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”
Andrew Kearney’s “Mechanism” is a solo installation exhibition at the Irish Cultural Center to June 18, 2017. Kearney creates installations using sculpture, light, photography, sound, and technology that are usually site specific. For more than two decades Kearney has created large-scale conceptual installations that examine the themes of personal history and identity and how architecture and constructed environments are used and experienced. At the Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5, rue des Irlandais 75005 Paris Continue reading “English-speaking Paris”
With France’s presidential elections coming soon and the American political debacle, Parisians are talking non stop politics. And then along comes a very unusual Diesel advertising campaign saying “Make Love Not Walls.” The video ad (with posters in the Paris metro) is a collaboration by photographer David LaChapelle and Diesel art director Nicola Formichetti. Continue reading “Make Love, Not Walls…”
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.
Canadian photographer Dianne Bos is interested in capturing the impression of time passing rather than decisive moments typical of most documentary photography. Her exhibition “The Sleeping Green, no man’s land 100 years later” featuring pinhole and experimental photography is at Paris’ Canadian Culture Center (until Sept. 8). Continue reading “Dianne Bos’ Remembrance of Time Past”
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”
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?”
Seeing the exhibition “Images à la Sauvette” at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson is for many photographers almost like touching treasured saints’ relics. The exhibition is a selection of vintage black and white photos —along with the original maquette— from Cartier-Bresson’s legendary book. Continue reading “Decisive Moments Revisited”
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.
When many people hear the name of the Dutch artist Karel Appel (1921-2006), they say oh, yeah that COBRA guy. Now a mini retrospective “Karel Appel, l’Art est un Fete!” at Paris’ Musée d’Art Moderne shows that he was much more than that (to August 20, 2017). Continue reading “Karel Appel at Musée d’Art Moderne”