Pissarro, a double bill at Marmottan and at Luxembourg

Camille Pissarro, Two Women Chatting by the Sea, St. Thomas, 1856, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

I am not a particular fan of Camille Pissarro but Musée Marmottan always has nice shows and walking through the Ranelagh gardens on the way, is an extra bonus. The new exhibition « Pissarro, the first of the Impressionists » is a good surprise. From the painter‘s origins in St Thomas in the Caribbean, to his paintings of Norman harbors and gardens in winter, the 60 paintings are definitely worth the tripRead More

Dalida at Galliera

Each podium is designed like a vinyl record with the title of one of her 2 000 most famous songs

One needed a magician like Robert Carsen to build the perfect whimsical setting for the collection of dresses of Italian/Egyptian singer Dalida, who was Miss Egypt in 1954 and became one of France’s most popular singer in the 1970’s and 80’s. After her death in 1987, her brother Orlando decided to give her « garde-robe » to Palais Galliera. And the show is very fun.

Read More

Prune Nourry plays around at Musée Guimet

“La destruction n’est pas une fin en soi” (Pied) 2017, in the main hall of Musée Guimet, plaster and incense sticks

I first attended a Prune Nourry show in 2011, when Tatyana Franck, then 26, exhibited her work in an empty apartment of Faubourg St Honoré with Sophie Ubald Bocquet. These very young ladies were quite excited over their friend’s « Terracotta Daughters » and one could sense success around the corner. Tatyana went on to exhibit Prune Nourry in Mexico, Zürich and New York and became the curator of Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. Six years later, Prune Nourry shows at Galerie Templon in Brussels and is given a « carte blanche » on the four floors of Musée Guimet. Where will she stop ?Read More

Cars are stars at Fondation Cartier

Peter Lippmann, Citroën traction 7, 2012 from the series Paradise parking

It was great fun as usual at Fondation Cartier for the opening of « Auto Photo, from 1900 to today » a show of 450 pictures by American, British, German, Swiss, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, African and French photographers who, one way or another, were attracted by cars. Small and large formats, color and black and white, esthetical or social themes make for a very varied exhibition curated by Xavier Barral and Philipe Séclier, two adventurers who love photo.Read More

Camille Claudel and the Marquise de Maillé

The château de la Motte-Tilly was built for Abbé Terray in 1754

It was a short drive from the beautiful village of St Loup de Naud where I slept in Violet Trefusis‘s house (now owned by a close friend), and we arrived at Château de la Motte-Tilly promptly for the 10.30 am tour. This house which used to be Louis XV th treasurer Abbé Terray’s, was built in 1754 by architect Francois Nicolas Lancret, the nephew of Nicolas Lancret. It passed on to the Rohan Chabot family and was entirely restored in the 20 th century by both Charles Gérard de Rohan Chabot and his daughter Aliette de Maillé. It is a few miles away from the new and beautiful Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent sur Seine.

Read More

Topor, the dark genius, at Bibliothèque Nationale

Poster for Volker Schlöndorff’s film after Günter Grass’s novel “The Tin Drum”, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1979

The Bibliothèque Nationale, the French Public Library, has a rich fund of books, drawings, photographs and etchings and the celebration of Roland Topor’s art is a perfect example of what they know to do best : a profound exploration of one’s art through 300 of his drawings, film and illustrations.

Read More

The Pulitzer Prize for biography goes to Hisham Matar

His father Jabala Matar in 1971

When I first heard Hisham Matar speak at the American library in Paris last December, it was obvious that he was not just a writer telling a tragic story. His intensity, his severity for mediocre questions, his pause before answering, were all impressive. I immediately sensed a very special mind. He had come to talk about his latest book, « The Return » which was just translated into French by Gallimard (La Terre qui les sépare) and, this week, he was just awarded the Pulitzer prize for biography.Read More

John Stewart, a very special friend!

John Stewart a few years ago in Provence, ©Anne Clergue Galerie

I met John Stewart twenty five years ago at a summer luncheon in Saignon, in Lubéron. After five minutes, he started talking about his latest trip to Ladakh where he had met a common friend, Hugues de Montalembert. This coincidence was unusual enough to make us instant and long lasting friends ! Such was John’s curiosity  and interest for others! His impeccable French was tinted with a slight « International » accent which his studies at Janson de Sailly had not completely erased. His mother tongue was English. He died on March 10 th in Paris at 97 and still had photo projects for next summer in Provence.

Read More