Vancouver, Volume 20 Number 4 October 2009

Editor’s Note: To save space and aid in speed of downloading this page, photos originally included in this issue are available on our “The Artworld Selects” page.

Vancouver, BC

In this issue, ARTExpress friend and globe-trekking adventurer, Kirsten Schmidt, gives us a taste of Vancouver, and a preview of what’s in store for art lovers at the 2010 Olympics. Be sure to look for our Focus: Olympics bonus information for some extra traveling tips!

With gleaming contemporary high-rise buildings in and around historic neighborhoods, surrounded by clear waters on three sides, and nestled against the majestic Coast Mountain Range, Vancouver enjoys spectacular natural beauty in a thriving cosmopolitan core. Home to over 500,000 people of 60 different ethnic groups, its diverse culture generates some of the West Coast’s most exciting arts festivals. 2010 is bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, so count on an abundance of international events and exhibitions, making this the year to visit.

In addition to its diversity, Vancouver is a place of innovation in urban planning. Although it is the continent’s youngest major city — younger than Seattle and Denver — it is now one of the most densely populated. Developers and city planners have created an urban scheme and architectural technique known as “Vancouverism” — distinguished by tall and slender (but widely separated) towers — interspersed with low-rise buildings, public spaces, and small parks offering green space.

Boasting an international flair all its own, it’s understandable that the city attracts go-to events. The two-year-long Vancouver Biennale — presented every four years — is a celebration of installations as varied as Vancouver itself. The current Biennale kicked off this past August, includes 30 monumental public sculptures by artists from 25+ nations, as well as new media installations by approximately 100 international artists. You’ll find yourself surrounded by art everywhere you turn: from the walking and biking paths along the beaches, to West Vancouver’s twelve waterside neighborhoods and urban plazas. Some projects to lookout for include Jianhua Liu’s Pillows, Jitish Kallat’s Detergent, and Eros Bendato Screpolato by Italian artist Igor Mitoraj.

This year, there is a line-up of international arts programming (as organized by the Cultural Olympiad 2010) that is sure to keep even the most energetic devotee satisfied. From January 22nd-March 21st, the best artists in Canada (and from around the world) will present experimental theater, stunning dance, remarkable music, and innovative visual arts projects. Of the 50+ programs on tap, we highly recommend that you catch a performance by one of North America’s most renowned performance pioneers, Laurie Anderson. Her Vancouver appearance, the world premiere of Two-Sided Plays, is a compelling series of ten, two-person plays exploring ways of looking at opposing sides of questions, issues, stories, and beliefs. Another must-see is the Canadian premiere of Nixon in China, in a production by Vancouver Opera maestro John DeMain, who conducted the world première in 1987. This time, the maestro leads a star-studded cast including opera greats Robert Orth as Nixon, and Alan Woodrow as Mao Tse-tung.

The annual PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is one of the city’s signature events. Produced over twenty days each January and February, PuSh presents groundbreaking, live performing arts by acclaimed artists. This season’s highlights: White Cabin by Akhe Theatre, a cult icon in Moscow and St. Petersburg; Best Before by Germany’s Rimini Protokoll; and KAMP with the Dutch theatre company Hotel Modern.

Vancouver also offers long-established, world-class museums. A good place to start is the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG), where the countdown to the Olympics (literally) began in 2007, with a clock installed on the front lawn counting down the hours until the opening ceremonies. Founded in 1931, the VAG moved, in 1983, to its current home, a former neoclassical provincial courthouse designed by Francis Rattenbury (1905), who also designed the British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel in Victoria. The re-design for the VAG’s move in 1983 was by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson (also responsible for One and Two California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles; the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington; the San Diego Convention Center, and McGaugh Hall at the University of California, Irvine, to name but a few). Erickson, who passed away in May of this year at age 84, is credited with inventing urban plans and new building types that were well ahead of their time both socially and environmentally. VAG is a collecting center, with significant works by historical as well as contemporary figures. Famed Vancouver artist Emily Carr and her West Coast colleagues provided a strong foundation for the genre of regional-landscape-as-theme, which is well represented here. The gallery also has one of the most significant photo-based collections in North America, with works by local members of the “Vancouver School” of photoconceptualism. Speaking of which, VAG recently acquired several works by international art star Jeff Wall, who is known for his large-scale, back-lit photographs that often feature Vancouver as the backdrop for his complicated tableaux; as well as by Stan Douglas, whose work in film, video, and photography has been thematically linked to British Columbia and its inhabitants. During the Olympics, look for Taipei-based artist Michael Lin’s hand-painted mural, A Modest Veil, which will cover the VAG’s Georgia Street facade. Lin’s installations employ patterns and exuberant colors adapted from traditional Taiwanese fabric designs, which he enlarges to cover various architectural forms.

