Edith Dufaux, invites mystery at Alain Margaron’s gallery

Ladders, 2019, Monotype and mixed techniques

Galerie Alain Margaron has accustomed us to seeing post war painters like Fred Deux, René Laubiès, Anselme Boix-Vives and Dado, so it was an interesting discovery to see Edith Dufaux’s monotypes of space, geography, cartography. Through forty works on paper and a few paintings, we discover an artist who had exhibited at Fondation Cartier in 1990 and not much since. Very exciting.Read More

Citéco, a dream Neo Renaissance house turned into a tech nightmare

The façade neo renaissance of la Cité de l’Economie boulevard Malesherbes, photo Charlotte Donker

This is a building you’ve passed a hundred times while driving to CDG airport on boulevard Malesherbes.  It used to be the prestige offices of Banque de France with a huge safe room surrounded by a moat! And before that, it was built in 1878, by architect Jules Février for Emile Gaillard, a member of the 19 th century banking circles, which included the Rothschild, the Pereire, the Greffulhe and the Hottinguer. This “castle” in the middle of Paris was modeled after château de Blois and has produced a disciple in Nashville, North Carolina, where Richard Morris Hunt, trained at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, built the Biltmore Estate.Read More

Papillon, a trendy lunch place

Christophe Saintagne, the chef at Papillon, photo Pierre Monetta

The chef Christophe Saintagne did everything right. He was born in Normandy and raised in Pont Audemer, the village of Gaston Lenôtre and Taillevent (Guillaume Tirel), the 14th century cook, served for his military service at the Elysée Palace in Jacques Chirac’s time, met Alain Ducasse and ran the restaurant Les Lyonnais at 24, worked with Jean François Piège at the Crillon, turned the Plaza Athénée restaurant into a three star Michelin, and finished at the Meurice before he decided to open his own little paradise “Papillon“, on rue Meissonier in the 17 th.Read More

Franz Hals’ families at Fondation Custodia

Frans Hals, “Family Van Campen in a landscape” (fragment), 1623-1625, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio (the baby on the left was added later)

It is once again an extraordinary exhibit which takes place at Fondation Custodia, rue de Lille. The house has a soul thanks to its director Ger Luijten, who welcomes you as if you were his private guest. And the themes of exhibitions are always completely original. This time, he welcomes a show of “Frans Hals family portraits“, which was initiated at the Toledo Museum of Art Ohio, and also shown in Brussels at Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts. For the first time, the three pieces of the puzzle of “The Family Van Campen in a landscape” a 3,80 m long family portrait, are reunited with the hanging of the paintings side by side. It is an art history “coup” but also a fascinating story about the greatest Dutch portrait painter with Rembrandt. And the intimacy of the premises makes it particularly unique.Read More

Rosemarie’s necklaces, a perfect summer temptation

A necklace made in ebony and silver thread from Mauritania

Rosemarie Carvalho Dufour was raised partly in Senegal, in Portugal and in Italy and met her husband, African art dealer Alain Dufour, when he worked in Dakar. They spend their professional lives between Saint Maur des Fossés near Paris and Ramatuelle, near St Tropez, in the summer. Their common love for Africa has produced amazing jewelry which mixes bronze from North Cameroun, Ethiopian pieces, Zebu bones from Kenya and pearls from Nigeria or Benin. All necklaces and rings are made without a previous drawing, instinctively by hand and in only one version and can be seen at Galerie Afrique. Read More

Photographer Dora Maar invades Centre Pompidou

Marianne Clouzot, Portrait of Dora Maar, ca 1927, Musée Bernard d’Agesci, Niort

Centre Pompidou owns the largest collection (1 900 negatives) of photographs by French artist Dora Maar (1907-1997) and this very comprehensive retrospective of 400 works is interesting historically, but I have to admit that the best part of the show for me, was the series of portraits that Picasso and she devoted to each other. From fashion photographer in the 1930’s, to political activist and surrealist artist, Henriette Théodora Markovitch, had an extraordinary life portrayed here through her art. Read More

Kehinde Wiley travels to Tahiti

Portrait of Tuatini Manate III, 2019, photo Diane Arques

I discovered American painter Kehinde Wiley at the Petit Palais three years ago. He already had many works in American museums and would be, in 2018,  the first African American painter to be asked to do a portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, that of President Barack Obama. Galerie Templon is devoting its splendid spaces of rue du Grenier Saint Lazare to his new series of paintings of Tahiti and its Māhū community. A transgender study.Read More

La Joconde, naked, at Chantilly

Atelier de Léonard de Vinci, La Joconde nue, © RMN-Grand Palais (domaine de Chantilly) Gérard Blot

Don’t get irritated by the title “La Joconde Nue”, given to the new and superb exhibition at the Jeu de Paume of Château de Chantilly, and run to see these multiple images of Mona Lisa, whose body is definitely masculine with artificial breasts and an enigmatic face. Leonardo da Vinci was in love with his (male) assistant and the large drawing bought by duc d’Aumale in 1862, bidding against the Louvre and the British Museum who could not afford it, is fascinating in its bisexual tone. The show is as much a course in art history as it is an image of Leonardo’s love life and rare paintings have travelled from Russia, the US, Prague, Geneva and Italy to enchant our visit.Read More