Obsidian stones are volcanic at Pierre-Alain Challier

Mattia Bonetti, mirror

It’s a good idea for the Christmas season to have commissioned mirrors and jewelry from famous French artists. And this is exactly what Pierre-Alain Challier, the charming galerist from the Marais, has conceived with Anne and Patrick Poirier, designer Mattia Bonetti, Jean Michel Othoniel, Hubert Le Gall and more terrific designers… The result is a fun show on two floors with objects at all prices. If I could pick one, it would be the large mirror in the hallway which is magical. Read More

Marigny, a new restaurant on the Champs Elysées

The best table at the left end of the restaurant is for three

Théâtre Marigny has just reopened after five years of rejuvenation by his new operator, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and two architect-decorators, Jean-Michel Wilmotte for the public spaces and  François Joseph Graf for the “Costes” restaurant. It is a huge aesthetical success, since modernity mixes with the 19 th century style of the theatre founded by Jacques Offenbach, in 1855. Ushers are dressed by Irié, a favorite designer of director Jean Luc Choplin, formerly at Théâtre du Châtelet. The musical “Peau d’Ane” is not quite up to its film version with Catherine Deneuve, but bluntly reveals the talent of Charles Perrault in his fairy tales. And the restaurant set on the gardens of the Champs Elysées is extremely pretty.Read More

Diego Giacometti, the talented brother

After his 190 th book signed, Daniel Marchesseau was still smiling

Some brilliant characters have the knack of bringing people together and Daniel Marchesseau, curator of over seventy exhibitions in Paris, Tokyo and Martigny, is one of them. The cocktail party organized at Christie’s for the launch of his thirty second book “Diego Giacometti, sculptor of furniture “(Editions du Regard), was the most fun, chic, amicable event of the month. And he sold over a hundred and nighty copies that evening…Read More

Giampietro Campana’s collection is reunited at the Louvre

“Sarcophage des Epoux”, Cerveteri Necropolis of Banditaccia, ca 520-510 bc, Musée du Louvre

In twenty years between 1830 and 1857 Giampietro Campana, who was running the Monte de Pietà in Rome, managed to create the most extravagant collection (12 000 pieces) of Italian art from Antiquity to his time. It was dispersed when he was accused of mixing the Papal state’s money and his own, and for the first time, the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg and the Louvre have reunited over 500 works bought by Czar Alexander II and Napoléon III. Read More

Bamboo art is astonishing at Quai Branly

Iizuka Rokansai, “Hanakago”, Ikebana basket, ca 1938, photo Tadayuki Minamoto

“I create art with the spirit of an artisan” declares Tanabe Chikuunsai IV in one of the videos of “Fendre l’air, Art of bamboo in Japan”, the new exhibition at Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac. There are 600 endemic types of bamboo in Japan. It grows quickly, is flexible, does not rot, and can be used as a container, a weapon or a shelter. It was primarily used for floral arrangements in the past, very developed for the art of tea ceremony during the Meiji era and is now created as contemporary sculpture. With over 200 pieces, this show enlightens us on one of Japan’s major surviving arts which is primarily collected in the US.Read More

Ariane Fruit, from photography to printing

Crime scene, 2018, Lino cut, 2,15 by 2,75, photo Rebecca Diaz

On opening night, Ariane Fruit was very appropriately stuck in the subway, one of her two favorite themes with crime sites. Fascinated by thrillers and detailed descriptions of police crime scenes, this very complete artist started with drawing and argentique photography when it was still a demanding physical and scientific art. With the growth of digital photography, she felt the urge to go back to technique and apprenticed as an engraver and a printer. She now uses photography for the preparation of her printing and has developed a very personal style.Read More

At Château d’Ecouen, witness the birth of Renaissance theatre

Peter Bruegel the young (workshop), “Village Kermesse with a theater and a procession”, ca 1620, Musée Calvet, Avignon

The birth of theater in the French Renaissance can only be tracked down thanks to writings and a few sketches of religious “Mysteries” played outdoors. Many representations in markets and other public places were linked to stages of Christ’s passion. These were set in different cities like Bourges in 1536, Valenciennes in 1547,  Troyes,  Chateaudun or Romans, which were very active trading towns. We have archives of the costs, we also have music partitions of holy tragedies, a few engravings and even an enamel and stained glass portrait of an actor. Château d’Ecouen, the magnificent museum of French Renaissance which belongs to the Legion of Honor, celebrates theater with a very erudite exhibition “Pathelin, Cléopâtre, Arlequin” curated by Muriel Barbier.Read More

Michael Jackson celebrated by painters at Grand Palais

David LaChapelle, “The Beatification, I’ll never let you part for you’re always in my heart”, 2009

We have all grown up and lived with Michael Jackson (1958-2009) who died much too young at 51 and has sold over a billion records to this day. But what I didn’t know was how much he had been portrayed by his contemporaries. The National Portrait Gallery in London and the Grand Palais have jointly organized an exhibition “Michael Jackson: on the wall”, on the impact of this great musician and dancer on the art world with over forty paintings and photographs. Vanessa Desclaud, the French curator, has added a choreographic dimension. Read More