Andy Warhol’s “grand monde” at Paris Grand Palais

Besides the delightful and surprising exhibition Warhol TV at la Maison Rouge, the Grand Palais offers a great retrospective of Andy Warhol‘s art of portrait.


Le Grand Monde d’Andy Warhol can refer to “the large world” as well as to “high society”.

You will see no Campbell Soups, no Car Crash, no Plane Accident, and just one Coca Cola Bottle here, but a lot of faces. And among them, his own.

andy-warhol-autoportraitsSelf Portrait 1966

“I paint myself to remind me that I am still here”.


Self Portrait “Fright Wig” 1986.  He will die a year later.

One of his first works on modern icons status is his well known series of Marylin, initiated in 1962, shortly after Monroe’s death.


Nine Marylins circa 1962

brigitte-bardot_warholBrigitte Bardot, 1974

Movie stars, show business stars, heavy make up, artifice,  staring eyes, shallowness, spleen…


One of the Mick Jagger series (circa 1970)


One of the Debbie Harris series 1980.

Warhol wished that all his portrait had the same scale, so that they could be put together, and form one single painting called “portrait of  society”…And  maybe someday   Metropolitan Museum would want to bye it…

Actually, the Met bought some.


A tribute to Man Ray .

Do take time to watch and listen to Warhol’s filmed “letter to Man Ray”, it’s perfect : dandysm, humour, respect, and art of rpetition (on Christmas menu theme).

The exhibition’s plan divides portraits in different themes, and one room is dedicated to glamour, and portraits of fashion designers, like Gorgio Armani :


and also a 1974 series of Yves Saint-Laurent’s portraits, property of Pierre Bergé Collection. But you will not see these. Pierre Bergé was offended that Saint-Laurent would be mixed with fashion designers,  instead of being shown in the artists room, and he had these removed. Which is a bit offending too, for fashion designers first, after all Yves Saint Laurent might have been a great art collector, but his real art was in designing great clothes. And it’s a pity for us too.

Anyway, its a great exhibition, and it’s a big success as it has just started,  so it’s better to make a reservation.


Le grand Monde d’Andy Warhol Grand Palais Metro Champs Elysées -Clémenceau, up to 2009 July 13, everyday except Tuesday, 10 AM to 10 PM, but 10 AM to 8 PM on Thursday. Entrance €11.

All information, virtual visit and reservation on :


Spring 2009 in Parc de Sceaux : a walk between past and present

Eugene Adget, who had started a carreer of photographer in 1890, spent a good deal of time during year 1925 strolling along the yet quite forlorn alleys of Parc de Sceaux, taking pictures.


This spring, eleven posters of his pictures are set on the very spot they represent, proposing a dreamy walk between past and present.


Adget took this picture of a vase standing along the allée de la Duchesse in April 1925 at 7 AM. In March 2009, there is no more vase around.


And the alley looks very different


from what it was in June 1925 at 6 AM.


This walk takes you in remote places of the garden, like this pool near pavillon de l’indépendance, which has’nt change that much.



and nearby you get to the lovely pavillon de l’Aurore



Pavillon de l’Aurore in may 1925 at 7 AM,  by Eugene Adget


and March 2009, 5 PM

This walk takes you through wooden paths with daffodils


and down the imposing stairs towards the great pool and canals.


A good idea for a sunny afternonn.

Parc de Sceaux, parcours Eugène Adget (entrance on castle side) RER B station Parc de Sceaux. Open up to 7PM till the end of March, then up to 8 PM (usually up to sunset).

Andy Warhol’s TV in Paris Maison Rouge

Spring 2009 in Paris will be focused on Andy Warhol, and before a large monographic exhibition opening on March 18 in Paris Grand-Palais, the Maison Rouge presents Warhol’s work for television.

ext-maison-rouge-web From 1973 up to his death in 1987, Warhol had an intense production of different works on television. Marcel Duchamp, who appears in a screentest, created a neologism to describe it :  “Warhol n’est ni un cinéaste ni un peintre, c’est un filmeur” ( …”is neither a filmmaker nor a painter, but a “filmer”)

Besides screentests, Warhol started by making fake soap operas with real commercials, and eventually played for commercials …

andy-warhol-tvTDK commercial in 1982.

He filmed dragqueens performing, and routine inside a New York police precinct, as well endless fashionshows, that you can watch at demultiplicated…


and also stars in kind of slapsticks, with special effects, like his head diseppears, and in the next shot is lying on the floor, cut off from his body, and speaking.

warhol-tvjpgHere on one screen, he looks at his body standing without head in the middle of a street.

equipe-warhol Above : Andy Warhol and his crew Don Munrow, Vincent Fremont, Jay Sriver and Sue Etkin, photographed in New York in 1985.