Another important venue for current trends here is the Contemporary Art Gallery, designed by NIM Architecture and Architectura (2001). Established in 1971, when local artists where invited to present exhibitions, by the early 1990s, the program has expanded to include national as well as international artists. During the Olympics, the Gallery will present An Invitation to an Infiltration, exploring the current state of artistic interventions in the physical space of a gallery, and promises to “disrupt the gallery space and change over time.”

Just across English Bay is the University of British Columbia, where you’ll find the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. MOA is yet another Arthur Erickson building, who, for this project, was inspired by the “post and beam” architecture of the Coastal First Nations. Founded more than fifty years ago, the collections and exhibitions are renowned for giving access and insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples with a strong focus on those of the Northwest. Approximately 6,000 First Nations objects reside here, including one of the world’s largest collections of Haida art, represented by masks, totem poles and canoes. The Haida traditions continue to enjoy a contemporary renaissance, due in part to (the late) artist Bill Reid, a revered Canadian craftsman who became famous for his inventive take on Haida forms executed in precious metals. If you missed seeing his Jade Canoe at the Vancouver Airport, check out the back of a Canadian $20 bill, where you’ll find an image of The Raven and the First Men (the real thing, a large-scale sculpture of yellow cedar, is on permanent display at MOA). In January 2010, MOA celebrates the completion of its $55.5 million Renewal Project, with a splashy launch to coincide with the presentation of Boundary and Translation: New Art Across Cultures, an exhibition of contemporary works by 12 international artists. Tickets are required for the exhibition; to pre-order yours, visit vancouver2010.com.

Not far away you’ll find the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, housed in an award-winning building designed by Peter Cardew Architects in 1995 for the University of British Columbia. The gallery’s focus is Canadian and international contemporary work, with special emphasis on the Canadian avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s; plus large-scale installations throughout the campus by such art stars as Rodney Graham and Edgar Heap of Birds.

Driving to UBC quite possibly took you over the Burrard Street Bridge. Completed in 1932 to provide a high-level crossing to the western neighborhoods, the bridge is a triumph of civic architecture and a key gateway structure. Architects Sharp & Thompson, conscious of the bridge’s ceremonial role, embellished the functional steel structure with sculptural details. It is one of the few Art Deco-style bridges in the world, and has been recognized internationally as a landmark historic structure. For another stunning Art Deco structure, be sure to visit the Marine Building, built by J. W. Hobbs and designed by the firm of McCarter (the engineer) and Nairne (the architect). The tallest skyscraper in the British Empire when it opened in 1930, the exterior of this marine-themed structure is studded with flora and fauna, tinted in sea-green, and touched with gold. Inside, the walls and polished brass doors are decorated with depictions of sea snails, crabs, turtles, scallops, seaweed and sea horses.

For contemporary architecture, the Vancouver Library (1995), designed by Boston architect Moshe Safdie, with Richard Archambault and Barry Downs, is a seven-story rectangular box surrounded by a free-standing, elliptical “coliseum-like” wall. The library’s internal glass facade overlooks an enclosed concourse formed by a second elliptical wall that defines the east side of the site. This glass-roofed concourse serves as an entry foyer to the library and the more lively pedestrian activities at ground level.

While attending international performances and exhibitions, you’ll undoubtedly crave some exotic cuisine. Vancouver offers restaurants that reflect the city’s diversity. Vij’s, heralded by Bon Appetit as the best Indian restaurant in North America, offers unique dishes such as beef shortribs in a cinnamon and red-wine curry. Tojo’s is Vancouver’s top Japanese restaurant located in a stunning new space designed by sculptor/architect Colin Kwok. And don’t miss Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca, where chef/owner Giuseppe “Pino” Posteraro — recently invited to be a guest chef at the James Beard Foundation in New York — has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.

Exhausted? There are some exciting new (as well as old-but-gorgeous) hotels that are sure to re-inspire the senses as they rejuvenate the body. The chic Shangri-La Hotel boasts a contemporary atmosphere with distinct Asian touches, designed by Vancouver architect James K.M. Cheng; a visit to the hotel’s restaurant, Market by Jean-Georges, is a must. Inspired by simple elegance, Vongerichten creates menus that emphasize fresh, locally produced ingredients served in a sleek and sophisticated setting. After your meal, step out the back of the second-level restaurant into a calming, contemporary Asian garden. From there, take the north steps down to Georgia Street to discover Offsite, an outdoor, urban exhibition space where the Vancouver Art Gallery presents new projects by contemporary artists.

For something more formal, try The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, opened in 1939 with a visit from Queen Elizabeth, no less! Designed by architects John S. Archibald and John Schofield, the landmark building has recently undergone extensive renovations (not all guestrooms are complete at this writing), and she is returning to her former grande-dame splendor.

