The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 4 June 2016

Image: Fernando Guerra

Brazilian in New York

One of Brazil’s most notable architects, Isay Weinfeld, is poised to make his mark on New York come 2017. The architect’s first building for the city, Jardim (Portuguese for “garden”), was announced last year; he is designing the residential development, not far from the High Line park, inside and out. Now Weinfeld is also taking on the task of designing the new Four Seasons Restaurant. On 16 July the iconic establishment will leave the Seagram building and Weinfeld will design everything – from architecture to tableware – in its new Park Avenue home. “These projects in New York chose me and I have chosen them,” says Weinfeld. “They are unlike any of my previous works.”

Image: Tristan Fewings/Getty

Cool Katz

Artist Alex Katz came of age in 1950s New York as a representational painter in an era obsessed with abstract expressionism. His portraits are known for their bold colours and simple lines, reminiscent of the magazine illustrations and wider commercial culture of the time. June marks the opening of Alex Katz: Quick Light in London’s Serpentine Gallery, presenting Katz’s recent works alongside a selection of his pieces from the past 20 years. The show will offer a balanced view of both the artist’s familiar portraits and other talents, most notably landscapes and sculptural works, giving them the space – and the light – that they deserve.

The Urbanist Live

The Museum of London isn’t afraid of getting to the gritty, visceral core of the capital in its exhibitions. Fittingly the museum is moving out of its base in the Barbican to West Smithfield, in the thick of London’s meat-market trade, over the next five years. For this week’s special edition of The Urbanist – recorded live to a packed audience at Monocle HQ – we asked a panel, including the museum’s director Sharon Ament, what they would put in the Museum of London. Author Peter York proposed the changing face of the food hall in Harrods, while engineering firm Aecom’s vice-president Christopher Choa had a more sober suggestion – a testament to the days when people had full-time jobs. “In the future 60 per cent of the careers that people are entering into now will not exist.” Listen again to the whole programme here.

Fair play

Amsterdam’s contemporary art fair KunstRai is the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands and the 32nd edition wraps on Sunday. We suggest you check out the top-notch offerings by 10 young galleries, presented under the name Raw Edges, as well as the photography exhibition by Inge Prader; the Austrian artist restages tableaux of Gustav Klimt’s luscious gold-leaf masterpieces using human models, imbuing each image with an eerie presence. Recent years have seen organisers take a more discerning approach to the line-up, streamlining the participating galleries from more than 130 to 75 this instalment. A sharp slash in numbers, yes – but in a bid to inspire rather than overwhelm, less can be more.

From Monocle 24

Jesse Armstrong

“Difficult difficult lemon difficult.” Those words come from political satire The Thick of It, co-written by Jesse Armstrong, one of the screenwriters behind comedy hits Peep Show, Fresh Meat and feature film Four Lions. Now Armstrong has produced his first novel, ‘Love, Sex and other Foreign Policy Goals’. Without wanting to give anything away, he tells Georgina: “I’m in the game of realism, so happy endings probably feel a little bit too neat for life.”

From Monocle Films

2016 Venice Biennale - Reporting from the Front

In the first of two film reports from the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale we talk to Chilean architect – and this year’s curator – Alejandro Aravena about his chosen theme Reporting from the Front, and his hopes for stimulating the debate on improving quality of life in the built environment.

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