He  produced interviews with art celebrities, and his series Fifteen Minutes from his well known quote “everyone will have his fifteen minutes celebrity”.

warhol-basquiatAndy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat in Andy Warhol’s TV #9, 1983

He appears in various TV programms, and you can  lie on soft pillows and watch on two old television sets (the way he enjoyed to look at television) the episode of the series Loveboat where he plays his own character.

A really fun, sometimes moving, and really intersting exhibition. It has a great catalog, that you can buy at the bookshop next door for €9,90, or order on :


La Maison Rouge, 10 boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris 33(0)1 40 01 94 37. Open Wednesday to Sunday 11AM to 7 Pm, up to 9PM on Thursday. All information on


Exhibition Warhol TV up to May 3, entrance €7.

March 2009 in Parc de Sceaux

It’s been a long cold winter in Paris, but we can feel spring will be coming soon, so March could be a good time to go for a walk in Parc de Sceaux, and visit a great outdoor exhibition.

affiche Images & Magies d’Architectures offers a delightful  journey through a hundred year time and all around the world.

Great photographers shooting great buildings

rdward-steichen-the-maypole1The Maypole by Edward Steichen

…or historical places  :

cartier-bresson-mur-berlinBerlin Wall by Henri Cartier-Bresson

le-corbusier-lucien-herveLucien Hervé made an almost abstract image of a building by Le Corbusier

rene-burri-chapelle-le-corRené Burri gives an enchanting look to this chapel by Le Corbusier

… and  makes a Mexico Farm look like a painting :


gustave-le-gray-karnak-18671Gustave le Gray took this picture of the ancient ruins of Karnak in 1867

emile-luidr-parvis-defenseand over a century later, Emile Luidr made a work of art of Paris dull (but photogenic)  Parvis de la Défense

Its interesting to see an ancient mosque and a futurist museum side by side mosquee-et-musee

Good photographers create beautiful images out of bad architecture

robert-doisneau-ivry1 Ivry seen by Robert Doisneau


Stéphane Conturvi took this picture of a Korean modern building in Seoul in 2000, and just across the alley is a picture of Courbevoie by Rémi Lidereau :

remi-lidereau-courbevoieWhich shows that French suburbian architecture is just as dull.

hotel-dubai1But this Dubai Hotel by Frank Gehry is magic, as his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao


An anonymous artist gives us this picture of Paris during the International Exhibition in 1900 :


and another one this great example of 1925 style in architecture :

immeuble-fritz-hoger-1924Fritz Hoger building in Berlin 1924

And if, just like me, you love Alfred Hitchcock‘s films as well as architecture and photography, this is for you:

eric-de-mare-pont-de-forthEric de Mare took this picture of Forth Bridge in Scotland, which plays a major part in the 39 steps ( great english film of 1935)

… as well as this gorgeous house by Frank Lloyd Wright  : Hitchcock made a copy of it near Mount Rushmore to be the home of the bad guy in North by Northwest (great american film of 1959)


Images & s d’architectures, up to March 31, Parc de Sceaux, open daily from 7.30 AM up to 7 PM, free entrance. RER B station Bourg-la-Reine and Parc de Sceaux.

Paris hot frozen hotel nights

Kube Hotel in Paris is located in one of the few unrehabilitated areas left in the city, which is of some interest. The only special place to see around is the Centquatre, the new cultural center in northern Paris. Kube Hotel is a quite hype place, up to now mostly known for its Grey Goose Vodka Bar, completely carved and decorated in ice, where for € 38, you can spend half an hour drinking vodka cocktails in ice-cube glasses. It seems to be a great success, though you have to wait for a free seance,every half hour, Wednesday to Saturday from 7 PM to 1.30 AM, Sunday from 2 PM to 11 PM. Monday and Tuesday for groups, on resevation only. Not more than 20 persons at a time. As I rather go for warm places,  I never tried it.


Now, and up to March 21, you may spend an unforgettable night on top of Paris roofs, in the Ice Kube Room. Better do it with a passionate sweetheart. Expensive prices are for two : € 750 from Monday to Thursday, breakfast included. € 850 if you wish to have dinner. Night will cost you € 1000 from Friday to Sunday, € 1100 with dinner.

For this price, you can even carve a heart with your names  on the walls.


Nights of December 24 and 25 are sold by auction on e-bay, as well as St Valentine night on February 14.