This is an exciting city with contemporary art and architecture, exotic cuisine, and unique historic districts. But try not to leave before getting to know the generous spirit of the local population. When all is said and done, this is a city of neighborhoods that will make you feel at home. A few favorites include Kitsilano, Yaletown, and Chinatown. Within these small communities, you’ll experience the open and welcoming nature of Vancouverites.

-Kirsten Schmidt

Focus Vancouver

HOTELS
The Fairmont Hotel, 900 Georgia Street West, Tel. 800-441-1414 or 604-684-3131. Nearing the end of a $63-million renovation (not all guest rooms are done at this time), the grande dame of Vancouver’s hotels has been restored to its former glory. Nicely situated across the street from the VAG.

Four Seasons, 791 Georgia Street West, Tel. 604-689-9333. A long-time favorite that offers impeccable service, large and light-filled rooms, and an enormous heated pool that is half indoors/half outdoors.

The Keefer, 135 Keefer Street, Tel. 604-688-1983. We haven’t been able to check-in to Vancouver’s newest boutique hotel residence yet — it’s due to open as we publish this issue — but we’re including it here owing to the buzz that it is generating. Designed to be both discreet and private, The Keefer is located on the periphery of Chinatown, and will offer 2,400-square-foot residences with two bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, limestone interiors, European kitchen cabinetry and appliances, original artworks, and more. We hope the real thing lives up to its website “wow” factor.

Opus, 322 Davie Street, Tel. 866-642-6787 or 604-642-6787. A hip, happening, luxury hotel in Yaletown that has the distinction of making Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top 100 Hotels” list. Opus offers 96 luxury guestrooms featuring vibrant colors, spa bathrooms, and five lifestyle-inspired decor schemes, ranging from modern and minimalist to artful and eclectic.

Shangri-La Hotel, 1128 West Georgia Street, Tel. 604-689-1120. Guests at Shangri-La Hotel will find luxurious guestrooms and suites decorated in a contemporary Asian style. The property includes Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La and fine dining at Market by Jean-Georges.

RESTAURANTS
Bishop’s, 2183 West 4th Avenue, Tel. 604-738-2025. An experience that generally starts with a greeting by the owner and continues with atmosphere and service that Bon Appetit declares “sublime understatement.” Bishop’s offers imaginative menus that change weekly.

Cioppiono’s Mediterranean Grill, 1133 Hamilton Street, Tel. 604-688-7466. Consistently referred to as Vancouver’s “best Italian restaurant.”

Lumière, 2551 Broadway W #8, Tel. 604-739-8185. Lumière offers a provocative blend of European sophistication, modern French sensibilities, and West Coast innovation. Diners can choose from three different menus: the signature tasting menu, a meat-and-seafood Chef’s menu, or a vegetarian menu.

Market by Jean-Georges (Shangri-La Vancouver Hotel), 1128 West Georgia Street, Tel. 604-695-1115.

Tojo’s Restaurant, 1133 West Broadway, Tel. 604-872-8050.

Vij’s, 1480 W. 11th Avenue, Tel. 604-736-6664. Sadly, Vij’s doesn’t take reservations and there is generally a long wait. But take heart, patrons are treated to tea and papadums, making the wait easier!

West, 2881 Granville Street, 604-738-8938. Winner of Vancouver Magazine’s “Best Restaurant,” West’s philosophy of “true to our region, true to the seasons” translates into extraordinary creations. Menu changes three to four times per week.

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Tel. 604-662-4719 or 604-662-4700. Hours: Daily, 10 AM - 5:30 PM; Tues. and Thurs. until 9 PM.

Contemporary Art Gallery, 555 Nelson Street, Tel. 604-681-2700.

Or Gallery, 555 Hamilton Street, Tel. 604-683-7395. Hours: Tues. - Sat. noon - 5 PM. An artist-run center in operation since 1983, Or is committed to exhibiting work by local, national and international artists with a focus on conceptual and interdisciplinary work.

Museum of Anthropology, 6393 Marine Drive Northwest, Tel. 604-822-5087. Winter hours: Tues. 10AM - 9PM; Wed. - Sun. 10 AM - 5 PM.

Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 1825 Main Mall, University of British Columbia, Tel. 604-822-2759. Hours: Tues. - Fri. 10 AM - 5 PM; Sat. noon - 5 PM; Sun. noon - 4 PM.

Catriona Jefferies Gallery, 274 East 1st Street, Tel. 604-736-1554. Hours: Tues. - Sat. 11 AM - 5 PM. Established in 1994, the gallery focuses on post-conceptual art emerging from the Vancouver area.

Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, 206 Camble Street, Gastown, Vancouver, Tel. 604-688-7323. Offering master-level craftsmanship pieces by Inuit and Northwestern First Nations artists. We are particularly enamored of the sleek jewelry and furniture designs.

