Given the current pessimistic atmosphere, I will continue to give you only happy news. The film “Bonnard, Pierre and Marthe” by Martin Provost, will not remain in the history of cinematography but it depicts with beautiful decors the tortuous life of the painter and his difficult companion Marthe. Both Musée d’Orsay and Christie’s organized previews of the film. Some scenes of the film have remained with me all week like Claude and Alice Monet‘s visit from Giverny on a two hour rowboat journey, bringing coq au vin and good wine to the lovebirds in their house in Normandy. Or the superb decor of a Roman palazzo where Bonnard takes his young student Andrée, played by the ravishing Stacy Martin. The two main actors, Cécile de France and Vincent Macaigne, are very good and Misia Sert‘s tantrums are fun to watch. She is portrayed by the excellent Anouk Grinberg. Go for the beautiful houses and scenery and the atmosphere of the 1910’s.
We were early for the screening of Jorge Semprun‘s film “La plume au poing” (the pen on the fist) at Cinema Christine, an excellent documentary on the Spanish writer’s dramatic life produced by Cinétévé and France Television for France 5, and we decided to have a drink across the street at hotel Relais Christine. It was a wonderful surprise to be well received by the concierge who indicated that we could just serve ourselves to anything at the bar and bring him the list of drinks, when we leave. There was a feeling of being at home and warmly welcomed. And the decor is full of colors and confortable. I recommend it for a relaxing moment if you are in the area. Rooms range around 500-600€.
On the right bank, the new exhibition of Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa at Lelong, avenue Matignon, is devoted to drawings made for a production of Verdi’s Macbeth at the Liceu in Barcelona and others based on Baudelaire’s “Les litanies de Satan“. These collages on paper which include some writings and gaufrages are dark and particularly attractive.
At Perrotin, still on avenue Matignon, Johan Creten presents animal bronzes and furniture sculptures. It is his ninth solo exhibition with the gallery. And a block away on rue de Ponthieu, at Galerie Gagosian, “Iconic Avedon” is the theme of the exhibition of large prints by the late photographer to celebrate the centennial of his birth (until March 2). This gave me the occasion to grasp the last minutes of Ymer &Malta‘s show at Christie’s in their very pretty gallery next door at the corner of Penthièvre and Matignon. It was a relief to be welcomed by big smiles after the pretentious and snobbish attitude of the staff at Gagosian. And while there was nothing new to see among the Helmut Newton photographs, I discovered new lamps “Skylight” created by Valérie Maltaverne. They come in seven different colors and go by five. The studio also creates lamps for the Noguchi museum in Brooklyn which are so pretty.
In the Marais, I had the pleasure of seeing Etienne Pressager‘s show. He is an artist from Nancy whom I have been following since 1999. His videos are irresistible and you can see them on his website. He showed intriguing drawings made with a “crayon à copier”, a very particular pencil, which if wet, draws in purple. They are not manufactured anymore but he finds them on internet. Pressager uses industrial tools like a gate or pieces of ironwork and draws them indefinitely with these pencils. The effect is reminiscent of carbon paper we used for copies until the 1970’s.
After revisiting the exhibition at Maif Social Club on 37 rue de Turenne, where young artists have created a wonderful ambiance, I briskly walked to 13 rue Chapon, my new favorite street for galleries and saw the beautiful exhibition of paintings by Martin Bruneau at Isabelle Gounod‘s gallery. The Canadian artist spent time on Gustave Courbet’s steps in the river La Loue. His canvases are spectacular with very bright light and texture. Until March 2.
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