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Suntan intelligently! It is really possible when we see the quality of the exhibitions set up in the major vacation resorts: a retrospective on the Blaü-Reiter in St Tropez, another on Tal-Coat in Toulon or even original installations at Lacoste, in the Luberon...

BEN Les limites de la photo?


AURILLAC - Based on various collections never seen before, a contribution that is both important and never seen before in learning about France and democracy. The first event to have been seized by photography and photographers was one century ago, the Dreyfus case. The variety of supports, from the diary to the book, from the poster to the postcard, showed the extraordinary development of this new media. The very long length of the event, from 1894 with the condemnation of captain Dreyfus to 1906 with his full and complete rehabilitation, gives us an idea of the history of photography and the visual landscape at the turn of the century.

  • Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, Centre Pierre Mendès France, until
    November 25 2006 (only in French).
    Read the article (in French) onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    AVIGNON – The Lambert collection is on Avignon festival time and examines the representation of actors through time. Nearly 400 works make up this gallery of sacred monstres, from Molière or Rachel (painted by Deveria) up to Angelina Jolie or Isabelle Huppert, who opens the exhibition by replaying her major parts in front of the lens of photographer Roni Horn. Two partnerships with the Comédie-Française and the Bibliothèque nationale will supply the larger part of the historic funds, placed face to face with contemporary works. Delacroix, David d’Angers, Géricault and Mucha thus dialogue with Pierre Bismuth, Douglas Gordon or Vik Muniz (a portrait of Romy Schneider in diamond dust). A few sequences are nurrished – on the Commedia dell’arte, on Sarah Bernhardt, on the death of the actor. In the latter we can see a premonitory photo by Dennis Stock: James Dean trying out, for fun, a padded coffin, a few months prior to his own death. It was in 1955 and yet, James Dean is still present. The advantage of the great actor is that he never really dies.

    The Lambert Collection, until October 15 2006.
    The website of the Lambert Collection


    BESANçON - This exhibition at the Musée du Temps (Museum of Time) brings together some fifty sumptuous clocks brought out from the reserves of the Mobilier national (State owned furniture) and presented to the public for the first time. This historic collection that belonged in the past to the Crown’s Storage, is exceptional by its rarity and the origin of each piece: the bedroom furniture of Napoleon and the Empress, the living room of the King of Rome at the Tuileries palace, The Empress’ boudoir at the palace of Saint-Cloud. It perfectly represents a period that was rich in major artistic currents and it traces, from one Empire to the next, the century’s political history.

  • Musée du Temps until December 31 2006
    Read the article onwww.art-of-the-day.info

    CHiMÈRES, nARCHITECTS and Piotr Klemensiewicz

    LACOSTE - Like every summer, the small village of Lacoste in the French Provence becomes a huge contemporary art gallery. This year, the Savannah College of Art and Design-Lacoste ,SCAD, presents Chimères, a fabrication of joined disparate parts. The artists’ projects are complete bodies of work, joined through a shared inspiration--the perception of landscape and desire to formulate a response. The works are unified by a mix of the hard and soft qualities of the Provence hillside and the pliable nature and chiseled limestone of Lacoste. The site-specific installation, exhibited throughout the village, is at the same time an invitation to explore the gardens and the galleries of the School.

  • In the village of Lacoste, at the Galerie Pfriem, and at the Galerie Bleue, until September 1 2006.
    Read the article on www.art-of-the-day.info


    LAVARDENS - In its unique setting, the Castle of Lavardens offers a new perspective of the art of weaving in the XXth century. The tapestries chosen, coming from prestigious private collections, are among the most representative of the artistic movements of the last fifty years, from Jean Lurçat to Calder or Sonia Delaunay. While not pretending to be exhaustive, the exibition focuses on giving a new visiblity to tapestry and tries to redefine more precisely its place in contemporary creation.

  • Château de Lavardens, until September 18 2006.
    Read the article onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    LYON - The Gaul religion and society are too often seen through the prism of a famous cartoon strip that reflects the main clichés spread during the XIXth century. Now, all we thought we knew abut the religion of the Gauls is questioned today by the work of archeologists and historians. This is what this exhibition reveals by confronting all these clichés to the most recent research results. Knowledge of astronomy, mythology and main deities, druids, places of worship, sacrifices and rituals are all looked into through rare objects from national and European collections, audiovisual atmospheres and the life-size reconstitution of various Gaul sanctuaries and the rites that went on in them

  • Musée Gallo-Romain de Lyon-Fourvière, until January 7 2007.
    Read the article (in French) onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    MOUGINS - To celebrate the twenty years of the Musée de la Photographie with Ben, who is known especially for his paintings, is a small indiscretion initiated by André Villers, the founder of the museum which today carries his name. Photography is not a new phenomenon in Ben’s work. Thousands of photographs and negatives fill his archives. «When one takes a photograph of a car or of feminine lingerie, one manages to sell them. So I am going to take photographs of my paintings to be able to sell them, he recently said in a provocative manner, as he does often, true to his character.

