Congo art settles at Fondation Cartier

Chéri Samba, "Amour et pastèque", 1984

Chéri Samba, “Amour et pastèque”, 1984

When Fondation Cartier was created by Alain Dominique Perrin and Marie Claude Beaud in 1984, it was located in Jouy en Josas, 40 mns west of Paris and all the fashionistas of Contemporary art met there to discover the park full of statues by César or Arman and the riveting new artists. Today, it is conveniently located on boulevard Raspail in Montparnasse, on the old American Center’s property in a beautiful Jean Nouvel glass building. And in the summer, there is a special bonus, the park covered in wild grass has a little cafeteria !

the building by Jean Nouvel was inaugurated in 1994 on the former site of the american cent

The building by Jean Nouvel was inaugurated in 1994 on the former site of the American center

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Marc Voinchet, from anchor to director

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He will be 50 in December and has just been promoted Director of France Musique, the famous classical music French public radio. After 20 years at France Culture, culminating with his own morning show, Les Matins de Culture, where he had to wake up at 3.20 every day for the last 6 years, Marc Voinchet was honored with the prestigious Philippe Caloni Prize in 2013, and received the Legion of Honor. He is now in charge of revamping the radio channel which has been loosing audiences in the recent years. He has previously worked there for four years, in charge of programs and will probably use his vast cinematographic and musical culture to make this France Musique channel, the grooviest of public radio’s. He has come a long way from Toulouse, where he was born and obsessed with radio all of his childhood!

Bonne Chance, Marc!

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From technique to design

Bicycles with all sorts of uses

A Truckbicycle (right) and different foldable cycles

Musée des Arts et Métiers is one of those strange little museums that encompass the universe. When it was founded in 1794 by Abbé Grégoire, the conservatory decided to create a place « for new and useful machines ». Thus the museum was started. And you can discover there all year round, the camera of the Lumière brothers, the plane Blériot X1, on which Louis Blériot crossed the channel in 1909 and Pascal’s arithmetic machine. Another aeroplane, that of Clément Ader.Read More

“Monk with a camera”

With his grandmother Diana Vreeland at 25

Nicky with his grandmother Diana Vreeland in New York at 25

Nicholas Vreeland was born in Geneva, where his father was a diplomat and the first time he heard of Tibet was while reading « Tintin au Tibet », a comic book widely read in French speaking countries. His first holidays as a baby, were in Portofino, a very jet set Italian resort. His grandmother was Diana Vreeland, the editor of American Vogue who created the Costume Insitute at the Metropolitan Museum.  His first work experience at 15, was as an assistant to photographer Irving Penn. From Paris and Morocco, he was sent, at 13, to Groton boarding school at a time when Cecil Beaton was photographing his family. He felt very much an outsider in the United States and he developed a  passion for photography which brought him the happiness that he lacked. “Monk with a camera” is the story of his life at 60, a beautiful film with no special effects and his unique simplicity. The story of a very special destiny. Read More

An address to keep for yourself

Leeks to start with

La Rôtisserie is open every day

Every time I bring a friend to « La Rôtisserie », we come out with a feeling of complete happiness. First, the drive there and back along the Seine, is very romantic; second, Frédéric, the maître d’, is charming, speaks English and always remains serene. Third, the food is French and fabulous. When the former Rôtisserie du Beaujolais, a very old bistrot on the left bank, came up for sale some years ago, Claude Terrail, the then owner of La Tour d’Argent, bought it. Nothing has changed in the restaurant which specialises in roasting, chicken, duck, pigeon, quails and all sorts of game during shooting season.Read More

Lartigue photographs, but in colour!

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Florette, Megève, mars 1965

I was going to interview Jacques-Henri Lartigue on July 3, 1984 at 2 pm for Vogue Hommes magazine when, at 1.30 pm, I received a phone call, my father had died. So I never met Lartigue and he has  always fascinated me. At the time, he was obsessed by painting and only wanted to be recognized (he was 80) as a painter of bright flowers… when he was known worldwide as a black and white photographer with a 100 000 negatives. Later on, I spent an evening with Henri Cartier Bresson, I drove him home and he invited me for a last whisky at his rue de Rivoli apartment. All he wanted me to look at, were his drawings…these two amazingly successful photographers had something else in mind obviously!

The exhibition at MEP, Maison européenne de la photographie, in the Marais, is one of the jewels of this summer.

Florette Vence, Mai 1954

Florette, Vence, mai 1954

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Mona Hatoum is back in Paris

02. Mona Hatoum - Portrait 2 ∏ Mona Hatoum, 2013 ∏ Andri Pol 2013

Mona Hatoum, photo Andi Pol, 2013

I was on my way to the Pompidou center to see the Le Corbusier exhibition (very serious and technical) and was irresistibly attracted by this wonderful British artist’s large retrospective. Mona Hatoum was born in Beryrouth in 1952, from Palestinian parents and was caught in London, when the 1975 civil war erupted in Lebanon. She therefore attended Slade School of Fine Art and became a British citizen. But her roots are very present in her work which is both minimal and militant, and englobes all sorts of mediums.

T42 (gold), Bill Orcutt

T42 (gold), photo Bill Orcutt

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Vive the 4 th of July!

The five star brass played all evening

Ladies were reigning over the 139 th celebration of the American Independance on July 2nd at the Embassy in Paris. Ambassador Jane Hartley gave a speech in honor of French US relations underlining the help America received in 1776 and again US’ determinant part in saving our country in World War 2. Minister of Ecology, Ségolène Royal was there until late in the evening. Wearing a glamorous gold dress, the Ambassador looked more like a movie star than a diplomat, but she was exstatic at receiving with Crystal Nix-Hines, Ambassador to Unesco and Daniel Yohannes, Ambassador to the OECD.Read More