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New and Noteworthy: April 2024

by habituallychic

04 . 12 . 24

April is definitely not the cruelest month this year. There are so many great things to see, do, watch, and try whether you are experiencing beautiful spring weather or are hiding out from April showers.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Matouk linens and will be excited to know that they just opened House of Matouk at 20 East 67th Street on the Upper East Side. You can check out their design partnerships, order customized linens, or make an appointment for expert advice. They are open Monday through Saturday 9:30am to 6:00pm and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm.

The chic Parisian reseller ReSee will be in NYC from April 16-18, 2024 with some of their best vintage pre-owned pieces from Hermès and other luxury brands. You can DM them on Instagram @resee for more details

Hidden Faces: Covered Portraits of the Renaissance exhibition just opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and runs through July 7, 2024. “This exhibition is the first to examine an intriguing but largely unknown side—in the literal sense—of Renaissance painting: multisided portraits in which the sitter’s likeness was concealed by a hinged or sliding cover, within a box, or by a dual-faced format. The covers and reverses of these small, private portraits were adorned with puzzle-like emblems, epigrams, allegories, and mythologies that celebrated the sitter’s character, and they represent some of the most inventive and unique secular imagery of the Renaissance. The viewer had to decode the meaning of the symbolic portrait before lifting, sliding, or turning the image over to unmask the face below.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Bard Graduate Center in all my time living in NYC but I’m definitely going to rectify that this month for their exhibition Sonia Delaunay: Living Art. “Sonia Delaunay (1885–1979) was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Her remarkably diverse and interconnected body of work focused on the primacy of color and a synthesis of the arts. Painter, artisan, and designer, she embraced modernity and harnessed the creative power of collaboration in the realms of fashion, textiles, interiors, books, mosaics, and tapestries. Living Art comprises almost 200 objects secured from major international lenders, reflecting Delaunay’s kaleidoscopic output through all periods of her career from the early Parisian avant-garde of the 1910s to the spirited 1970s. Exploring the materiality, making, and marketing of her work, the exhibition traces a lifetime of creative expression and presents an innovator who transcended conventional artistic boundaries and devotedly lived her art.” It runs through July 7, 2024.

There is a new exhibition Crafting Modernity: Design in Latin America, 1940–1980 at The Museum of Modern Art until September 22, 2024.

“There is design in everything,” wrote Clara Porset, the innovative Cuban-Mexican designer. She believed that craft and industry could inspire each other, forging an alternative path for modern design. Not all of Porset’s colleagues agreed with her conviction. This exhibition presents these sometimes conflicting visions of modernity proposed by designers of home environments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela between 1940 and 1980. For some, design was an evolution of local and Indigenous craft traditions, leading to an approach that combined centuries-old artisanal techniques with machine-based methods. For others, design responded to market conditions and local tastes, and was based on available technologies and industrial processes. In this exhibition, objects including furniture, appliances, posters, textiles, and ceramics, as well as a selection of photographs and paintings, will explore these tensions.

Matisse and the Sea at the Saint Louis Art Museum is the first exhibition to examine the significance of the sea across Modernist artist Henri Matisse’s career, which included artwork in coastal locations on the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. Marine imagery was an important catalyst for Matisse’s artistic experimentation—most notably in the Saint Louis Art Museum’s own iconic painting Bathers with a Turtle.

The exhibition includes imagery ranging from Matisse’s early panoramic marine views in the South of France to his late paper cutouts, representing life beneath the waves, which were inspired by his visit to Tahiti in 1930. It offers an opportunity to explore the artist’s travel across his career as well as the global influences that informed his art, particularly African sculptures and masks.

Matisse and the Sea will include a wide range of works in many media, including paintings, sculptures, paper cut-outs, drawings, prints, ceramics, and textiles, and runs through May 12, 2024.

Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes will run from April 16 to August 4, 2024 at the Alte Nationalgalerie, located on Berlin’s Museumsinsel. The exhibition features over 60 of Friedrich’s paintings and 50 drawings, depicting landscapes from Germany and abroad, including iconic works such as The Sea of IceChalk Cliffs on Rügen, and The Monk by the Sea.

This exhibition will also be shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art who will host the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the artist to be held in the United States. Caspar David Friedrich: The Soul of Nature will run from February 7 to May 11, 2025. 

