Articles

Culture Watch: Art Around the World Fall 2022 / Winter 2023

Because of the pandemic, many of the world’s most significant cultural productions were held back. Now they have come roaring back. Mario Mercado previews the season’s highlights—from new museums and groundbreaking exhibitions to the top theatrical tickets.

This article originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2022 issue of Indagare magazine, one of the benefits included in an Indagare membership. Learn more about becoming a member, or contact your Trip Designer to begin planning your next cultural getaway.

Major Expansions & Openings

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Photo by Christ Stowers, courtesy OMA
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Sydney Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall. Photo by Daniel Boud, courtesy Sydney Opera House

Mexico City

In 1953, Mexican artist Diego Rivera conceived the Museo Anahuacalli to house his prized collection of pre-Hispanic art and artifacts numbering more than 40,000 pieces. Completed after his death, the volcanic-rock building set within an ecological reserve blends Mesoamerican and modern architecture in a structure suggestive of a teocalli or temple-pyramid. It is otherworldly. Recently, architect Mauricio Rocha designed a subtle extension of plazas and pavilions that house a library, a collections repository and workshops—an ensemble of buildings coinciding with Rivera’s vision of Anahuacalli as a City of Arts.

Orange County

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts, with exuberant buildings by Cesar Pelli, has a dazzling new building for the Orange County Museum of Art, designed by Morphosis, led by Thom Mayne and Brandon Welling. The 53,000-square-foot structure has collections of modern and contemporary American and Pacific Rim art. A spacious roof terrace and a grand public staircase link the museum to the Segerstrom theaters and concert halls. “California Biennial,” a survey of emerging artists, inaugurates the museum on October 8.

Sydney

One of Australia’s landmark cultural institutions, the Art Gallery of New South Wales reopens on December 3 after a three-year, $238 million renovation and expansion. The transformation includes the refurbishment of the original late-19th-century building, linked by a new public art garden to a series of luminous pavilions designed by SANAA, with spectacular views of Sydney Harbor. Renowned for its collections of Australian and Asian art, the reimagined museum provides a showcase for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works throughout its campus.  • Elsewhere along the waterfront, the iconic Sydney Opera House complex, which comprises six venues for the performing arts, has unveiled a renovated concert hall. Closed for two years, it has been made anew, with superb acoustics and state-of-the-art machinery that can accommodate orchestral music programs and tech-heavy rock shows.

Taipei

The recently opened Taipei Performing Arts Center counts as one of the most striking—and mysterious—complexes devoted to culture. Three theaters extend from a central structure, including a sphere, the Globe Playhouse, that seems like a tethered balloon about to lift off. Designed by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, the center accommodates drama, dance and experimental work. The dynamism of artistic enterprise extends to a ground-level plaza for multidisciplinary performance and the adjacent Shilin Night Market.

Must-See New Art Exhibitions

Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum’s landmark “Vermeer” exhibition brings together most of the known 35 works by the 17th-century Dutch master, including rare loans from collections in Dresden, Dublin and Washington, D.C., as well as the celebrated The Girl with the Pearl Earring from the Mauritshuis in the Hague. Beguiling interior scenes rendered by an unprecedented use of light depict domestic life, offering viewers a sense of the intimate—and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. February 10–June 4, 2023.

Berlin

Works in bronze, marble, terra-cotta and stucco by master Italian sculptor Donatello demonstrate innovations in perspectival representation and expressive portrayal, on view in “Donatello: Inventor of the Renaissance,” organized by Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie. In collaboration with London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and Florence’s Bargello Museum and Palazzo Strozzi, the show comprises 90 works, including a first-time loan of bronze figures from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua. Through August 1, 2023.

Bern

It seems inadequate to describe the prolific designer Isamu Noguchi solely as a sculptor. His work ranges from glass-topped tables to modernist paper lanterns to landscaped gardens, set designs and props—including the iconic lyre for the ballet Orpheus by George Balanchine—as well as sculptures of geometric and biomorphic forms. Born of a Japanese father and an American mother, he was influenced by extensive travels in the United States and Japan, not to mention Europe, Mexico and China. In an expansive exhibition, showcasing more than 130 objects—and drawing on collections in London, Cologne and Lille, France, as well as the Isamu Noguchi Foundation in New York—the Paul Klee Zentrum in Bern pays homage to the experimental, innovative and remarkable artist. Through May 21, 2023.

