A photographic shout-out to hip-hop in Manhattan
Hip-hop was born in 1973 at a basement party in the Bronx, so it is said. While there have been numerous events and shows exploring its history since then, the one currently celebrating hip-hop’s 50th at Fotografiska on Park Avenue – the Manhattan satellite of the great Swedish photography museum – is a must for any student of the aesthetics of the genre. Hip-Hop: Consciously, Unconsciously, which opened last week, is curated by Sacha Jenkins, chief creative officer of the cult magazine Mass appeal and the mastermind behind Showtime’s original series Hip Hop 50.
It explores the history of the music and the huge international cultural phenomenon it spawned – which, as anyone who read magazines between 1980 and 2015 knows, has led to some of the best and most influential portraits of the past half century. From The Notorious BIG and Afrika Bambaataa to Mary J Blige and Eve (women’s contributions get a big nod), via Public Enemy, Nas and dozens of others, there are over 200 photos dated between 1972 and 2022. If you can’t make not that to NYC, the show will travel to Stockholm and then Berlin later this year. Until May 21; fotografiska.com
Stay A central town location with style in the sixth arrondissement, and a 15-minute walk to Fotografiska’s Lower Park Avenue location: the Marlton offers both, plus value for money that’s satisfying amid the raging “hey; because we can” rates charged by some of the bigger players in town. From $203; marltonhotel.com
Greet Hepworth in Cornwall
Barbara Hepworth moved to Cornwall in 1939, and never left; she found her spiritual home in St Ives, where her studio is now the Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Tate St Ives’ current wide-ranging show, Barbara Hepworth: Art and Lifebrings together almost five decades of work across various media: drawings, paintings, prints and of course her incredible sculptures – a career-long dialogue in stone, bronze and wood with “standing”, “two” and “closed” forms, many of which are collected here is. Until May 1; tate.org.uk
Stay The lovely and unpretentious rooms at The Gurnard’s Head – a few kilometers out of town, on one of the prettiest stretches of the St Ives to Pendeen South West Coast Road – are all you need: good beds, pretty colours, books over your shelves and, below, food that they draw in from far and wide. From £155; gurnardshead.co.uk
Amsterdam’s Vermeer hit
We first became aware of the Rijksmuseum’s ambitious Vermeer show more than a year ago, and are hard pressed to say whether it or Harry Styles is the ticket we crave and have more planned. (Not as far-fetched a conflation as it sounds: Johannes van Delft is the Dutch Golden Age’s answer to a full-fledged rock star, and it’s the biggest Vermeer show ever.) It’s also a greatest hits tour, from Girl with a pearl earring and View of Delft – both on loan from the Mauritshuis in The Hague – to The Lace Maker and The milkmaid
His mastery of light and shadow is something you have to see up close, in person, to truly appreciate. That the Rijksmuseum is a knockout building is all the more reason to go (as is the fact that there is a Eurostar connection). Opens February 10; rijksmuseum.nl
Stay For the full canalside experience – and a smart, and exclusive, skip-the-line Vermeer package – book at the Pulitzer, spread across a handful of 17th- and 18th-century canal houses on the Prinsengracht, 20 minutes ‘s step of the museum. From €399; Vermeer package from €630; pulitzeramsterdam.com
Andy Warhol looks a hoot (Basquiat too) in Paris
The Fondation Louis Vuitton has been knocking it out of the park with one virtuoso blockbuster after another, from 2019’s enlightening Charlotte Perriand retrospective to last year’s Icons of modern art which collected 200 modern masterpieces that all belonged to the uber-collective Morozov family at some 19th- to 20th-century time. Here’s another to book the Eurostar (and the tickets) before April: Basquiat x Warhol: Painting 4 Hands will bring together more than 160 works of art the two New York legends created together during the mid-’80s heyday of Basquiat’s career (and just two years before Warhol died, followed by Basquiat a year later).
It includes 80 canvases signed by both. The likes of Jenny Holzer, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring – who once compared the meeting of these two artists to the creation of “a third distinctive and unique mind” – are also in the mix for downtown scene context. Opens April 5; fondationlouisvuitton.fr
Stay If you’re seeing the show in early summer, La Fantaisie opens on June 1 to host you in chic Martin Brudnizki style on rue Cadet on the edge of the happening Pigalle. Hardcore foodies may already know that this marks the return from San Francisco of Dominique Crenn, the only female chef to achieve three Michelin stars in the US. From €550; lafantaisie.com