The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec features more than 25,000 masterpieces from the province’s artistic talents dating back to the 18th century. Last week the institution on Québec City’s Grande Allée threw open the doors of its newest pavilion: a repurposed former Dominican monastery. The CA$103.4m (€72m) Pierre Lassonde Pavilion is a three-storey glass structure that was spearheaded by New York-based architecture firm OMA and homegrown studio Provencher Roy. In keeping with the museum’s mandate, the airy exhibition spaces display contemporary Québécois paintings, mid-century design and Inuit art among other works. After an expansive survey of the show visitors can find respite in the two rooftop sculpture gardens.
After nearly a year of searching, the future Obama Presidential Center has chosen its architects this week. The US president selected New York-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects to lead the development in collaboration with Chicago’s own Interactive Design studio. Williams and Tsien were awarded the 2013 National Medal of Arts in recognition of “their contributions to architecture and arts education”; they have designed a number of memorable museum structures, including the linear LeFrak Center in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and one of Philadelphia’s most celebrated art destinations, The Barnes Foundation. The team beat out heavy-hitting firms such as Shop and Snøhetta for the project, which is scheduled to open in Chicago’s South Side neighbourhood by 2021.
This year’s winning cities in Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey all have one thing in common: the fun doesn’t stop at sunset. London proves a strong contender with the introduction of this evening’s Art Night, a new annual contemporary-arts festival that will transform parts of the city from 17.00 until the early hours. Art agency Unlimited Productions will see a series of buildings and public spaces across Westminster morph into large-scale art installations and spring to life with performances curated by Kathy Noble and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Highlights include a sensory installation by South Korean artist Koo Jeong A, which is set to take over a derelict Jubilee line platform at Charing Cross, and Xu Zhen’s pioneering Physique of Consciousness dance performance in the courtyard of Somerset House.
Reams of column inches have already been dedicated to the delights of the Whitney Museum of American Art and its Renzo Piano-designed reopening in the Meatpacking District last year. It’s envelope pushing, that’s a given. But a museum’s strength often lies in how it displays what it already has and in this respect – unimaginative name aside – Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection is a tour de force of an exhibition for the Manhattan mainstay. The stately sixth floor is the venue and works by the likes of Edward Hopper, Chuck Close and Georgia O’Keeffe are the draw. It’s a compelling, clear-eyed and confident affair that prods, pokes, decodes, displays, deflates and elevates the medium of portraiture in western art. It is unquestionably the pick of the Big Apple’s cultural delights this week.
Berlin isn’t exactly famous for its beer gardens – or its beer – but the German capital has seen a sharp rise in craft breweries. Monocle visits one of them: Brlo, which recently opened a beer garden next door to what will soon be its brand new brewery.
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