More adventurous and less wealthy ? Join the homeless who sleep in shacks ore under igloo tents in Bois de Vincennes, you’ll be freezing as they do,  sometimes to death, It’s just a bad joke, I would not recommand it, unless you really have too.

Otherwise, the hotel also provides heated room and a restaurant.

Hotel Kube, 1-5  passage Ruelle 75018 Paris Metro La Chapelle, tel 33(0)1 42 05 20 00

More information and booking on the holel stylish site :

Emil Nolde in Paris Grand-Palais : a splendid exhibition

The other event of this 2008 fall in Paris Grand-Palais is the first monogaphic exhibition dedicated to Emil Nolde. It has suffered a bit from the overwhelming success of Picasso and the Masters shown next door. The good thing about it is that it is really easy to get in, and not to crowded inside.


Anyway, if you are in Paris, don’t miss this opportunity of discovering the importance and the singularity of this artist of an exceptional longevity, who appears to be the greatest modern German painter.

couple-sur-la-plageZwei am Meerstrand (Couple on the beach) 1903 Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

emilnodewhitetreeWhite Trees Trunks 1908, Brücke Museum Berlin

emil-nodedetailDetail of White Tree Trunks

What strikes first is the explosion of vivid colors in his paintings, and then the variety of his inspiration and the return of major themes.

au-cafeIm Café, 1911, Museum Folkwang, Essen

Nights of the swinging and decadent Berlin of early  twentieth century.

nolde_cabaret_smallPublikum im Cabaret (Audience at Music-Hall), 1911,Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

Dance and movement.

ronde-endiableeWildanzende Kinder (wild dancing children) 1909, Kunshalle zu Kiehl

nolde_danse_macabreder Tod als Tänzerin (Death dancing) etching, 1918, Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

Fantasy, nightmares and Tales

nolde_enfant_smallKind und Grosse Vogel (Child and big bird) 1912, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

Spirituality, legends and religion.

la-vie-du-christdas Leben Christi (Life of Christ) 1911/1912 Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

crucifixionCentral pannel, Crucifixion.

Of course, Church establishement hated it, but he kept on.

nolde_tombeau_small Grablegung (burial) 1915, Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

The wild see, as in the exhibition’s poster

nuages-deteSommerwolken (summer clouds) 1913, Museo Thyssen-Bornemizsa, Madrid

Sky and lanscapes.

crepusculeVorabend (Sunset) 1916 Kunsmuseum, Basel

nolde_hambourg_small1 Hamburg 1910, engraving, Nolde Stiftung Seebüll.

His travels

deux-russesZwei Russen II, 1915, MoMA New York.

He lived and worked throughout two Worldwars without fighting in any – he was to old, already 47 in 1914. He joined National Socialism, though his works were exhibited as degenerate art, and thus either sold or burnt. In 1941, he was even forbidden to paint and watched by Gestapo, but he stood in Germany, home, working secretly at his unpainted images, over 1000 in watercolor. After the war, he was rehabilitated, and resumed painting up to 1951, when he broke his arm, but went on with watercolor works up to his death in 1956, at the age of 89.

Emil Nolde 1867-1956, up to January 19,  everyday except Tuesday 10 AM to 8 PM, up to 10 PM on Wednesday, Price € 10, Galerie Nationale du Grand-Palais, avenue Churchill, 7508 Paris  Metro Champs-Elysées -Clémenceau, tel 33(0)1 44 13 17 17.

More information and virtual visit on

4 choices in Paris Centre Pompidou # 4 : Damian Ortega,” Champ de Vision”

Whatever you’ve been visiting in Centre Pompidou, don’t leave without entering Collection Espace 315, in the South part of the Museum, to discover an installation by Mexican artist Damian Ortega.


The whole room is filled with light curtains made of translcucent circles in vivid primary colors.


People can go along the path between each row of hanging colored discs , in this light and gay environment.


In the middle of the white back wall, there is a tiny hole, and one can go behind the wall.


and like this little boy, you can look at the room through the hole. And what do you see?


Through the spy glass, you see an eye looking at you, an eye made of all the colored discs which seemed disposed at random.

That’s why the installation is called Champ de Vision (field of vision). It’s fun, it’s bright. And though it’s number four, it is certainly not my last choice.

More about Damian Ortega and this installation on

Damian Ortega, Champ de Vision, up to February 9, everyday except Tuesday  11 AM to 9 PM, up to 11 PM on Thursdays, Centre Pompidou, Collection Espace 315. One day ticket for one visit to permanent collection and all temporary exhibitions. Free under 18.

Centre Pompidou, place Georges Pompidou, 75001 Paris Metro Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville. Tel 33(0)1 44 78 12 33. More information on