Springtime for Photography…and Paris

The Mois de la Photo-OFF

The Mois de la Photo-OFF is a fringe festival organised in parallel to the official Mois de la Photo. This year Paris’ official month of photography —which has taken place in November every two years for over twenty years— has moved to April. An even bigger change is that it now has expanded to include the “greater” Paris suburbs. Continue reading “Springtime for Photography…and Paris”

Josef Koudelka at Pompidou

La Fabrique d'Exils
La Fabrique d’Exils

The Pompidou Center exhibits Josef Koudelka’s classic “Exiles” series. We haven’t seen his work in Paris since his big exhibition in 1988 at the Centre National du Photographie. Last year Koudelka donated to the Pompidou Center his entire “Exiles” series. The exhibition (free) includes these photos along with some interesting self-portraits taken by the photographer during his travels.  Continue reading “Josef Koudelka at Pompidou”

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?”

Eli Lotar at Jeu de Paume

Portrait by Eli Lotar of actress Wanda Vaugen, 1929

French photographer and filmmaker Eli Lotar (1905-1969) is featured with a retrospective at  Paris’ Jeu de Paume. Although now he is not known by many outside the cognoscenti in the late twenties and thirties he was considered among Paris’ top photographers (to May 28, 2017). Lotar (Eliazar Lotar Theodoresco) was born in Paris, the son of Tudor Arghezi, a Romanian poet. After spending his childhood in Bucharest he returned to Paris in 1924. He became the assistant and close friend of the Germaine Krull (1926), who taught him about photography. While only in his early twenties Lotar quickly became one of the city’s leading avant-garde photographers.

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The Mistress of Paris

Take a walk on the wild side of Belle Epoque Paris with this biography of Emile-Louise Delabigne, known as countess Valtesse de la Bigne (1848-1910). who was a legendary French courtesan and demi-modaine. Her lovers included countless painters, writers and politicians, while her affairs with women caused a scandal in turn-of-the-century Paris. She was painted by Édouard Manet and inspired Émile Zola, who immortalized her in his scandalous novel “Nana.” Continue reading “The Mistress of Paris”

John Baxter’s Saint-Germain-des-Pres

The Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood is world famous for its connection with artists, writers and intellectuals… and now shopping. For many years this part of Paris has been a stronghold of the “sans culottes,” a refuge to artists and a place for bohemians. Napoleon, Hemingway, and Sartre have all called it home. Descartes is buried there. The writer Oscar Wilde spent his last days in the quarter, at the small, run-down hotel called the Hotel d’Alsace at 13 rue des Beaux‑Arts. The legendary Ecole des Beaux-Arts—attended by such artists as Pierre Bonnard, Edgar Degas and Georges Seurat—is here. And the Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres is where students battled the police in May 1968. Continue reading “John Baxter’s Saint-Germain-des-Pres”