The Deyrolle Prize uncovers Béatrice Meunier’s great talent

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“Passages”, from the series “Habiter la forêt” (living in the forest), 2023

Every year the taxidermist Deyrolle awards a prize for paintings of nature, exhibited at Salon des Beaux Arts and organises a show in their magical shop of rue du Bac. This year Béatrice Meunier-Déry won, with her amazing drawings made with a felt pen O,O3  and a magnifier. Born in the French Ardennes, Béatrice studied architecture before devoting all her time to drawings and sculpture. For these works, she is at her desk for six hours non stop, and lets her imagination travel. She works from Roubaix where she shares a studio with fourteen other artists and will exhibit “Nam Khas, The People of women clouds” at Musée International du costume et du Masque in Binche, Belgium, next July 5 to January 7. Read More

Coco Chanel, Rudolf Nureev, two great essays!

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Two orignal books on very well known characters

A small excellent publishing house Calype for Coco Chanel “A life behind the brand” by Jean Lebrun, and an established one Plon for “Le Crépuscule d’un Dieu” by Michel Canesi are proofs that even the most written about stars can be describe  in a new way. These two huge figures of the XX th century both died in early January twenty two years apart.  Jean Lebrun had won the Goncourt prize for biography in 2015 for “Notre Chanel“, a story of the houses where the couturière had lived intertwined with his personal life. This time he focuses on her Russian connections around the Ballets Russes and Diaghilev, her adventurous love life and her wartime activities. “Le Crépuscule d’un Dieu”, a pond on Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, is the story by Michel Canesi, Rudolf Nureev‘s doctor and friend for eleven years, of the dancer’s long fall after he was infected with Aids. Both books are intimate, speak of the importance of Russian ballet in Paris, are full of anecdotes and written in a witty way. Both have black and white covers.Read More

Rupert Shrive at Galerie Hoang Beli

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Rupert Shrive with “Infinity triptych”, oil on linen, 2023,  which can be moved around indefinitely

Nor far from Centre Pompidou where the Donation Ilya and Emilia  Kabakov was being shown, I discovered a new very pretty gallery Hoang Beli on rue Chapon, which was recently opened by John Hoang, a Vietnamese Singaporean young accountant who loves art. This month he exhibits English eccentric artist, Rupert Shrive, who pushed his statue of Balzac by foot all the way to Saché near Tours, last year in March, and has developed a technique of crushed paintings on metal. The theme of the exhibition “Speaking Volumes”  is of famous paintings in all sizes. And it is incredibly poetic.

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Sports at Petit Palais, roses in Chantilly, music by the Garde Républicaine what a life!

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Two months ahead, place de la Concorde is already closed to pedestrians

Yes the nightmare has started and every single Parisian I meet says: “I am moving to the country for the summer”… When the bus 84 from Saint Sulpice dropped me off at Assemblée Nationale and said it was turning back, I started to understand that life in the next six months would not be the same. The same happened when after a very nice lunch at Hotel e Crillon, I took the subway at concorde, just below and found out that line 12 to rue du Bac was closed until October? what a disaster… Last night, a friend of mine paid 50 € (normally 20€) in taxi fare to get to the Ranelagh from the Louvre, because all the bridges were closed and traffic jams were huge. So the exhibition “Le Corps en mouvement” at Petit Palais will be hard to access… but remains open all summer.  For the opening they invited a few charming Olympic athletes who picked their favorite sculptures and posed for a picture. Sports and the arts, what could be more flattering?  It is a nice way to get the public into the museum (which is free) and outline the numerous sports paintings and objects they have like the swimmer by Augustin Rouart (bequeathed by his son Jean Marie) or Emile Bracquemond‘s porcelaines offered as a prize in the 1924 Olympics.Read More

André Steiner at mahJ, what modernity!

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Lily Steiner, 1934, Chalon-sur-Saône, musée Nicéphore Niépce © Martine Husson © Nicole Steiner-Bajolet

Every museum in Paris is trying to have exhibitions with a theme related to the Olympic Games, with more or less success. Musée d’Art et d’Histone du Judaisme  shows a small but particularly attractive exhibition of photographs by Hungarian artist André Steiner (1901-1978) who emigrated to France in 1928. Trained as a scientist at the Technische Universität in Vienna, he is one of the first users of Leica cameras  in 1924, and takes a series of naked shots of his future wife Léa Sasson, Lily. As a former decathlon champion in 1928 and a swimming coach in Austria, he decides to concentrate on sports pictures and becomes a specialist of the body, often naked. His pictures are strikingly modern and the curator of the show, François Cheval, helped acquire a great number of his works for Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône. Read More

Seffa Klein and a family “constellation” at Galerie Poggi

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Seffa Klein, Multiple Displacement (Varity), 2019, bismuth on threaded glass

Jérome Poggi used the evening of the Surrealist gala dinner of Amis du Centre Pompidou, to launch his exhibition of Seffa Klein‘s “bismuth” paintings in his new gallery facing Beaubourg. And discovering Yves Klein‘s (1928-1952)  granddaughter’s paintings was extremely fun. Purple cocktails were being served with a DJ active on the first floor and a young International crowd was ready to dance all night. Born and raised in Arizona, she is the daughter of Yves Amu, Yves Klein’s son by German artist Rotraut, (b.1938) who was born two months after his father’s heart attack in 1962. Works by Marie Raymond (1908-1988), Yves Klein’s mother, Günther Uecker(b.1930) his brother in law, and Yves Klein are a nice complement to the young artist’s twenty paintings and sculptures which are already very strong.Read More

Duels are trendy at Musée de l’Armée

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Pierre Paul Rubens, “Achilles victor of Hector”, 1630, Pau, Musée des Beaux Arts

The historical Hotel des Invalides, founded by Louis XIV in 1674, will be at the center of the Olympic Games and the Esplanade is already blocked to pedestrians by all sorts of constructions. I was happily surprised to run into hundreds of foreign tourists who were visiting the monument and the church on a recent sunny Friday. Happily, very few visitors decided to go a see “Duels, l’art du Combat” (until August 18), a fascinating exhibition where contemporary movies rival with 18 th century paintings and video games, and African customs of fight by stick are similar to those of German students in the XIX th century. The greatest surprise was to discover that Gaston Deferre, a minister under Mitterrand, was filmed in a political duel and that ladies like the Marquise de Nesle and Comtesse de Polignac fought for their lover the Duc de Richelieu in the XVIII th century. Since the end of WWI, duels were stropped at first blood to prevent more deaths after the deadly war.Read More

“Mexica” at Quai Branly, a throve of discoveries and a film festival

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Chacmool, Tarasque, Mexico, basalt, 1300-1500, this wa used as an altar or for depositing scarified offerings, Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac

For a long time the Mexicas (13 th -16 th century) were incorrectly referred to as Aztecs. The remains of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, capital of the Mexica empire (now in Mexico City) and its sacred Templo Mayor are still being uncovered today. The exhibition “Mexica” which just started at Musée du quai Branly shows the most remarkable collection of 209 offerings to the deity which allowed curators Leonardo Lopez Lujan and Fabienne de Pierrebourg to study the economic and political power of the society, which stopped with the conquistadors in 1521. The cartels are extremely well done and short films and an audio guide will help you understand the subtleties of the art. From 23-26 May, a festival of Mexican films will take place in the auditorium.Read More