Loire Plein Air Painting Workshop

Treat yourself to a week of painting taught by Tom Hughes September 23-30, 2017 while discovering the magical troglodyte village of Trôo. Perched above the river Loire in the northern Loire Valley this remarkable village features unique cave houses dug into the hillside that provide stunning views over the village, river and valley.  There is a 20% discount for registration before August 1st. Continue reading “Loire Plein Air Painting Workshop”

Mystical Landscapes at Musée d’Orsay

Starry Night over the Rhone at Arles, Vincent van Gogh

Wassily Kandinsky called for a spiritual revolution in his 1911 manifesto  “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” so that artists might express their inner lives in abstract “non-material” terms. The exhibition “Beyond the Stars. The Mystical Landscape from Monet to Kandinsky” at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay revisits artists such as Kandinsky who during the late 19th and early 20th century attempted to evoke the transcendental in their work. Continue reading “Mystical Landscapes at Musée d’Orsay”

Primitive Picasso in Paris

Picasso said he experienced a “revelation” while viewing African art at Paris’ Palais du Trocadéro ethnographic museum.  “A smell of mould and neglect caught me by the throat. I was so depressed that I would have chosen to leave immediately. But I forced myself to stay, to examine these masks, all these objects that people had created with a sacred, magical purpose, to serve as intermediaries between them and the unknown, hostile forces surrounding them, attempting in that way to overcome their fears by giving them colour and form. And then I understood what painting really meant. It’s not an aesthetic process; it’s a form of magic that interposes itself between us and the hostile universe, a means of seizing power by imposing a form on our terrors as well as on our desires. The day I understood that, I had found my path.” His discovery that day of African art resulted in what became his “African” style (1906-1909) and his iconic  “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Continue reading “Primitive Picasso in Paris”

Travaux de Dames?

Wall Ensemble ©Kristin McKirdy

The Musée Les Arts Decoratif opened its “Travaux de Dames” exhibition on International Womens’ Day featuring such artists as Niki de Saint-Phalle, Charlotte Perriand, Sonia Delauney and Elsa Schiaparelli. Canadian contemporary ceramic artist Kristin McKirdy— who has lived and taught classes in Paris for over 20 years— is showing an example of her new wall ensemble work. Continue reading “Travaux de Dames?”

Paris Bernard Buffet Retrospective

One of the most interesting artists of the French post WWII era is expressionist painter Bernard Buffet (1928-1999). He was part of the anti-abstract group “l’homme Temoin.”  With meteoric success he gained fame and fortune in his early twenties. For awhile he was considered the rival of PIcasso. One magazine at the time hailed him the leading artist of his generation. Continue reading “Paris Bernard Buffet Retrospective”

“Uprisings” at Jeu de Paume

Paris’ Jeu de Paume hosts a major exhibition this autumn titled “Soulevement,” which translates from French as “Uprisings” (to January 15, 2017). This multimedia exhibition—paintings, video, books, photography— curated by philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman, reflects on revolts, resistance and protest from Francisco de Goya’s “Los Caprichos (1799) to Maria Koukouta’s (2016) video loop showing immigrants crossing the Greek-Macedonia border. Continue reading ““Uprisings” at Jeu de Paume”

Henri Rousseau… Paradise & Jungles

Le douanier Rousseau

Paris’ Musée d’Orsay tributes legendary French 19th century painter Henri Rousseau with an exhibition “Le Douanier Rousseau, L’Innocence Archaique” placing him in the context of his times (to July 17, 2016).  Rousseau, (1844-1910) famed for his dreamlike atmospheres, enchanted landscapes and jungle scenes, was an important figure in art during the late 19th century and the early days of Modernism. He is still hard to categorize. Was he an inspired self-taught Naif or a harbinger of Modern Art? Maybe both.
Continue reading “Henri Rousseau… Paradise & Jungles”

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.