Francois Pinault, the French billionaire, knows how to nudge things up a notch. After entrusting the renovation of the 17th century edifice, the Punta della Dogana, to Japanese starchitect Tadao Ando, the new centre for contemporary art in Venice will house a selection of outstanding, genre-defying works from the Francois Pinault Foundation. The new exhibition titled In Praise of Doubt will bring together historical pieces and new works which question the idea of uncertainty in terms of identity, and revisit the relationship between intimate and personal dimension. Drawing on emblematic works from the 1960s-and right up to the most contemporary creations-the exhibition pays homage to doubt in its most dynamic manifestations; through its strength in challenging prejudices, conventions and certainties. Twenty artists including luminaries like Adel Abdessemed, Marcel Broodthaers, Maurizio Cattelan, Subodh Gupta, David Hammons, Roni Horn, Thomas Houseago, Donald Judd, Edward Kienholz, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Julie Mehretu, Bruce Nauman, Sigmar Polke, Thomas Shutte, Elaine Sturtevant, Tatiana Trouvu and Chen Zhen will showcase their works. The exhibition will present newly commissioned works by Julie Mehretu and Tatiana Trouve, specially created for the site. Dizzy yet? We are.The exhibition will be on display from April 10 till December 31, 2012.FashionSale priceHe may have become the creative director of Paco Rabbane, but Indian designer Manish Arora hasn’t forgotten to keep fans of his eponymous label happy.Arora has launched an online store where fans of his kitschy, whimsical and fun-tastic designs can swipe off some couture with their credit cards. Of course, given his growing global clout, expect an international price range.FashionDream roleBritish designer Kim Jones has been named the new style director of Louis Vuitton. Having been named ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ by the British Fashion Council in 2006, Jones has served as creative director for Alfred Dunhill menswear and accessories and has also designed apparel and footwear for sportswear label Umbro.In his new role at Vuitton, Jones will work closely with Marc Jacobs, who currently serves as the artistic director for the luxury label.WatchGet steamyRomaine Jerome’s Steampunk is a follow-up timepiece to the limited edition Titanic-DNA Tourbillon Steampunk A la Grande watch from a few years ago.The Steampunk is large, at 50 mm wide, and the bezel is made of oxidised metal (going by the Titanic DNA theme). The ‘X’ motif of the bezel claws are continued with screws that go deep into the dial. These screws are also meant to resemble steam engine pistons. It is pretty neat and still feels wild.Art Photo shopFormer Dior designer, Hedi Slimane, has a new book of photographs Anthology of a Decade that will showcase a selection of 175 photographs that traverse the music scene, the New York art scene, street fashion and haute couture.The volume records Slimane’s early years in the fashion industry, before, during and after his tenures at Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior and lays bare Slimane’s inspirations for the androgynous, rock look that he invented.Piece de resistanceTrunk callParisian trunk makers TT Trunks, create one-of-a-kind pieces that meet today’s lifestyle. This TT Malle Mini Bar Trunk comes with a 40 litre refrigerator and coffee maker. Coffee and champagne kits can be stored in the door frame. A large drawer divided into compartments presents a service tray case. Each drawer’s column may be replaced by a portable cigar humidor made in solid Okoume wood. Of course at a price.This mini bar trunk is priced at Rs 1.85 lakh.Jewellery Sweet mixThe new jewellery collection by H. Stern is inspired by the famous sketches of the Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Subtle curves combine with empty space in a homage so successful that it has the approval of the grandfather of Brazilian modernism himself.In what is the 102-yearold architect’s first foray into the world of jewellery, Niemeyer has approved- though not actually designed-a collection inspired by his sketches. For instance a sketch of a voluptuous woman becomes a pair of elegantly long earrings, the subtle lines of Sao Paulos’ Copan building become a voluminous bracelet, and the sinuous form of the San Francisco de Assis church in Pampulha becomes a wavy ring.TalkTop women artists seem to rake it inDifferent strokesEvery fortnight Artprice posts a theme-based auction ranking. Few weeks ago the focus was on women artists, and rightfully so. Often treated as muses or simply ignored, women artists only really managed to penetrate art history during the 20th century. Today, they form an integral part of major exhibitions and important public sales. So exactly who are the top female artists within the auction sphere? With three seven-figure auction results in 2010, Cindy Sherman has returned to the forefront. In fact, at the Carte Blanche for Phillippe Segalot sale organised by Phillips de Pury in November 2010, her diptych Untitled #420 sold for $1.2m (Rs 5.41 crore) and her Untitled #153 fetched $2.4m (Rs 1.08 crore, her new record). The year was fruitful for the Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu who generated three new personal records including one for The Seven Acts of Mercy that fetched $2m (Rs 9.02 Crore) at Sotheby’s, New York. In 2010, Bharti Kher posted a new record with The Skin speaks a Language not its own at $1.2m(Rs 5.41 Crore) at Sotheby’s London. The British artist Cecily Brown’s Suddenly Last Summer fetched $900,000 (Rs 4.06 Crore) at Sotheby’s New York. The Swedish artist Cecilia Edefalk’s oil on canvas entitled Baby fetched $853,730 (Rs 3.85 Crore) at Bukowskis in Stockholm. Much appreciated in her country of origin where all her sales are generated, Edefalk is the highest-valued female Swedish artist on the market.Speed RacerBentley has created its most potent and radically styled convertible ever-the 202 mph (325 