I was living in Beijing when the Gallery started, and it is for me the fondest memory I keep of the Dashanzi contemporary art district.
Founded by a French couple, it was one of the first galleries to expose exclusively photography - young Chinese photographers and the work of international artists on China. Over the last four years, it has slowly expanded, opened in Paris, and gained a bit of a reputation, eventually showing Martin Parr's first exhibition in China.
You will find there a good collection, every time, and great helpful staff. And good wines at openings! A must do when passing in Dashanzi.
It is a photography gallery in the centre of Amsterdam. Not only do they put on a variety of excellent shows but the gallery and the architecture is worth a visit too. I have memories of cycling through the snow in Amsterdam and arriving at the gallery, getting into the warm and spending the afternoon looking around the show, the shop, the library and the building - the whole package!
In the heart of the Kirishima National Park with its glorious volcanoes lies this little gem, Kirishima art no mori (Art in the woods).
It is an incredible art gallery, complete with a forest littered with outdoor sculptures. Without a doubt the best art gallery I have visited.
6340-220 Koba, Yusui town, Aira county
Kirishima National Park, Kagoshima prefecture, Kyushu.
From Kagoshima city or Kokubu take the highway and follow signs for Kirishima art no mori. Easy to follow signs in English
Not a gallery in the accepted sense, nevertheless a Georgian square in Edinburgh's New Town has been transformed into an outdoor gallery displaying amazing, giant sized natural history photographs. The exhibition is part of the city’s Science Festival and runs until May 1st. Many more people were admiring the work displayed in this setting than I’ve seen visiting more conventional galleries.
Quirky but familiar, intimate yet communal; for a photography gallery with a difference visit the "Tardis" of Settle, North Yorkshire - 'The Gallery On The Green'. Step inside the classic red phone booth and you are transported to wherever the images take you. The charm of the smallest gallery in the world has inspired not only the local community but even guitarist and astronomer Brian May supported a 3D exhibition of stereoscopic photographs. Here small really is beautiful.
Upper Settle, BD24 9HG
Just beyond the Roman Arch on Qeimarieh Street in Damascus's Old City is the tiny Summers Gallery, which showcases and sells signed photographs by British freelance journalist John Wreford. Wreford's outsider's take on the Middle East and especially Syria (where he lives) is totally original, free of cliche and often humorous. Check out his pictures of Damascus's pigeon fanciers.
Summers Gallery, near the Roman Arch (just south of Nofara cafe), Old City Damascus. Call John Wreford's mobile if you can't find it 00963 944 361 947. www.johnwreford.com
Kiran Chitrakar is a cameraman for Nepal State Television and his father and grandfather were court photographers. Kiran has inherited their vast photographic archive, all on large glass negative slides, which he keeps at home. A visit to Kiran is not only a fascinating experience, but it is also the chance to peruse the photographs as high-quality black and white prints, and to purchase some as a really original, reasonably-priced holiday souvenir. There are photographs of 1950s (and earlier) Nepali life as well as well-known monuments such as Bouddhanath before tourism changed Nepal.
Kiran's mobile number is 00977 9851 061961. Arrange to meet him so that he can take you to his house. He lives in Bhimsensthan, near Kathmandu's Durbar Square.
Google map: bit.ly/gb8uPX
This compelling gallery in Dubrovnik is dedicated to the work of war photographers, and shows exhibitions from wars around the globe, as well as the Balkan conflict. The powerful images are both hard hitting and heartbreaking, and show people struggling to live their daily lives through wars which are brutal and often misunderstood. It is certainly not easy viewing, but I cannot recommend this gallery enough. These are the lives and deaths of real people, and I urge you to rise to the emotional challenge.
Meeting point for artists and artlovers. Every friday night at 20.30 hrs a new work is installed and presented.
De Aanschouw Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
started July 6th 2001 and is the first of - hope-
fully a lot more to come - art show-windows.
It is located in a cultural area on a busy street
(Witte de WIthstraat; the art and design street
The show-window is attached to the exterior of
a bar called 'de Schouw’.
Since 2001, over 500 artists (national and
international- priming and established) have shown their works at 'De Aanschouw'.
Rotterdam, 8 Frebruar, 2011.
Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery offers a great collection of two and three dimensional art and design from across the world, as well as a wide-ranging archaeological collection of, particularly, objects from Ancient Egypt.
The paintings from the late Nineteenth century and the glassware, ceramics and prints from Asia benefited enormously by a bequest in the late 1940's, from Max Schiller, whose brother, Ferdinand, in addition, collected Chinese ceramics. As a result of this gift the museum has examples of work, for example, by Vuillard, Alma-Tadema and Sisley, as well as glassware from the Tang and Sung dynasties, of great quality. There is much other work of equally high quality including a beautiful Japanese woodblock print of a waterfall by Hokusai.
At certain times of the day and at weekends the museum is full of young children, which is of course an admirable feature but the racket they create can become wearisome. Perhaps like cinemas, museums should arrange noisy days for kids and quiet days for those who want to get close to the art work without being run over or deafened.
There's a good museum shop and cafeteria. The latter is particularly good.
Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RL
+44(0)117 922 3599
Google map: bit.ly/f5unHQ
When you've had fill of "historic" Loire Valley chateau then head to Oiron (near Saumur) for a feast of modern art installations and cabinets of curiosities in a fantastic setting. Each of the rooms in this C16th/17th chateau has been given over to an artist - some well known (Hamilton Finlay, Tinguely, Messager) and others less so. Every time I've been there I've had it to myself, and enjoyed the carefully placed squashy chairs and great atmosphere inside and out as well as the art works.