Charleston

When the International African American Art Museum opens on January 21, 2023, at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, it can claim one of the most significant locations in the United States: a notorious slave-trading port on Charleston Harbor. Designed by Henry Cobb of Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners, with a reflection pool and gardens by landscape architect Walter Hood, the museum has nine exhibition galleries that consider African origins and diaspora; economic, creative and social contributions by African Americans to U.S. history; as well as slavery and its consequences.

Florence

Contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson’s interest in light, color and water, and our perception of them, is on dazzling display in installations throughout the Palazzo Strozzi, the incomparable masterpiece of Renaissance architecture in Florence. In the exhibition “In Your Time,” Eliasson draws the visitor into the midst of his creative vision in palace spaces, from its colonnaded courtyard and its piano nobile to the Strozzina undercroft. In this 500-year-old setting, the effects could not be more intriguing. Through January 22, 2023.

Fort Worth, Texas

The Kimbell Art Museum, designed by American architect Louis Kahn and opened in 1972, stands as a landmark of 20th-century architecture. This October, its “Kimbell at 50” exhibition examines the pathbreaking design of its original building alongside the museum’s recent expansion from Renzo Piano. Also on view: Murillo: From Heaven to Earth” brings together 50 paintings by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a preeminent painter of the Spanish Golden Age, in a revelatory survey of secular subjects and quotidian 17th-century life in Seville. Through January 29, 2023.

Anne Marion, a legendary philanthropist and arts patron, gave more than 150 works by modern and contemporary artists, including Agnes Martin, Sean Scully and Carrie Mae Weems, to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. At the time of Marion’s death in 2021, five additional gifts were earmarked for the institution: paintings by Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly and a sculpture by David Smith, which, along with 75 others, are on view in “Modern Masters: A Tribute to Anne Windfohr Marion.” October 23, 2022–January 8, 2023.

London

Two special collections of Ukrainian objects are on display at the British Museum. Eighty-six pieces of medieval metalwork—cross pendants, disc pendants, finger rings—discovered as part of an antiquities trafficking scheme by the UK Border Force in 2021 are now on view in “Ukrainian Medieval Metalwork.” They are held on behalf of Ukraine and will eventually be sent to the National Museum of History of Ukraine in Kyiv. In the Collecting the World Gallery, “Ukraine Culture in Crisis” acknowledges Ukrainian culture through seven objects, ranging from an ancient urn (circa 3,700 B.C.) to a decorated 1970s Easter egg.

Los Angeles

LACMA’s “The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art” examines the period of 1897 to 1965 as key to the emergence of modern art in Korea. The show of more than 130 works—from paintings to photography—begins with encounters by Korean artists with European-influenced art in Japan, as reflected in the Korean Empire at the turn of the 20th century. Later sections consider the colonial era (through 1945), American influences during and after the Korean War (to 1953), followed by nascent contemporary expression. through February 23, 2023.

Paris

For the first time in France, “Frida Kahlo, Beyond Appearances” puts on display more than 200 objects belonging to the Mexican artist—traditional clothing, including Tehuana dresses; pre-Columbian jewelry; a decorated plaster corset; a prosthetic leg; cosmetics and correspondence—alongside films and photographs of the artist that demonstrated the way she constructed her identity and cultivated her image. This show at the Palais Galliera fashion museum also considers Kahlo’s visit to Paris and her association with the Surrealists, as well as her posthumous influence on contemporary fashion—namely Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy and Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior, among others. Through March 5, 2023.

São Paulo

The Ipiranga Museum, built at the site of Brazil’s declaration of independence in 1822, has reopened after a nearly decade-long renovation. More than 3,000 artworks and objects, all related to the country’s imperial era, were restored during the museum’s retrofitting. mp.usp.br.Museum of Indigenous Cultures, which opened this past June, showcases work by Indigenous artists as well as themes of displacement and colonialism.

Washington, D.C.

A new permanent exhibition at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, “Art and Ideals: President John F. Kennedy,” features historic documents, archival video recordings, and innovative technology to relate the arts to hallmarks of the Kennedy administration: culture, democracy, social change, as well as the White House.

London’s Top Tickets

Othello: Olivier Award winner Giles Terera (Hamilton) takes on the role of the Moor of Venice in a new staging by Clint Dyer. The production, designed by Chloe Lamford, features Rosy McEwen as Desdemona and Paul Hilton in the role of Iago. Performances begin November 23.