  • The Musée de la photographie André Villers, until September 15 (French).
    Read the article (in French) onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    ROANNE- The UNESCO dedicated this year to the fight against desertification. A museum in the French province is presenting a very well thought-out exhibition on the relation between Western civilization and the myth of the desert. By searching in similar collections (museums of Nantes, Tours, La Rochelle, the Natural Sciences museum), in private collections (Berliet foundation), it shows how this fascination translated into military, scientific, artistic or automobile expeditions (the famous Citroën "cruises"). From 1850 with Fromentin's first trip, to 1974 with the last mission by archeologist Henri Lhote in the Tassili-n' Ajjer, hundreds of passionate artists, of which may spent some time at the villa Abd-el-Tif, the "villa Medicis of Algeirs", sketched the landscapes, the inhabitants, the customs, the frescoes and the animals. Well-known artists ar represented -Jouve, Iacouleff, Dinet- as well as others less known - career soldiers such as Henri Fournial who left a notebook on the Foureau-Lamy mission in 1898, or adventurous journalists such as Odette du Puigaudeau. Who will follow in their footsteps?

  • Painters of the desert, artistic missions in the Sahara, 1850-1975, at the Déchelette museum in Roanne, until November 26 2006.
    A brief description (in french) of the Musée Déchelette and the exhibition


    SAINT-TROPEZ - «An art form that places itself over the laws and limits established by me is no longer an art form» Emperor William II would warn. Just two exhibitions between 1911 and 1912, and an almanac… How and why did a handfull of artists in revolt against the established art definitely open the way to renascent abstraction? With some sixty paintings and works on paper, the museum of the Annonciade unveils some clues. This is the first exhibition dedicated to Blaue Reiter alone, and to those who did it. Kandinsky and Marc, the leaders, as well as Macke, Jawlensky, Münter, Werefkin, Kubin, Klee, Schönberg, Kampendong, Niestlé… Voluntarily no work by «foreigners» invited to the exhibitions, except for an allusion through the work of French artist Girieud (but by climbing the stairs, you will find in the permanent collection the flamboyant Fauvists who took part in it). Rare works, artists who are not necessarily known, from the surprising Tarier des prairies by Jean Blooé Niestlé to La Grande Route by Marianne von Werefkin, who pulls you, together with Jawlenski, towards the back of the room. Young artists who are still looking for an identity, «internationals», open to the world – we can see reappear here and there the trace of the Nabis, of Marquet or of Pont-Aven - from "Great Realism" to "Great Abstraction". And the triumph of colour...

  • Le Cavalier Bleu at the Annonciade, museum of Saint-Tropez, until October 16 2006
    The Annonciade museum -with so many treasures to show the world- still does not have a website. You just need to go this Summer with this simple aforetaste of what to expect. All practical information in the Museums repertories of Art-of-the-day www.art-of-the-day.info


    TOULON – The retrospective dedicated to Tal-Coat coincides with his birth centennial. The former focuses on the last twenty years of the abstract artist (1965-85), the ones during which the lover of greys, blacks and burnt earth was captivated by bright colors. This is the time in which he lived in Dormont, in Normandy, as well as on the shores of lake Léman, but it is also during this period that he «digested» his previous stays in Provence. Some one hundred works are presented, in particular oils in small formats (with some rare exceptions such as Dans le bleu -In the blue-), as well as drawings, wash drawings and watercolors. This exhibition is also a requiem; indeed the fire which recently broke out in the family residence destroyed certain works that should have been shown…

  • Tal-Coat at the Hôtel des Arts in Toulon, until September 3 2006.
    Brief description of the Hôtel des Arts


    TOULOUSE - Since its creation in 1905, the Association des Toulousains de Toulouse (Natives of Toulouse Association) has dedicated itself completely to saving the patrimony of their city. It is the association that prevented the destruction of the Hôtel-Dieu, today an emblematic site of the city. It is also the association that gave birth to the idea of its history museum, the museum of the Vieux Toulouse (Old Toulouse Museum). In line with the major exhibitions it has organized on the theme of French and international patrimony, the Ensemble Conventuel des Jacobins celebrates today the centennial of these two institutions, with an exhibition that offers a live reading of the history of Toulouse - in close relation to that of France - illustrated by over 350 paintings, sculptures, graphic works and objects of curiosity.

  • Convent of the Jacobins, until August 28 2006.
    Read the article onwww.art-of-the-day.info


    VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-SAÔNE - Mountainscapes and seascapes continue to be a subject very appreciaed by contemporary painters who wish either to renew with a pictural tradition that is going to last from Dürer Caspar David Friedrich, or to produce a reinvented space. In the context of its program dedicated to contemporary artists , the Musée Paul-Dini presents an act 2 to his research work on the representation of landscape, by developing this time the theme of Summits and seascapes.

  • Musée Paul Dini, until September 15 2006 (only in French).
    Read the article (in French) onwww.art-of-the-day.info