A unique feminist book on World War 1

Otto Dix, Prostitute and Disabled war veteran, Two victims of capitalism, 1923

An exceptional exhibition has just closed at the Tate Britain and it is sadly not going anywhere else, apparently. Aftermath is the extraordinary show of World War 1 artists such as Marcel Gromaire, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Paul Nash, Max Ernst, who fought in the war and went on to influence the art world of the 1920’s and 30’s leading to Dada and surrealism. It is a perfect background for understanding a rediscovered book, “Not so quiet“, first published in 1930. The story of six very young British lady ambulance drivers in the Somme who participated in the war effort and probably never recovered from their traumatic experience. Editions de Fallois is publishing the French translation just before the 100 th anniversary of the Armistice.Read More

Jakuchu, a treasure from Japan at Petit Palais

Itō Jakuchū, White phoenix and old pine, 1765-1766, Tōkyō, Museum of Imperial collections, (San- nomaru Shōzōkan), Agence de la Maison impériale

When you walk into the large room of the ground floor of Petit  Palais which is lined with thirty huge silk fabric rolls, you are hit by a very special emotion. Painted at the end of the 18 th century by Ito Jakuchu, they are part of the Imperial collection of Sannomaru Shozokan and have only once travelled outside Japan,  to the National Art Gallery in Washington in 2012. They are presented in Paris for one month only, to celebrate the 160 th anniversary of Japanese French diplomatic relations. Do not miss this show.Read More

At galerie J. Kugel, tortoiseshell and gold in a royal setting

Nicolas Kugel explains the technique of Giuseppe Sarao’s art in Naples in 1730

Every year in September, theKugel brothers, Alexis and Nicolas, strike the Parisian scene with a fantastic exhibition of objects. This year, they introduced a rare series of boxes, tables and plates in tortoiseshell, incrusted whith mother-of-pearl and gold, made in Naples in 1730 to 1740. The art of “Piqué” was performed by “Tartarugari”, artisans specialized in this technique, and Giuseppe Sarao was their star. Read More

Picasso, blue and pink at Musée d’Orsay

“Yo Picasso”, Paris, May or June 1901, private collection

I was a little worried on my way to Musée d’Orsay, to find a very flashy exhibition of well known Picasso paintings, for “The” show of the fall in Paris, “Picasso, blue and pink”,  has been announced with trumpets for a while. Instead, I discovered the most refined and varied group of chefs d’oeuvre, mostly from the blue period, painted by the master (1881-1973) in Paris and Barcelona between 1900 and 1906 when he was barely 25.Read More

“Joia” or tears, I have not decided yet.

The lovely and confortable first floor dining room and bar

Everything was irritating about my experience at Joia, (Joy in Basque), the new Hélène Darroze restaurant located at the heart of “branchitude” just behind the Bourse, on rue des Jeûneurs (literally Fasting men). When I called, I was told I could only have lunch at 12 pm or 1.30 pm. So annoying this double service habit!  So 1.30 pm is what I booked and when I arrived two days later, I was told there was no booking under my name. The young lady on the phone had mixed up the Thursdays… and reserved for the end of the month. This was particularly annoying since a close friend of the chef had urged me to go and taste the delightful menu.Read More

Japanese art brut at Halle Saint Pierre

Entering the Japanese art brut exhibition at La halle Saint Pierre

Montmartre is not devoted only to impressionist painters and turn of the century Bohême. It has a secret Musée d’Art Brut which specialists revere from all around the world. It is run by Martine Lusardy and has the originality and the diversity of an intimate building set in a former market. This fall, Japan has taken over with young and less young artists. It is a true discovery.Read More

At musée de la Chasse, Country Life takes over

The paintings are shown in horse stalls. Here Alfred James Munnings, The race at Belvoir Castle, 1920-1921

The new exhibition at Musée de la Chasse will again be a hit: “Country Life”, 41 chefs d’oeuvre from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Paul Mellon collection, is beautifully set in a decor of horse stables perfectly manicured, an idea based on Mellon’s Oak Spring stables, which came from Antoine Platteau, head of decors for Hermès. Only fifty visitors could enter the room at one time so the museum was pretty packed on opening night but Claude d’Anthenaise, the director, was there to chat to everyone. And in the 18 th century rooms,  the sculpture in glass of a deer, by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, gave a little more electricity to the show.Read More

Frédérique Morrell creates magic at Deyrolle

Frédérique Morrell, stuffed young deer with tapestry

Frédérique Morrell has been around and yet I had never heard of her! You might have seen her windows for Hermès on Madison avenue in April 2014, or her 2018 summer exhibition in Aubusson at Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie. Now is your chance to discover this amazing artist, who uses vintage tapestry to cover stuffed animals. And Deyrolle, the temple of wildlife since 1831 on 46 rue du Bac, was the perfect spot for her to show her art. I fell on it by complete chance and loved it. So here it is.Read More