The Doctor: Robert Icke’s remarkable play, loosely inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi, stars Juliet Stevenson. Schnitzler’s play was an exploration of anti-Semitism, but Icke expands it to include sexism, racism, and homophobia. Through December 11.

Best of Enemies: James Graham’s new play, directed by Jeremy Herrin, features Zachary Quinto and David Harewood as Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr., in a drama about the celebrated Vidal-Buckley debates during the 1968 U.S. political conventions. November 14–February 18.

Derren Brown: Showman: Whenever the mentalist and master of psychological illusion appears in London’s West End, he causes a sensation. Audiences cannot anticipate what will happen during the evening but are assured of being astounded. December 9–March 18.

Alcina: Before Handel established a career writing oratorios, including The Messiah, he enjoyed great success as a composer of Italian opera in London. His first opera, Alcina, was produced in 1735 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, a predecessor of today’s Royal Opera. More than 280 years later, Richard Jones stages a production for soprano Lisette Oropesa, who stars in the title role. November 9–28.

Spotlight: Dmytro Choni, bronze medalist, Cliburn International Piano Competition

The year 2022 marked the 60th anniversary of the Cliburn International Piano Competition. Held every four years in Fort Worth, this gathering of young pianists was postponed by a year because of the pandemic and its consequences. Nonetheless, the Cliburn assembled one of the strongest fields of musicians in memory—388 pianists, from which 30 were selected to participate in Texas. In a fraught year, one pianist stood out: the 28-year-old Ukrainian Dmytro Choni. A native of Kyiv, Choni is an assured artist. His playing, passionate and expressive, reveals an understanding of music rare in someone twice his age, and a special communicative gift. He is a virtuoso in the full meaning of the word: virtuous. Under the aegis of the Cliburn, Choni embarks on concert tours in Hawaii (October); Hamburg (November); Paris (December); Vienna (January); Seattle and Sarasota (February).

Chamber Music Tours

Coming to a City Near You…

They may look like a dashing Scandinavian rock band, but the Danish Quartet is considered among the foremost chamber-music ensembles of its generation, with a repertoire ranging from Haydn to Shostakovich to Scandinavian folk and contemporary music. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the musicians are undertaking a North American tour (Through January 29). • Formed in 1976 in New York City, the Emerson String Quartet has toured widely, made more than 30 acclaimed recordings and commissioned new work. Now, they are embarking on final tours before disbanding. The Emersons’ extensive schedule November dates in Vienna, London, Hamburg and Cologne, followed in December, January and February by appearances in Houston, Boston, Palm Beach and Seattle, among other cities—allowing numerous opportunities to hear this celebrated and cherished quartet.

Spotlight: New York’s Culture Round-Up

Heirs-of-Josephine-N-Hopper-Licensed-by-Artists-Rights-Society-ARS-New-York
"City Roofs," by Edward Hopper. Courtesy Heirs of Josephine N Hopper, licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York
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Left: Psalter of Henry VIII (1540); an ewer from Burghley House. Photos courtesy British Library Board and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
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Russ & Daughters, 1939. Photo from Russ & Daughters Collection, courtesy New York Historical Society

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alongside tapestries, suits of armor and regal costume, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England” reveals in dazzling splendor the cosmopolitan tastes of the monarchs: Florentine sculptors, Flemish weavers, German painters. Among varied pictures of the Tudor rulers, Hans Holbein’s celebrated portrait of Henry VIII assumes pride of place (October 10, 2022–January 8, 2023). And opening in November, “Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art” charts the course of the Mesoamerican culture and its deities, from infancy to adulthood and, in some cases, rebirth. One hundred twenty pieces on display include recently discovered artifacts and rarely displayed masterworks made by artisans working in the royal cities of the Maya empire during the period A.D. 250 to 900 (November 21, 2022–April 2, 2023). 

At the Guggenheim

The retrospective “Alex Katz: Gathering” celebrates the icon’s remarkable eight-decade career in New York City, where he has worked his entire life. The survey of more than 200 paintings, collages, drawings and prints includes portraiture, genre scenes of the everyday and landscapes. Among his subjects were the poets, dancers, musicians and writers identified with the downtown avant-garde—from Frank O’Hara to Meredith Monk. October 21, 2022–February 20, 2023.