Vancouver Biennale
2010 Cultural Olympiad

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Tel. 604-605-8284, email: info@pushfestival.ca. 2010 Season runs Jan. 20 - Feb. 7, 2010.

PUBLIC ART
Downloadable map here.

ARCHITECTURE
Marine Building, 1000-355 Burrard Street, Tel. 604-683-8604.
Burrard Street Bridge, south end of Burrard Street

Vancouver Library Square, 350 West Georgia Street, Tel. 604-331-3603. Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10 AM-9 PM; Fri.-Sat. 10 AM-6 PM; Sun. noon-5 PM.

City Hall, 453 West 12th Avenue. Opened in 1936 and designated a heritage building in 1976, this landmark structure (architects Townley & Matheson) was a make-work Depression project; its style stands at a transition between Art Deco and Moderne.

Provincial Law Courts, Robson Square, 800 Smithe Street. This 7-story building by Arthur Erickson (1973) features a sloping glass roof that measures well over an acre! All that glass (a metaphor for transparency) invites the public to enjoy the surroundings, as well as participate in the judicial process.

St. James Anglican Church, 303 Cordova Street East, Tel. 604-685-2532. Built of exposed concrete, St. James manages to maintain an Art Deco modernity while flaunting its Gothic, Byzantine, and Romanesque influences.

SHOPPING
Shopping in Vancouver is best explored by its unique neighborhoods:

Robson Street: Beginning at Robson Square at the VAG, this neighborhood consists of several blocks with countless trendy shops, restaurants, and bars. There’s everything from big-name, to boutique, to funky. The main action is concentrated in the blocks from Burrard Street to Jervis.

Yaletown: A waterfront community that has experienced some serious revitalization from its former warehouse district where textile shops and train yards provided little in the way of beauty or entertainment. Yaletown is now transformed into one of Vancouver’s hippest areas, filled with sidewalk cafes, trendy restaurants, a thriving nightlife scene, and intimate boutique hotels.

Kitsilano, or “Kits Beach”: The three main streets that make up this upbeat, funky region offer up-to-the-minute fashion and home design stores, hip book stores, and some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, including Bishop’s and Lumière.

South Granville Street: South Granville is an area that has long been the hub of the gallery scene. It still boasts some interesting galleries including the Diane Farris Gallery and Jacana Contemporary Art; nearby is Catriona Jefferies Gallery on Street East.

Chinatown (North America’s third largest after New York and San Francisco): Highlights include the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a wonderful way to step back into the 15th-century, and the first of its kind outside China; the Sam Kee Building (world’s narrowest commercial building), plus the Chinese Cultural Centre.

Wine Country: Beyond the city neighborhoods (and a four-hour drive East of Vancouver), you’ll find one of North America’s finest wine-making regions, the Okanagan Valley, situated on the sparkling blue, 84-mile-long Okanagan Lake. The valley lies on the same latitude as the northern German and French vineyardès, but has its own distinct microclimate, producing Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir in the south; while Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer come from the northern region. With 90 of British Columbia’s 134 wineries found here, your choices in this valley are wide and varied. And, while you’re in the region, we suggest a visit to the Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan. Owners Ofer and Ofri Barmor produce astounding cheeses using traditional techniques which minimize the use of machinery.

FOCUS: OLYMPICS
Click here for special Winter Olympics info.

News

What can be said about Paris in October except c’est magnifique? There are, this year, some not-to-be-missed events that may help you set your dates. If you did miss the most important show of the year when it was in Boston, think seriously about catching it in Paris! Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice is an exhibition the likes of which we may not see again. The cost and risk of the world’s greatest pictures traveling across the globe in an environment of steadily declining museum budgets mitigates against breathtaking productions like this one. These rivals, these giant personalities of 16th-century Venice are represented — as Holland Cotter of The New York Times put it — by “56 grand to celestial paintings.” The Boston/Louvre exhibit will land in Paris, opening at the Louvre September 18 and running through January 4. Go, if only to see Titian’s Danaë from Naples side-by-side with his Venus With a Mirror from the National Gallery in Washington!

Next, head for the 36th edition of FIAC at the Grand Palais and the Louvre, which will take place October 22 to October 25. At the Louvre, the fair will occupy not only the Cour Carrée, it will spill over into the Tuileries gardens, bringing together 180 modern and contemporary galleries. FIAC’s official partner is the Groupe Galeries Lafayette (yes, the grand old department store) and this year, they will launch a new program designed to support the younger, more experimental galleries, which will show in the Cour Carrée. Jurors Christine Macel, Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Marc-Olivier Wahler have selected 14 galleries, based on the quality of their FIAC projects and general exhibition programs and they will receive significant financial support. FIAC remains a popular, well-managed fair, always enhanced by its historic settings — no cavernous messe warehouses for art in Paris.

