I went to the opening of an exquisite tiny gallery, Anne Laure Buffard, on rue Chapon, which shows (until January 13) the photographs of Pierre-Elie de Pibrac and sculptures by the ceramist Yoshimi Futamura and discovered that the whole street is now lined with galleries. The photos are the same as the ones showing at Musée Guimet but here, you can acquire them. Yoshimi teaches ceramics in Paris. It’s a good occasion to tour the Marais and see new galleries. The next show will be devoted to the Vietnamese photographer Nhu Xuan Hua who will also be present in Arles next summer. A little further, stop at Musée Carnavalet, where the exhibition on the “Régence in Paris, 1715-1723”, has beautiful furniture and tapestries, paintings by François de Troy and Louis de Boullogne, and describes a new way of life at court between the reigns of Louis XIV th and Louis XV.
At Louis XIV th’s death on September 1, 1715, his nephew, Philippe, Duc d’Orléans, became regent of France for the young Louis XV th. He contributed greatly to a Golden Age of Decorative arts but also fought for peace on the borders and tried to appease religious conflicts. He brought back the court from Versailles to Paris, which underwent huge transformations starting in the gardens of Palais Royal. And this would last for seven years, when culture would be a great part of his politics and Montesquieu, Voltaire, Marivaux and Watteau have their first successes. The theme of the exhibition is fascinating but as always at Musée Carnavalet, the space is too small and the splendor of the objects is not quite emphasized.
The Regent is an accomplished musician and two of his operas are preserved (“Jerusalem Unbound” and “Pentheus”), and a keen painter. He restored theatre establishing a competition between Comédie Italienne and Comédie Française. This regency will open the way to Louis XV th who loved the decorative arts and restored the court in Versailles.
At Fondation Azzedine Alaïa, Olivier Saillard has prepared a comparative exhibition on Madame Grès and Alaïa, with models collected by the couturier. The impeccable gallery on rue de la Verrerie, where the offices still are, shows staggering clothes with obvious influences from the old couturière on the young genius of the 70’s. Alaïa used to buy hundreds of dresses at auction and part of his collection is exhibited right now at Palais Galliera until January, 21.
On the first floor, Alaïa’s studio has been recreated behind a glass window and one can see the samples of fabric, dress patterns and tools he commonly used. Make sure to visit this beautiful space where you can also have a light lunch/ dinner or drink. (Until April 7, 21 rue de la Verrerie)
At Bourse du Commerce, the Pinault Collection, do not miss the installation by the late Mike Kelley. In the closed rotunda which sadly blocks the view under the cupola, are installed the American artist’s 21 fantasy cities of Kandor (1999) based on Superman and planet Krypton. Lit in multiple colors these cities give wonderful energy to the black exhibition space. On the second floor, Memory is illustrated with architectural sites, and different installations including “More Love Hours than Can Ever Be repaid”, a chaotic assemblage of hand made stuffed animals, dolls, votive statues and candies.
Now everyone is waiting to hear from Notre Dame de Paris where President Macron wants to replace Viollet le Duc’s windows with contemporary ones. What a strange idea…
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