Robert Adams. Our Lives…

One day, in the 1970s, the photographer Robert Adams noticed a column of smoke rising above the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Denver, Colorado and decided to document the potential destruction of a nuclear disaster. The resulting series “Our Lives and Our Children”  is exhibited this summer at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (to July 29, 2018). Continue reading “Robert Adams. Our Lives…”

Gilles Caron, Paris 1968

Gilles Caron, protest rue Saint-Jacques

The iconic photo of Daniel Cohn-Bendit with a mocking smile facing a policeman taken by the French photographer Gilles Caron (1939-1970) is one of the most famous images of Paris 68. For the 50th anniversary of those events, Paris’ City Hall and the Gilles Caron Foundation present the first major exhibition in Paris dedicated to this remarkable photographer. Continue reading “Gilles Caron, Paris 1968”

Paris Exhibition Explores Data Visualization

Moritz Stefaner’s “Multiplicy”

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal one might not be in the mood for seeing an exhibition about visualizing data while visiting Paris, but the “123 data” exhibition at the Fondation EDF is a “smiley face” showing what creators are doing with data. The exhibition is both fun and informative while making the argument that data is not just a threat to our private lives and means to enrich powerful corporations, but also a source of inspiration for artists. Continue reading “Paris Exhibition Explores Data Visualization”

Rethinking Monet’s “Water Lilies”

French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) once said “My finest masterpiece is my garden.” He was referring of course to his garden in Giverny, where for thirty years he painted his famous “Water Lilies” (Nymphéas) exhibited at Paris’ Musée de l’Orangerie. The eight monumental panels—which Andre Mason called “The Sistine Chapel of Impressionism” —were commissioned by Paris and installed after the artists death in 1927. Now, the museum is hosting a new temporary exhibition “Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the Last Monet” (to August 20, 2018). Continue reading “Rethinking Monet’s “Water Lilies””

Delacroix Louvre Retrospective

Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) is one of France’s most celebrated painters. Coming of age after the fall of Napoleon, he produced an extraordinarily vibrant body of work setting into motion a cascade of innovations that changed the course of art. His best-known painting, Liberty Leading the Peopleinspired by events of the July Revolution of 1830— is an unforgettable image of Parisians, having taken up arms, marching forward under the banner of the tricolor representing liberty, equality and fraternity. Continue reading “Delacroix Louvre Retrospective”

Willy Ronis Revisited

Black and white photography fans remember Willy Ronis (1910-2009) for his lyric post war photographs depicting working class Parisians of the Belleville and Ménilmontant neighborhoods. His photo book “Belleville Ménilmontant” is a beloved classic. Now, nearly a decade after his death, Ronis’ photographs are being exhibited back in Paris’ 20th arrondissement where many of the pictures were originally taken (at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin until Sept 29, 2018). Continue reading “Willy Ronis Revisited”

Roman Cieslewicz Retrospective

Cieslewicz, Zoom contre la pollution d’oeil, 1971

“I wanted to leave Poland to see how my posters would stand up to the neon light of the west. I dreamed of Paris.” Roman Cieslewicz  (1930-1996) came to Paris in 1963 and quickly became one of France’s leading graphic artists. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs revisits this major figure in late 20th century graphic design with a retrospective Roman Cieslewicz, la fabrique des images (until Sept. 23, 2018).

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Images en Lutte

“Images en Lutte” at the Ecole Beaux Arts is part of Paris’ 50th anniversary commemoration of May 1968. The exhibition begins with posters made by Beaux Arts students who created an “Atelier Populaire” while occupying their school… until they got kicked out by the police. The workshop—Atelier populaire, oui. Atelier bourgeois, non—was an artists’ collective with no single artist signing work. In two months it plastered the city streets with about 800 silkscreen posters (with a run of 2000 copies each). Continue reading “Images en Lutte”

Icons of May 68

May 68 anniversary magazine covers

They painted slogans in the streets such as “sous les pavés la plage” and “soyez realiste demandez l’impossible.” Some carried Chairman Mao’s red book others took inspiration from Guy Debord’s  “La Société du Spectacle.”  Change was blown’ in the wind in May 1968 as students and workers took to the streets with demonstrations, massive general strikes and occupying universities and factories. For many “soixante huit” remains a major French reference point. And as Alain Geismar —one of the leaders of the time— later pointed out, the movement succeeded “as a social revolution, not as a political one.” Continue reading “Icons of May 68”