Concurrent with FIAC, there will be a new spin-off contemporary art fair — Cutlog — to be held at the Bourse du Commerce, the former stock exchange. The dates are the same and there will be around 30 emerging galleries. Bruno Hadjadj, an artist, filmmaker, designer and retailer, is the fair organizer and he notes that it’s not about young artists, it’s about artists of any age who haven’t had exposure. (A third of the galleries are French, and two-thirds are foreign.)

Amid all of the contemporary glamor of the fairs, don’t think of missing Renoir in the 20th Century at the Grand Palais through January 4th. Treasures like Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette and Les Grandes Baigneuses shine! (The exhibition, co-organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will travel there in February.) And, beyond Renoir, catch the Madeleine Vionnet retrospective at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, through January 31st. Vionnet was called the “architect among dressmakers,” and her classic designs remain contemporary today. This first large-scale retrospective comes — belatedly — more than 30 years after her death.

Now for the practicalities in Paris: It doesn’t take much imagination to say, “Take me to the George V,” or “to the Plaza Athénée,” but looking for the perfect boutique hotel can be a full-time job. This year, we’re happy to find several that don’t require a generous line of credit! First on the list is the small (20 rooms), artsy and charming Hôtel des Academies et des Arts in Montparnasses. The rooms themselves are also a bit small, but the art-inspired décor is perfect for the setting. If Fashion Week-trendy is your goal, explore Mon Hôtel, in the 16th near the Place de l’Etoile. This new, four-star design hotel is high-tech contemporary, and the Costes brothers restaurant is a highlight. Our Gemini friends, Joni Weyl and Sidney Felsen, often stay at the Westminster, a small, elegant hotel on the Rue de la Paix, just steps from the Place Vendome, the Opera and the Louvre. The message is location, location, location!

If you haven’t made your plans for Art Basel Miami Beach yet, options are narrowing every day: the 2009 dates are December 3-6. Breakfasts at the Cisneros Fontanals Foundation, the Margulies Warehouse and the Rubell Family Collection are highlights, as always. Oceanfront Nights, a collaboration between ABMB and Creative Time, will present free, nightly, curated art events on the oceanfront at Collins Park, plus there will be outdoor sculptures, installations and public art works within walking distance of the Convention Center — curated by Patrick Charpenel from Guadalajara. On December 1st there will be a Collectors’ VIP Preview of Design Miami, plus the opening of The Reach of Realism at MOCA. On December 2nd, the Bass Museum’s Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from the Jumex Collection, Mexico City will be the opening highlight, followed on the 3rd by the Guillermo Kuitca exhibition at the Miami Art Museum (MAM). On the 4th the Wolfsonian-FIU will debut Styled for the Road: The Art of Automobile Design 1908-1948. And, in the midst of this list of riches, there will be performances, conversations, studio visits, lectures — and even a fundraising ball (MAM)!

Because design is important at ABMB, it is impossible not to comment on the reopening of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The Miami Beach icon of Mid-Century Moderne was designed by the groundbreaking architect Morris Lapidus (1902-2001) — who happily lived to see his reputation burnished after decades of neglect. A renovation of unimaginable (billion-dollar) scope, the process has taken many years and great patience, but now there are 11 dining options, a 30,000-square-foot nightclub, a 40,000-square-foot spa called Lapis, two new towers housing all-suites accommodations, joining the historic, original Château and Versailles (conference) towers. For purists, the signature elements — the black-and-white-marble, bow-tie-design floor and the famous “stairway to nowhere” — have been preserved. It seems as though every supermodel ever minted has been photographed on that astonishing stairway that is indelibly imprinted on the map of modernism, and how grand it is that it has been saved. Following its debut in 1954, minimalists sniffed that the Fontainebleau was the apogee of kitsch, while Lapidus retorted, “too much is never enough.” Beyond the brouhaha, the world now acknowledges that Lapidus was the father of modern resort design and in the end he enjoyed accolades.

Travelers to Napa/Sonoma to enjoy the delicious, fragrant fall season will find a few changes this year. It appears as though the Frank Gehry project for the Hall Winery many not be progressing as expected; most unfortunately, Dominus — the winery by Herzog & DeMeuron — still does not welcome visitors and it is even harder to see on a drive-by; but everyone is talking about the Thomas Keller eatery Ad Hoc -– fun, modest and informal; and a most unusual winery — Carl Doumani’s Quixote — is now open by appointment. Designed by the Viennese artist/architect/philosopher/environmentalist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1926-2000), it’s a work of art in itself — rich in patterns of colored ceramic tilework, it virtually sings the praises of Antoni Gaudi, close to 100 years later!

