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cultural events worth travelling for

Vaut le voyage

Our selection of cultural events worth travelling for

Our selection of cultural events worth travelling for

June/July 2016

NEW YORK SPIRIT OF THE JAZZ AGE
A hundred girls in white lace, skipping off a ferry. Another thousand in pearls, clinking cocktails over embroidered picnic blankets. Feathered Follies doing the Charleston onstage; horns and saxophones in the meadow; displays of vintage cars. But for the photographer Bill Cunningham snapping the VIP area, you’d think you’d tumbled into 1922. For four days each summer, Governor’s Island is transformed into a 5,000-person celebration of bathtub gin and hot jazz under the aegis of nostalgia impresario Michael Arenella. Participants (tickets from $45) make an effort to dress the part. A variety of dance floors makes twirling alongside regulars less daunting, as do the French 75 cocktails on offer. Jun 11th-12th; Aug 13th-14th

DENVER WOMEN SPLASHED PAINT TOO
Perhaps no art movement was more macho than Abstract Expressionism. The paintings of this period often swallow up whole walls and are defined by bold gestures: angry swipes of brushes thick with colour, cool splashes of paint on raw canvas. Think of Jackson Pollock in his studio, scowling, smoking and splattering paint.

Less well-known are the women artists. Only a few gained notice, such as Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning (wife of the more famous Willem). The Denver Art Museum aims to fix this oversight with a landmark show of work by 12 women. The paintings are mesmerising – don’t miss Mary Abbott’s “All Green” and de Kooning’s kinetic “Bullfight”. But the show also considers these women in context, with stories of their struggle to gain respect in a sexist era. Women of Abstract Expressionism, Denver Art Museum, Jun 12th-Sep 25th

MOSCOW WHERE THE WILD MUSCOVITES ARE
Deep in the forest some 200km south-west of Moscow, mystical creations loom along the River Ugra. There, the artist Nikolay Polissky has spent nearly 20 years building a world of baffling and beautiful structures wrought from naturally sourced materials and assembled with the help of local villagers. His unique brand of land art lies at the heart of Nikola-Lenivets, one of modern Russia’s most remarkable destinations and the staging ground for a yearly festival of art, music and architecture known as Archstoyanie. Daytime performances give way to nights of revelry, drawing thousands of guests. This year’s edition will take on the theme of “Shelter”; the featured project is a new work from Polissky himself. Festivalgoers can camp out in the fields, or stay in cabins and hostels scattered throughout the 600-acre park. The art will leave you stunned; the community will leave you smitten and wanting more. Archstoyanie, Jul 22th-24th

MONTE ISOLA CHRISTO WALKING ON WATER
Residents of the tiny island of Monte Isola on Italy’s Lake Iseo normally take the ferry to get to work. But for a fortnight this summer they will be able to walk. Christo, the artist who wrapped the Reichstag, will be connecting the island to the shore and to its neighbour, San Paolo, with a network of golden pathways.

“The Floating Piers” will be constructed from 200,000 linked buoyant blocks covered in sunshine-yellow fabric, forming 3km of bright, broad roads across the lake and up into the villages. They will undulate with the waves, the colour changing with the light, weather and water. Though the idea has been in Christo’s mind for 45 years, the piers will float for just 16 days before, as with all his installations, being dismantled and recycled, leaving barely a trace.

The aim of his work is to share “joy and beauty”. As he turns 81, the greatest public artist of the last century should create something miraculous. Jun 18th-Jul 3rd

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