Eva Ionesco and Christian Louboutin are so fun! And so is Diane de Beauvau Craon…

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Eva Ionesco and Alain Pacadis at le Palace

One of the best books of the moment for its excellent writing and the perfect 1980’s lifestyle it describes, is Eva Ionesco‘s “Les enfants de la nuit” (children of the night). It is the story of how she, 11 1/2 years old met Christian Louboutin, 13 1/2, on the street, near her house, and how they discovered they were (not) attending the same lycée at Porte Dorée in the East of Paris. She was an abused child to her mother who made her pose for Lolita type pictures and films and lived off her money. She dressed with 10 cm high heals and wore mascara and they went out every night with Vincent Darré, to gay nightclubs, first at “le 7” on rue Sainte Anne, later at “le Palace” which will be the theme of an exhibition in October at MAD. They went rollerskating at la Main Jaune in Montreuil and socialized with the entourage of Yves Saint Laurent, Andrée Putman (who had children their age) and in Rome, Dado Ruspoli. Diane de Beauvau Craon is featured often in the book as an actor of night life of the time. She publishes her own Memoir “Sans départir” and will sign it at Galignani‘s on May 24.Read More

Aline Vidal takes us on a walk and Stéphanie des Horts writes about Doris

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The artist Marcel Broodthaers’ box is in front of Hotel de la Monnaie at Fabrice’s bookshop

Aline Vidal who used to have a beautiful gallery on rue Bonaparte, has become an itinerant curator and manages many projects, more original one than another. After creating special artists seats for theatre La Scala, she invites us to wander around the bouquinistes of quai de Conti (across the street from the French Academy), and discover little boxes designed by a series of artists in the show De(s)rives. A few blocks further, on rue du  Bac, the well known novelist Stéphanie des Horts had a book signing in a lovely second hand bookshop Librairie Kogan, for her new sexy biography of Doris Delevingne, Viscountess Castlerosse, who knew Prime Minister Winston Churchill intimately. And Asia Society, opens its new headquarters for Europe near the Arc de Triomphe, with paintings by Hao Shiming lent by galerie HDM, Hadrien de Montferrand. Read More

Musée de Cluny has reopened, what a treat!

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New reception building, west façade, Bernard Desmoulin, architect © M. Denancé / musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen Âge

Musée National du Moyen-Age Cluny has been under works for the last ten years and closed for three, which was heart breaking. But it is now reopening on Thursday and the magic has remained even though 23 million € were spent on the architecture, the restoration of the works and the modernisation of all spaces to prepare it for the new generations. And a new route was devised chronologically with more light streaming through the medieval glass windows. The intent was to get younger visitors into museum and it has achieved thanks to the wonderful team of curators under the leadership of Séverine Lepape. The recently modernized façade and new entrance were designed by Bernard Desmoulin who joined the Académie des Beaux Arts last year. Now there is easy access to all 28 different levels and to the light spaces devoted to 1 600 works in the 21 rooms. Of course the chef d’oeuvre is the series of 6 tapestries of the Lady with the Unicorn but until you reach it in the penultimate room, so many beautiful treasures await you . Read More

Daniel Marchesseau parts with his Lalannes to benefit Musée d’Orsay

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François Xavier Lalanne, Le mouton de Pierre, 1979, concrete and bronze, 150 000€-200 000€

I now realize what a rare privilege it was to have dinner beneath the 700 000€ Lalanne suspension and facing the Alechinski painting at Daniel Marchesseau‘s house in the 7 th arrondissement. It was always a round table of ten, slightly too tight with a mix of collectors, young curators, beautiful ladies and blinis and salmon eggs eaten with the Lalanne spoons. This top museum curator who worked for Musée d’Art Moderne Paris, Musée des Arts Décoraitfs, Musée de la Vie Romantique and for many Japanese museums as well as Fondation Gianadda in Martigny, is giving up for sale his very personal collection of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne‘s animals, suspensions and sculptures. The proceeds of the auction,  at 2.30 pm on Tuesday 24 th, conducted by François de Ricqlès for Sotheby’s, will go towards restoring the XVII th century Hotel de Mailly-Nesle which was acquired by Musée d’Orsay in 2016. Misia Sert lived there in 1905. It will become a documentation and research center for art historians on the same block as the museum.Read More

La Sauvegarde de l’Art français turns 100 and celebrates…

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Abel Faivre, logo for the Sauvegarde, 1922

An exhaustive book on the history of the “Sauvegarde”, a new program of “The greatest museum in France” for high schools, and more medieval churches saved in the middle of nowhere… The energy of La Sauvegarde de l’Art Français ‘s president, Olivier de Rohan is endless and his ideas are revolutionary.  On May 19th at 6 pm, there will be a book signing at Hotel de Sully in the Marais. A true tribute paid by Philippe Bélaval, President of Centre des Monuments Nationaux, to this amazing institution founded by Duc de Trévise in 1921. This gentleman and art lover was a great fighter of what he called himself “Elginism” a reference to Lord Elgin who took apart pieces of the Parthenon and sold them to the British Museum. Monuments were not being restored in France after the war and the separation of the church and the state in 1905 had impoverished religious establishments. When he discovered that marble arcades of the Cistercian abbey of Bonnefont, in Occitany, had been transported in a private house transformed in a gendarmerie,  he decided to help the mayor to save the sculptures. Read More

Gaudi and Maillol star at Musée d’Orsay…

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Woman in profile, ca 1896 © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

The great discovery at Musée d’Orsay, which features two exhibitions of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi and French artist Maillol, is that Aristide Maillol was not only the well known sculptor of fat ladies, he was also a very good painter. And I was happily surprised to see among the 200 works, his “Maternité”, the portrait of his wife Clotidle and son Lucien in 1896, his “Tante Lucie”, inspired by Whistler’s portrait of his mother, “The Wave” and “Young peasant woman”. He also designed tapestries for Princesse Bibesco whom he was introduced to by Edouard Vuillard. Antoni Gaudi, who is most famous Internationally for his Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, is also a surprise with his large and heavy ornamented furniture, stained glass window and futuristic houses.  Read More

Ariane Fruit, a talented French printer, travels to Canada.

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Transe Canadienne – XI, 2020, woodblock print

You might remember the extraordinary exhibition, of “Scènes de Crime” by Ariane Fruit at Galerie Documents 15, in 2018? The French artist had engraved the linoleum floor of her studio and designed a whole interior in black and white with a multitude of tools and other details, an atmosphere just out of a thriller. In 2019, at 43, she went traveling on the train from Toronto to Vancouver, and made large woodblock prints of the landscape, 58 cm X 94 cm, the size of the train’s windows. It is spectacular and you can see her works exhibited at Documents 15 until May 7.Read More

The street artist 13 bis meets Roger-Viollet

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“Paris Humid”, series of 13, 650€

It seems like an evidence and yet it just happened. 13 bis is a street artist who creates huge murals on streets of the 20 th arrondissement where he lives. Like JR, he is anonymous and works with a hood and a mask so as not to be recognized. He is around 40, used to be a painter but ran out of money for the rent of his studio in Montreuil and decided to work on street walls. On the video where he is filmed gluing large photos, he looks slim and agile. He met the new directors of Roger-Viollet, the photo gallery which holds millions of negatives from the beginning of the XX th century to today. And they agreed to let him use any visual he fancied. The result is great fun with 31 collages of famous people and of his own imagination, printed in series of 13. And the pictures are all for sale at very reasonable prices.Read More