Category Archives: exhibitions

4 choices in Paris Centre Pompidou #2 : Jacques Villeglé “la comédie urbaine”

Another alternative to the permanent collection and Futurism in Paris is on the upper level of  Paris Centre Pompidou. Enter next door to Futurism, and enjoy the Urban Comedy by Jacques Villeglé.

Since the late 1940s, he’s been using a single material, street posters, and one technique, put these on canvas and torn the paper. His work is a record of events and changes of urban society, with a critical, esthetical and playful mood.

la-femmela Femme, rue Desprez et Vercingétorix,(Paris 75014) 1966, March 13.

All of his works have their own title and mention the name of the street and the day the poster was found. He uses previous alterations to the original poster and plays with typography as well as with color.

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Since the last decade, he’s been working with a group of friends, collecting posters in cities of South France. Don’t miss the two films shown in the exhibition, particularly the one including an interview of the artist, who appears as a charming old man, very simple and elegant, with a soft voice and a lot of humor.

And do visit his great personal site : http://villegle.free.fr/ It takes you into a delightful virtual journey in Jacques Villeglé‘s urban poetic universe.

Jacques Villeglé, la comédie urbaine, up to January 5, everyday except Tuesday from 11 AM to 9 PM, up to 11 PM on thursday. Galerie 2, level 6, Centre Pompidou. Price € 12 for one day, entry to the permanent collection and all temporary exhibitions.

Centre Pompidou, place Georges Pompidou, 75001 Paris Metro Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville. Tel : 33(0)1 44 78 12 33. More information on : http://www.cnac-gp.fr/

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4 choices in Paris Centre Pompidou : #1 “Futurism in Paris”

Besides its magnificient and very well presented permanent collection of modern Art, Centre Pompidou proposes different exhibitions. With a single ticket, you may visit the whole museum and temporary exhibitions, but I would not recommend to do it all in one day.

The largest of the current temporary exhibitions of 2008 fall is called Futurism in Paris, an explosive avant-garde.

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It’s located in the large gallery on the upper floor up of the Museum, and shows 200 works and documents related to this artistic and ideological adventure, who began with the Futurism Manifesto written by Italian poet Filippo Tomasso, and published a century ago in French newspaper le Figaro.

une-figaro First page of the1909 February 20 edition of the Figaro.

The first room shows a great nude by Picasso and beautiful Braque paintings, as representations of Cubism, against which Futurists stood, though they owed it a lot.

exp-boccioniQuelli che vanno (Those who are leaving) by Umberto Boccioni,1911 ( New York MoMA)

This is one part of this artist’s beautiful tryptic Statu d’animu (1911), also represented on the exhibition’s billboard.

carlo-carrathe funerals of the anarchist Gali by Carlo Carrà, 1910/1911 (New York MoMA)

The exhibition also explores the Futurism Movements in other countries, like Russia.

larionov-xlSunny Day by Michaïl Larionov 1913/1914 (Centre Pompidou Paris)

The abstraction and the Suprematism of Kasimir Malevich :

black_circleBlack Circle, Kasimir Malevich 1913 (Russian Museum of St Petersburg)

And also English Vorticism and French Section d’or, with Marcel Duchamp‘s famous painting Nu descendant l’escalier #2,1912, (Philadelphia Museum of Art). Duchamp described it as “the Cubist interpretation of the Futurist formula.”

7047nu-descendant-l-escalier-n-2-1912-affiches

My favourite representant of French Futurism is Valentine de Saint-Point who wrote a Woman’s Futurist Manifesto (1911) in reaction to the Italian Futurists misoginy, and a Futurist Manifesto of lust,  (1912) . Quote :” Lust is the carnal search for the unknown”.

Le Futurisme à Paris, une Avant-Garde explosive, up to January 26 Centre Pompidou, Gallery 1, Level 6, everyday except Tuesday 11 to 21, up to 23 on Thursday. Entrance €12 for a day, for all that’s going on in the museum. Free entrance under 18.

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

More information on : http://www.cnac-gp.fr/

Picasso and the Masters # 2 : in Paris Louvre, Picasso / Delacroix : Femmes d’Alger

There are always plenty of good reasons to pay a visit to Paris Louvre. Nowadays, besides the beautiful exhibition Mantegna 1431-1506 (see previous post, and do make a reservation), with a ticket for permanent collections, you can see Delacroix‘s Femmes d’Alger painting and Picasso‘s studies about it. It is a supplement to the large Picasso and the Masters exhibition at Grand-Palais. As it seems impossible to get a reservation less than ten days ahead for it, do go and visit this precise presentation of the same theme.

