Avenue Winston Churchill is at the centre of Paris’ arts

Vincenzo Gemito, The Harpooner, 1872, Naples, collection Intesa Sanpaolo

No one has ever known the name of this large avenue which separates Grand Palais from Petit Palais. It is called avenue Winston Churchill and is delimited on the South by the great Prime minister’s statue (without its original cigar) and on the North by de Gaulle’s and Clemenceau’s. This week, it is the epicenter of all cultural activities with, the FIAC opening on Wednesday (for the 10 000 vips) and on Thursday for the rest of the world. With the delightful Neapolitan sculptor Gemito and Yan Pei-Ming at the Petit Palais. And Toulouse Lautrec and Greco at the Grand Palais. Beware of traffic jams inside and outside these two exhibition halls!Read More

The Alana collection of Italian treasures, at Jacquemart André

Jacopo Carucci dit Pontormo, Portrait of a luth player, ca 1529-1530

All shows are not well adapted to the small rooms of Musée Jacquemart André, but the 75 Italian Renaissance chefs d’oeuvre collected by Alvaro Saieh and Ana Guzman, have found their ideal decor in the private house on Boulevard Haussmann. They are mostly in small formats and perfectly set in the “jewelry box”  of Nelly Jacquemart and Edouard André, a couple of collectors in perfect adequation with them, a hundred years apart.Read More

2O th anniversary of the Prize for the Intelligence of the hand

Ludwig Vogelgesang working on his baby cot Argo, photo Sophie Zénon

Fondation Bettencourt Schueller is celebrating 20 years of what could be considered the greatest French award for Artisans, “The Prize for the Intelligence of the hand”. Started by Liliane Bettencourt, it is now run by her daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers who, very courageously attended the event with a broken foot! The joy and gratitude of thePrize winners was immense.  They are all hard working artists and one of the laureates, Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert, a glass blower, had applied seven times! His sculpture “”The Beginning: Dark Matter” (2018) was the winning  piece.Read More

Salomon Slijper’s collection of Mondrian at Marmottan.

Farm near Duivendrecht, 1916, Kunstmuseum Den Haag

Where else but at Musée Marmottan-Monet, could a private collection of sixty seven Piet Mondrian paintings and drawings have found a better home? The new show “Mondrian figurative” is a little jewel of quality for each work was selected by Salomon Slijper, the son of diamond dealer who met the penniless artist in a guest house in Laren in 1915. He bought a hundred and eighty works, mostly figurative paintings, between 1916 and 1920 somethings paying them with expensive clothes. Until now, Mondrian was mostly famous in France for his abstract work.Read More

A Dutch Impressionist and a Swiss print maker, at Fondation Custodia

Willem Bastiaan Tholen, Jetty in Enkhuizen, 1918, Private collection, © Photo P. den Ouden, Van den Dool Sliedrecht

Fondation Custodia is one of these research centers and precious gallery, which celebrate quality in art above all. This new exhibition is devoted to, a little known in France Dutch impressionist, Willem Bastiaan Tholen, (1860-1931). Downstairs, the director Ger Luitjen, uncovered late Swiss artist Gérard de Palézieux’ s life long career as a drawer and a print maker. Both shows are precious. Read More

Le Sergent Recruteur, is reborn on île Saint Louis

A very sophisticated mix of tomatoes-pineapple, green melon and cherries with focaccia

When I saw the first course of tomato pineapple and melon being set on the table, its colorful beauty reminded me immediately of a starter, “The palette of vegetables” I had a few months ago at Laurent, the restaurant in the Elysées gardens. Well, little did I know that the creator of both dishes was the same! Alain Pégouret, who started with Monsieur Robuchon at Jamin,  and went on to work  with Christian Constant at the Crillon, has now opened his own restaurant, “Le Sergent Recruteur“, on rue Saint Louis en L’Ile. Read More

Baselitz in Pantin, an explosion of paint

“Arrivare con cenere”, 2019

Driving to Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in Pantin is always an effort but there is always a great reward! This time, East German artist Georg Baselitz is showing his “Homage to Elke”, his wife of nearly sixty years. The thirty paintings might seem repetitive in different colors but as soon as you come near them in the gigantic space, you realize the beauty of the details and of the paint texture. Do take the time to go, it is a unique experience like entering a cathedral of contemporary painting.Read More

Julio Le Parc at Sèvres, and more news

François Xavier Lalanne, “Ostrich bar”, 1970-1980, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres

“The beauty of the gesture” is the new theme of exhibition at Manufacture de Sèvres, which often commissions contemporary artists to work on their premises. The wonderful workshops are only accessible on demand but a small gallery has just  opened on the ground floor of the museum and you can dream about acquiring a vase by Nicolas Buffe (80 000€) or one by Ettore Sottsass, (25 000€). I fell for Julio Le Parc’s, “The Wave” (33 000€). During school vacations there are demonstrations of the savoir faire of the Manufacture. Do not miss these very special moments.

Julio le Parc, The Wave, 2019

When you wander around the first floor galleries, your eye is stopped in every room by splendid vases, sculptures, royal plates and even a secretary with porcelain made in 1870. There are collections of treasures from all around Europe including from Meissen, where I discovered an intriguing little Chinese character. The contrast between a Lalanne sculpture and a huge Vase Neptune made in 1867, Annabelle d’Huart’s refined jewelry and Etienne Hadju’s Gensoli vase is just mind-blowing.

Desk-secrétaire of the Muses, porcelaine with bronze on wood, painting by Leguay, ca 1890

I particularly laughed at the Elephant feet vases, made in stoneware clay by Hervé Rousseau in 2003, and loved the bowls by Jay Kvapil in basaltic earth. A whole collection of stoneware sculptures by contemporary artists is visible in one of the large rooms. It includes Danish artist Turi Heisselberg Pedersen and Swedish Eva Hild.

Eva Hild, Sequel, Sparsör, Sweden, 2010

Once you have visited the galleries, stop by the “showroom” where everything is for sale. There  are a number of master classes for adults and children mostly on Saturdays and Sundays, films shown downstairs and a visit of a workshop every third Thursday of the month at 2 pm. The artisans will give demonstrations of their talent during the school vacations in October, February and April.

Director Romane Sarfati introducing the new showroom in the Museum of Sèvres

Manufacture de Sèvres until August 31, 2010 and from October 12, Julio Le Parc is in their Paris shop, 4 place André Malraux next to the Comédie Française.

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