At the Whitney

“Edward Hopper’s New York” considers the artist’s fascination with the emerging modern metropolis. Paintings, watercolors, prints and drawings from the museum’s preeminent collection, as well as public and private loans, include such recognizable images as a lone diner in an Automat, morning quietude along streetscape in the Village and panoramas of city rooftops and bridges. October 19, 2022–March 5, 2023.

At the New-York Historical Society

One of the most famous lines of American cinema lends its name to “‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’: The Jewish Deli, a captivating exploration of the Jewish immigrant experience, which made the delicatessen integral to New York City life and American popular culture. The exhibition considers the food of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and notably the deli’s heyday during the 1930s— when 3,000 delis operated in the city and later provided community for Holocaust survivors and war refugees. November 11, 2022–April 2, 2023.

At Lincoln Center

As part of its 2022–23 season, the Metropolitan Opera sopranos Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara and Joyce DiDonato star in the world premiere of The Hours by Kevin Puts, with a libretto by Greg Pierce; it’s based on the 1998 novel by Michael Cunningham. November 22–December 15, 2022.

Since opening in 1962, the acoustics of David Geffen Hall (originally Philharmonic Hall) proved inadequate. A renovation of the auditorium in the 1970s, and subsequent modifications, failed to enhance the sound quality. Sixty years later, in a design by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the space has been dramatically reimagined to fix that. Public spaces, including one with a 50-foot media wall on the ground floor that relays live performance, are enticing for visitors and concertgoers alike. The New York Philharmonic is celebrating in grand style with concerts that include new works by Etienne Charles and Caroline Shaw.

At the theater

August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play The Piano Lesson returns in a production starring Samuel L. Jackson, Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple) and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman). Through January 15. Victoria Clark brings beguiling characterization to her role in Kimberly Akimbo as a bright, witty New Jersey teenager who happens to look like a 72-year-old lady. Now playing. • After an acclaimed run in London, Ralph Fiennes reprises his role as “power broker” Robert Moses in Straight Line Crazy, written by David Hare and directed by Nicholas Hytner. Through December 18. • If you missed this year’s new production of Richard Greenberg’s baseball coming-out play Take Me Out (which won the Tony for Best Play in 2003 and Best Revival in 2022), now’s your chance. It returns to Broadway for a 14-week limited run with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Williams. Though February 5. • In & Juliet, Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway challenges him to revise the ending of Romeo & Juliet. Written by David West Read (Schitt’s Creek), it features music by pop-superstar producer Max Martin. Now showing.

At the ballet and beyond

This season at New York City Ballet, look for new works from choreographers Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham and up-and-comer Gianna Reisen, whose ballet is set to a score by Solange Knowles. • For the first time since fall 2019, the Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to Lincoln Center with repertoire favorites and two premieres. The modern dance company also pays tribute to artist Alex Katz, who created sets and costumes for 15 Taylor works. Through November 13. • Felice Lesser Dance Theater presents the premiere of Trap Ist, a provocative dance-video-interactive technology work at New York Live Arts. December 1–3.

Spotlight: Steven Melendez, Artistic Director, New York Theatre Ballet

Last spring, Steven Melendez was named artistic director of New York Theatre Ballet. In every way, he is an ideal successor to Diana Byer, the company’s visionary founder and artistic director for more than 44 years. NYTB performs intimate classic masterpieces and new contemporary works, both preserving and expanding dance repertoire. It also has a school for the training of dancers and LIFT, an innovative community-service program for talented at-risk and underserved children. An accomplished dancer who has performed with companies in Buenos Aires and Tartu, Estonia, as well as appearing as a guest artist in Italy, New Zealand and Thailand, Melendez began his career at NYTB, where he received his training. He is also a graduate of LIFT and one of its most persuasive exponents. Regarding his appointment, Diana Byer said, “Steven has the requisite experience as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and director, and possesses a winning combination of creativity, curiosity and motivation. What makes him perfect, though, is that he has been part of NYTB since he was seven years old. He knows the company and its ethos because it is in his bones.” New York Theatre Ballet tours to Santa Fe and presents a program featuring works by Antony Tudor, Pam Tanowitz, and James Whitside (Nov. 10-11), followed by performances of The Nutcracker in New York City (Dec. 9-11).

This article originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2022 issue of Indagare magazine, one of the benefits included in an Indagare membership. Learn more about becoming a member, or contact your Trip Designer to begin planning your next cultural getaway.

– Mario R. Mercado on November 15, 2022

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