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It is located on the first floor of the Denon part of the museum. You go through ancient scuplture rooms, to the rooms dedicated to  French paintings.

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Room 76 shows large paintings, many of them by Delacroix, like La mort de Sardanapale, 1850 :

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Or Scène des massacres de Scio, 1824 :

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And between these two, a large gap where Femmes d’Alger (1834) usually stand.

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You’ll find them in the next room, 77, where visitors are more crowded (though it nothing compared to Grand-Palais).

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Close to Femmes d’Alger, eight of the fifteen variations painted by Picasso from 1954 Febuary 14 to 1955 December 13 inspired by Delacroix‘s masterpiece.

Like this Etude A,1954 December 15:

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This series also includes some ink sketches, like this one, dated 1954 December 28 :

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It is very interesting and you can get close enough to study any of the paintings, and look at each several times if you wish to compare and try to get the artist’s point.

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It is a great preparation to the main exhibition, and you can choose to visit this tiny exhibition and another part of the museum you’re interested in at the same time without feeling overwhelmed.

Picasso / Delacroix : Femmes d’Alger Louvre Museum Aile Denon, First Floor Room 77. Up to February 2, open everyday  except Tuesday  9 to 18, up to 22 on Wednesday and Friday. Ticket € 9. Musée du Louvre, Metro Palais-Royal, tel 33(0)1 40 20 53 17

More information on http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp

Pollock and Chamanism, a thrilling exhibition at Paris Pinacothèque

Those who, like myself, mostly knew Jackson Pollock for his large scale dripping paintings will be amazed by this Paris Pinacothèque exhibition.

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As its title says, it’s a thematic exhibition. Don’t get upset by the large part of text in the first room.

seascapeSeascape 1934, Santa Fe Art Foundation, 30,4cm x 40,6cm.

equineEquine Series IV , 1944, Private Collection

The first element of surprise comes from Pollock‘s small scale figurative works.

maskMask 1941 New York MOMA

The exhibition’s choices also point out the influence of Picasso and surrealism, and after visiting it, you’ll be convinced of the importance of American Indien rites and culture in Pollock’s evolution.

masque-de-fertilite Fertility Mask , Paris, Private Collection

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Birth 1938/1941 London Tate Gallery

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Chaman’s Atlati, Steven Michaan  collection.

It also shows many beautiful Amerindian and Eskimo works.

frontal-fauconForehead Ornament with falcon’s head, Steven Michaan Collection.

Several beautiful pieces by André Masson are related to Jackson Pollock‘s work.

masson-massacreAndré Masson , Massacre, 1931, Paris Private Collection.

the-flameJackson Pollock, the Flame, 1934, Paris Private Collection.

And the exhibition ends just at the beginning of the Pollock we all know, but still on small scale.

untitledUntitled, 1949, Miami Private Collection, 68,5 cm x 30,5 cm.

I found it the most interesting and unexpected exhibition among the rich artisitic program we have in Paris this fall.

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Pollock et le Chamanisme, up to February 15, Pinacothèque de Paris, 28 place de la Madeleine, 75008, Metro Madeleine, tel 33(0)1 42 68 02 01, open everyday 10.30 to 18, up to 21 every first Wednesday of the month. Price €9. Possibility of combined ticket for the other exhibition dedicated to Georges Rouault.

More information on http://www.pinacotheque.com/

From Miro to Warhol, the Berardo collection in Paris Musée du Luxembourg.

Up to February 22, Paris Musée du Luxembourg shows a selection of the Berardo Collection.

The  billboard shows a reproduction of Tom Wesselmann‘s  Great American Nude (1963), and this charming exhibition shows 76 modern art pieces of the 862 collected by Jose Bernardo. It reminds you that you should take trip to Lisbon and pay a visit to the Belem Cultural Center to see the whole Berardo Collection.

But for the present, it’s nice to walk through this accurate selection of abstract, surrealist, pop art works, from the twenties to the sixties.

Joan Miro, l’Homme à la Bougie,(Man with a candle) 1925

Max Ernst, Coquilles Fleuries (shells in blossom) 1929

Victor Brauner, le Chevalier de glace (the Ice Knight) 1938

Lourdes Castro, Ombre projetée de Claudine Bury, 1964

Andy Warhol, Ten-Foot Flowers, 1967

De Miro à Warhol, la collection Berardo à Paris, Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard 75006 Paris, Metro Saint-Sulpice, up to February 22, everyday 10.30 to 19, up to 22 on Monday, Friday, Saturday. Tel 33(0)1 44 13 17 64. Price €11.

More information and reservation on : http://www.museeduluxembourg.fr/

Though it’s more comfortable to have a reservation than to stand in line under the rain, you may try going in at noon or in the evening (around 19) on the days when the museum opens late.