km/h) Supersports ‘Ice Speed Record’ convertible. This new model, limited to just 100 cars worldwide, is a celebration of the company’s world ice speed record by Finland’s four-time world rally champion, Juha Kankkunen, in a Bentley Continental Supersports convertible. The 6-litre, twin turbo-charged W12 engine, produces 640 PS (631 bhp / 471 kW)-the most powerful Bentley ever-and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque. Paired with a Quickshift six-speed automatic transmission, it launches the convertible ‘Ice Speed Record’ model from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.0s) and reaches 100 mph from a standing start in only 9.5 seconds (0-160 km/h in 9.4s). Va va vroom.Watch outThe Watch Bar in Mumbai promises some good times ahead. Watch connoisseurs can head to this sleek boutique and enjoy a selection of exquisite watches from brands that include Backes and Strauss, Bvlgari, Cartier, Franck Muller, Girard Perregaux, Graham, Hublot, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Parmigiani and TAG Heuer. Stop by. After all, it is the experience that counts.Store HouseStudio Voltaire is a leading independent contemporary arts organisation in London that supports artistic practices and creates a space for thinking, experimentation and reflection; its main activities are the provision of affordable studios, a renowned programme of exhibitions, performances and commissions, and a pioneering education programme.If you can’t make it in person, a selection of special works and editions are available to buy online and can be delivered internationally.Chef TrailTo mark the 10th anniversary of his three-Michelin-star restaurant at the Plaza Athenee hotel in Paris, chef Alain Ducasse decided it was time for a change. He implemented his new Essentiel concept, which eschews flamboyance and fussiness in favour of purity, quality, and authenticity. Ingredients are carefully sourced from Ducasse’s handpicked suppliers and served at the peak of seasonal freshness. Dig in.Operatic FeatThe 70,000 sqm Guangzhou Opera House, designed by top architect, Zaha Hadid, is a unique exploration of contextual urban relationships. The design, taking over seven years to complete, has evolved from the concept of natural landscape and the fascinating interplay between architecture and nature; engaging with the principles of erosion, geology and topography.The Opera House has 1,800 seat theatre plus a 400-seat multi functional hall.THE SPICE CELLARThe sweetest thingBy Magandeep SinghThe most common stereotype (or misconception) that exists about wines is that if you drink a sweet one, you are not sophisticated. That is ridiculous. It’s like saying that if one goes out with blondes, one doesn’t value intelligence in women.The Moscato is in between a sweet and dry wine, especially when done in the Italian style which is low on alcohol and slightly fizzy.A dessert wine can be the sweetest form of expression, no pun intended. But sometimes people find that too syrupy. And dry wines can be too offputting for someone who has never tried wine. The Moscato is a great in-between then, especially when done in the Italian style. This style is usually low on alcohol and slightly fizzy. The grape is very aromatic and to find the aromas of lychees and roses is normal. But always bear in mind that wine is still made from nothing but grapes so all these resulting aromas are nothing but the mystic joys of nature’s many ploys. Even the sugar in a sweet (or semi-sweet) wine is natural, coming from the grapes. No cane sugar is added to sweeten a wine. In short, if you can drink orange juice, you can drink this, without fearing diabetes.It can go very well with light desserts fruits and cream too perhaps. The greatest thing however, to do with this wine is to have it chilled, as an aperitif. The lightness of this wine with the aromas and the sweetness make it quite un-put-down-able.The Moscato, which will be launched in the market, comes from the house of Kimaya. Yes, the brand known for its fashion forays is now stepping into a new realm of aspirations and luxury- bottled wine. Kimaya has quite a few variants from Australia, among which is this prickly off-dry white wine. For now it has launched Kimaya Chardonnay 2010 and Kimaya Shiraz 2010. The label will be available across most major metros and not just in hotels. However, it will not be available at Kimaya stores.The philosophy behind the wines chosen by the brand is rather simple: easy-to-drink with a decent varietal character and a consistent quality that is great for the price.A neat little trick I have learned with off-dry wines is to serve them as an aperitif. Not too much, just a thimbleful. A little sweet start to an evening or a meal. I chill it and serve it in shot glasses. Another trick is to use it in a spritzer with some soda to top, served in a high-ball glass. As a dessert wine, the pairings are best limited to: fruits and cream, white desserts or anything that doesn’t involve cocoa, coffee or dark berry fruits.However, this wine doesn’t store very well; nothing wrong with the wine- it’s a style thing. For a wine that is resplendent in floral aromas and fruity flavours, it is normal that ageing would strip it of this charm. Hence, it’s best to buy these wines fresh and consume. When uncorked, finish.advertisementadvertisementadvertisement CalendarDates that mean something.London’s vibrant art scene comes alive at Chelsea art show. On display will be a selection of work from 45 galleries, representing over 500 individual artists. Prices for original art range from as little a Rs 3,632 to Rs 14.5 lakh. April 1-3.Head to the city of love, Paris, for the Banlieue Blues Jazz Festival. The northern suburbs of Paris are enlivened with exciting jazz and blues performances. April 8Sports fans can head to the World Ski and Snowboard Championship held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. For 10 ten days, t his northern ski resort sparkles with a joyous celebration of sport, music and art. April 15- 24.