The final stretch of the 1975 Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées, Paris. Photograph

We are huge fans of the Tour de France, now in its 111th year, and are so excited for opening day on Saturday, July 5. At the start of the Tour, I always think about Louis Malle’s 1962 documentary short Vive le Tour and more recently, Jason Berry’s fantastic 2010 documentary Chasing Legends, both very much worth your time. The 2014 Tour de France culminates on July 27.   


The Bicycle Film Festival is once again in full swing in New York City. Now in its 14th year, this super cool festival not only celebrates the bicycle on film, but also in art and music, and is a powerful voice in promoting the urban cycling movement. One of the most anticipated annual events in the festival is an exhibition called Joyride. Held at the Marlborough Broome Street gallery, it opened last night and features works by emerging artists as well as major contemporary artists such as Kiki Smith, Urs Fischer, Francesco Clemente, Alex Katz and Richard Prince, each with the bicycle in mind. Check it out.

The Bicycle Film Festival runs through June 29 —

Joyride runs through August 3 —   


I finally watched Mademoiselle C, Fabien Constant’s 2013 documentary about fashion editor Carine Roitfeld. A quite stylish (of course)and intimate film with an amazing soundtrack, it follows Roitfeld as she creates her gorgeous new magazine, CR Fashion Book, soon after her departure from French Vogue. It is also a very personal portrait of Roitfeld — her life, her family and friends, and her creative process. I loved it. 


Remembering the Artist. Robert De Niro, Sr., the new documentary that screened at Sundance and premiered this past Monday on HBO, is definitely one to watch. De Niro, Sr. was an important painter in the New York School whose work walked the line between Abstract Expressionism and European Modernism. He studied at Black Mountain College under Josef Albers and in New York and Provincetown under Hans Hofmann. He exhibited his work at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery and in group shows with Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and taught at the Cooper Union, the New School and the School of Visual Arts. I very much like his work and I very much liked this film. And if you happen to be in Washington, DC between now and July 31, you can see his work in a solo exhibition at the DC Moore Gallery.


Marja Helander, Buollánoaivi, 2001, from the series Modern Nomads. 
Photograph on aluminum. The Sámi Collections.

Last week I went to see Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People, a fascinating installation at Scandinavia House. I must admit, prior to this show I really didn’t know anything about this indigenous group that inhabits parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia, commonly known in the English language as Lapland. Sámi Stories presents a wonderful history of the people and examples of art and handwork by artists of Sámi descentHighlights of the show for me were definitely the contemporary works. Photographs by Finnish artist Marja Helander and Norwegian artist Arvid Sveen, and a magnificent 78-foot-long embroidery on linen by Swedish artist Britta Marakatt-Labba.
If you’ve not been there, Scandinavia House is one very special place. Fantastic exhibitions, films and programming, a lovely Scandinavian cafe, and one of the best shops in the city. 

Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People runs through August 23


Charles Eames (June 17, 1907 – August 21, 1978)

Charles Eames was certainly one of the most influential American designers of the twentieth century, and a particular favorite of mine. Trained as an architect, Eames and his wife Ray, an artist in her own right, ran the Eames Office in Venice, California for more than 30 years. Perhaps best known for their many iconic chair designs, they were indeed the most brilliant creatives and their vast and wide-ranging body of work is a testament to that. Charles would have been 107 years old today.

Be sure to check out the fantastic documentary Eames: The Architect and The Painter (2011)    


We’re so excited that Chinese Puzzle, the third film in Cédric Klapisch’s trilogy has just recently been released here. Set in New York City, Chinese Puzzle revisits Klapisch’s fantastically quirky characters, all from the original cast, twelve years later. It’s actually hard to believe so much time has passed! If you loved L’Auberge Espagnole and Russian Dolls (we did), you most definitely won’t be disappointed.

Watch the trailer here


I suspect I’m probably way behind the rest of the world here, but I just finished the great, great novel Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Set both in a fictional Italian coastal village in 1962, at the very moment Cleopatra is being filmed in Rome with Elizabeth Taylor, and present-day Hollywood, with all the absurdities of the movie business and our modern world at the forefront, it’s at once complex and a desirably easy read. I found it completely intoxicating. Walter’s characters are brilliant and perfectly assembled, including Richard Burton himself. His storytelling is brilliant too, and his writing is seriously smart and funny. So taken am I with Jess Walter that I have just picked up his newest collection of stories, We Live in Water. Can’t wait!

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (HarperCollins Publishers, 2012)     


Constantin Joffé, American Vogue, September 1945. © 1945 Condé Nast

Fashion and photography seemed to be everywhere in Paris last month! Another exhibition I loved is Papier glacé: un siècle de photographie de mode chez Condé Nast (Coming into Fashion: a Century of Photography at Condé Nast) at the Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion. Containing 150 original prints from some of the most celebrated fashion photographers of the early 20th century to the present day, the show is not organized chronologically or by artist, but instead by theme, I think a far more interesting way to look at the work. The perfectly curated images are breathtaking in person. We’re talking about Norman Parkinson and Herb Ritts and Man Ray and Deborah Turbeville and George Hoyningen-Huene and Bruce Weber and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and Irving Penn… Also included are contemporary fashion films, screens for exploring various Condé Nast publications and select haute couture. And if you’ve not been to the Palais Galliera, there is a lovely, open garden with a sort of dreamy view of the Eiffel Tower.

Papier glacé: un siècle de photographie de mode chez Condé Nast runs through May 25.