In Brittany, Henry Moret is rediscovered and weddings are in vogue

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Henry Moret, “La Plâtrière du Four”, Finistère, 1898, private collection

I had a spell of Brittany for my first week of vacation and once again adored every minute of it. Pont Aven, Quimper, Beg-Meil, Sainte Marine, Pont l’Abbé, all magical names with poetry and dream attached to them. I was there for a wedding on the Odet, which was successful beyond words in terms of friendship, love, beauty and even spiritual fervor. And the discovery of painter Henry Moret’s hundred paintings at Quimper’s Musée des Beaux Arts was the cherry on the cake. Shopping for tablecloths at Le Minor in Pont l’Abbé is, of course, mandatory.Read More

Damien Hirst’s Cherry Blossoms bring pink to Fondation Cartier

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Wondeerful world blossom

Damien Hirst has accustomed his public to surprises over the years ever since Charles Saatchi discovered his work at Freeze which he organized in a disused Port of London warehouse with sixteen of his classmates from Goldsmiths College of Art in 1988. He was 23 and had lived in Leeds until then. The exhibition “Cherry Blossoms” at Fondation Cartier takes after some of Van Gogh’s paintings which he discovered in 1984 during a tour of European museums, but also reminded me of David Hockney’s “My Normandy”. This show of 33 paintings (from a series of.  107) is very luminous, far from his glass vitrines with sharks or filled with “shipwrecks”. The works remain abstract and the thick oil painting gives it a specific depth. Read More

Book your tickets for Christo now!

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I know that many of you will be coming to Paris for the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe. Sales for the tickets to have access inside the Arc de Triomphe and on the terraces have started and even though the wrapping of the Arc will be visible from the Champs Elysées and all the avenues around, it is a good idea to book a 16€ ticket to get closer and to actually walk on the blue fabric on the roof of the Arc.

Here is the link and I already successfully used it. From September 18 to October 3. L’Arc de Triomphe is managed by Centre des Monuments Nationaux  who will benefit from the sales while the project itself is entirely financed by the Christo estate.

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Barthélémy Toguo is beautiful at Musée du Quai Branly!

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Water Matters, 2020, an installation created especially for the exhibition, courtesy Barthélémy Toguo, Bandjoun Station/Galerie Lelong & Co

It’s a good idea to have opened the Galerie Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, at Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac, to the brilliant artist Barthélémy Toguo, who was born near Yaoundé in Cameroon and lives between Paris and there. His colorful and meaningful paintings and installations give extra life to the collection of African statues, recently acquired by the businessman, and bequeathed to the museum. Toguo’s installation “Water Matters” especially conceived for the place, is particularly striking with its multiple glass bottles and the tragic depiction of a thirsty man. The show is called “Désir d’Humanité” (a Desire for humanism).Read More

Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine, a mine of good ideas

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This set of velvet covered chairs and sofa, Suwaru, is designed by Valérie Le Heno

Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine (CFOC), which was founded fifty five years ago by François Dautresme, a great traveller and collector of Asian art, has always been a fabulous place for finding Christmas presents, Chinese ceramics, trays in lacquer and exotic furniture. Now that it is owned (since June 2020) by Louis Desazars de Montgailhard and Laurent Dumas, it has taken a new modernity in its two venues of boulevard Haussmann and boulevard Raspail. Gigantic vases and beautiful glasses and carafes, outdoor reclining chairs and “conversation” benches won me over. The new line which is presented in September is called “Miss Wong” after Wong Kar-wai’s film “In the Mood for love“, set in Hong Kong in 1962.Read More

My “spy” Georgia de Chamberet went to Buckingham Palace gardens

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Architect John Nash’s garden front and beautiful lawn, photo Georgia de Chamberet

In celebration of the easing of lockdown, the Royal Collection Trust has been reopening its royal residences to the public. Although thousands of people visit the Buckingham Palace State Rooms and gardens every non-pandemic year, lingering and picnicking are a no-no. This year it’s different. There may be no royal garden parties, but the garden at Buckingham Palace is open to the public for the first time in history. You can walk on the grass, bring your own picnic (no alcohol, knives or dogs are allowed), or enjoy a cup of tea with cake or a scone bought from the lawnside café. My dear friend Georgia de Chamberet, an Anglo-French editor, translator and writer in London was one of the first visitors to the gardens. She was kind enough to share her visit with us and here it is. Read More

Victor Hugo and Azzedine Alaïa share the bill in the Marais

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Maison de Victor Hugo, with his portrait by Leon Bonnat, a Louis XV chest and one of the writer’s drawings “Masked woman holding her coat”, 1866

Since the Marais has become inaccessible except by tube, you might as well group your visits in the area and this is what I did with great success this morning: I visited first Victor Hugo’s house on place des Vosges which has at the moment an interesting exhibition of his drawings recommended to me by Richard Berman, the New York drawing dealer, who was here for Salon du Dessin. And after a quick stop at the new tea house Mulot set in the courtyard of the museum, I went on to see the Azzedine Alaïa /Peter Lindbergh “En miroir” show, curated by Benjamin Lindbergh and Olivier Saillard. It is, as always, impeccably staged with the black and white pictures facing the actual clothes. Two giants of the seventies and eighties who were close friends and often worked together.Read More

A very elegant Vaudeville in Burgundy

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Thibault de Montalembert (le Colonel) and Hélène Babu (his wife) who is also the director

It was a divine surprise! We drove almost four hours to Arcelot, near Dijon, to attend the Première of Thibault and Hélène (Babu) de Montalembert’s crazy ten days of performance in the open of “J’invite le Colonel”, a vaudeville play written in 1860, by Eugène Labiche one of France’s most comic and prolific (he wrote 176 plays) 19 th century playwright. The decor of château d’Arcelot, an 18 th century neoclassical hunting lodge, the magnificent park at sunset and the six fantastic actors, turned our heroic drive into a moment of pure pleasure, laughter and relaxation. They will be playing all week: at Clos de Vougeot on Bastille day, Château de Bussy Rabutin on the 18 th, in Semur en Auxois on the 19 th and in Quincy le Vicomte on the 20 th. If you are in Burgundy, do not miss it!Read More