Tutto Ponti in Paris

Graphic: Italo Lupi

Giovanni “Gio” Ponti, (1891-1976) one of the most important figures in 20th century Italian design, is featured with a retrospective “Tutto Ponti, Gio Ponti archi-designer” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (to February 10, 2019). The exhibition presents a panoramic chronology of Ponti’s six-decade career in architecture, design, interiors and publishing. Continue reading “Tutto Ponti in Paris”

Politics of Seeing

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California 1936

Paris’ Jeu de Paume revisits the work of documentary photographer Dorothea Lange with a major retrospective “Dorothea Lange, Politics of Seeing” (until January 27, 2019). The exhibition originated at the Oakland Museum of California —home of the photographer’s archives— donated to the museum fifty years ago by her husband and collaborator Paul Shuster Taylor. Continue reading “Politics of Seeing”

Surveillé-e-s

Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma) 2015

Following his denial of access by Google, artist John Gerrard hired a helicopter and produced a detailed photographic survey of one of the key physical sites of the internet, a Google data server building in Oklahoma known as a “data farm.” This survey was the starting point for “Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma)” featuring a slow pan portrait of a simulated “twin” of the squat building flanked by diesel generators and powerful cooling towers. Continue reading “Surveillé-e-s”

The Actor Who Was France

A new book by Joseph Harriss on the life and times of Jean Gabin is the first biography in English of the iconic French film actor whose career and life mirrored both 20th century France and the early evolution of modern film. Gabin’s most memorable films include “La Grande Illusion” (1937), “La Bete Humane” (1938), “Le Jour se Leve” (1939) and “Le Plaisir” (1950). Continue reading “The Actor Who Was France”

Table Top Shakespeare

Table Top Shakespeare

“Forced Entertainment” — a group of six artists from Sheffield, England— performs in Paris the complete works of Shakespeare using only the top of a table (October 11-20, 2018). “In Complete Works : Table Top Shakespeare” director Tim Etchells brings Shakespeare alive before our very eyes using a couple of square inches of bare table-top. Continue reading “Table Top Shakespeare”

So Parisian!

“Paris has more to offer than climbing the Eiffel Tower” says “So Parisian!” author Jean-Christophe Napias. With lesser-known museums, authentic restaurants and unexpected discoveries, this charming book (published by Parigramme) offers an eclectic selection of unusual shops, timeless brasseries, cool bistros and romantic gardens that make this city so special…and so Parisian! Continue reading “So Parisian!”

English-speaking Paris

Jo Meisner “Connected/Disconnected “

Jo Meisner, an emerging artist based in Sydney, will have  a new exhibition in Paris spanning photography, installation and sculptural assemblage probing contemporary notions of identity. The crowd and the Individual are two concepts that she returns to as subjects in her work, which has variously focused on the cultural and social impact of forced migration and the fabric of the individual psyche. Her work aligns itself with the history of figurative painting as well as the traditions of street photography and the history of textile manufacture. The ordinary scene of a crowd in transit is a repeated motif in her work, which is characterized by the representation of anonymous figures observed from the rear and side view. From the context of the crowd, individuals are isolated and replaced by mirrors, shadows and tactile reliefs; in this way the figure becomes a surrogate for psychological introspection and self-identification which could be read as a means of oblique self-portraiture. Jo Meisner, “Identity” November 7-11, MR80 Gallery, 80 rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris Continue reading “English-speaking Paris”

Paris cemeteries…where the saints go marching

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Oscar Wilde’s grave

November in Paris begins with yet another long weekend away from work – le pont de la Toussaint (All Saints Day) – one of many strewn along the French calendar year. As Paris florists bring out their stock of chrysanthemum for the annual commemoration of Parisians now gone, and as other Parisians pack their cars and pile up at the exits of the city for yet another frantic weekend on France’s chock-a-block highways, why not use this most appropriate time of year for a less stressful outing to one of the capital’s cemeteries. This should be completed with the purchase of Georges Brassens’ “La Ballade des Cimetières,” a perfect way to record your outing and do your French homework. Continue reading “Paris cemeteries…where the saints go marching”

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 January 02, 2019). Continue reading “Willy Ronis Revisited”