Astrid de la Forest delivers beautiful figures at Documents 15

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Study, 2019, Ink on paper, 140 x 62 cm

The whole of Paris was concentrating on Emmanuel Macron paying a tribute at la Sorbonne to Samuel Paty, the teacher murdered by a young Tchetchen, while at Galerie Documents 15, a small group of art lovers were concentrating on the new work by printer Astrid de La Forest. And what a delight it is to lose oneself in the new silhouettes in ink and drypoint done by the young Academician. She has switched from landscapes to portraits, inspired by a unique Egyptian woman, Nadia, who contains more lines and landscapes in her silhouette than any mountain. The show is sublime.Read More

David Hockney has become Norman, at Galerie Lelong

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“The Entrance” , 2019, Acrylic on 2 canvases (36 x 48 inches each) inches overall © David Hockney Photo, Richard Schmidt, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris

It’s really a wonderful story like always with David Hockney. Two years ago he was looking for a new place to paint, having decided to leave Los Angeles, which had become too far to commute from England. Jean Frémon, director of his French gallery, Lelong & Co, was in London for the inauguration of the stainless glass windows the Queen had commissioned from him, for Westminster Abbey. And they discussed a new geographical life for him. “Why don’t you come and visit me in Honfleur, and stay for a few days?”  The next day, David Hockney was at Ferme Saint Siméon, a fancy country hotel, and after visiting the Bayeux tapestry which he had not seen since 1967, he decided, in two days, to buy a house south of Cabourg.  Within a month, he was back in L.A to pack, and moved to Normandy in February 2019. This led to the two exhibitions of paintings and drawings which opened last Friday in Paris. Next year the Royal Academy will show his iPad drawings which will also be exhibited at l’Orangerie in Paris.Read More

“Asia Now” is full of great surprises

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Kulapat Yantrasat, the architect in charge of designing the bamboo arena at Château du Marais

Walking into the Asian Art fair on avenue Hoche was an exciting moment this week, and when you meet only nice people, you know the event is a success. François Curiel, whom I ran into at the opening, entirely agreed. It is largely due to Alexandra Fain, the founder of the fair, who opened it to Indian artists this year and made sure that the large galleries who usually show at FIAC, came to her after its cancellation. The result is three floors in a Haussmanian building, of varied shows which I thoroughly loved. And also a very special mix of genres with the daring set of 17 th century furniture presented by Marella Rossi with a contemporary installation by Gallery Continua, a partnership which had already been successfully shared, some years ago, at Aveline.Read More

Léon Spilliaert’s stern vision at Musée d’Orsay and Aubrey Beardsley’s naughty drawings

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“Sea at low tide”, 1909, lavis Indian ink, watercolor and color pencil on paper, private collection © reserved rights

How does the city you live in, influence your art and in this case, how did Ostend, the Belgian beach and harbor on the North Sea, influence Léon Spilliaert‘s moods. The three room exhibition on the Flemish artist at Musée d’Orsay is a little jewel. His use of Indian ink and pastel gras on paper is astonishing and the way he introduces Geometric Abstraction in his landscapes is particularly attractive. Spilliaert (1881-1946) is rarely exhibited and the subtitle of the show: “Light and Solitude” could make the visitor fear for a sad show with these 90 works from 1900 to 1919. It is the reverse. The passionate quest of the artist to represent the dark elements of life, becomes fascinating and intense and some paintings are also reminiscent of Edvard Munch. Read More

To do and not to do

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Guo Pei, Magnificent Gold, 2006, Guo Pei Samsara collection at MAD

If you are curious of the new artistic scene, go to Magasins Généraux in Pantin to discover “Un plus grand lac” (a bigger lake) an exhibition of students’ works from Ecole des Beaux Arts and Arts Décoratifs: Elisa Florimond, Victoire Gonzalvez, Lauren Januhowski, César Ropponen Brunel, all have interesting works to show under the excellent curatorship of Simon Grainville. Do not expect an exhibition on luxury goods at MAD, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, but go for the pleasure of seeing the spectacular “Magnificent Gold” dress by Guo Pei, an old Hispano Suiza H6B 209, the 1900 salon designed by George Hoentschel for the Exposition Universelle and the extraordinary “Fallen Tree” bench by Benjamin Graindorge for Ymer&Malta. And go to Mahj, Museum of Jewish art and history, to discover the part played by  Pierre Dac, a famous French Jewish humorist, during the war. Read More

In Chantilly flowers and Carmontelle are a true feast

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It’s always an emotion to enter the fabulous park of Chantilly

This new edition of Les Journées des Plantes, in Chantilly, was incredibly successful thanks to the good weather, but also because of the freedom that wandering in the beautiful park gives us in these times of semi confinement. Everyone was wearing a mask and none of our Belgian and British friends had come, but there were many colors of asters and roses to be found in the 16 acres of exhibition and Louis Benech was presenting his new furniture collection “Siam”, made by Edmond & fils. It was also a renewed occasion to see the Meissen Chantilly exhibit in the castle and to discover Carmontelle (1701-1806), the best portraitist of Duc d’Orléans’s feasts in the Cabinet des dessins. A conference by Hervé Le Bouler was devoted to saving the forest of Chantilly which has terribly suffered from the drought this summer.Read More

A chic sale of “attic” objects from Château de Mouchy

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XIX th century copy of the portrait of Charles X by François Gérard. with an amazing frame, estimated 800 to 1200 €

When Marie Pozzo di Borgo spent the confinement at Mouchy, she decided to use the time to clean the attic and the stables of the castle which were full of surprises. And the sale on Friday 23, at 2 pm by Lhuillier Paris at Hotel Drouot, will be a moment of nostalgia for France’s heroic historical pages as acted by the Noailles family. The catalog is online but I can already spot out for you the main paintings and Chinese vases which should not have been forgotten in an attic for so long… From beautifully gilt wooden frames to sculpted cast iron gutters, wood panelings and dining room chairs, you can make your pick.Read More

Olmecs, ancestors of the Mayas, at Quai Branly

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Monument 1, sculpture, 1200-900 bc, Site of La Merced, Serpentinite, Centro INAH, Vera Cruz

I had no idea what Olmecs were before I walked into the Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac and encountered the larger than life cocurator of the show, Steve Bourget, who led the visit with his strong French Canadian accent. These people of the Vera Cruz area on the Eastern coast of Mexico, lived from 1600 to 400 bc and influenced Aztecs and Mayas. They were only identified 150 years ago. They built the first monumental pyramids, large statues, calendars in the long time and even created a writing technique. All the major artworks of this civilisation were lent for the show and arrived in time from Mexico. Three quarters of the 300 pieces presented here, are seen in Europe for the first time thanks to the collaboration with Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico and Centro INAH in Vera Cruz.Read More