Cars are stars at Fondation Cartier

Peter Lippmann, Citroën traction 7, 2012 from the series Paradise parking

It was great fun as usual at Fondation Cartier for the opening of « Auto Photo, from 1900 to today » a show of 450 pictures by American, British, German, Swiss, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, African and French photographers who, one way or another, were attracted by cars. Small and large formats, color and black and white, esthetical or social themes make for a very varied exhibition curated by Xavier Barral and Philipe Séclier, two adventurers who love photo.Read More

Camille Claudel and the Marquise de Maillé

The château de la Motte-Tilly was built for Abbé Terray in 1754

It was a short drive from the beautiful village of St Loup de Naud where I slept in Violet Trefusis‘s house (now owned by a close friend), and we arrived at Château de la Motte-Tilly promptly for the 10.30 am tour. This house which used to be Louis XV th treasurer Abbé Terray’s, was built in 1754 by architect Francois Nicolas Lancret, the nephew of Nicolas Lancret. It passed on to the Rohan Chabot family and was entirely restored in the 20 th century by both Charles Gérard de Rohan Chabot and his daughter Aliette de Maillé. It is a few miles away from the new and beautiful Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent sur Seine.

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Topor, the dark genius, at Bibliothèque Nationale

Poster for Volker Schlöndorff’s film after Günter Grass’s novel “The Tin Drum”, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1979

The Bibliothèque Nationale, the French Public Library, has a rich fund of books, drawings, photographs and etchings and the celebration of Roland Topor’s art is a perfect example of what they know to do best : a profound exploration of one’s art through 300 of his drawings, film and illustrations.

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The Pulitzer Prize for biography goes to Hisham Matar

His father Jabala Matar in 1971

When I first heard Hisham Matar speak at the American library in Paris last December, it was obvious that he was not just a writer telling a tragic story. His intensity, his severity for mediocre questions, his pause before answering, were all impressive. I immediately sensed a very special mind. He had come to talk about his latest book, « The Return » which was just translated into French by Gallimard (La Terre qui les sépare) and, this week, he was just awarded the Pulitzer prize for biography.Read More

John Stewart, a very special friend!

John Stewart a few years ago in Provence, ©Anne Clergue Galerie

I met John Stewart twenty five years ago at a summer luncheon in Saignon, in Lubéron. After five minutes, he started talking about his latest trip to Ladakh where he had met a common friend, Hugues de Montalembert. This coincidence was unusual enough to make us instant and long lasting friends ! Such was John’s curiosity  and interest for others! His impeccable French was tinted with a slight « International » accent which his studies at Janson de Sailly had not completely erased. His mother tongue was English. He died on March 10 th in Paris at 97 and still had photo projects for next summer in Provence.

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A Japanese collector overwhelms l’Orangerie

Pablo Picasso, Saltimbanque aux bras croisés, 1923, Ishibashi foundation

Only a brilliant mind (Japanese in this case) could have thought of turning his own name of Ishibashi into Bridgestone, the exact English translation, and turn it into one of the greatest tyre companies in the world. Shojiro Ishibashi started collecting Japanese and Western art in the 30’s and built a fabulous collection which was added on by his son Kan’ichiro and grandson Hiroshi. The Ishibashi foundation now owns 2 600 treasures of which more than seventy are shown at l’Orangerie in “Tokyo Paris”.Read More

Grand Paris Express, when train stations become artworks

Gyrotope,  nomade work with light and sound by Pablo Valbuena, in Fort d’Issy-Vanves © SGP  Christophe Morin

It is not a new concept to turn train stations into artworks and Gare de Lyon or Grand Central Station in New York are proof of it. But to create 68 new stations in the greater Paris for 200 kms of automatic subway lines might be a true revolution and the project to be completed in 2030 is called « Le Grand Paris Express ». It will be located between the Périphérique, official border between central Paris and the suburbs, and the 80 kms long A86, a motorway that surrounds the greater Paris. Read More

“Dix pour cent”, the series is back

Isabelle Adjani and agent Thibault de Montalembert dressed in Paul Smith in Season 2

Those of you who live in France might remember laughing endlessly last year when “10%”, the tv series about a talent agency became a huge hit. Well the good news is that the next 6 episodes will be aired on France 2, starting April 19 th. At a time when French politics are becoming more and more nauseous, this hilarious series is more than welcome.Read More