In Lille, the museum is in full Renaissance

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Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, “Time or the Old”, 1808-1812, “The letter, the Young”, ca 1814-1819, former collection of King Louis Philippe
















Like many provincial French cities, Lille has a fabulous Arts Museum where Goya rivals with Rubens on the first floor. But what attracted us this week is the reopening of the Medieval and Renaissance galleries down below, which are brilliantly settled in the arched brick cellars. Sophie Duteilhet de Lamothe, the 36 year old curator took us around with grace and knowledge while her colleague Régis Cotentin, in charge of contemporary art, pointed out the discrete but efficient installations and videos set out in the whole museum. These treasures are well worth a visit to the North of France which counts many more exceptional museums in Cassel and Saint Omer.Read More

“Singing in the rain” is 70 and Gene Kelly is alive again on France musique

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Patricia Kelly and Marc Voinchet with the new Gene Kelly Hermès scarf which comes in 8 colors

Very soon the famous Hermès Kelly bag, named after Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, will have competition: a new scarf designed by the Canadian artist Geoff McFetridge on featuring Gene Kelly, to celebrate the 70 th anniversary of “Singing in the rain“. The film was recently rejuvenated by Warner and is screened in all French cinemas this summer. Patricia Kelly, his widow, is in Paris to record the series of broadcasts “Gene Kelly et moi”  which are aired in July and August on France Musique. For the first time, the famous choreographer, dancer and film director (who would be 110 this year) will be heard in an intimate way. Patrica spent ten years of their married life, taping him at cocktail hour, 5 pm, while he was drinking his vodka tonic. And sometimes during dinner. The result is a gripping story told with the most intimate and personal voice. This is the first time ever that these tapes are aired. Every Sunday morning at 11 am and on podcast. Read More

Le Vaudeville, is still a beautiful brasserie

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Le Vaudeville has kept its original 1918 decor and nice tablecloth

I had to find a place for lunch near the Bourse for a curator of the Wolfsonian museum in Miami, which specialises in turn of the century furniture and decors, and I considered Galopin, the brasserie named after the young boys who brought small glasses of beer (still called a galopin) to the brokers on the floor of the Stock exchange. But I opted for le Vaudeville in the end and was very happily surprised. This used to be a favorite venue for after the Opeéra Comique but I had not been for quite a while. The headwaiter gave me a large table after I asked to sit inside (and not on the sidewalk like everyone else) and we could both take advantage of the fantastic decor. Read More

Germany in the Twenties, and August Sander at Centre Pompidou

parisdiaarchitecture, Art, photography1 Comment

Max Beckmann, Doppelbildnis, (double portrait) , 1923

The exhibition at Centre Pompidou of “Germany 1920’s, New Objectivity, August Sander” is so wide that one could have split it in two to make it more digestible with its 900 pictures. It presents overlapping narratives of post WWI years and has fantastic art and photographs. It is worth going, with a lot time at hand and a calm mood… German modernity and “New Objectivity” as it is called,  during the Weimar Republic 1918-1933, is particularly interesting due to the changes in German society. August Sander’s “Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts (People of the 20 th Century) is a fascinating reflection and classification of the society of the time (from farmer to banker), a series which he only abandoned in 1934, after his son was arrested by the nazis. He called these portraits “assisted self-portraits”. Read More

Martin Basdevant’s pastels at Documents 15

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Statices, 2022, pastel on cardboard

As you know I have a weakness for the charming Documents 15 gallery which always shows interesting and often lesser known print artists. This week Martin Basdevant concentrates on multicolor mountains from Queyras in the Alps, where he spent his childhood and interiors in La Villette where he resides. Trained as an architect and formerly a garden designer, he uses pastel and charcoal for the works and his third exhibition at the gallery. The mountains are almost abstract while the interiors are  structured with strong vertical and horizontal lines. A very fascinating work until July 23.Read More

Lausanne is worth a visit this summer…

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Photo Elysée designed by the Portuguese Aires Mateus, is part of the new museum complex Platform 10 near the Lausanne train station

I have not yet been to Lausanne to discover the new Museum quarter designed by the Portuguese firm Aires Mateus, Plateforme 10, near the train station, but from my visit last year, I know what an attractive group of buildings it is. Tatyana Franck, who used to run Photo Elysée, the superb photography museum, is gone to New York where she is President of FIAF, French Institute Alliance Française. She was recently replaced by Nathalie Haschendorfer, formerly head of Musée des Beaux Arts de Locle, near Neuchâtel. “Train Zug Treno Tren” was the obvious title for the first exhibition linking the three museums.Read More

“Vegetal” and Chaumet at the Beaux Arts, Exceptional!

parisdiaArt, flowers and gardens, Happy moments3 Comments

François-Renault Nitot for Chaumet, oak leaf parure with cornaline installes, 1809

This week, at every dinner party, only one word was been mentioned “Vegetal” (botanical): the title of the new fantastic exhibition based on plants’ designs in Chaumet’s jewelry, where one almost regrets that there is not more jewelry. Contemporary artists and classical painters have been united by curator and botanist Marc Jeanson to fill two floors of celebration of nature at Ecole des Beaux Arts. The decor is as luxurious as a shop on Place Vendôme and the mix of art which includes a Saint Laurent embroidered wool crêpe jacket and Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs, but also medieval tapestries and Arcimboldo’s paintings from the Louvre is stunning. Since the Van Cleef exhibition of gems at Museum d’Histoire naturelle last year, Parisians have been alerted to the strong link between the earth and precious stones.  This time we are learning about Joseph Chaumet‘s passion for botanic and the deep ties between nature and artists since the creation of the house in 1780 by Marie-Etienne Nitot and his follower’s Jean Baptiste Fossin‘s perfect drawings. Read More

Gulbenkian meets Al Thani and Vermeulen enters Studio Harcourt

parisdiaArt, Fashion, Happy moments, Non classé, photography1 Comment

Julien Vermeulen, portrait © Antoine Lippens

There are some wonderful artists/artisans around and Maison Parisienne specializes in original creators. One of them, the plumassier (feather magician) Julien Vermeulen, works with feathers and started in fashion before becoming a full time artist. He is being shown at Studio Harcourt, the very pretty studio and gallery of black and white photography in the 16 th arrondissement, from June 23 to July 23. At Hôtel de la Marine, the Al Thani collection is presenting a few exceptional pieces from the Calouste Gulbenkian collection as part of the Portuguese season in Paris. Read More