The Louvre Abu Dhabi, opening this week at last, stands to upend everything we know about museums, and about democracy. Who is it for?
by Kanishk Tharoor
A Society of Gentlemen
by Huw Lemmey
Until 1967, sex between British men was a crime. Fifty years on, London’s museums are gayer than springtime — but the stories they recount are missing a few pieces
by Jacob Dreyer
Not since the 1930s has a Nobel laureate died in custody. Liu Xiaobo poses a question urgent far beyond China: how much can you tolerate, when must you say no?
House of Treasures
by Max Nelson
Wonderstruck, Todd Haynes’s kid-friendly new film, rambles through the Natural History Museum. As in all his melodramas, everything hinges on the rules of display
From Issue 8
The Season Finale
by Kyle Chayka
“What to make, then, of the new Four Seasons, scrubbed clean after a $33 million renovation and rechristened as two separate restaurants, The Grill and The Pool? I started a recent evening there in the Pool, where a new bar has been carved out of a former private room and a captain in a dramatic white Tom Ford dinner jacket clucked over its few guests. The post-restoration vibe here is decidedly Seaworld.”
The Old Curiosity Shop
by Lauren Elkin
“In my first Paris years, I kept noticing a particular kind of French store that seemed to thrive on selling tchotchkes: salad servers with manga characters on them, sponge-holders shaped like beagles. Colette is a more upscale version of these shops — and, in its commitment to selling people cutesy bits of ephemera they don’t need, Colette belongs to the great French tradition of the magasin de nouveautés.”
Within a Budding Grove
by Emil Leth Meilvang
“The direct integration of scientists in a museum can’t avert the fact that uncritical appraisal of biology, physics, and newer disciplines depends on a major cultural asymmetry. After all, we in the art world can get away with a hazy understanding of gene splicing or geoengineering — but can you imagine how quickly our doors would slam shut if a scientist thought she could curate a biennial or rehang a collection?”
Counsel for the
From November 7
For the deftest director and editor of Soviet cinema, montage had as much power as a Putilov field gun. On this hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution — which happened in November, by our calendar — this Italian museum is assembling storyboards and sketches from a filmmaker whose work was revolutionary in every sense.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
From November 13
This once-in-a-lifetime show is not about the fireworks — you saw those already on your first trip to Italy — but rather the revelations of a genius at work. Drawings detail how “the divine one” pulled off his virtuosic projects, but also how he spent his rare private moments making errant doodles and sketches of friends. Loans from 53 collections will show his first known painting, three sculptures, and hundreds of drawings: the largest group ever on public display.
The Other Transatlantic
Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
From November 17
What does Warsaw have to do with Buenos Aires? In the years after World War II, Eastern Europe and Latin America shared an aesthetic vision unlike, and against, the prevailing movements of informel painting and abstract expressionism in their western and northern counterparts. On view are 30 geographically disparate artists and groups whose ideals united at a brief but significant juncture in art history.
17 venues in New Orleans
From November 18
The curator Trevor Schoonmaker is at the reins of this edition of Louisiana’s triennial, which was established after Hurricane Katrina and is one of the rare big art events plugged directly into local communities. This year it coincides with the 300th birthday of La Nouvelle-Orléans, and artists taking up its themes of creolization and ecology include Kara Walker, Yoko Ono, Mark Dion, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
From Issue 8
The Other Side of the Tracks
An interview from issue 8
“The Getty Villa is paradise, but it’s also utterly fake. When I came to California, none of the materials that I would find on the side of the road were anything but garbage, really. Performance became a way to invest those objects with a history.”