Tina Modotti at Jeu de Paume

The “Tina Modotti. L’oeil de la révolution” exhibit at Paris’ Jeu de Paume (until May 12, 2024) revisits this legendary femme extraordinaire with a large exhibition tracing her career from silent film actress and model to photographer to Communist activist. Modotti (Udine, Italy, 1896 – Mexico City, 1942) moved to Mexico with photographer Edward Weston in 1923 becoming part of the “Mexican Renaissance” and its thriving post-revolutionary culture. Joining the circle of artists and mural painters there, she quickly combined Weston’s formalism with her own personal vision. She joined the Mexican Communist Party (CPM) in 1927 and used her camera to denounce the plight of the poor, paying particular attention to conveying the experience of Mexican women. Continue reading “Tina Modotti at Jeu de Paume”

Bastille day…The story behind the celebration

It was on the southern edge of the arrondissement, in the wretched Faubourg St-Antoine that rumbling discontent was first channeled into working-class consciousness and into organized action against exploitation. When word was spread on April 28, 1789 that Monsieur Réveillon, a painted-paper manufacturer on rue de Montreuil, was planning to reduce his workers’ wages, the Faubourg St-Antoine rose up in a violent insurrection. Monsieur Réveillon had not anticipated such a reaction, for the lowering of wages he had intended was proportionate to the drop in the price of bread fixed by the authorities to ease social tension. His 400 workers had a different idea of fairness and Réveillon, terrified, ran for his life and sought shelter in the neighboring Bastille, the ominous fortress looming west of the faubourg. It took the intervention of troops and a death toll of 30 to put down the revolt, but any wise ruler should have sensed that further trouble was brewing … Continue reading “Bastille day…The story behind the celebration”

Jazz Pianist Lenore Raphael Swings into Paris

Lenore Raphael

One of the things we love about Paris is the opportunity to hear so many top jazz performers. Lenore Raphael, who jazz critics have compared to Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and even Thelonious Monk, will be in town playing her brand of modern swinging jazz (April 10, 2024) at the Cercle Suedois. Performing with Lenore is bassist Hilliard Greene who was music director for Little Jimmy Scott  and joining them is top guitarists  Wayne Wilkinson. Considered by many as one of great Steinway artists, she has performed at some of the world’s top jazz venues and festivals such as The London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ronnie Scott’s (London) and the Blue Note. Continue reading “Jazz Pianist Lenore Raphael Swings into Paris”

Modern Times à la Parisienne

Robert Delaunay, Paris –The Woman and the Tower, 1925 Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Photo © BPK, Berlin, Dist. RMN- Grand Palais / image BPK

“Le Paris de la Modernité: 1905-1925” is an exhibition revisiting the Paris art scene from the end of the Belle Époque to the Roaring Twenties. It was a time when the city was exploding with a frenzy of creative energy attracting artists from all over the world. For Ernest Hemingway Paris in those years was a moveable feast (until April 14, 2024. Modernism sought a new alignment with modern times. The world was changing with new technologies rapidly affecting how people lived, traveled, worked… and made war. Artists felt they needed to change too. Many did while exploring new imagery, materials and techniques. “Le Paris de la Modernité” (at the Petit Palais) tells how the modern art story played out in Paris from 1905 to 1925. Continue reading “Modern Times à la Parisienne”

Loading Urban Art

“Loading, L’art urbain à l’ère numérique” revisits the recent history of street art and the impact of new technologies on its creation and dissemination (until July 21, 2024). The  exhibition at Paris’ Grand Palais Immersif greets visitors with a spectacular 360 degree immersive screen experience followed by several interactive installations including: “World Wide Walls” (a joystick ride of global graffiti partnered by Google Art  & Culture), “Hello, my name is…” (a DIY digital graffiti experience) and Seb Toussaint’s “Magnet Mural” inviting visitors to create a collective artwork with coloured magnetic shapes. Continue reading “Loading Urban Art”

Julia Margaret Cameron Paris Exhibit

Taking a cellphone picture of Cameron’s 1868 photo of Hattie Campbell titled “The Echo”

“Capturer la beauté” (Arresting Beauty), the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit at Paris’ Jeu de Paume, revisits the photography of one of the most important portraitists of the 19th century. Known for her soft-focus closeups of famous Victorians, sensitive portraits of women and children and poetic photo allegories, Cameron ranks among the most important photographers of the 19th century. After establishing herself among London’s cultural elite, Cameron formed her own salon frequented by distinguished Victorians at the seaside village of Freshwater, Isle of Wight. Her timeless and original body of work, created within just over a decade (between 1864 and 1875), is a major milestone marking the beginnings of photography (to January 28, 2024). Continue reading “Julia Margaret Cameron Paris Exhibit”

Dana Schutz’s “Monde Visible”

Dana Schutz, “Swimming, Smoking, Crying” © 2023 Dana Schutz, courtesy of the artist, CFA Berlin, Thomas Dane Gallery and David Zwirner. Photo: Obispo

One of the most prominent figures in the U.S. new figuration scene, Dana Schutz, is featured with an exhibition “Le Monde Visible” (The Visible World) at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (until February 11, 2024). With forty paintings from the early 2000s until today, drawings and recent sculptures it spans her stellar two decade career. Schutz (born 1976) is among the most successful female artists of her generation. Her painting “Elevator” recently sold at Christie’s for $6.5 million. It is the first time that the work of this internationally renowned American artist has been shown on this scale in France. Continue reading “Dana Schutz’s “Monde Visible””

Christmas Markets, Paris 2023

Image
La Defense © F. Eckert

Paris’ Christmas markets are among the things that make the holidays special in France. The markets are found all over the city from the Tuilleries Garden to Saint Germain des Pres to the Parvis de la Mairie du 15e. But the biggest (10,000 meters) and most diversified market (200 stalls) is found at Paris’ La Défense. The earliest Christmas markets date back to the late middle ages and have their origin in Germany. The Dresden “Striezelmarkt”  is said to be the oldest Christmas market and was first held in the 15th century. The Bautzen Christmas market and the Vienna “December Market” are supposed to be even older dating back to the 13th century. It was in 1570 when the Christmas market tradition found its way into Alsace, France’s easternmost region bordering Germany.

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