Other news on the fall scene includes the re-emergence of the gorgeously renovated Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, New York. The dramatic design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro peels a corner out of the original structure and opens the lobby to the street with a sparkling, new presence. Down on 53rd Street is Casa Lever. Casa Lever is the 4th edition of Sant Ambroeus — the Milan-style restaurant group whose executive chef here is Mario Danieli — and the new décor is highlighted by Warhol screen prints from the Lever House collection. Also in the Big Apple, there is a new reading room for contemporary art aficionados: E-flux has announced the public opening of its collection of books on contemporary art exhibitions at 41 Essex Street. The reading room is open for research and study Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6 PM. Institutions from around the world — Red Cat to the Reina Sofía — have contributed thousands of volumes.

Other news at large includes: the opening of a new wing at the Cleveland Museum of Art; an unprecedented gift to the collection at the Palm Springs Art Museum; and, in Dallas, the debut of two dramatic buildings at the AT & T Performing Arts Center (formerly Dallas Center for the Performing Arts).

In Cleveland, the Museum of Art has completed the first phase of a $350-million renovation and expansion of its traditional Beaux-Arts building, and the 1971 addition by Marcel Breuer, with the June debut of the new East Wing designed by Rafael Vinoly (the first of two planned gallery wings, a new atrium, and more). The over-all plan is not expected to be completed until 2013, but, until then, the Vinoly space gives the museum an opportunity to display works from the modern and contemporary collection which are seldom seen and often dazzling — like Warhol’s monumental Marilyn and Sol LeWitt’s splendid Wall Drawing.

In Palm Springs, and beyond, the art audience is celebrating a series of exhibitions — through the fall season — of the Donna and Cargill MacMillan collection, selected from their gift of 116 works by 66 artists recently donated to the Palm Springs Art Museum. While the MacMillans have offered art collectors and professionals generous access to the portion of the collection installed in their residence in the desert, the diversity of the gift remains stunning: from Warhol, Lichtenstien, Rauschenberg and other titans of the Pop era, plus sculptors Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Donald Judd and Mona Hatoum, to younger stars such as Jennifer Steinkamp, Pae White and Julie Mehretu. It’s a grand gift.

In the July 2003 issue of ARTExpress, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Dallas Museum of Art and alerted you to the general renaissance of the Arts District as a whole, commenting on the array of distinguished architects whose works were scheduled to contribute to the lively scene. This fall, the two most anticipated projects will be unveiled (although the $354-million center won’t be fully complete until 2011): the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre by Rem Koolhaus and Joshua Prince-Ramus and the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House by Sir Norman Foster. Add these two spectacular new facilities to Renzo Piano’s Nasher Sculpture Center, I.M. Pei’s Meyerson Symphony Hall and the DMA’s Edward Larrabee Barnes building and Dallas’ Arts District is a premiere architecture destination.

Great Addresses

IN PARIS
Hôtel des Academies et des Arts, 15 rue de la Grande Chaumiere, Tel. 33 1 43 26 66 44. An American-friendly hotel with boutique sized rooms and unique art/design touches. If you like Montparnasse and the 6th, this is the spot to choose.

Mon Hôtel, 1 rue d’Argentine, Tel. 33 1 45 02 76 76. A sleek, contemporary, four-star boutique hotel with 37 rooms, it is located a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées at Avenue Foch. The restaurant is all plush fantasy with delicious Costes cuisine.

Hôtel Westminster, 13 rue de la Paix, Tel. 33 1 42 61 57 46, or email: westminster@warwickhotels.com. Look out your window. You’re surrounded by the Place Vendome, the Opera, the Madeleine, the Louvre. Locations don’t get any better than this Warwick International Group hotel. The décor is traditional/elegant and the rooms are generous, with high ceilings and tall windows admitting lots of light and lovely neighborhood views.

For FIAC information: fiac.com. October 22-25, Grand Palais noon-8 PM; Cour Carrée du Louvre, 1 PM-9 PM; Tuileries garden, 7:30 AM-7:30 PM.

Merci, 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, Tel. 33 1 42 77 01 90. Could this be the new Colette? Imagine 16,000 square feet replete with designer fashions (Stella McCartney will do unique, price-friendly pieces), bookstore, café, menswear, flower shop, home store — all by Marie-France and Bernard Cohen, the couple behind Bonpoint, the famous children’s line.

Colette, 213 rue Saint-Honore. The original jaw-dropping, creative assemblage of world-wide talents and the most amazing goodies — from couture and from the streets.

L’Ami Jean, 27 rue Malar, Tel. 33 1 47 05 86 89. A foodie-favorite bistro where chef Stéphane Jégo draws legions of fans. Plan on the freshest ingredients and taste the terrific charcuterie.

Itineraires, 5 rue de Pontoise, Tel. 33 1 4633 6011. Another on our list of notable bistros, Itineraires is hosted by a talented young chef, Sylvain Sendra, known for sometimes complex, always powerfully flavorful dishes, presented in an enormously pleasant room with unusually attentive service.

