Buddha, Tokaido and Mr. with Pharrell Williams at Musée Guimet

One of four bas reliefs illustrating Buddha’s anterior lives, China, Shankhacharya Avadana, 6-7 th century.

Musée Guimet is one of the most fascinating museums in Paris and its collections all dedicated to Asian art are among the most complete in the world. This summer it presents three very different shows which all are attractive. “Buddha, the golden legend” as seen in Afghanistan, China, Burma, Japan… is curated by Thierry Zéphir. “On the Tokaido road”, a series of “touristic” Edo period prints and more contemporary, the top floor rotunda painted by Japanese artist Mr. in collaboration with Pharrell Williams on the theme of children. A perfect summer program!Read More

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, a superior film director

5 year old Kurt Barnert is fascinated by degenerate art

Since I read Dana Goodyear’s fabulous article on Gerhard Richter and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s relationship in the New Yorker last January, I have been dying to see the film “Never Look Away”. It only came out in Paris this week under the title “L’Oeuvre sans auteur“, a straight translation from its German title “Werk ohne autor”. The three hours and ten minutes in two episodes went by like a flash. It is, like the director’s previous film, “Life of others” a superior storytelling.Read More

Pays Basque is celebrated through its dance costumes

Espadrilles in Guéthary, photo Véronique Mati

The Basque country, which goes across borders over the Pyrénées, from Bayonne to Bilbao, has always fascinated ethnologists and this new book on its traditional dance costumes conceived by Serge Gleizes, is a little gem. Largely due to the talent of photographer Véronique Mati. If you have ever been curious about provincial French costumes, this is a series of photographs that could inspire Christian Lacroix if he was not from Provence… The huge success of Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz as summer resorts on the Atlantic, does not usually include the “arrière pays”, back countries of the Pyrénées. Here is a precious study which will help enlarge your vision of this very strange ethnic, the Basques.Read More

London is swinging even in the heat

Cindy Sherman in front of her early works, “Murder Mystery People” in June at the National Portrait gallery

While the whole of literary London gathered around charming historian Philip Mansel at the French Institute for his talk on his remarkable new biography of Louis XIV, “King of the World”, and art collectors and dealers (like Alexis Kugel) were at Christie’s bidding for the Rothschild treasures with its exceptional Flemish cabinets, polychrome enamel plaques by Léonard Limosin and rock crystal caskets which sold for three times the estimate, I went to see Cindy Sherman‘s outstanding retrospective at the National Portrait gallery and Leonardo’s drawings at the Queen’s gallery in Buckingham palace. London under the sun has no equivalent.Read More

Thaddaeus Ropac presents Imran Qureshi, in Pantin.

The Endless Path, 2018, Acrylic and gold leaves on canvas (12 panels, 273,5 cm by 1668 cm)

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Pantin has accustomed us to gigantic shows and Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi is no exception this summer. “The Seeming Path of Memory” is both delicate and bloody, beautiful and violent. Large canvases are shown along delicate gouaches on paper (my favorites) inspired by poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) and mogul miniatures.Read More

“Back Side”, a fashion show at Musée Bourdelle

The large studio with a dress from Givenchy by Clare Weight Keller, Marine Sitbon and Walter Van Beirendonck and Antoine Bourdelle’s monumental sculptures, La Force, La Liberté, La France

Musée Bourdelle,  in Montparnasse, is one of the hidden treasures of Paris. Its director, Amélie Simier, runs it with enthusiasm and has clever initiatives for its twice a year shows. One of which is to have joined forces with Palais Galliera (under renovations at the moment) to exhibit part of their fashion collections in the monumental sculpture halls. This summer, “Back Side, Dos à la mode” puts forward all the famous dresses with a bare back by contemporary designers.  With its lush garden, the museum is a perfect summer visit if you are staying in Paris.Read More

Jacques Muron draws Palm trees, in the Pyrénées

La Maison Oblique, 1998

I have often told you about this discrete gallery, Documents 15, on rue de l’Echaudé just behind Eglise Saint Germain des Prés. Until the end of July, it is showing drawings and prints by Jacques Muron, a rare artist born in 1950, who works in the Pyrénées, south of Toulouse. Each work is original in its theme and incredibly well produced. The artist was a laureate of Prix de Rome and studied at Villa Medicis. He is a member of the Société française des peintres graveurs like Erik Desmazières. Read More

A pretty new garden restaurant near the embassies

The façade of hôtel “Les Jardins du Faubourg” is very Haussmannian

Its only immediate competitor is Cercle de l’Union Interalliée which is of course unbeatable for the size of its garden and the quality of its cooking, but Les Jardins du Faubourg, a new hotel open since mid June, is a lovely oasis near the U.S., British, Japanese, Belgian and Uzbek embassies. It belongs to a small family group of boutique hotels in Toulouse, Marrakech (Les Jardins de la Koutoubia) and Paris. The restaurant is inspired by Bruno Doucet, founder of la Régalade,a long time favorite.Read More