“Summer” art writers this year understandably concentrated on the many splendid events France has organized around Marseille’s year as Cultural Capital of Europe. These are indeed not to be missed, especially the great exhibitions of the “Ateliers du Midi” in both Marseille and Aix en Provence. However, if you are still heading South with an interest in art as well as sun, don’t miss the (not so) little paradise Mr. Patrick McKillen has created at Château La Coste near the hamlet of Le Puy Sainte Réparade (not far from Aix en Provence and not to be confused with the village of Lacoste).
Mr McKillen has taken an old and prestigious wine making estate of well over 120 hectares and planted it with more vines and olive trees in a magnificent park architecture. Throughout the park there are works of art by the most famous contemporary artists, who had been especially invited to create works inspired by and fitting into the landscape. Works by Richard Serra, Tom Shannon, Alexander Calder, Liam Gillick and many others can be found on a walk through the park, which takes about two hours. There are shady abris where you can rest and gaze at the views by Tadao Ando and pavilions designed among others by Richard Gehry and Norman Foster. At the end of your walk you can go to the “Chai”, designed by Jean Nouvel to sample and buy the excellent estate wines (all “bio” grown) and relax and enjoy an excellent and affordable lunch at the central pavilion cooled by two shallow pools, one of which is an infinity pool. In order to save the landscape, all parking is underground as will be most of the hotel that will be built on the estate.
A leasurely morning stroll through the estate (afternoons can be wickedly hot), admiring the brilliantly placed works of art as well as the Provence vistas, followed by a good lunch on the terrace of the pavilion is a remarkable experience that will stay with you for a very long time.
ARTANA latin American fine arts