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”
“This travel journal is a replication of my original notebooks,” says Janice MacLeod in the introduction to her new book “A Paris Year, my day-to-day adventures in the most romantic city in the world.” “It is a memoir, a guidebook and ode to ma belle Paris.” Continue reading “Janice MacLeod’s Paris Year”
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibits recent work by designer and scenographer Constance Guisset (to March 11, 2018). The exhibition titled “Actio!” Is a retrospective of this young designer’s work featuring her creations over the past ten years. In addition to her design work she has made stage sets for choreographers Angelin Preljocaj and Wang Ramirez. She has also designed exhibition scenographies for Paris’ Musée du Quai Branly and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille. Continue reading “Constance Guisset’s Magical Designs”
Discovering the 5 & 6th district
Romantic myths of Left Bank intelligentsia which date back seven centuries are brutally shattered on today’s busy bd St-Michel, the main artery of the Latin Quarter, where the 5th and 6th arrondissements meet.
The venerable Sorbonne, the quarter’s historic seat of intellectual life, is still there, but these days the forlorn chime of its chapel bell, which has punctuated the studies of generations of scholars, is drowned out by the din of passing traffic. Indeed most people who stream past the place de la Sorbonne seldom notice its beautiful 17th century chapel with its graceful dome. Continue reading “The Latin Quarter”
“Photographisme” is an exhibition at The Pompidou Center featuring graphic experiments by three post-war photographers: Klein, Ifert and Zamecznik (to January 29, 2018). The lessons of the Bauhaus were taken up by a generation of innovative practitioners, figures as different as Gérard Ifert (Basel, b. 1929), William Klein (New York, b. 1928) and Wojciech Zamecznik (Warsaw, 1923–67) who developed new, “photo-graphic” forms of expression in the 1950s and ’60s. Continue reading “Photographisme at Pompidou”
Paris’ Czech Cultural Center exhibits the work of photographer Jaromir Funke (1896-1945) who was a leading figure in Czech photography during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Funke’s work is a melange of the major trends in modernist European photography, blending constructivism and functionalism with surrealism, photograms and social commentary. He cofounded in 1924 the Czech Photographic Society with Josef Sudek and Adolf Schneeberger. Two years later he produced a series of Surrealist images of store windows titled “Glass and Reflection,” inspired by Eugène Atget. Continue reading “Jaromir Funke Revisited in Paris”
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).
Continue reading “Dessiner en Plein Air”
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”
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””
Paris actress Vivienne Vermes impersonates Queen Elizabeth II discussing BREXIT. The spoof was written and acted by Vermes and filmed by friends using a Samsung 6. Very drole… check her out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSy8iAbk6kI
Book events at the American Library in Paris. Author Adam Plowright discusses “The French Exception: Emmanuel Macron —The Extraordinary Rise and Risk.” (March 14 at 7:30PM). Panel Discussion: Fake News in the Post Truth Era and How to Fix it. A talk on how politics and technology are colliding and changing the geopolitical landscape (March 20 at 7:30PM). Food maker and writer David Lebovitz discusses his new book “l’Apart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home.” (April4 at 7:30PM). The American Library in Paris 10 Rue du Général Camou, 75007 Paris.
Alicia Drake discusses her new novel “I Love You Too Much” about loneliness of a childhood set in one of the most elegant districts of Paris (March 06, 2018 at 7PM). Johann Hari talks about his book “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions (March 15, 2018 at 7PM). At Shakespeare and Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris.
Moving Parts play readings in English: Geoff Ross-Michael presents a stage play “Dead True” (March 11, 7:30PM). Michael diAntonio, screenplay in English “Go Softly” April 8, 7:30PM) 27 cité industrielle, 75011 Paris. Métro : Voltaire. Info contact Stephanie : email@example.com
Q : I live in the Midwest and read your column on the Internet. My husband has been offered a transfer to his company’s European headquarters. At first I was excited about the idea of living in Paris, but I recently read a troubling article concerning expat marriage breakups. Is it true that couples abroad experience lots of relationship problems?
Continue reading “Do Expat Couples Have More Problems?”