Talents, 1 bis rue Scribe, Tel. 331 40 17 98 38. A new center for design, Talents features works by more than 70 artists and designers and highlights French craftsmanship in lighting, furniture, jewelry, tableware, and more. All the objects are arranged in a two-tiered space under a dazzling chandelier.

IN MIAMI
Art Basel Miami Beach 2009
. The most vital art fair in the United States hosts more than 250 galleries from around the globe and presents a program that includes special exhibitions, film, music, video, architecture, and design.

Viceroy Hotel, 485 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Tel. 305-503-4400. The Viceroy occupies a portion of one of three (only partially occupied) residential towers in downtown Miami — think urban, not beach. It’s definitely a design hotel, but not in the spare, minimalist vein. The interiors are by design star Kelly Wearstler, the exterior by Miami’s famed Arquitectonica group — and, in a nod to the iconic design hotels — the spa is by Philippe Starck. If you want to avoid the Collins Avenue chaos, this is your chance. Rooms begin at $275 and at last look, were available during the fair. Remember, no beach. By contrast, the exotic new W Hotel (on the beach) in Miami Beach has rooms available only in excess of $1,000.

The Tides Hotel, 1220 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Tel. 305-604-5070. The Tides is the other Kelly Wearstler favorite and it is on the beachon the sand in Miami Beach. A recently completed multi-million dollar renovation saved the original Art Deco details, but provided a beautifully up-dated interior. This is understated luxury for the sand-between-your-toes crowd that enjoys excellent service.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Tel. 305-538-2000. Of course the Fontainebleau is over the top, way over the top. But it would be inappropriate here to overlook one of America’s most inventive and influential architects, Morris Lapidus. With the 1954 Fontainebleau, Lapidus virtually invented 20th-century resort architecture. The glass arc, the toe-tapping black-and-white marble floor in the lobby, as well as the showstopper staircase with no destination, the heroic scale, and, above all, the pure mid-century, Hollywood-style glamor. Sweeping curves, gorgeous color and witty fantasy were — and are — all present in abundance. After 2 ½ years and more than a billion dollars this icon has regained its original sheen. New touches include a fine art collection with works by Robert Rauschenberg, Darryl Pottorf, Yves Klein, Mineo Mizuro, Rosalyn Drexler, Urs Frei and Don Suggs, plus many others, scattered across the premises; a glittering 30,000-square-foot pool and numerous celebrity restaurants — headed by Alfred Portale’s Gotham Steak, James Beard award-winner Scott Conant’s Scarpetta, Alan Yau’s Hakkasan and chef Sean O’Connell’s Blade Sushi Bar. If you’ve never seen this billion-dollar baby, at least go look. You won’t forget the visual experience.

IN NAPA
Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington Street, Yountville, Tel. 707-944-2487. Ad Hoc was the temporary name that became permanent for Thomas Keller’s family-style bistro that offers a four-course casual dinner five nights a week. The $49 prix fixe menu is on the website every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when the restaurant is closed.

Quixote Winery, 6126 Silverado Trail, Napa, Tel. 707-944-2659. Following the acclaimed restoration of Stags Leap Winery, plans emerged for a smaller winery and vineyard on the adjacent property, which would become Quixote. The magic of the landscape captured the imagination not only of the owner, Carl Doumani, but of the visionary Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. From this relationship a fantasy emerged. Quixote has no straight lines, the roofs are planted with grass and trees and every building is capped with a golden turret!

IN NEW YORK
Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway/70 Lincoln Center Plaza.

Lever House/Casa Lever, 390 Par Avenue, Tel. 212-888-2700.

OTHERS
Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, Tel. 216-421-7340, 1-888-CMA-0033.

Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 North Museum Drive, Tel. 760-325-7186, www.psmuseum.org.

AT&T Performing Arts Center, (formerly the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts), 2403 Flora Street, Offices, 2100 Ross Avenue, Suite 650. Box office for both the Wyly Theatre and the Winspear Opera House, 214-880-0202.

Travel Bookshelf: Vancouver

Guides
Donald Olson. Frommer’s Vancouver & Victoria 2008: with coverage of Whistler, 2008.
Andrew Hempstead. Moon British Columbia, 2008.
Top 10 Vancouver & Victoria, 2008.
John Lee. Vancouver City Guide, Lonely Planet, 2008.
Time Out Vancouver,  2008.

Art & Architecture
Douglas Coupland. City of Glass: Doug Coupland’s Vancouver,  2003.
Melanie O’Brian. Vancouver Art & Economies, 2007.
Rhodri Winson Liscombe. The New Spirit: Modern Architecture in Vancouver, 1938-1963,  1997.
Reid Shier, ed. and Stan Douglas, photographer. Stan Douglas: Every Building on 100 West Hastings, 2003.
Thierry De Duve, Arielle Pelenc, Boris Groys, Jean-Francois Chevrier, Mark Lewis, Jeff Wall, 2009.
Josee Belisle & Rodney Graham. Rodney Graham: A Group of Literary, Musical, Sculptural, Photographic and Film Pieces, 2006.

