In Orléans, youth brings a new image of Velazquez.

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Diego Velázquez, Saint Thomas, Orléans, musée des Beaux-Arts

It all started because the town of Orléans on the Loire river (116 000 inhabitants) is one of the two only places in France (with Rouen) to own a painting by Spanish painter Diego Velazquez. The Musée des Beaux Arts is one of the richest in France due to large donations in the 19 th century, and it is well worth taking the one hour train ride to visit it on the occasion of the new exhibition “On the track of Velazquez’s St Thomas” curated by the very young Corentin Dury and with Guillaume Kientz’s expertise and writings. Thanks to the museums of Barcelona and Sevilla, there are three apostles, St Paul, St Thomas and another head by the master, united in what the curator calls the Apostolado, a word used by El Greco to describe a series of portraits of the apostles. Jusepe di Ribera, Luis Tristan and Francisco Pacheco surround the young Velazquez who painted this portrait while still living in Sevilla before 1623.Read More

Hotel de la Marine opens at last on place de la Concorde…

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Grand cabinet de travail de Thierry de Ville d’Avray, photo Didier Plowy, Centre des monuments nationaux

There was already Hotel de Crillon and Automobile Club, now we have Hotel de La Marine to balance them, all magnificent buildings designed in 1755 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel and fully restored today, with a unique view of what used to be place Louis XV and is now place de la Concorde. And this might seem natural, but if Olivier de Rohan and Pierre Achard had not reacted in 2009, when the sale to real estate mogul Alexandre Allard was being signed by the state, we would have had yet another luxury commercial center instead. Rohan asked Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to preside over Les Amis de L’Hôtel de la Marine and the sale engineered by former minister of culture, Renaud Donedieu de Vabre, was stopped. Read More

The Michel Périnet sale, an event at Christie’s

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Mortlock Islands mask, Caroline Islands, 500 000-700 000€ lot 22

The catalog itself is a piece of art and the estimates of 1-2 million € modest apparently for some of the pieces from the Michel Périnet collection of African and Oceanian art, sold at Christie’s Paris by François de Ricqlès on June 23. Well known for his expertise as an auctioneer, Ricqlès was President of Christie’s France from 2010 to 2019 after performing the record sale of Hubert Goldet‘s collection in June 2001. He has now become an adviser, but picks up the hammer from time to time when the objects are exceptional. Michel Périnet started collecting Art Nouveau and René Lalique from his boutique on rue Danielle Casanova. Then he collected Pont Aven painters and Art décos furniture: his dragons armchair designed by Eileen Gray went on to have a life of its own when they hit the ceiling at the Yves Saint Laurent sale. He was very influenced by the couturier and collector Jacques Doucet.Read More

Drawing now Alternative, a fair always full of good surprises

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Pat Andrea, 2019, “running”, 4000€, courtesy galerie Ramakers, The Hague, Netherlands

Drawing Now has always been one of my favorite fairs in Paris ever since it was at the Carrousel du Louvre and then at Carreau du Temple and I discovered many young artists thanks to it. This year, it was smaller because of health restrictions and called Alternative, yet very charming with two major galleries, Anne de Villepoix and Lelong & Cie and many young artists. It only shows drawings or works on paper. I particularly liked the poetry of Marcella Barcelo’s watercolor and ink and Nicolas Daubanes‘ drawings with meteorite dust at Galerie Maubert. Drawings by Jean Pierre Pincemin (1944-2005) and Jean-Charles Blais at Catherine Issert, two older artists, brought me back to my younger years in the 1980’s when they were super famous. And Sopie Bouvier Ausländer was a discovery at galerie Patrick Heide from London. Galerie Backlash was showing the 2021 Prize, Odonchimeg Davaadorj,  always full of grace. Read More

Magic is in the decor! with Benita Kusel.

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Benita Kusel has magic in her hands

Benita Kusel is a painter of decors… She does marble, wood, slate, but mostly frescos on paper with shells, flowers, vegetable and can paint on anything including radiators to hide or ugly chests. For a wedding in Belgium, she painted silk vests, tablecloths in Italy, for a country house she devises a decor of deers and willow trees and with flower designer Baptiste Pitou, who famously had a corner at Hermès rue de Sèvres, she draws floral decors and creates drawings of gardens. She shows her work at the moment in the most eccentric, derelict artist studio on the very chic rue de Grenelle and it is great fun to visit her show, by appointment only.Read More

Five curators for Henri Cartier Bresson at BNF

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Simiane-la-Rotonde, France, 1969. © Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos

The new exhibition of Henri Cartier Bresson’s photographs at Bibiothèque Nationale de France is a unique experience which was rehearsed at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice, last fall. Some five years ago, François Pinault, whose Foundation has recently opened in Paris at Bourse du Commerce, bought a bulk of 385 photographs by HCB to help the HCB foundation move to its new premises on rue des Archives. These prints of which there are 6 copies, were chosen by the photographer himself for Dominique and John de Menil in 1973 and is called the “Master Collection”. Bibliothèque Nationale has a copy as does the Menil Foundation in Houston of course, the Victoria and Albert in London, the University of Fine Arts in Osaka and Fondation HCB. Five curators, Sylvie Aubenas, Javier Cercas, Annie Leibovitz, François Pinault and Wim Wenders were asked to chose 53 images among “the perfect prints of my best photos” as the photographer used to call this series. And the result is very enlightening.Read More

Prix Bob Calle for Livre d’artiste is celebrated at Beaux Arts de Paris and at Centre Pompidou

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Jacques Henri Lartigue in an advertisement for Asahi Pentax, 1975, is exhibited at Centre Pompidou on the 4 th floor

Bob Calle would be happy today. Six years after he left us on April 6, 2015, this oncologist turned art lover and creator of the Carré d’Art in Nîmes, is celebrated through a third Prize for Artists’ books conceived with and organised by his widow Laurence Dumaine Calle. The selecting committee, made of 15 experts who come from all over Europe, has picked 51 books among which one was chosen among 18 nominees, by Vera Michalski, Jean Michel Alberola, Philippe Apeloig, Alexandra Baudelot, Bernard Blistène, Théophie Calot, Jean de Loisy and Bertrand Schefer. The laureate is Pierre Leguillon for his book “ADS.” published in Brussels by Triangle books. And anyone can buy it for 30€! The Prize is sponsored by Fondation Jan Michalski and hosted by Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris.

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Ilse Bing, a poetic photographer at Karsten Greve.

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Dancer Ballet Errante, 1932 © Courtesy Galerie Karsten Greve St. Moritz, Paris, Köln

The corner gallery Karsten Greve always has interesting photo exhibitions and Ilse Bing‘s works 1928-1935, are no exception. Shot in Frankfurt and Paris by the German artist (1899-1998), nicknamed the “Queen of the Leica”, these pictures show the research made by this self taught photographer who privileged spontaneity for her photojournalism. When she moves to Paris in 1930, Ilse Bing adds poetry to her realistic style. The camera was really an extension of her eye just like it would become for Cartier Bresson later one.Read More