If you’re interested in modern art The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a must when visiting Scottsdale. There are currently 100 new works of art being exhibited in the Thirty Years of Collecting: A Recent Gift to the Museum exhibition including pieces by Don and Carolyn Eason. Exhibitions are of a world-class level and there’s always something new. One of my favourite aspects of the museum is the amazing outdoor sculpture garden home to James Turrell's Knight Rise - one of his few public skyspaces.
The island of Nao-shima is a wannabe Bond location and Chichu Art Museum is housed in just the sort of building you can picture being the villain’s hideout, a stylish underground warren of concrete rooms and winding passageways that duck in and out of darkness, punctuated by stunning artistic set-pieces and glorious sea-views. One of the celebrated features of Tadao Ando’s architectural design is the way natural light is creatively channelled into the subterranean spaces to the point that the galleries need no other light source. And as such the permanent installations of the three represented artists – Claude Monet, James Turrell and Walter de Maria –will appear differently depending on the climate and time of your visit. Monet, in particular, has never been seen like this before – even the most blasé observer of his water lily series will be seduced by the staging of the five works here, a dreamy half-light seeping through apertures at the side of the ceiling into a room of white mosaic tile. What’s more Chichu is just the jewel in Nao-shima’s art crown. Hours of gallery-hopping await at nearby Lee Ufan and Benesse House as well as the many outdoor installations and intriguing art houses of Honmura village. Complete the day in the Nao-shima baths, another art project, where you can lie in a swelteringly hot indoor pool and gaze at erotic prints, exotic plants and a huge model elephant.
Chichu Art Museum, 3449-1 Nao-shima, Kagawa, 7613110 Japan
Google map: bit.ly/fTP6kp
Access to Nao-shima: Regular ferries run from Uno to Nao-shima (20 mins). Uno is 2-3 hours by train from Osaka or Kyoto. On the island shuttle buses run from the ferry terminal to Chichu Art Museum and other galleries.
This is a wonderful modern art gallery in the heart of Palma, in a beautiful mansion with sweeping staircases and chandeliers. The display spaces are clean, neutral modern products of a sensitive renovation. There are impressive temporary 'big name' exhibitions (Picasso etchings when I was there), and the permanent collection boasts some Dali, Miro, etc. But the real treat is the extraordinary array of Spanish modern art, from artists that few of us Brits have heard of. We loved Eusebio Sempere, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Miquel Barcelo, and the comical surrealism of Equipo Cronica, such as their wicked update of Velasquez's painting Las Meninas, also beloved by Picasso. It's a hidden delight.
A wonderful collection of Marocco's thriving indigenous modern artists, illustrating the traditional thuja technique in a modern context. Vibrant colours and shape shock the senses. Particularly recommended is the work of Said Quarzaz and Trifis. Quarzaz makes warped furniture I wish I could own!
Avenue Oqba Ibn Nafiaa, Essaouira
+212 524 78 44 46
Lublin castle is a neo-gothic 1820's construction, with gardens and rooms of Polish art history. There is an amazing ethnography section with modern folk art. Most importantly, it is where I discovered the work of Stanislaw Ignancy Witkiewicz or Witkacy (1885 - 1939) as he is better known. This wonderfully imaginative, boundary pushing creator was home educated by his poet/painter father in the belle epoque of Krakov's intellegensia surrounded by artists, poets and performers. He travelled with the famous anthropologist Malinowski to Papua New Guinea and Australia after the fiance he cheated on shot herself. He was part of the 'formists' group influenced by cubism and futurism. His best work are his portraits of his friends painted under the influence of drugs - he wildly captures their characters like Quentin Blake on acid, sometimes noting the drugs consumed during the session on the portraits!
He also worked massively on avant garde theatre before committing suicide himself and is a national hero/treasure.
More of a museum than a gallery, this quirky museum was the summer home of Dali and his wife Gala. Situated in the picturesque sleepy bay of Portlligat, close to Cadaques on the Costa Brava. You need to book in advance for a timed admission but will be rewarded with an intimate insight into the artist and his work. Highlights include his studio, themed rooms, sculptered eggs and examples of pop art around the phallic shaped pool. Don't expect a trendy cafe or extensive gift shop but you may come away with a smile!
What better way to view an excellent collection of modern art than in an iconic modernist building? Prague’s impressive Veletrzni Palac was built as an exhibition venue in the 1920s to showcase Czech industrial achievements, and the building itself is a real work of art in its own right. Today it is the Czech National Gallery of 'Art of the 20th and 21st Centuries'. Stand in the huge and lofty central atrium and let your eyes wander upwards to the tiers of galleries above you – it is said that even Le Corbusier was taken aback by the sheer scale, proportion and simplicity of the structure. Move onwards and upwards to the fine permanent collections of European and Czech modern art. There are works by Picasso, Rodin, Rouseau, Van Goch and the like, plus pieces by less well-known Czech artists of that era. If you love art you will not be disappointed. Then, if time allows, there will always be the current temporary shows of work by today's artists. Refreshingly, the Veletrzni Palac is situated off Prague’s well-trodden tourist trail but only minutes from the centre via the city’s efficient public transport network.
This art gallery is set in a fortress built between 1776 and 1779 to protect against pirate attacks. In 1974 the architect and artist César Manrique restored and converted it into a modern art gallery and restaurant. What is special about this place is that if the art works fail to enthrall then the building, inside and out, has Manrique's wonderful touch applied to absolutely everything and you cannot fail to be affected by his magic.
Castillo de San José, Carretera de Naos s/n
+34 928 807929
Set in the small, walled medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, a work of art itself, a delightful, white, tunnel-like space displaying a huge collection of exciting contemporary ceramics, by Italian and international artists, ranging from the sublime to the startling, supported by equally exciting paintings and sculptures, all within a few metres of shady bars and gelaterias.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com