History
Lance Berelowitz. Dream City: Vancouver and the Global Imagination, 2005.
Patricia Roy. Vancouver: An Illustrated History,  1980.

and… strictly for fun…

Fiction
Patricia Wayson Choy. The Jade Peony,  2007.
Billie Livingston. Going Down Swinging, 2000.

Mysteries
Debra Purdy Kong. Taxed to Death, 1995.
Andrew Snaden and Rosey Dow. Face Value: A Vancouver Mystery,  2002.

Sandra Ruttan. What Burns Within, 2008.
Daniel Edward Craig. Murder at Graverly Manor: A Five Star Mystery, 2009.
Alex Brett. Dead Water Creek: A Moran O’Brien Mystery, 2003.

Calendar

Through Oct. 11 Whitney Museum, New York Dan Graham
Through Oct. 18 National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto William Kentridge
Through Oct. 18 Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Through Oct. 26 MOCA, Los Angeles Robert Frank’s The Americans
Through Nov. 2 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Viva Mexico: Weston and His Contemporaries
Through Nov. 8 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence The 18th Century in Florence
Through Nov. 8 Mori Art Museum, Tokyo Ai Weiwei: According to What
Through Nov. 8 Legion of Honor, San Francisco John Baldessari
Through Nov. 8 Vancouver Art Gallery, CD Stan Douglas
Through Nov. 8 Scottish National Gallery Mod. Art, Edinburgh Hirst, Celmins, Warhol
Through Nov. 8 Istanbul Biennial
Through Nov. 15 Museum Ludwig, Cologna Isa Genzken
Through Nov. 22 Venice Biennale, 53rd International Art Exhibition
Through Nov. 22 Palazzo Grassi, Venice Pinault Collection
Through Nov. 22 Power Plant, Toronto Candice Breitz
Through Nov. 29 Metropolitan Museum, New York Vermeer’s Masterpiece: The Milkmaid
Through Nov. 29 Philadelphia Museum of Art Marcel Duchamp: Etant Donnes
Through Nov. 29 SFMOMA, San Francisco Richard Avedon
Through Nov. 29 Fondation Cartier, Paris Born in the Streets: Graffiti
Through Dec. 11 Royal Academy, London Anish Kapoor
Through Dec. 31 Whitney Museum, New York Photo Conceptualism 1966-1973
Through Jan. 1 MOMA, New York Sensation and Sentiment Redux
Through Jan. 3 Biennale de Lyon, France
Through Jan. 3 Wexner Center, Columbus Luc Tuymans
Through Jan. 3 Milwaukee Art Museum Andy Warhol: The Last Decade
Through Jan. 3 SFMOMA, San Francisco Between Art & Life: The Contemporary
Through Jan. 4 Grand Palais, Paris Renoir in the 20th Century
Through Jan. 10 Alte Pinakothek, Munich Andrea del Sarto: The Holy family in Munich
Through Jan. 10 Getty Museum, Los Angeles Irving Penn: Small Trades
Through Jan. 10 Louisiana Museum, Humleback The World is Yours
Through Jan. 10 Kunsthaus Graz Warhol Wool Newman: Painting Real
Through Jan. 11 Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Paris Bruegel, Memling, Van Eyck
Through Jan. 17 Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona Modernologies
Through Jan. 17 Whitney Museum, New York Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction
Through Jan. 31 Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg Sigmar Polke
Through Jan. 31 Hermitage Amsterdam At the Russian Court: Palace & Protocol/19th Century
Through Feb. 28 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Haegue Yang
Through Apr. 12 MOMA, New York Monet’s Waterlilies
Through May 24 Centre Pompidou, Paris Women Artists in the Collection
Through Nov. 1, 2010 Museo del Prado, Madrid View and Plan of Toledo
Oct. 4 - Jan. 18 Cleveland Museum of Art Gauguin: Paris 1889
Oct. 4 - Jan. 3 UCLA/Hammer Museum, LA Heat Waves in a Swamp: Charles Burchfield
Oct. 6 - Feb. 21 High Museum, Atlanta Leonardo Da Vinci: Hand of the Genius
Oct. 15 - 18 Frieze Art Fair, London
Oct. 15 - Jan. 31 Seattle Art Museum Michelangelo Public and Private[pay]
Oct. 21 - Jan. 10 Philadelphia Museum of Art Arshile Gorky
Oct. 23 - Jan. 3 Portland Art Museum Raphael: The Woman with the Veil
Oct. 28 - Jan. 24 New Museum, New York Urs Fischer
Dec. 3 - 6 Art Basel Miami Beach
Dec. 8 - Feb. 28 Getty Museum, Los Angeles Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils