By Gabé Hirschowitz, galerieperrie.com
Whether traveling for work or pleasure, it always makes sense to visit new art sites. Arguably, it’s as much a part of taking in a culture as exploring the streets, admiring the architecture, and tasting the food of a foreign city. Art galleries and museums can help you tap into what is indescribable about a people, their national verve. Not only will it show you what some of their greatest creators chose to depict but it will also show you what they collectively consider great and choose to keep. Such insights are indispensable for the committed world citizen. So, to get you started, here are five gorgeous, must-see art spots you simply have to put on your touring schedule.
1. While in Paris, yes, you should see the Louvre of course. But also make a point of visiting the Musée de l’Orangerie, which contains a stunning collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by the likes of Cézanne, Matisse, Modigliani, and Picasso; most impressive, however, is that the museum is home to eight of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies murals. These masterpieces are displayed on the ground floor in two oval rooms under direct diffused light, as Monet originally intended. It’s truly one of the most beautiful and tranquil places on Earth.
2. The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is one of Sydney’s must-see attractions. Dedicated to exhibiting, interpreting, and collecting contemporary art, both from across Australia and around the world, the MCA has exhibited work by, for instance, Chuck Close, Yoko Ono, and Anish Kapoor. Experiencing the MCA is made even more impressive, though, by its proximity to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens: the two are so close, in fact, that you can easily spend your morning absorbing humanity’s masterpieces, then devote your afternoon to nature’s.
3. The Storm King Art Center is more than just a gorgeous sculpture garden. Widely celebrated as home to one of the world’s leading sculpture collections, Storm King is located just one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley. Its pristine 500 acres of fields, hills, and woodlands provide the backdrop for a collection of more than 100 sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time, including Richard Serra, Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein. Better still, because it is outside, Storm King need not be a low-key experience. Indeed, touring the site by bicycle is a great way to engage with its art and serene landscape.
4. The Getty Center, one of two J. Paul Getty Museum locations, is located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Its core collection comprises a wide array of pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculptures and decorative arts, as well as 19th- and 20th-century American, Asian, and European photographs. Perhaps the most stunning part of the Center’s collection, though, is its outdoor sculpture garden designed by Robert Irwin. True to Irwin’s insistence that the gardens are, “always changing, never twice the same”– which is carved into the plaza walkway–new plants are constantly being introduced. All this, in addition to an unrivaled view of Los Angeles, makes the Getty Center one art destination you simply can’t pass up.
5. The Palazzo Venier dei Leoni not only once served as a residence for inimitable collector Peggy Guggenheim; it is now home to her modern art museum, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, located on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. An unfinished 18th century Grand Canal palace, the magnificent neo-classical façade dazzles visitors with its charm even before they step inside. Yet, arguably what lies within the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni is even more amazing: consisting of masterworks of Cubism, Futurism, Metaphysical painting, European abstraction, avant-garde sculpture, Surrealism, and American Abstract Expressionism by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists–including Picasso, Braque, Calder, Duchamp, Léger, Brancusi, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Miró, Magritte, Pollock, Marini, and many others–this museum houses what is probably one of the most important collections of 20th century Western art.