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IVAM – Mean Streets & My Mother’s Suitcase

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The weather hasn’t been the greatest in the Valencian Community recently, so we spent one rainy afternoon at the IVAM — Valencia’s modern art museum — where there’s almost always a new exhibit worth seeing.

Mean Streets (Malas Calles) is a confusing mish-mash; an interdisciplinary examination of how “the streets” have affected and shaped modern culture. That’s what it’s supposed to be about, at any rate. Really, the exhibition is better described as a completely random collection of good music, great films, interesting photography, weird art, and extremely boring video projections. Much of it has a very tenuous connection to “the streets” (Fritz Lang’s Metropolis? Happens underground! In an imaginary future!), but once I stopped trying to “figure out” the reasoning behind the selections, I enjoyed myself.


My Mother’s Suitcase is a sculpture collection by Natividad Navalón, which we liked quite a bit. Using materials like iron, towels, water and light, the artist examines the relationship between a mother and her daughter, in 5 rooms. This is the kind of modern art I can get behind. Moving and accessible without pretension.

My Mother’s suitcase only runs through February 21st, so hurry down. Mean Streets is on until May 9th.

Location on our Valencia Map
Official Website

More images from My Mother’s Suitcase:


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February 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm Comment (1)

Adios to Sorolla’s Visions of Spain

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After an incredible 2 year stay in Spain, Visions of Spain, the collection of paintings by Valencia’s Joaquin Sorolla, is headed back to its home in New York City. By any measure, the tour was immensely successful — more than two million visited the exhibition on tour in Spain’s biggest cities, including Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona and Valencia.

I went twice.

Sorolla painted these gigantic canvases in the 1910’s with the purpose of introducing his country to the United States. The commission came from the Hispanic Society of America, the seat of which is in New York.

If you’re in NYC, please don’t pass up the chance to visit the society’s headquarters, off Broadway & 155th, and see the paintings. The vibrant, idealized scenes may not be literal depictions of Spanish life, but they convey the right sense. It’s re-opening in May, 2010.

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February 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm Comments (0)

The Glory of the Baroque: The Church of Saint Martin

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A Valencian foundation called The Light of the Images was created in 1999 with the mission of restoring and exhibiting aspects of Valencia’s rich cultural heritage. Their latest project is called The Glory of the Baroque — an exhibition which runs through three of the city’s oldest churches.


On Sunday, we went to the Church of Saint Martin, which had been under renovation for a very long time. The church dates from the 14th Century and its restoration is, indeed, glorious. White and gold dominate the interior; marvelous, bright golden designs cover the ceilings. The paintings, sculptures and walls have all been renovated or restored and the church almost feels as though it had just been built. Literally breathtaking: both Juergen and I gasped upon entering.

The church has been converted temporarily into a gallery, with centuries-old religious ornaments and curios on display alongside intricate garments. You can even ascend a terrace in the main chapel and look down on the church from above.

The Light of the Images is doing fantastic work, and you have plenty of time to enjoy it; the Glory of the Baroque runs through September, 2010. If you’ve walked around the city center recently, you’ll have noticed a baroque white path on the sidewalks. It leads to the different churches in the exhibition.

Yet another must-see in Valencia!

The Glory of the Baroque, Website
Location of the Church of San Martin


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January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am Comment (1)

Axel Hütte’s Strange Lands at the IVAM

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Usually, when we talk about talented German photographers whose work you can see in Valencia, we mean none other than our own Juergen Horn.

Talented as he may be, Juergen’s still not landed a show at the IVAM (location), unlike his somewhat more well-known compatriot, Axel Hütte.

© Axel Hütte

Herr Hütte’s exhibition at the IVAM is entitled Strange Lands, and features otherworldly photography of landscapes he’s encountered during his travels in Spain and Latin America.

35 large color prints are on display until May 10th. We haven’t gone yet, but the images we’ve seen online are striking.

IVAM – Location on our Valencia Map

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April 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm Comments (0)