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Here Are CULTURED's 10 Most-Read Stories This April


1. The CULT 100  

CULTURED launched its most expansive initiative yet this month: a list of 100 luminaries shaping culture across the fields of art, film, literature, food, fashion, and more. The individuals assembled here, from Venus Williams to Teyana Taylor, represent a powerful rejoinder to a culture shaped by algorithms. They advocate for a slower, weirder, more generous and intimate world. And in the process, they are making it a much more interesting place to be.

Gwyneth Paltrow wears a cardigan by G. Label by Goop, shorts by Loro Piana, bra by Araks, and Quatre Classique necklace and large bangle from Boucheron’s Quatre 20th Anniversary Collection. Photography by Jorge Perez Ortiz.

2. Why Can’t We Look Away From Gwyneth Paltrow? 

When her friend and former Iron Man co-star, Robert Downey Jr., won his first Academy Award, CULT 100 cover star Gwyneth Paltrow posted a celebratory video to her Instagram Stories, showing her followers the livestream on her computer. Naturally, the Internet was interested in nothing but the rare, split-second glimpse of Paltrow’s screen which showed bookmarked New York Times Cooking, Pinterest, LinkedIn and, of course, Goop. The idea of Paltrow having to engage with such plebeian tasks as logging receipts and “circling back” on Microsoft Outlook is funny because it’s so out of character. She’s never pretended to be like us, which is part of her appeal. It is precisely because of her obvious privilege that she’s got us hanging on her every word, desperate to believe that if we do and click as she does, we can be a little bit like her.

Portrait of Mira Schor. Image courtesy of the artist.

3. ‘It’s Been a Marathon’: Mira Schor on the Triumphs and Tragedy of the Older Woman Artist ‘Finally Getting Her Due’

In 1985, just shy of a decade after her involvement with CalArts’s Feminist Art Program and participation in the seminal show “Womanhouse,” Mira Schor was back in New York and painting, a medium she had previously left behind for explorations in paper and installation. Thirty-nine years later, more people care about Schor’s existence as an artist than ever before. Here, the indelible artist looks back on where her career has taken her, and why she can’t wait to focus on what’s next.

Elizabeth Glaessner, Undertoe, 2024.

4. Here Are 11 Essential Gallery Exhibitions You Need To See This Month

Bernadette Despujols, Niki de Saint Phalle, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and more are on view in exhibitions across the globe.

Show Kasamatsu in Tokyo Vice. All images courtesy of Warner Bros.

5. Show Kasamatsu and Ansel Elgort, Stars of the Series Tokyo Vice, Compare Notes on Life in Japan

“There is no murder in Japan.” That’s the line that sets up the central tension in director Michael Mann’s stylish new series Tokyo Vice. The show focuses on a young American journalist, Jake Adelstein—played by Ansel Elgort—as he slips into the criminal networks of a city coated in a benevolent veneer, and Akiro Sato—played by breakout star Show Kasamatsu—a scene-stealing Yakuza clan enforcer whose loyalties and ambitions remain hard to pin down. Ahead of the season two finale of Tokyo Vice, the show’s leads discuss Elgort's commitment to learning Japanese and how the show captures the national culture.

Bowen wears a suit by Bode, shirt by Moschino, sunglasses by Le Specs, and earring by Cartier. Katherine Bernhardt, Dt. Teeth + Doritos, 2021. Photography by Lee Mary Manning.

6. Comedian Bowen Yang Made His Name as a Cheeky Outsider. What Happens Now That He's on the Inside?

While he gained a loyal following for his cheeky commentary on his joint pop-culture podcast Las Culturistas with fellow comedian Matt Rogers, Bowen Yang is no longer an outsider looking in. In 2019, Yang became a cast member on Saturday Night Live; two years later, he was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people. After a buzzy turn in the 2022 indie queer romance Fire Island, he will reach triple-threat status alongside Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film version of the smash-hit musical Wicked. Now a bona fide A-lister, he's found that being in the inner circle comes with its own host of complexities and discusses it in his CULT 100 cover story.

Portrait of Jeffrey Gibson by Cara Romero. Image courtesy of the artist.

7. Twelve Years Ago, Jeffrey Gibson Was on the Verge of Quitting Art. Now, He’s a Venice Biennale Star

In a historic first, artist Jeffrey Gibson, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, represents the United States at this year's Venice Biennale. No Indigenous artist has had a solo presentation at its pavilion before. Commissioned by the Portland Art Museum in Oregon in collaboration with SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico, Gibson is working with curators Abigail Winograd and Kathleen Ash-Milby to organize an exhibition that brings together an oeuvre so far-reaching it defies easy categorization. Here is a crash course on the work of the Indigenous artist.

Severine Perru. Image courtesy of Charles Billot.

8. 5 of New York's Savviest Sommeliers Reveal What You're Still Getting Wrong About Wine

Whether you reach for an unfiltered red oozing barnyard funk or a flinty, crisp Chablis, New York’s gangbuster wine bar scene always has something to offer. CULTURED turned to five people and places defining the city’s vino scene today to help you make the most of this outdoor happy hour season—and inspire you to ask for what you want without getting intimidated.

Portrait of Dominic Leong by Jennifer Czyborra. Image courtesy of Leong Leong.

9. New York Architect Dominic Leong Has Secured Art and Fashion’s Most Coveted Gig

Each year, the chief curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, makes a habit of tapping renowned architects for his department’s annual fashion showcase. This year, his architect of choice is Leong Leong, the New York-based studio founded in 2009 and helmed by brothers Chris and Dominic Leong. Here, Karen Wong goes inside their Chinatown-based studio ahead of the multisensory extravaganza that is the Met Gala titled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” opening May 10. 

Margaret Lee in her studio. Photography and artwork by Lee.

10. How an Encounter With a Much-Derided Self-Help Book Changed Margaret Lee’s Practice Forever

Margaret Lee was in the midst of the most intense creative block of her life last year when she did something out of character. She opened up a self-help book: Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. When, during the second week of the 12-week program, the book instructed Lee to hang a sign in her workspace calling on the “Great Creator”, she felt her cynicism welling up like a sneeze. “But I’d never had artist’s block like this before, and nothing else has worked” she said. So she kept going. The fruits of her labor are on view in “Life Lines,” which opened on April 25 at Jack Hanley Gallery