Christmas Markets, Paris 2022

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La Defense © F. Eckert

Paris’ Christmas markets are among the things that make the holidays special in France. The markets are found all over the city from the Tuilleries Garden to Saint Germain des Pres to the Parvis de la Mairie du 15e. But the biggest (10,000 meters) and most diversified market (200 stalls) is found at Paris’ La Défense. The earliest Christmas markets date back to the late middle ages and have their origin in Germany. The Dresden “Striezelmarkt”  is said to be the oldest Christmas market and was first held in the 15th century. The Bautzen Christmas market and the Vienna “December Market” are supposed to be even older dating back to the 13th century. It was in 1570 when the Christmas market tradition found its way into Alsace, France’s easternmost region bordering Germany.

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Gisèle Freund Revisited

Gisèle Freund’s 1933 photograph of Andre Malraux on a Paris rooftop wearing a trench coat with a cigarette dangling from his mouth is one of her most iconic pictures. It was one of many portraits she took documenting the Paris literati after fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. But in 1941 she had to flee again. This time from France to Buenos Aires. An exhibition “Ce Sud Si Lointain,” at the Maison de l’amérique latine featuring Gisèle Freund’s Latin American photographs, is an opportunity to discover another chapter in the life of this remarkable journalist-socialogist-photographer (until January 07, 2023). Continue reading “Gisèle Freund Revisited”

Arte Povera On Camera

Giuseppe Penone, “Rovesciare i propri occhi”

The times were a changin’ back in the sixties (as Bob Dylan famously sang). And in Italy, Arte Povera artists embodied that spirit of change using new materials and ideas that challenged how people thought about art. “Renverser Ses Yeux” (autour de l’arte povera 1960-1975) at Paris’ Jeu de Paume and a companion exhibition at Le Bal revisit those artists exploring new narrative possibilities for photography, video and film (until Jan 29, 2023). Continue reading “Arte Povera On Camera”

Espace Frans Krajcberg

Art meets nature in a hidden-away bucolic Montparnasse alley at the Espace Frans Krajcberg. The small exhibition space is Krajcberg’s former Paris art studio. It features work by the artist and temporary exhibitions by other artists dealing with environmental issues. The center currently features Yann Arthus-Betrand’s spectacular aerial photos of Kenya’s Lake Magadi. Arthus-Betrand, founder of “GoodPlanet,” is known for his photo book “Earth from Above” and his films “Home” (2009) and “Human” (2015). Continue reading “Espace Frans Krajcberg”

Zoe Leonard at Paris Modern

Over 500 photos by New York artist Zoe Leonard —mostly black and white— are exhibited at Paris’ Musée d’Art Moderne with her “Al Rio/To the River” exhibition (until January 29, 2023)

The documentary style photos revisit the fraught “build a wall” Rio Grande area, which  sets the boundary between the United States and Mexico. Sans “Bressonian” decisive moments and migrant mothers à la Dorothea Lange, these documents are closer to the cool gaze of surveillance cameras obiquitous in borderlands. Continue reading “Zoe Leonard at Paris Modern”

36 Hours in Paris

Ruby Boukabou with her Paris notebook

Only in Paris for a few days and overwhelmed by the options? Follow this suggested itinerary for an unforgettable trip. The following is an extract from Ruby Boukabou’s “The Architecture Lover’s Guide to Paris” (White Owl Books), a fabulous new guide book catering to both armchair travelers dreaming of a future visit and those lucky enough to actually get to Paris during these troubled pandemic times. Available worldwide. More info and online orders at www.rubytv.net/books . Continue reading “36 Hours in Paris”