGB in New York; and icons like Deborah Harry, Richard Hell and Johnny Rotten. (Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols is pictured above [left] next to a 2006 runway look by Comme des Garçons.) A good portion of the exhibit focuses on punk’s DIY nature, illustrating how its devotees made clothing their own—ripping, tearing, splattering, pinning, painting—and how mainstream fashion designers followed suit: Versace’s safety-pin dresses in “Hardware”; slouchy crocheted knits by Rodarte in “Destroy”; Dolce & Gabbana’s brushstroke-painted silk gowns in “Graffiti/Agitprop”; a Gareth Pugh stole and skirt made of plastic trash bags in “Bricolage.”
Music and vintage video plays throughout, and the roughly 100 pieces displayed—many so textural you’ll want to touch—show how a tough, provocative aesthetic became a go-to inspiration. On the way out, the final mannequin, clad in a Maison Martin Margiela dress, gives the middle finger. It’s a moment of anarchistic swagger, proving punk always gets the last word. Through August 14; 1000 Fifth Ave.; 212-535-7710; metmuseum.org.
May 09, 2013
© Fruitvale Station
As the beacon of world cinema, the Cannes Film Festival (May 15–26; festival-cannes.fr) is the destination of note every year for true cineastes. However, choosing from its overabundance can be a challenge. Here, our top must-see films for those bound for La Croisette.
The Bling Ring (Sofia Coppola)
Coppola’s latest adapts an article from Vanity Fair (written by Nancy Jo Sales) about L.A. teens who rob Hollywood starlets to get a taste of the glittery life. Coppola should bring an expert eye to this critique of America’s celebrity obsession.
Blood Ties (Guillaume Canet)
Mila Kunis, Clive Owen and Matthias Schoenaerts lead this remake of 2008’s Les Liens du sang. Since Canet starred in the original, this thriller about two brothers drawn back to a life of crime looks promising.
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Coogler’s powerful neo-realist debut took Sundance by storm, earning him a slot in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Michael B. Jordan plays struggling single father Oscar Grant, whose death at the hands of Oakland BART officers enraged a community.
Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Preeminent jesters of the American art house, the Coen brothers come back to Cannes with a look at New York’s 1960s folk-music scene. Featuring rising star Oscar Isaac, it promises the poignant, the wry and the bizarrely American.
Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Koreeda)
Japanese director Koreeda stole our hearts with the impeccable Nobody Knows (2004). His latest—about a businessman who learns his son was switched at birth—offers up more of Koreeda’s ruminative, emotional filmmaking.
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
The masterful American director returns to the road-movie genre after receiving his second Oscar, for The Descendants (2011). Shot in black and white, it stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and his estranged son en route to claim a sweepstakes prize.
Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn)
The Danish auteur’s neon-noir Drive (2011) soared thanks to Ryan Gosling’s charisma. His follow-up re-teams him with Gosling, an underworld thug beset by a heart of gold, with Kristin Scott Thomas as a frightening materfamilias.
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
After the Oscar-winning A Separation, Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi delves into another intricate relationship drama with The Artist star Bérénice Bejo. Farhadi trades Tehran for Paris in this story of a man who discovers a long-hidden secret while finalizing his divorce.
A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke)
Zhangke spearheads China’s search for Cannes glory with his latest about four people in different parts of China whose lives are intertwined. A road movie with wuxia (“martial hero”) spirit, its title is a tribute to wuxia classic A Touch of Zen.
Venus in Fur (Roman Polanski)
A film by Polanski gets our attention, and his adaptation of David Ives’s play seems like choice material. Seeking a femme fatale for his erotic play, a director finds an ambitious actress who will do anything to land the role.