In Deauville, a spectacular new cultural space

parisdiaarchitecture, Art1 Comment

The cloister of the convent has been turned into a spectacular reading space with design furniture © Naïade Plante

I happened to be in Deauville, the Normandy seaside resort which could be compared to Easthampton, for a golf tournament, when I heard that Les Franciscaines, a new cultural space set in an old Franciscan convent was opening the very same day. What a wonderful coincidence. This turn of the century resort which is now very, very busy with weekenders and local inhabitants, has a beautiful beach where racehorses train in the morning and courageous bathers swim in the cold channel water. The 6 200 square meter convent was renovated with great refinement by architect Alain Moatti and includes free public spaces for reading newspapers and magazines, two galleries for special exhibitions (5€) and a small museum dedicated to painter André Hambourg who died in 1999. The media library includes films, books and music for children and adults, and offers incredibly beautiful spaces for relaxation. Read More

Petit Palais is open again with a fabulous prints show

parisdiaArt, Books2 Comments

Marc Chagall, “Les grenouilles qui demandent un roi” (gouache préparatoire pour les Fables de La Fontaine), Livre troisième, fable IV, ca 1927
Gouache on paper, Private collection, © ADAGP, Paris, 2021

It was such a pleasure to walk into the Petit Palais again at the invitation of Christophe Leribault, its whimsical director, who can transform a prints exhibition into fireworks! “Edition Limitée” (Limited edition) is devoted to the Vollard collections of prints, rare illustrated books, bronzes and vases, and Henri Petiet’s part in the continuation of his work. The famous merchant of impressionists of rue Lafitte invested huge amounts of money made with the sale of paintings to print and publish Picasso, Bonnard, Cassatt, or Maillol’s books. He died abruptly in 1939 in a car accident and his prints were acquired as a whole by Petiet whose life as a collector can be discovered in the biography written by his grand niece, Christine Oddo, ” Petiet : The art and the dealer” with an introduction by Daniel MarchesseauRead More

Louise Bourgeois illuminates Karsten Greve’s gallery

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The Couple, 2003, aluminum, suspended work

One of the most extraordinary exhibition to open this week is Louise Bourgeois at Galerie Karsten Greve. This retrospective of works by the Franco American artist, is made of pieces from 1946 to 2007 which were acquired directly by Mr Greve during their 30 year collaboration. The artist moved to New York in 1938 after marrying the art critic Robert Goldwater and will become the first woman artist to get a restrospective at MoMA, in 1982. The theme of the couple is at the center of her work and is represented here by two fountains which connect to each other through a water pipe among other sculptures. Her totems in different materials are omnipresent and a series of prints related to her sister’s leg amputation is gripping.Read More

The Blue Light of Krøyer explodes-at last- at Marmottan!

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Double portrait of Marie and Peder Severin Krøyer, 1890, Skagen, Skagens Kunstmuseer (Each one painted the other)

Visiting the new Krøyer exhibition at Musée Marmottan with an artist, Erik Desmazières, the member of the Académie des Beaux Arts who was recently named its President, was a double privilege. To discover such a luminous Danish artist through his paintings in Skagen, in the North of Denmark, and getting to see his works through the eyes of such an excellent printer as Desmazières is a very exhilarating experience. The show which is hung at Monet’s museum (but not open at the moment), was made possible thanks to loans from the Skagen Museum of Art and private collectors as well as Musée d’Orsay. And a number of Monet paintings owned by Marmottan, will find their way to Skagen in 2022…Read More

A museum for mother of pearl is a true find, an hour north of Paris

parisdiaArt, Technique12 Comments

The Musée de la Nacre is set in an old button factory

Le musée de la Nacre et de la Tabletterie is located in Méru, a town with 12 000 inhabitants, which was at the end of the 19 th century and until 1972, THE capital for buttons manufacturing in Europe with 10 000 workers. Visiting the old workshops, with a demonstration of six or seven operations on the original shells to create a pretty button, was enlightening, and the countryside is so pretty that you can turn this visit into a full week end with the visit of Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and the l’Isle Adam museum Louis Senlecq, nearby. Beauvais and its fabulous tapestries and cello festival in early June, are just thirty minutes away….Read More

Books, more books and lunch gossips

parisdiaArt, Books, gardens and flowers2 Comments

Virginie des Horts was signing wildly at Galignani’s

Stéphanie des Horts is not only one of the most fun ladies in Paris, she is also a prolific writer. After publishing a book on Jackie and Lee Radziwill in 2019, she is now concentrating on  “Les Heureux du Monde”, the heroes of the Cap d’Antibes in the 1920’s, Sara and Gerald Murphy who inspired “Tender is the night”. You can follow Stéphanie and the Roaring Twenties in Cannes on May 21 and in Saint Tropez on May 22 where she will be signing her book. But it’s in Paris at Galignani’s that she was holding court last week and everyone was happy to see each other in this disguised cocktail party where you were being given a number at the entrance so that health security measures could be monitored…The rainy day did not stop her from signing over a hundred copies.Read More

“Plunder”, or Napoléon’s adventures in art collecting…

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Paolo Veronese,”Wedding Feast in Cana”, 1563, Musée du Louvre

Napoléon’s death’s 200 th anniversary is being celebrated everywhere this week, and even President Macron attended the ceremony around his tomb at the Invalides with the young Jean-Christophe Napoléon Bonaparte (b. 11 July 1986), a Harvard Business school graduate, who is the pretender to the throne. The Emperor has created many fabulous schools and law reforms but has also left tragic remembrances and I chose to read the new fascinating art history book by Cynthia Saltzman “Plunder” to understand the qualities and huge faults of one of France’s most controversial leaders and collectors.Read More

At Propriété Caillebotte, five post impressionist painters to discover

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Maxime Maufra, Holdborn Head (Scrabster), Thurso Bay, Scotland, 1895, Geneva, Association of the Friends of Le Petit Palais

Paul Durand-Ruel (1831-1922), the famous art dealer who admired painters from the 1830’s, represented many Impressionists and exhibited Monet’s series of cathedrals in 1895, also fiercely defended five post-impressionist painters who were represented exclusively by his gallery at 35 avenue de Friedland. He was a major agent in discovering new painters of the late 19 th and early 20 th century. Claire Durand-Ruel, one of his descendants, talked with emotion about her research in the very same building which still holds all his archives and about this third generation of Durand-Ruel artists, who are very little known. She has gathered in Yerres, at Gustave Caillebotte’s house and with art historian Jacques-Sylvain Klein, sixty paintings from private collections and museums for an exhibition called “Paul Durand-Ruel et le post-impressionnisme”. One painting by Henry Moret, Les Moissonneurs, lent by the Vatican, had not arrived for the opening but is expected soon.Read More