This week, Lévy Gorvy Dayan opened Yves Klein and the Tangible World, an exhibition devoted to the engagement of the body in the visionary French artist’s oeuvre. Curated in collaboration with the Yves Klein Foundation, the presentation brings together nearly 30 examples of Yves Klein’s Anthropométries(1960–62) and Peintures de feu (Fire Paintings, 1961–62), as well as Sculpture tactile (Tactile Sculpture, conceived c. 1957) in the first focused juxtaposition of these works. 

Klein’s paintings affirm his conviction that art should exude life. His Anthropométries and Peintures de feuexemplify this ethos, possessing traces of living flesh and imprinted memories of fire, water, earth, and air. Klein once wrote, “The link between spirit and matter is energy. The combined mechanism of these three elements generates our tangible world, which is claimed to be real but is in fact ephemeral.” Through direct physical contact and alchemy, energy is captured and transferred in the works on view, binding the soul and the material support.

On the occasion of the exhibition Yves Klein and the Tangible World, Lévy Gorvy Dayan will present a performance of Klein’s Monotone-Silence Symphony at St. James’ Church, New York, on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 6:30 pm.

Expressionists Kandinsky, Münter and The Blue Rider opening 25 April 2024 at the Tate in London will explore the groundbreaking work of a circle of friends and close collaborators known as The Blue Rider. In the early 20th century they came together to form, in their own words, ‘a union of various countries to serve one purpose’ – to transform modern art. The artists rallied around Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter to experiment with colour, sound and light, creating bold and vibrant art.

Expressionists is a story of friendships told through art. It examines the highly individual creatives that made up The Blue Rider, from Franz Marc’s interest in colour to Alexander Sacharoff’s freestyle performance. The women artists played a central role in the movement. Discover experimental photographs by Gabriele Münter alongside the dramatic paintings of Marianne Werefkin.

Experience a collection of masterpieces from paintings, sculpture, and photography to performance and sound. This landmark exhibition is possible due to a collaboration with Lenbachhaus, Munich, who have offered Tate unprecedented access to their collection. It features over 130 works – brought together in the UK for the first time in over 60 years. It runs through 20 October 2024.

I keep forgetting to tell you about Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at The Morgan Library which runs through June 9, 2024.

Creator of unforgettable animal characters like Peter Rabbit, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, the beloved children’s book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) rooted her fiction in the natural world. Childhood summers spent in Scotland and the English Lake District nourished Potter’s love of nature, while her famous menagerie of pets inspired her picture letters and published tales. Her study of botany and mycology established an abiding interest in the life sciences, a passion she would bring to rural life at Hill Top Farm in Cumbria, England. There, she enjoyed a second act as a sheep breeder and land conservationist, ultimately bequeathing four thousand acres of farmland to the National Trust.

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature brings together artwork, books, manuscripts, and artifacts from several institutions in the United Kingdom, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Trust, and the Armitt Museum and Library. Paired with the Morgan’s exceptional collection of her picture letters, these objects trace how Potter’s innovative blend of scientific observation and imaginative storytelling shaped some of the world’s most popular children’s books.

Film Forum is running 11 films starring iconic French actor Alain Delon from April 12-18, 2024. It’s a chance to see some of his most famous films on the big screen including Le Samouraï, Purple Noon, Mr. Klein, La Piscine, Un Flic, Le Cercle Rouge, Rocco and his Brothers, The Leopard, and L’Eclisse.

UPDATE: The Alain Delon Film Festival has been extended to May 2, 2024.

Award-winning actor Toby Jones (Empire of LightTinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sherlock) stars in the new four part series Mr. Bates vs The Post Office airing on PBS this weekend. It’s a shockingly true David vs Goliath story following one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history. When money started to seemingly disappear from its local branches, the government-owned UK Post Office wrongly blamed its own managers for the apparent loss. Hundreds were harassed, accused of theft and fraud, even sent to prison—leaving lives, marriages, and reputations in ruins. But the issue was actually caused by errors in the Post Office’s own computer system; something it denied for years. This is the story of decent, ordinary, and real-life people who were relentlessly pursued, coerced, and controlled by a powerful corporation, and their seemingly unsurmountable battle to right so many horrific wrongs.

There is no series that has divided people as much as Ripley on Netflix. Can you imagine the audacity of a man to suggest a series based on the same book by Patricia Highsmith as the film The Talented Mr. Ripley from 1999 that is referenced online daily? I knew the person in question was a man because no woman would ever do this and meanwhile French screenwriter and director Justine Triet could barely get her original award winning film Anatomy of a Fall made. But I digress.

