Paris – where life imitates art

There are many great cities around the world that boast a hip art scene and magnificent museums. But Paris oozes Art through its pores. The city’s history, its architecture, gardens, food, fashion and lifestyle are marked by a finessed artistic sensibility. It is a city that practices a mindful approach to all aspects of life, long before mindfulness became a 21st century catchphrase.

PARIS MAY 2017 BLU VI 004
Fountain at one of the entrances to the Grand Palais
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Reading room of the Keppler Hotel

Van Gogh and Titian are featured in Louis Vuitton’s new line of handbags

musee de chasse demonstration (18)
One couple, two very different fashion statements
DSC_0153
A ham hock ready for carving. Not something I would eat, but I love the presentation
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Statue at Trocadero overlooking Eiffel Tower
French cafe
Neighborhood cafe. Very patriotic with the ‘bleu, blanc, rouge’!

America has the Stars and Stripes but France is all about stripes. One of France’s most notable artists, Daniel Buren, has crystallized the essence of the stripe in his iconic works. “It was the idea to have something very banal, but very strong,” says the artist in Interview magazine. He calls his stripe motif a visual tool that can transform any physical space.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Painting by Daniel Buren at the Modern Art Museum, Paris
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Stripes play a big part in French fashion. I couldn’t resist…

EXHIBITIONS – TOP PICKS FOR THE SEASON

There’s always so much going on in Paris that it’s hard to know what to see when time is limited. Two noteworthy exhibitions are being shown concurrently at the Grand Palais – Rodin and Jardins. The Rodin exhibition marks the centenary of the sculptor’s death (1840-1917) and covers Rodin’s extensive creative universe. Jardins (Gardens) is a bit of a stretch from a curatorial standpoint, but there is something for everyone, from antique gardening equipment and Impressionist paintings of gardens, to installations offering contemporary interpretations of nature. Below are two of my sketches from these exhibitions.

I would also recommend two private collections that do not often hit the international circuit. On exhibit at L’Orangerie is the Ishibashi collection normally housed at the Bridgestone Museum in Tokyo. Fabulous. The Caillebotte painting is particularly exquisite. At the Jacquemart-Andre Museum you can catch Spanish businesswoman Alicia Koplowitz’s eclectic collection. Handpicked works by Goya, Tiepolo, Schiele, de Staël, Freud, Rothko and Bourgeois are among this enviable private collection.

Bon voyage!

Advertisements

Back in the U.S. of A

My latest trip to Paris was a whirlwind of activity – cramming my days with art, looking at it and writing about it. I have added a second publication to my resume – Vingt Paris. At night I made the rounds of gallery openings or vernissages. It was not all work, work, work, although I love what I do. I did manage to fit in a fair amount of shopping, visiting with friends and wining and dining. One of my good friends suggested having lunch at La Coupole, seeing that was a famous hang-out for many a Parisian artist in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s including one Yves Klein.

I made a very exciting contact with a gallery in Paris that is interested in representing my work. Galerie Saphir is a small but well respected gallery in the 17th arrondissement. The gallerist, Francine Szapiro, has four galleries which she manages with her husband. Our first collaboration is already up and running – my small ceramic figurines can now be found at 69 avenue de Villiers, Paris! We are hoping that they will appeal as Christmas gifts….

We are also discussing introducing my paintings to her clientele. All very exciting. I have started a series I had in mind inspired by the home of one of my Parisian friends, Grace Teshima, whose Montmatre apartment doubles as a gallery. The salon is a beautiful light-infused space (see detail of one of my paintings below).

On a totally different note, I have been selected as one of 54 Jewish women artists from around the world to contribute to the artistic interpretation of the Torah. The project is called Women of the Book and is the brainchild of Shoshana Gugenheim, who is based in Israel. I will be receiving my piece of parchment mid-2011 and will begin working on my visual interpretation of my selected text at that time. So lots of work at the moment which should keep my mind off the coming Virginia winter…

How much can one person cram into two weeks? Plenty.

Impossible to sum up the incredibly rich, stimulating, creative and exciting time I have been having so far in Paris. So lets just take the last 24 hours as an example. But first just a few photos to set the stage….

OK. So now you get the picture  – no pun intended! Yesterday morning I turned up for ‘work’ at the Musee d’Orsay from 9:30 to 1:00 (I am going to be posting a separate blog detailing a very interesting art project I will be working on during the remainder of my stay. Essentially I have been authorized to be an official copiste at the Musee d’Orsay, hopefully capturing on video some of my painting as a type of performance piece). Following an intense painting session at the museum,a delicious lunch and coffee. I am not a coffee drinker, but the coffee here sure beats Starbucks! Then off to make my first ever prints from the copper engravings I have been working on. Just love the results and the impression the copper plate makes in the paper.

After a quick dinner of goat cheese, baguette, and  radishes I popped over to another artist’s studio to meet her artist’s group for some champagne and dessert. Painters, photographers, sculptors, print-makers.  Back to my own freezing loft to finish off a quick study of a striking looking woman who works at the museum and matches her outfits to her red and black striped hair.

Today I met some friends at the Grand Palais to see one of the most spectacular installations I have ever seen by Christian Boltonski. More coffee and then rush off to attend an opening of an exhibition by artist Gilles Hirzel at the Assemblee Nationale. Very chi-chi – had to be on the ‘list’ to get in. Very powerful works on canvas made from found materials. Don’t sit back yet. As evening settled in I was invited to yet another opening in the very chic Faubourg Saint-Honore. Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana and Dior stores rubbing shoulders with exclusive book stores and galleries and restaurants…Then a taste of Paris commuter traffic as I got a hair-raising ride back home. This weekend, I have an invitation to the unveiling of the next season’s Dior Menswear collection, another gallery opening and a dinner party. So sorry you can’t all join me! And oh yes, I did have to get a beret, didn’t I?