Zao Wou-Ki, master of light

Hommage a Varèse, 1964, photo Dennis Bouchard

Hommage à Varèse, 1964, photo Dennis Bouchard

Everytime I go to Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny (Switzerland), I undergo the same choc. The very powerful museum opened by Léonard Gianadda 37 years ago, appears against the mountains in its brutal concrete form. And once inside, I am mesmerized by the art seen from the  balcony, in this huge private exhibition space. This time was no exception. After a five hour train trip from Paris, we arrived and literally dove into the Zao Wou-Ki show, taken around at high speed, by curator Daniel Marchesseau, who not only knew the artist very well, but has also been a faithful curator here, for more than twenty years.
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L’Alcazar (once more) revisited

A tropical forest for the "balcon" where you can have tapas and small meals

A tropical forest hangs from the balcony where you can have tapas and small meals in front of early nude pictures of Madonna,  by Martin H.M. Schreiber

L’Alcazar used to be a naughty cabaret where Jean-Marie Rivière created humorous and chic transvestite shows in 1968 until his death in 1996. I remember going there when I was 17, and loving the transgression and quality of the singers. In 1998, Sir Terence Conran, then at the hight of his Habitat and Conran fame, transformed the spot into a posh black and white and fairly cold brasserie. This week, with the same team as in the 90’s, manager Michel Besmond and Fabrice Gilberdy, Alcazar reopens with a completely different decor, created by Laura Gonzalez, the charming it-architect of the time.

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Le Corbusier offers Anish Kapoor his redemption

Le Corbusier's couvent de La Tourette was built for the Dominicans in

Le Corbusier’s Couvent de La Tourette was built for Dominicans in 1960

After his sad adventures in Versailles this fall, Anish Kapoor needed some respite. And this is what Couvent de La Tourette in Burgundy, is offering him until January 4th. The Dominican convent, built by Le Corbusier (who died 50 years ago) is a fascinating stage for Kapoor’s sculptures and paintings. Built at the same time as the architect’s other project of Chandigarth, it is made of concrete, with linear windows designed by music composer Xenakis. It lies thirty minutes from Lyon in a beautiful countryside and is home to twelve monks from the Dominican order founded 900 years ago.

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Black truffles, what else?

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Traditionally, truffles are kept in a glass container with eggs. And when you cook your eggs, the flavor is already within.

December is in France the right month to find black truffles. If you have never tasted them, they are very different from white Italian truffles and are cooked with risotto, scrambled eggs, or eaten on toasted country bred with melted butter and salt. They are a delicacy and can be found wild in Lubéron and Dordogne or grown, as is the case with Baron de la Truffe’s production in Touraine. Founded in 2011, the company is based on 60 acres which were planted in 1996 with Tuber Melanosporum.Read More

All you need to know on Modern Chinese art

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Liao Xinxue’s watercolor on silk, reveals both his oriental and occidental training. He came to study in France in 1934

Why did Japanese artists such as Foujita become famous in Paris in the 1920’s and not their Chinese contemporaries ? This is the theme of Helen Szaday’s talk on December 14 th at Christie’s Paris.

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Young vocations are rewarded

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Maxime Cholley, now studying at Berklee in Boston, gave a mini jazz concert

So many young people have no idea what to do when they graduate from High School, that it is extremely gratifying and exciting to see thirty one laureates of the « Fondation Marcel Bleustein Blanchet pour la vocation », describe their ambitions and in such diverse fields as jazz and ethno musicology, archeology or special effects, motorbike pilot, ballet dancer, or amphibian studies. The special guest this year was Mohed Altrad, a Syrian entrepreneur who won the 2015 World entrepreneurship Prize, and dedicated it to his adoptive country in these words, « I did not win, France did ».Read More

40 years of great cuisine

Isabelle d'Ornano and Christiane Mazery sign their book

Isabelle d’Ornano and Christiane Mazery signing their book at Galignani’s

When I was a little girl, my grandfather’s cook made the best profiteroles au chocolat and they were filled with crème patissière, a heavy custard, not ice cream like you find today. The « snob au chocolat » was a mix of butter, chocolate and cream that cooled in the fridge for 24 hours, and was the highlight of our winter dinners !

Old recipes are what « 40 années chez Isabelle and Hubert d’Ornano » are all about. The book conceived by Christiane Mazery (a specialists of chic lifestyle and French interiors) was written by chef Gérard Gausset, who worked for 40 years for the founders of Sisley,  before he disappeared two years ago. It is a mix of charming souvenirs of a lifetime and personal family pictures.Read More

A bric à brac de luxe

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The new large Fragonard shop on 5 rue Boudreau is more colorful than ever

For many years now, every time I travel abroad, I pay a visit to Fragonard, a charming manufacture of soap and perfume based in Grasse, South of France, which has many boutiques all around Paris, and I buy all my house presents there. They carry the most refined cushions, shoe bags and linen bags with witty designs, soaps in all perfumes, after-shave called « Je suis fidèle », candles that smell like “brioche just out of the oven”, log fire or vineyard peaches, scarves and embroidered napkins.

Bags for all purposes are witty and pretty

Bags for all purposes are witty and pretty

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