I’d say one the biggest issues that myself and others have expressed is that the actors are much older and in some cases almost double the ages of the characters in the book and 1999 film. It makes no sense that a father would send a stranger to Italy to bring his playboy son home when the son is played by the 41 year old Johnny Flynn. In the first book of the series, Tom Ripley is supposed to be 25. Andrew Scott who plays him is 47 and has the wrinkles to prove it. I actually didn’t mind that it was shot in black and white which is another bone of contention. I’m sure director Steven Zaillian (who also made the dud Deep Water), who said he was inspired by the black and photo on the copy of his book, probably also realized that he couldn’t compete with the sun drenched la dolce vita look of the 1999 film. One of the other big issues is that there is no chemistry between the main characters so it does get a little better when Andrew Scott is not with them. The acting of the three leads is also so bad that the secondary characters played by Italian actors really stand out. Thank goodness for them or I might have given up after episode two like most people.

All of this said, I didn’t completely hate it and think you should give it a try noting that you need to sit through a few bad episodes before it becomes bearable.

The first three episodes of Franklin starring Michael Douglas have debuted on Apple TV today. “In December 1776, Benjamin Franklin is world-famous for his electrical experiments, but his passion and power are put to the test when he embarks on a secret mission to France, with the fate of American independence hanging in the balance.” It was actually filmed in France with French actors speaking in French with English subtitles so it feels authentic. My only quibble is that the cinematography is very dark but it’s definitely worth watching.

I’ve only seen one episode of the new series Mary and George on Starz starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine but I can already tell you it’s not for the easily offended. It follows the story of the Countess of Buckingham, who moulded her son to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover through intrigue, making her family richer, more titled, and more influential than England had ever seen.

The French edition of Mathilde Favier’s book Mathilde à Paris will be released on April 24, 2024 while the English edition, Living Beautifully in Paris, will be published on May 7, 2024 if you want to pre-order it now. I was lucky enough to received an inscribed advance copy and it’s a lovely tribute to Paris and interesting and creative people who live and work in the City of Light.

I’m intrigued by the subject of the upcoming book Liberty Equality Fashion: The Women Who Styled the French Revolution which will be released on April 23, 2024.

It highlights three women led a fashion revolution and turned themselves into international style celebrities. Joséphine Bonaparte, future Empress of France; Térézia Tallien, the most beautiful woman in Europe; and Juliette Récamier, muse of intellectuals, had nothing left to lose. After surviving incarceration and forced incestuous marriage during the worst violence of the French Revolution of 1789, they dared sartorial revolt. Together, Joséphine and Térézia shed the underwear cages and massive, rigid garments that women had been obliged to wear for centuries. They slipped into light, mobile dresses, cropped their hair short, wrapped themselves in shawls, and championed the handbag. Juliette made the new style stand for individual liberty.

The erotic audacity of these fashion revolutionaries conquered Europe, starting with Napoleon. Everywhere a fashion magazine could reach, women imitated the news coming from Paris. It was the fastest and most total change in clothing history. Two centuries ahead of its time, it was rolled back after only a decade by misogynist rumors of obscene extravagance.

New evidence allows the real fashion revolution to be told. This is a story for our time: of a revolution that demanded universal human rights, of self-creation, of women empowering each other, and of transcendent glamor

Ian Fleming: The Complete Man is a fresh portrait of the man behind James Bond, and his enduring impact, by an award-winning biographer with unprecedented access to the Fleming family papers.

I still haven’t watched the new series A Gentleman in Moscow but author Amor Towles has a new book out now, Table for Two: Fictions in which he shares some of his shorter fiction: six stories based in New York City and a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood.

I think it could use a few more songs but I created a new Spring 2024 Spotify Playlist for you if you need some new music.

Diptyque has a new limited edition series of candles they just released with Café Verlet in Paris embracing Les Délicieuses with illustrated labels by artist Clym Evernden. They include Café (Coffee), Biscuit (Cookie), Chantilly (Whipped Cream), and Fruits Confits (Candied Fruit) that I assume smell good enough to eat.

If you want to do a little shopping this weekend, there are a few great sales on now. Cos has a 25% off Friends and Family Sale happening sitewide but there are exceptions. A few pieces I wanted are not part of the sale but I might order this yellow V-neck Wool Cardigan to wear with my navy trousers.

The Sephora Savings Event is still going on until April 15, 2024 and if you need any advice on what to buy, you can check out my recent blog post.

Ann Taylor has a 40% off during their Mid Season Sale with an additional 20% off sale styles until April 14, 2024.

J.Crew also has 30% off with the code SHOP30 but of course what I wanted was excluded from the promo. C’est la vie.

Bon week-end !