A crazy week in Paris

parisdiaArt, Books, Happy moments4 Comments

Jean Marie Rossi's Aveline antique store is costumed by Buren

How do you make an 18 th century building look like a contemporary one ? Ask Daniel Buren to disguise it with light and this is how Aveline, the antique store created by Jean-Marie Rossi, place Beauvau next to the Ministry of Interior, has become one of the most attractive sights at night in Paris (until Dec. 1). Something to help the French police to calm down after this week’s riots. If you walk inside, you will discover a fabulous collection of Buren videos and paintings that Rossi has collected since the sixties when he was roaming  exhibitions with is friend Bob Calle. But you might also fall in love with classic XVIII th century furniture again.

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Viva Mexico, at Grand Palais

parisdiaArt1 Comment


Diego Rivera, Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard 1913, Museo Nacional de Arte © Francisco Kochen

I went to Mexico for the first time at 40 and went five times the following three years such was my passion for this country which combines, music, sun, food, tequila, architecture and art. Anything about Mexico fascinates me and I thus rushed to the Grand Palais to discover the long awaited exhibition of art dedicated to 1900-1950 in Mexico, and its main artists Rivera, Kahlo and Orozco. The result was that there was sun, there was art but no fireworks ! as if the long wait (the exhibition was cancelled five years ago for diplomatic reasons) had weakened the show.

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Another magical “Journée des Plantes” at Chantilly

parisdiaflowers and gardens1 Comment

Thierry Ryctel, Hydrangea King at Pépinières de la Thyle

Thierry de Ryckel, Hydrangea King at Pépinières de la Thyle

It was once again a fascinating day at Chantilly’s Journée des Plantes where garden magicians brought in new species and colorful autumn trees. Roy Lancaster, the famous British botanist, who is a member of the Jury, was once more amazed by the creativity of French, Belgian and British nurseries and three Prizes went to the « Jardins d’Ecoute s’il pleut », a nursery from Vendée, which specialises in rustic ferns.Read More

Prize for Intelligence of the hand

parisdiaArt, TechnicLeave a Comment

, Photo Sophie Zeon
, Photo Sophie Zeon

Printer Didier Mutel with one of his old presses in Jura, photo Sophie Zenon

The Bettencourt Schueller foundation gives many prizes every year but the one I prefer to attend, is the Prix de l’Intelligence de la Main, literally, the Prize for  intelligence of the hand. It  is devoted to craftsmanship and to lost techniques. From specific jewelers to wood carvers and glass blowers, every winner is the most excellent in his art.

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Bernard Buffet, revealed

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L'atelier 1947, Musée Bernard Buffet

L’atelier 1947,  Bernard Buffet Museum, Surugadaira, Japan

For most of his life in France, Bernard Buffet was an artist so popular and financially successful that art critics never respected him. He had a museum in Surugadaira in Japan as early as 1973, was collected and exhibited all around the world, but not in France! He has to be the most immediately recognizable artist, for his linear paintings are visible from afar and his style of portraits is as unique as Giacometti’s. And he is at last celebrated at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.Read More

Le Boudoir, a festival of pâtés

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Le pâté de saison with foie gras, black blood and duck

Le pâté de saison with foie gras, black blood and duck

Laurence Castaing, a wonderful purveyor of foie gras from the Landes, had delivered a large foie gras for me at Le Boudoir, very near the Champs Elysées and when I went to pick it up, I met the young chef, Arnaud Nicolas, who gave me the best of impressions. This is how I decided to go back for dinner with three close friends and we all loved the experience.Read More

Leonardo da Vinci invites us to the Italian Embassy

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Leonardo da Vinci, La Scapigliata,

Leonardo da Vinci, La Scapiliata, 1503-1508, oil on wood, Galleria Nazionale, Parma

It is rare enough to see a painting by Leonardo da Vinci from close up and –  to enter the residence of the Italian Ambassador in France, Giandomenico Magliano. So doing both at the same time really made me happy. Especially since three friends had called me saying “How come the diary has not reported on this event yet”?

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Opéra Comique reopens with a fun season

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Opera clique will reopen in February 2017 with Fantasio by Offenbach

Opéra Comique will reopen in March with the creation of “La Princesse légère” by Violeta Cruz, photo S.Brion

Olivier Mantei is a genius at communication and during the eighteen months renovation of Opéra Comique which he runs, he managed to keep his subscribers on alert all the time. His training with Accents and Laurence Equilbey and as an independent agent, with Peter Brook at Bouffes du Nord and as a music teacher in Morocco when he was young, have given him an openness to all genres. Which he is developing starting next year.Read More