Dada Africa at Orangerie

The exhibition “Dada Africa” at the Musée de l’Orangerie (to February 19, 2018) focuses on non-western sources and influences inspiring the Dada artists a century ago. Works by African, native American and Asian work are exhibited alongside those of Dadaists Hanna Höch, Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Marcel Janco, Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Raoul Haussmann, Man Ray and Picabia among others. Continue reading “Dada Africa at Orangerie”

Belle Vie Numérique

“Tempo II” by Marie-Julie Bourgeois

“La Belle Vie Numérique,” 30 artistes from Rembrandt to Xavier Veihan” is a thought provoking snapshot of contemporary artists reacting to digital technology, the internet and the world according to GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple). It is one of the best exhibitions in Paris at the moment… and it’s free. Curated by Fabrice Bousteau (editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts Magazine) it includes very recent work by mostly European artists showing computer-generated 2-D and 3-D media, computer-assisted animations and installations (to March 18, 2018). Continue reading “Belle Vie Numérique”

Dessiner en Plein Air

Delacroix © Louvre

In the early part of the 19th century —before photography was invented— artists took their easels and sketchbooks outdoors to more faithfully represent nature. “Designer en plein air,” a temporary exhibition at the Louvre revisits drawings, etchings and some thirty sketchbooks of several open air artists such as Delacroix, Corot, Chassériau, Valenciennes and Daubigny (to January 29. 2018).
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Francois 1er and Dutch Art

The Louvre revisits the French Renaissance with a temporary exhibition “Francois 1er et l’Art des Pays-Bas “ devoted to Dutch artists patronized by Francois Ier (1494-1547) who ruled France from 1515 until his death. Francois, an enthusiastic patron of the arts, initiated the French Renaissance by attracting to France many Italian artists including Leonardo da Vinci, who brought the Mona Lisa with him. Continue reading “Francois 1er and Dutch Art”

Johanna Calle’s “Drawings”

“Baidos”

The Maison de l’Amérique Latine hosts a remarkable exhibition of work by Columbian artist Johanna Calle (to December 20, 2017). Although titled “Drawings” it is much more than that. Her drawings explore the idea of line in all its forms while using text, lattice screens, metal and cloth.  Wire is an integral material for many of her projects. Calle often uses it alongside drawing. She says “It is a more dimensional form of line and can communicate certain things that simply drawing cannot… My artworks are the result of research processes that discuss the investigation of materials.” Underlying the visual dimension of her work are such dialectics as abstract vs figurative and what is legible and illegible… the details we see up close and how things look further away. Continue reading “Johanna Calle’s “Drawings””

Ali Kazma’s “Souterrain”

Ali Kazma, “Subterranean” diptyque video

The Jeu de Paume in Paris is showing Turkish lens-based artist Ali Kazma’s recent non-narrative documentary videos (until January 21). Kazma, who studied in the States at the New School, represented Turkey in the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. His video installations —usually five to fifteen minutes—are a melange of various situations and social types… a kind of update on August Sanders. In a recent interview with ARTE he described the documentary nature of his work as an effort to create a “poetic archive of the human condition.” Kazma’s videos are an excellent compliment to the other Jeu de Paume exhibition currently on devoted to legendary “New Objectivity” photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch. Continue reading “Ali Kazma’s “Souterrain””

Loire Plein Air Painting Workshop

Treat yourself to a week of painting taught by Tom Hughes May 26-June 02, 2018 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 early registration. 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”