Robots & Artists at Grand Palais

ORLAN and Orlanoide

Art meets technology with “Artistes & Robots” at the Grand Palais (until July 9). The exhibition, featuring mostly European artists, opens with Jean Tinguely’s mid-1950s “Metamatics” (machines that make paintings). Among the techno pioneers the exhibition includes Nam June Paik’s iconic pseudo robot, “Olympe de Gougs,” an assembly of 12 wooden television sets, 12 color monitors and a laser videodisc player. It was commissioned by Paris for the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989. Continue reading “Robots & Artists at Grand Palais”

Jean Fautrier, Matter and Light

“Tete d’Otage, No. 4,” 1944. Fautrier

Paris’ Museum of Modern Art revisits French artist Jean Fautrier (1898-1964) with a major retrospective of his paintings, drawings and sculptures (to May 20, 2018). He is not well known outside France. But in Europe he is considered one of the most important precursors of “art informel,”  a style which developed parallel to American abstract expressionism. In his famous series – Hostages (1943-1945), Objets (1955), Nus (1956), Partisans (1957) – the painting material itself becomes a major subject of the work. Continue reading “Jean Fautrier, Matter and Light”

Dutch Artists in Paris…

Vincent Van Gogh in a letter from Paris to his friend Horace Mann Livens in 1886 said: “Paris is Paris, there is but one Paris and however hard living may be here… the French air clears up the brain and does one good.” Similar words have been spoken many times by countless artists past and present. “The Dutch in Paris, 1789-1914” —an exhibition at the Petit Palais—revisits the Paris sejours of nine Dutch artists attracted to Paris tracing their interactions with “La Ville-Lumière” (to May 13, 2018). Continue reading “Dutch Artists in Paris…”

Dłubak, heir of the avant-garde

Desymbolisations, 1978
© Armelle Dłubak / Archeology of Photography Foundation, Warsaw

The Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation revisits the work of photographer, painter and art intellectual Zbigniew Dłubak (1921-2005), who was a leading figure of the post-war Polish photographic scene (until April 29). “Zbigniew Dłubak, heir of the avant-garde” is not only an opportunity to discover an interesting Eastern European photographer, but also a snapshot of the Polish art scene during the Soviet era. Dłubak’s work blurs the lines between painting and photography, which may explain why he isn’t better known outside of Poland. The exhibition provides an overview of his artistic career and research beginning with his fifties modernist abstract experiments and includes his later more conceptual projects during the sixties and seventies such as “Iconosphere” “Desymbolisations” and “Asymmetry.”

“Zbigniew Dłubak, heir of the avant-garde”, to April 29, 2018, The Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation

Kupka …Pioneer of Abstraction

The Grand Palais revisits the work of Czech painter and graphic artist František Kupka (1871–1957) one of the pioneers of abstract painting and Orphic Cubism. Kupka’s abstract works arose from a base of realism, but later evolved into pure abstraction. The retrospective traces Kupka’s career from his early Paris press illustrations of the 1890’s to his symbolist experiments to his final abstract paintings during the 1950’s (until July 30, 2018) The exhibition will be presented at the National Gallery in Prague next fall and then at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki in 2019. Continue reading “Kupka …Pioneer of Abstraction”

David Goldblatt’s Photographs

Goldblatt explains photos in video

The Centre Pompidou is showing photographs by David Goldblatt, who has chronicled South Africa and its people from the 1950s until today. The exhibition (until May 13, 2018) begins with his early 1960’s photos of “Afrikaner” famers and the mining world. His images provide insights into the troubled history of South Africa while inviting us to look at buildings and landscapes as indicators of the values of a society.  Continue reading “David Goldblatt’s Photographs”

Jim Dine Paris Reconnaissance

“Straw Heart” Jim Dine

Paris’ Centre Pompidou hosts a sampling of work by American artist Jim Dine (until April 23). The title of the exhibition —translated as Paris recognition or gratitude— reflects the artist’s love for the city he has been visiting since the sixties. He maintains an art studio in Montrouge. The exhibition consists of 28 works that make up a recent donation by the artist to Paris Musée National d’Art Moderne. A gift he says to repay his “personal and cultural debt” to France.  Over the past years Dine has also donated selections of his art to museums across Europe and the US, including the British Museum, the Albertina in Vienna, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Continue reading “Jim Dine Paris Reconnaissance”

Pia Fries at Paris Modern

Paris’ Museum of Modern Art exhibits “Parsen un Module” by Swiss painter Pia Fries (to May 20, 2018). The work consists of 30 identically sized paintings (created in 1999) which have word play titles beginning with “par” forming words such as “parsmal,” “paramodi,” “partiner” and “parfanz,” The paintings with gluttonous clusters of scraped, sculpted and moulded paint juxtapositions are emblematic of her “image-object” style, which has been described as being on the cusp of painting and sculpture. Continue reading “Pia Fries at Paris Modern”

Paris’ Left Bank Generation

Agnes Poirier’s new book “Left Bank” revisits the rebirth of Paris after WWII. The book is a group portrait of the generation born between 1905 and 1930, that animated Paris between 1940 and 1950. After the horrors of war the world’s artists, writers and intellectuals flocked to Paris turning the lights back on in “la ville lumiere. ” They ushered in a renaissance of new novels, new thinking, new filmmaking and new ways of painting. Continue reading “Paris’ Left Bank Generation”

Artist’s Jewelry, from Calder to Koons

Pablo Reinoso, jewelry as spy hole…

“A piece of artist’s jewelry, like a painting or a piece of sculpture, is a work of art,” says Diane Venet whose private collection of artist’s jewelry along with loans from galleries and artists’ families is exhibited at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs (until July 8, 2018).  From the early twentieth century studio artists such as Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray and  Salvador Dali have made innovative jewelry reflecting contemporary art movements and themes. These artists used both precious and nontraditional materials creating one-of-a kind wearable works of art. Continue reading “Artist’s Jewelry, from Calder to Koons”