The Great Outdoors Made Magical - ART FIX
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The Great Outdoors Made Magical

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt this year, it’s that - despite the pandemic - art is never cancelled! While some museums and institutions remain closed, there are various outdoor experiences to satiate your art desires. That’s why Art Fix has curated a list of the best public art and outdoor exhibition spaces that you can visit around the world, with plenty of natural ventilation guaranteed!

ITALY

Palazzo Strozzi in Florence 

Feeling like a little outdoor stroll after your pizza? Head over to Palazzo Strozzi, where you can find a magnificent new project by Italian artist Marinella Senatore. This light installation, inspired by the popular southern Italian luminaria tradition, is accompanied by a number of workshops that aim to create a community around the practice of performance art. Senatore explains that “art, for me, is a horizontal platform on which different elements, of equal value, generate energetic movement and thus a shared narrative”. If you’re in for a truly immersive experience, add this one to your list!

Are you in Paris, London, Tokyo, Taipei or Shanghai? Check out the facades and windows of the Dior boutiques, magically lit up with stunning light works and glittering displays by the same Marinella Senatore. A reinterpretation of “Luminarie”, the amazing Dior Cruise 2021 show in Puglia, this is a feast for the eyes.

UNITED KINGDOM

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 

A two-hour train ride away from London, UK’s famous open-air art gallery Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers a wonderful cultural excursion that is totally Covid-proof. Its collection comprises site-specific commissions, loans and even gifts by artists. With around 80 sculptures and installations, there’s always something to see in the open air at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Its current exhibition shows works by Ai Weiwei, Henry Moore, Jaume Plensa, and more.

  • Art Fix Tip: YSP is welcoming dogs throughout the park
  • For more info and tickets: ysp.org.uk

The Illuminated Light Trail at Blenheim Palace

The Illuminated Light Trail will be even more spectacular this year with new installations including Blue Neuron and Heart of Stars. Wrap up warm and walk through breath-taking light displays to enjoy the Palace gardens like never before. The perfect outdoor Christmas experience. And while you’re there, check-out the exhibition of Cecily Brown.

  • Art Fix Tip: Cecily Brown has compiled a playlist of songs that inspired the titles of each painting in her exhibition: spotify.com
  • For more info and tickets: blenheimpalace.com

The Line in East London

Looking for an art experience, but want to remain in the city? Check out “The Line”, a sculpture trail in East London. It roughly follows the line of the Greenwich Meridian from Stratford International railway station to North Greenwich tube station, with 30 artworks along the way. Its highlights include Antony Gormley’s “Quantum Cloud” sculpture and Damien Hirst’s bronze recreation of a piece of human skin “Sensation”. 

  • For more info: the-line.org 
  • Art Fix Tip: Download the “Bloomberg Connects” app for the new audio guide to “The Line”. In 2-minute introductions, artists offer insights into their work. The audio guide also includes details of the history and wildlife of the area around “The Line” narrated by Bill Nighy and even a mindfulness guide.

Tate Britain in London

Looking for a little light? Head on over to Westminster to check out the outside of the Tate Britain. This year, Tate Britain commissioned iconic British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman to create a magnificent light installation to brighten our days (and nights)! Combining Hindu mythology, Bollywood imagery, and colonial history, the shapes and words that illuminate the front of Tate Britain have a deep cultural meaning. The installation’s opening coincided with Diwali, the Festival of Light, which celebrates new beginnings and promotes light over darkness. With this piece, Burman provides us with a very much needed sense of hope for a brighter future. Check it out before January 31st!

FRANCE

Cour d’Honneur of the Palais-Royal in Paris

You probably recognize these black and white striped marble columns tucked away in the courtyard of the Palais-Royal in Paris. The work “Les Deux Plateaux” was created in 1986 by one of France’s most internationally celebrated modern artists, Daniel Buren. What was once a highly controversial piece, has become an iconic must-see in the French capital. The best part? Always on, always free and always open! 

THE NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival is the highlight of the holiday season. Every year, artists from all over the world create light artworks especially for this popular festival. While the traditional way of visiting the festival by boat is unfortunately not possible this year, there are still seven light works for you to visit in Amsterdam South-East, West, Center and North. Do you live nearby? Every week in December and January, they will highlight a new light artwork. You can follow the stories of the artworks online. 

Exposure in Lelystad

There are many reasons to visit the largest artificial island in the world, but Antony Gormley’s statue definitely tops the list! The spectacular 26-meter tall squatting man, “Exposure”, was first unveiled in 2010, after nearly six years of work. Over the last decade, it has attracted spectators from all over the world. Curious about whether Gormley’s man lives up to the hype? Go check it out for yourself in Flevoland!

James Turrell in Kijkduin-The Hague

The celestial works by James Turrell breathe new life into the expression “head in the clouds”. “Celestial Vault” is an artificial crater located in the dunes of Kijkduin. With a natural stone bench inside, visitors have the opportunity to lie back and gaze at the sky. A truly unique experience, where visitors can immerse themselves in Turrell’s work.

