Paris’ Museum Night 2016

The Nuit des Musées is a chance to go museum hopping in Paris for free (until midnight May 21). The aim of the event, organized by the French Ministry of Culture, is to encourage people to get out and see some art. No excuses! In addition to art exhibitions the evening includes workshops, concerts, installations and performances.
Most of the city’s museums will be participating including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Arts and Metiers Museum, Palais de la Découverte and Decorative Arts Museum. For the biggies be prepared to stand in long lines. The “Nuit” takes place in thirty cities around Europe. Last year, over 1300 museums in France participated in the European Museum Night, and over 2 million people attended throughout Europe.

In addition to Nuit des Musées future fests organized by Paris include the Fête de la Musique celebrating the start of summer (June 21st) , Heritage Days in September, Paris Summer Quarter Fest, which starts July 14th and Bastille Day’s Night street dances July 13-14.

Ugo Mulas “La Photographie”

The Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson hosts an exhibition of work by Italian photographer Ugo Mulas (1928-1973) noted for his portraits of artists and street photography. The exhibition “La Photographie,” corresponds with a new book— a French translation of his classic oeuvre—featuring Mulas’ photos of the 60-70’s art scene along with his thoughts about the nature of the medium itself (to April 24, 2016). Continue reading “Ugo Mulas “La Photographie””

The Spectacular Second Empire

A major exhibition—”Spectaculaire Second Empire, 1852-1870″— at the Musee d’Orsay celebrates the museum’s 30th anniversary (to January 15, 2017). It revisits a time when France was at its zenith with paintings, sculptures, photographs, architectural drawings, objets d’art and jewels depicting a brilliant era rich in contradictions.

The Second French Empire corresponds with the reign of Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870)). Paris was the largest city in continental Europe and the center for finance, fashion and the arts. Beginning in 1853 Napoleon III and his prefect Georges-Eugene Haussaman, over the course of seventeen years, completely rebuilt the heart of the city, creating new boulevards its famous parks and train stations, giving the city its present appearance. In addition, Napoleon III completed the Louvre, built five new theaters and commissioned the Palais Garnier Paris Opera. Continue reading “The Spectacular Second Empire”

Francois Kollar, a Working Eye

The Jeu de Paume hosts a retrospective of Francois Kollar’s photographs  (to May 22). Although little known outside the photo cognoscenti Kollar was among the most innovative and experimental of France’s commercial photographers during the 30’s and 40’s. Considered a French photographer Kollar— like many other important photographers such as Robert Capa and Brassai who made their careers in France —came here from Eastern Europe. Kollar moved to Paris from Hungary in 1924. He lived and worked the rest of his life in France until his death in 1979. Continue reading “Francois Kollar, a Working Eye”

Women Photographers Paris Exhibition

A mega double venue exhibition “Qui à peur des femmes photographes?” focuses on women photographers from the medium’s earliest days until the end of World War II (to January 24, 2016). Photography in those years was a medium in the process of defining itself and therefore relatively more open to women as a career possibility. The exhibition, with categories such as portraiture, fine art and photo journalism, explores how women’s changing role in society paralleled their emergence as photographers. Continue reading “Women Photographers Paris Exhibition”

Coluche Revisited

Paris’ Hotel de Ville pays homage via video clips, photos and memorabilia to the beloved French actor and comedian Coluche (1944-1986) with an exhibition marking the thirtieth anniversary of his death. The exhibition (until January 7, 2017) revisits his stage, television and movie career up to the announcement of his presidential candidacy. His “campaign” was supported by “Charlie Hebdo” with slogans such as “Before me France was divided in two, now it will be folded into fourths.” He wasn’t taken seriously until the Journal du Dimanche published a poll showing he was supported by 16% of the French voters. Under pressure from serious politicians he withdrew. Continue reading “Coluche Revisited”

Bernice Abbott & Vivian Maier at Les Douches la Galerie

One of the best photo exhibitions in Paris this month features the work of two photograpphers Berenice Abbott and Vivian Maier (Une Fantastique Passion) at Les Douches La Galerie. This is a tale of two cities and two fantastic female photographers. For Abbott her passion was photographing the city of New York. For Vivian Maier it was the streets and people of Chicago (until November 26, 2016). Continue reading “Bernice Abbott & Vivian Maier at Les Douches la Galerie”

Jeff Wall’s Smaller Pictures

Canadian artist Jeff Wall, known for his large-scale back-lit cibachrome photographs, popularized  the “stage managed big is beautiful” aesthetic in photography with such pictures as “The Destroyed Room,”Mimic,” and what has been called his signature piece “Picture for Women,” measuring 142.5 by 204.5cm. Many consider his large-scale images and studied compositions as influences on the Dusseldorf group led by Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth. Wall’s computer enhanced 1992 photo “Dead Troops Talk (A vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986” recently sold for $3.6 making it the third most expensive photo ever sold at auction. Continue reading “Jeff Wall’s Smaller Pictures”