Police Raid at Paris FIAC

Last October 23 to 26, as every year, FIAC (Contemporary Art International Fair) took place under Paris Grand Palais glass roof and in Louvre Cour Carrée. But this last edition was the theater of an unexpected performance : a police raid.

The Parisian Gallery Rabouan Moussion was showing photos and videos of performances by the russian artist Oleg Kulik. On October 28, a bunch of policemen in plain clothes came in and took away some photos, arguing that they were an offense to mankind dignity and even had a zoophilic character. The instigators of this moral cruisade remain unknown.

One of Oleg Kulik‘s major topics deals with the notion of mankind, man and animal relationship and situation.

The Mad Dog , performed by Oleg Kulik.

I don’t intend to discuss here the provocative quality of this artist’s work, but if social order was damaged at the FIAC, which is not exactly a nursery, I suggest that our benevolent state authorities burn down all mythologic texts in public libraries, and withdraw from public gardens and museums walls the representations inspired by this zoophilic legends.

I have some propositions :

Pan teaching flute (and God knows what else) to a very young Daphnis. A marble Roman copy of a Greek sculpture ( Heliodore III century B.C.), found in Pompei and exhibited in Naples National Acheological Museum.

Io and Zeus (half bull, half cloud) by Il Coreggio, 1530, are giving a terrible example ( though very hard to imitate) in Wien Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemälde Galerie.

Leda and the Swann,   Veronese workshop, circa 1560, Fesch Museum, Ajaccio.

Warning : swanns usually have a very bad temper and bite hard.

Le Minotaure et sa Femme (1937) as well as the Faune blessé (1939) by Pablo Picasso are part of the exhibition Picasso et les Maîtres in Paris Grand Palais, which runs up to February 2, and if the vice police squad does nothing about it, millions of people will have look at these.

If you wish to see Oleg Kulik‘s censored photos, go to http://www.photo.fr/blog/31-Censure-a-la-FIAC-2008-Les-photos-interdites-de-Oleg-Kulik.html

And if you’re interested in uncorrect contemporary art, you may go to http://www.rabouan-moussion.com/ or pay a visit to the gallery, 121 rue Vieille du Temple 75003 Paris, metro Saint-Paul.

Paris Film Library celebrates Dennis Hopper

Paris Cinémathèque, located in the beautiful building designed by Frank Gehri, is showing a retrospective of films played or directed by Dennis Hopper ( first part up to December 1), and a temporary exhibition :  Dennis Hopper and the new Hollywood.

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All the works presented in this exhibition come from Dennis Hopper’s personal collection ans he was involved in their setting.

This picture of a room shows two photographic portraits of Dennis Hopper, framing a billboard size self-portrait (Self portrait at the porn stand – 1962 / 2000 for the billboard enlargement and painting), in front of a large canvas :

Billboard Factory, Multi image of a woman’s face, Dennis Hopper 1964 – 2000

This very rich and varied exhibition gives another image of Dennis Hopper, besides the hippie byker of the cult film Easy Rider (which he directed in 1969) and his terrific performance of Frank Booth in David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet.(1986)

This Ready Made, Entrance (1963) is co-signed Marcel Duchamp/ Dennis Hopper.

The exhibition points out the close relation between New Hollywood and Pop Art.

Twice Dennis Hopper by Andy Warhol (1971)

Warhol with flower by Dennis Hopper ( 2000: billboard enlargement and painting of a 1963 photo)

Wilhold the Mirror, Dennis Hopper 1961

Chevy, Dennis Hopper 1956/2000

Hopper by Julian Schnabel 1991

Besides Hopper’s own production, his collection shows works by artists like Warhol and Basquiat, or Schnabel, who is also a film director, paintings by actors like Vigo Mortensen or Dean Stockwell.

Bijou Dream Ben Talbert 1965

And of course, precious film memories, like this gorgeous poster by B.L. Gary of Night Tide, an independant film directed by Curtis Harrington.

Or this autographed photo by Victor Skrebneski – who made many portraits of Dennis Hopper – showing Hopper sitting next to John Ford an John Huston. Historical and New Hollywood in the same bed in Palm Springs in 1971.

Exhibition Dennis Hopper et le Nouvel Hollywood, up to January 19, Monday to Saturday 12 to 19 (closed on Tuesday) , up to 22 on Thursday, Sunday 10 to 20, Cinémathèque Française, 51 rue de Bercy 75012 Paris, Metro Bercy. Price € 7. Information  33(0)1 71 19 33 33.

More information and Reservation on http://www.cinematheque.fr/