GERMANY

Wiedererwachen in Berlin

If you’re in Berlin, then you’re bound to know the infamous STATION Berlin. A former train station known for being one of the most important arteries that connected West Berlin to West Germany, the space will transform into an art exhibition this December. The open-air show “Wiedererwachen” will take place from the 12th to the 20th of December. “Wiedererwachen” features a subway art ride with large light installations by Dutch artist Peter Vink, and other works by Alicja Kwade, Toshihiko Mitsuya, and Csilla Szabó. Due to the current restrictions, you’ll need to register before attending the show, but trust us, you won’t want to miss this one.

SPAIN

The NMAC Foundation 

The NMAC Foundation is a non-profit open air art space in the Vejer de la Frontera near Cádiz in Spain. It encourages international contemporary artists to create site-specific works that tune in with the location’s landscape and historical context. Its permanent collection includes works by highly acclaimed artists, such as Marina Abramović, Olafur Eliasson and Maurizio CattelanThe foundation’s objective is to offer a vision of contemporary art in a rural landscape, where visitors can find sculptures, photographs, videos and paintings. This is a cultural space where, in addition to fantastic works of art, visitors can attend poetry readings, courses, and open air concerts.

NORWAY

Ekebergparken in Oslo

On the outskirts of Oslo, you can find the Ekebergparken sculpture park. Recognized as one of the world’s five best sculpture parks by The Wall Street Journal, Ekebergparken is a must- see if you’re in the area. It offers a unique experience, combining art, history and nature. At Ekebergparken, you’ll find a wide collection of sculptures by Art Fix faves like Louise Bourgeois, James Turrell and Damien Hirst. Throughout your visit, you’ll also find traces of Oslo’s long history, from rock carvings to ruins from the stone age. Get rid of those lockdown blues by embarking on this one-of-a-kind journey where art meets nature! 

UNITED STATES

Storm King Art Center in New York

Escape the city and venture to this 500-acre outdoor museum in Upstate New York. Its sculpture garden is dotted with art world legends: from Alexander Calder to Louise Bourgeois. “Every time you visit Storm King it will be different, because of the seasons, the day, the light, things change” says Stern, the Storm King Art Center president.

The High Line in New York

If you’re looking for a sunny outdoor escape in NY, head over to the High Line to catch Leigh’s “Brick House”. Simone Leigh’s sculpture is a 16 feet tall lady. By far the largest the Chicago-born artist has ever created, the bronze sculpture depicts an African-American woman with braids, whose horse looks like a skirt-like house. “It’s an icon, it’s a goddess — this very powerful feminine presence in a very masculine environment, because all around you, you have these towering skyscrapers and cranes,” said Cecilia Alemani, the director and chief curator of High Line Art. And that’s exactly what we say – an incredible feminist burst of energy on NY’s High Line.

Light Year at the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo, New York

Light Year is an international ongoing art program that projects video art installations onto the Manhattan Bridge. The project features presentations in both Dumbo and Berlin on the first Thursday of every month, and it’s even live streamed online too – all free of charge! Since its launch in 2015, Light Year has hosted the work of hundreds of artists and curators from all over the world, transforming the Manhattan Bridge into a source of inspiration and an inclusive space for shared love of art.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Mural in East Village, New York

Enjoyed our episode on street art? Then you’ve got to head over to East Village to check out this three-story mural honoring the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The mural not only celebrates the life and work of a femenist that fought against gender discrimination, but it is also a symbol of justice and a source of hope and inspiration.

  • The magnificent mural was created by a New York-based street artist known as ELLE. Click here to see more of her work: instagram.com

Art Week in Miami Beach

Even though Art Basel had to cancel its 2020 edition in Miami, the city is still putting on a show by moving its art scene outdoors. From December 2nd to the 12th, the public can experience outdoor walking tours that include art sculptures, murals, and installations. Some works will also be displayed at some of Miami’s world-famous hotels.

Goldsworthy at Presidio Park in San Francisco 

Located at the Golden Gate, The Presidio is a national park that is home to one of the largest collections by artist Andy Goldsworthy. Using nature as his canvas, he works with materials found in the park to create unique installations that alter our experience of the familiar. Goldsworthy’s works can be enjoyed on a three-mile hike along the Presidio’s trail network. So put on your hiking boots and grab your camera, because this is a stop not to miss for both photographers and hiking fans alike.

CHINA

Jing’an International Sculpture Project in Shanghai

Love the combination of green space and art? Then head over to Julien Opie’s fantastic LED lightworks, on view in the great outdoor sculpture park in the middle of Shanghai. And don’t miss the works by other artists like Pascale Marthine Tayou and Richard Long. On view till 31 December 2020 

If these outdoor sculptures don’t satisfy your Opie craving, check out his brand new works at the Lisson Gallery in Shanghai, his first ever solo exhibition in China.