10 Most Interesting Galleries around the globe
Some of the best, (often smaller and weighted towards those with small/no queues) art galleries and museums of the world (purely subjective and in no particular order). Comments welcome, I'm sure we have forgotten a few.
1. Frick Museum, New York: http://www.frick.org/
What: A New York Mansion built by the uber-rich Industrialist, Henry Frick to house his collection of Western masterpieces from Titian to Whistler that spanned over 40 years.
Why: There’s something so much more enjoyable about nosing around someone’s house, I mean mansion, imagining how they would have occupied the space and what they would have had for dinner whilst admiring their choices in Artworks, furniture and clocks. Frick was an avid collector who must have found it troublesome deciding which of the 16 galleries to put the Bellini in.
2. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark https://en.louisiana.dk/
What: A Scandanavian arcadia of modern paintings, Sculpture and design that date from post-WWII to today, set in the original owners’ summer house on the banks of the Øresund Sound, 35km north of Copenhagen.
Because…Glass corridors and polished floors flood light onto works of Keifer, Picasso, Rauchenberg, Hockney and a large pre-Coloumbian collection. The sculpture garden is as manicured as the interiors. There is a lot of love in this most-visited-in-Denmark-museum. Even the café is seamlessly integrated into the building without looking like a refuge centre.
3. Picasso Museum Malaga, Spain http://www.museopicassomalaga.org/en/home
What: Um, Picasso, Picasso, Picasso. It’s where he was born and through family members, the collection of near 300 works was donated.
Why: Malaga is an interesting, busy-enough town, on the coast with some affluence to watch parade up and down the esplandade at sundown. It’s also culturally interesting and the Museum is in a small enough, original building (with a modern extension) that you don’t feel overwhelmed but large enough to feel as if it were an authentic experience.
4. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania https://mona.net.au/
What: Conceived by Australian gambling virtuoso (amongst other things), Tony Walsh, the gallery was built into the side ofa river bank making it almost invisible from the street. What lies beneath is best described with a word I haven’t found yet. It houses some of the most important artists of today from around the world. As well as having one of the best winter music festivals out there-Dark MOFO.
Why: Why is it here and not in Europe? So many Why’s. The architecture of the place is enough to go and see. Carved out of the banks of the Derwent river, the museum spirals down into a Hades-like cavernous, dark space. The work that Walsh selects is seductively loaded with debauchery, power and intent. Impossible not to come back into the daylight without feeling you’ve been hanging out in your groggy subconscious and like it there.
5. Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, Italy http://www.guggenheim-venice.it/
What: Peggy is the niece of the renowned Solomon and daughter to Benjamin (Eifel Tower engineer). Socialite, difficult but a pioneering lady in the male-dominated arts scene back in the 1940’s. She moved to Venice and bought the palazzo along with her amassed collection that, luckily, was not confiscated by the impending German invasion into France.
Why: It’s a comprehensive collection on Post WW1 Art from Giacometti, Calder, Magritte and her lover once-Max Ernst. It’s also on the canal, a stunning building and a personalable ambience. There is a restaurant but better places nearby for chicetti and aperol.
6. Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, UK https://www.hauserwirthsomerset.com/
What: An 18th Century country Estate in the South West of England that promotes many contemporary 2D and 3D artists. Several very green acres house the impressive and important sculptures of this generation.
Why: You got to love the fact that they’re in the middle of a farming belt and exhibit artists that you would expect to see in the Gagosian type galleries-luckily there is a gallery in London (and New York and Zurich and LA and Gstaad).
7. Kroller Muller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands http://krollermuller.nl/visit
What: One of the largest sculpture parks in the world-over 125 works from Hepworth to Dubuffet as well as an interior gallery with over 270 works from Van Gogh and other modern masters.
Why: The Dutch know how to entertain people. They have made the 25 hectare park not only fit into the small country but make it thoroughly enjoyable through some thoughtful curation and of course, you can rent bikes to "arrive naturally at the museum" via the 5500 hectare national park.
8. KW Institute, Berlin http://www.kw-berlin.de/en
What: Uberly contemporary space in Berlin, in an assuming, historic building. A program that includes art, performance, films and whatever else they feel is important at the time.
Why: Berlin is the global arsenal of the interesting, weird, amusing and always challenging. KW is no exception-there is always something on at any time of the day and plenty of kool Germans to show you around.
9. Biennale de La Biche, somewhere in the Caribbean http://biennaledelabiche.org/
What: Whilst technically not a gallery in the permanent sense but it is a gallery, bar, VIP lounge, performance space on the disappearing land of Guadalope every 2 years
Why: Why not traipse through Caribbean water to see some small, often ephemeral works by artists from all around the world, (not that we’ve been there, yet). As the Polish-Italian curators say “a biennale on a remote, uninhabited island in the Caribbean Sea, a few dozen square meters in area, is an unheard of alternative”. Go there before it's gone!
10. Watari Musuem of Contemporary Art, Tokyo http://www.watarium.co.jp
What: Architectual modernism meets artistic contemporary elite installation (mainly).
Why Visiting the heavily laden pop culture obsessed Tokyo, it’s welcoming to find a contemporary art space that doesn’t involve caricatures, neon lights and pubescent references. The severe concrete facade interrupts the highly stylised neighbourhood. The art is impressive and intelligent. It helped launch the career of feted photographer Katsumi Watanabe.