ArtParis is proof that painting is back in fashion

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Ziad Dalloul, Le repos des choses, 2021 at Galerie Claude Bernard

Art fairs are always exciting because you never know what you will discover, by chance. This new edition of ArtParis in front of the Eiffel Tower was particularly successful. The weather was lovely, everyone was tanned and art dealers admitted that they had a very good year during lockdown. The first gallery I stepped into was Claude Bernard’s with his paintings by Paul Rebeyrolle, Sam Szafran and Ziad Dalloul. At School gallery, La Fratrie invented crazy little collages and Magnin-A had Nathalie Boutté’s Japanese papers and Ana Silva’s embroidered canvases. Read More

The Eye of a collector, a new London art fair

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Susie MacMurray, Stalker, 2021,  at pangolin London, Photo Georgia de Chamberet

A new art fair “The Eye of the collector” curated by Nazy Vassegh, formerly CEO of Masterpiece, opened in London and Georgia de Chamberet visited it for Parisdiary.

“After a year of ‘flattening the curve’, to attend an experimental, edgy new kind of art fair in superb surroundings was just the ticket to lift post-pandemic angst and Brexit uncertainty. From 8 to 11 September, works from thirty British galleries (with two exceptions, Turnabuoni from Milan and Long Sharp from Indianapolis) were presented for sale at Two Temple Place, known for many years as Astor House, one of London’s hidden architectural gems on the Embankment. Among those who participated were Thomas Gibson Fine Art, Ariadne, Gazelli Art House, Vigo, Gallery 1957, Gallery Fumi, Agnews, Charles Ede, Rebecca Hossack and Kate MacGarry…Read More

A crazy rentrée but what fun!

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Bianca Bondi, Armchair created for La Scala theater in the series invented by Aline Vidal

It was a race this week if you wanted to see half of what took place in the capital. But with the magnificent weather and the use of subway and walking rather than taxiing, you could achieve a lot. After discovering the very pretty exhibition galleries at Christie’s with new windows on the street, I rushed to Galerie du Passage, to see American artists Matt Mitros and José Sierra’s fun ceramics. Then at La Scala Paris, Aline Vidal was inaugurating a new armchair created by an artist, South African born this time, Bianca Bondi. Nathalie Obadia was opening her large gallery on Faubourg Saint Honoré and all of this while ArtParis was mesmerizing everyone with the quality of its paintings. Read More

Youth equals talent with Pierre Renart and Julien Vermeulen

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Julien Vermeulen, three Totems

The most uplifting moment of the Design week (until 18 September) for me was to meet Pierre Renart and Julien Vermeulen, both 30, and with a ten year professional career, whose work I have admired for a couple of years. It was thanks to Florence Guillier-Bernard from Maison Parisienne, who patiently collects brilliant craft designers and throws them into the light. These two young guys are as charming as they are talented. One is a cabinet maker, the other one a plumassier (a feather artist) and they show together in a beautiful apartment on Ile Saint Louis.

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In Brussels, Fondation Boghossian is a true discovery

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Duane Hanson, Window Washer, 1984, courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Icons” is the theme chosen by Henri Loyrette for his very successful exhibition at Fondation Boghossian in Brussels. It is set in the magnificent art deco Villa Empain, built in 1930 by Louis Empain, age 22, on the avenue des Nations (now avenue Franklin Roosevelt) where all the embassies are settled. The house has gone through many hands from the German army in 1943 to the USSR embassy and the RTL television channel until 1990. It was acquired by the Boghossian Foundation in 2006 and entirely renovated by the artist Jean Boghossian and its director Diane Hennebert. It was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize for the quality of the work. The façades in polished granite, the different marbles, walnut and rosewood panelings, stained glass window and mosaics are all quite exceptional and it provides a perfectly intimate decor for the icons chosen for the show.Read More

At la Halle aux Grains, the decor tops the food

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The famous Aubrac filet of beef with minimal vegetable

An American friend told he’d had a great lunch at La Halle aux Grains, Michel and Sébastien Bras’s new restaurant at la Bourse du Commerce. I had heard it took months to get a table, but I tried anyway, one morning last week, and got a reservation for 12.15 pm. A good surprise. When you enter the third floor of François Pinault’s wonderful collection, you feel like walking into a beauty center. It is all grey and white, with a few cookbooks and pots of jam and a very pretty girl behind the counter. We were walked along the corridor which circles around the building with smashing views of Saint Eustache church and then of Centre Pompidou. The decor by the Bouroullec brothers, is surprisingly beautiful and simple and lots of little tables precede a larger one (for 8 -10 guests) in the main dining room. Of course, due to the late booking, we were taken to a back room with the view on the inside of the building, but it was pretty nevertheless.Read More

Don’t miss, in September…

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Ambra Senatore, “We need a secretary”, at the Biarritz dance festival ©Bastien Capela

September is traditionally in France the busy month of La Rentrée. Schools have resumed last Thursday and all the families are back in town. This week, ArtParis is opening on Thursday 9, at the “Grand Palais Ephémère” built by Jean Michel Wilmotte in the Champ de Mars, while Grand Palais is under works. 140 galleries from 20 countries will be exhibiting  and this event socially replaces the defunct Biennale des Antiquaires. In Biarritz, the dance festival “Le temps d’aimer la danse” (time to love ballet), initiated by Thierry Malandin, is taking place between 10-19 September in the whole area. And the greatest news of all is that l’Officiel des spectacles, the tiny magazine which lists all cultural events, movies, concerts, theatre and art, is back in print. Its cost has doubled (1,80€) but remains modest. Read More

At Château de Chantilly and at Abbaye de Chaalis, Primatice reigns

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Francesco Primaticcio, dit Primatice, “Danaé”, project for the frescoe in Fontainebleau, 1535-1539, Musée Condé, ©RMN-Grand Palais Domaine de Chantilly-Michel Urtado

It has become a huge effort to visit Château de Chantilly and its wonderful collections. This Saturday, the electric gates to enter the parking lot were not working properly and everyone was enraged. I could not find anyone to help my friend Garance, who walks poorly, and reaching the drawing galleries through the main court is an ordeal. The usual golf carts were nowhere to be found and, mostly, nobody cared. The windows of the galleries were disgustingly dirty and no one seemed to notice. “We are very understaffed” was the only answer I received when I asked the guard at the entrance for help. So it was a relief to spend a half hour with the Primatice drawings, collected by Duc d’Aumale, which are projects for the galleries and ballrooms at château de Fontainebleau. And we furthered our visit with the Abbaye de Chaalis, 20 kms away, which is under huge renovations, with its new administrator Alexis de Kermel. Its chapel painted by Primatice is a well hidden treasure and parking is free.Read More