Roman Cieslewicz Retrospective

Cieslewicz, Zoom contre la pollution d’oeil, 1971

“I wanted to leave Poland to see how my posters would stand up to the neon light of the west. I dreamed of Paris.” Roman Cieslewicz  (1930-1996) came to Paris in 1963 and quickly became one of France’s leading graphic artists. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs revisits this major figure in late 20th century graphic design with a retrospective Roman Cieslewicz, la fabrique des images (until Sept. 23, 2018).

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Icons of May 68

May 68 anniversary magazine covers

They painted slogans in the streets such as “sous les pavés la plage” and “soyez realiste demandez l’impossible.” Some carried Chairman Mao’s red book others took inspiration from Guy Debord’s  “La Société du Spectacle.”  Change was blown’ in the wind in May 1968 as students and workers took to the streets with demonstrations, massive general strikes and occupying universities and factories. For many “soixante huit” remains a major French reference point. And as Alain Geismar —one of the leaders of the time— later pointed out, the movement succeeded “as a social revolution, not as a political one.” Continue reading “Icons of May 68”

Plantu, Cartooning for Peace

Plantu self portrait

Jean Plantureux, better known as Plantu, has published during the last fifty years more than 25,000 drawings and cartoons in approximately 40 publications including Le Monde, L’Express, Le Canard Enchaine and Charlie Hebdo. Now the Bibliotheque National de France is paying tribute to this celebrated French political satirist with a mini retrospective “Plantu, 50 ans de dessins de presse” exhibiting 150 drawings, preliminary sketches and a couple of his sculptures (until May 20, 2018). Continue reading “Plantu, Cartooning for Peace”

“Morel’s Invention” Paris Exhibition

Pierrick Sorin “La dernière danse”

Paris’ Maison de l’Amérique Latine hosts an exhibition by fifteen international artists—photos, installations, holograms, video projections— inspired by Argentinian writer Adolfo Bioy Casares’  science fiction novel “Morel’s Invention or The Image Machine,” published in 1940 (to July 21, 2018). The book—a contemplation of image, reality, immortality and love— has influenced generations of artists from Garcia Marquez to Robbe-Grillet’s scenario for “L’Année Derniere à Marienbad (1961).  Continue reading ““Morel’s Invention” Paris Exhibition”

Henrik Saxgren “Ultima Thule”

Hunter at Herbert Island in the Thuleregion in Northwest-Greenland.

Paris’ Denmark House is showing Henrik Saxgren’s stunning documentary photographs of Arctic Greenland (to May 17, 2018). Saxgren’s photos depict the life of sea hunters in the northernmost Greenlandic settlements. Documenting life in the harsh arctic wilderness he accompanied them on hunts on sea ice and travelled hundreds of miles by dog sled. The result is his latest book “Ultima Thule” and the exhibition at the Danish cultural center. Continue reading “Henrik Saxgren “Ultima Thule””

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”