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There is good matter here for amateurs of sculpture (Normand Gothic, Anthony Caro), of classic painting (Meynier, Fréchon) and of photography (Bertrand Meunier or Stephen Sack). With a few visits into African pottery or Soviet posters…

Eight musicians angels, stainglass, 1320, Dives-sur-Mer (Calvados), On loan from musée historique de Champs-sur-Marne. Photo : P. Corbierre. © Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel de Basse Normandie (exhibition "Gothic Masterpieces" at the Musée de Normandie, Caen).


LAVAL - The sculpture Biennale of Laval this year chose as its theme the relation between sculpture and painting. It shows how the simple diversion of elements proper to painting (pigments, pictural matter, canvas, stretcher, etc) allows the work to evolve in three dimensions. Anish Kapoor, François Morellet, Claude Rutault or the members of Supports-Surfaces are just some of the artists who illustrate this questionning. The concern of favoring direct collaboration with contemporary artists is seen in the contemporary creation by two of them of a work in situ.

  • Musée du Vieux Château and the Musée-Ecole de la Perrine, until September 28
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    A CENTURY OF RUSSIAN AND SOVIET ART, from 1890 to 1990

    MONTBELIARD - As is now its habit, the city of Montbéliard presents a major exhibition this summer at the museum of the Castle and at the Beurnier-Rossel museum. After «Picasso, l’homme du trait» in 2001, «Hans Hartung» in 2003, «Jean Messagier» in 2006, «Goya, fastes et ténèbres» in 2007, the theme chosen for 2008 is «Un siècle d’art russe et soviétique de 1890 à 1990» (A century of Russian and Soviet art from 1890 to 1990).

  • Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg and Hôtel Bernier-Rossel, until September 28
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    EUGÈNE CHIGOT - from the Opal coast to the beaches on the Mediterranean sea

    LE TOUQUET - As of its creation in 1932, the Musée du Touquet brought together works by artists from the School of Etaples. Henri Le Sidaner himself contributed to enrich the collections by offering a number of high-quality paintings, in particular those of his lifetime friend, Eugène Chigot. This monographic exhibition is dedicated to the artist, the «founding father» of this pictorial school, 120 years after its installation at Etaples-sur-Mer.

  • Musée du Touquet, until November 2
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    BERCK – A Homeric world: critic Jean-Luc Chalumeau thus defines Bernard Clarisse’s creations. The artist chooses peasant scenes as his main theme. He gives them a totally different dimension by bringing together elements of mythology, Greek gods and an unexpected animal, the mole, an emissary that could put us in touch with the underground world.

  • Musée d’Opale Sud, until December 31
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    REIMS – One can easily bet that very few of these fifty artists will be known by the visitors: the visual artists exhibited in the cellars of the Pommery property are all young and have sometimes come from far. But maybe some of the future stars of European art are among them. The procedure is original since local contemporary art magazines, the real connoisseurs, were asked to do the selection work (2 artists for each of the 27 countries in the European Union).

  • Domaine Pommery, until December 31
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    BERCK – Presented for the first time at Berck in 1990, Jacques Damville is back in the most logical manner with this exhibition presented as being «in Francis Tattegrain's footsteps». He shares certain themes of the naturalist seascapes painter from the end of the XIXth century, as well as the level of demand in his work that frees great artists from the fleeting, media covered trends.

  • Musée d’Opale Sud, until December 31
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    FLORA MAGICA - Photographic creations by Stephen Sack

    LEWARDE - In the context of the theme «Green country/Black country», dedicated to the transformation of coal country landscapes in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in France, the Historic Mining Center has given total freedom to American photographer Stephen Sack, who metamorphoses the fossil and current vegetable imprints into an imaginary herbarium.

  • Centre historique minier, until December 31
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    The musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, ten years after the exhibition «L'Ecole de Rouen, de l'impressionnisme à Marcel Duchamp», presents a large retrospective of one of the major figures of that school with 80 paintings and charcoal drawings that are among his masterpieces.

  • Musée des beaux-arts, until September 21
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    GOTHIC MASTERPIECES IN NORMANDY - Sculpture and silver and gold plate from the XIIIth to the XVth century

    CAEN - Normandy during the last centuries of the Middle Ages was a land of contrasts. Having inherited a glorious past from the time duke William became the Conqueror of England (1066), it has a strong imprint of an Anglo-Norman identity expressed in the dozens of Roman churches still visible today. Normandy is the product of an original culture, the synthesis of migratory currents from North-Western Europe.

  • Musée de Normandie, until November 2
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    BERTRAND MEUNIER - Ordinary peasants

    CHALON-SUR-SAONE - At a moment when all eyes are turned towards Beijing for the Olympic ceremony, the fascination the Middle Kingdom has on imaginations must not hide the reality of daily lives that have been deeply disrupted since the reforms of the 80s. The dazzling economic development as well as the restructures carried out by a monolithic state have marginalized a part of the population and widened the gap of inequalities: workers and small employees are poorer while the peasants have been uprooted, and exploited and lost in cities prone to sprawling development.

  • Musée Nicéphore Niépce, until September 28
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    DIJON – The curators have two explanations to Charles Meynier's (1763-1832) current low level of notoriety: he painted very few portraits – an efficient vector for celebrity - and he specialized in the large in situ decors –- a genre whose authors we easily forget. This is therefore a rare occasion that we are given to rediscover a painter who was famous in his time. Meynier, who was very busy during the Empire and the Restoration, was a prize of Rome during the fateful year of 1789. With some fifty works – historic scenes commissioned by private collectors and the administration, mythological compositions on unknown subjects (The philosopher Bias buying back slaves), pen drawings and wash drawings – one succeeds in seeing all of his neo-classic work.

  • Musée Magnin, until October 12
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    MODERN AFRICAN FIGURE POTTERIES - The Colette Brissaud-Mendes collection

    SOISSONS – The discovery of the highly coherent Brissaud-Mendes collection renews the look and encounter with African ceramics, seen too rarely in the publications and the private and public exhibits. The collection is shown for the first time to the public and allows us to discover a rich, unknown world: the terracotta of the Bamum, Batcham, Mambila, Mangbetu or even Yoruba.

  • Arsenal-musée de Soissons, until August 24
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    Voyage through photographs by Dominique Darbois

    ÉPINAL - The Inuits in their igloos, cowboys on their horses, Mexicans under their sombreros, the Indians from Guyana in their hamacs… Are these images that come spontaneously to our minds the stereotype «images d’Epinal» or reality? The investigation is carried out together with photographs by Dominique Darbois. Whether we agree or not with the images they show, the museum explores, in a trip that goes from Guiana to the Land of Baffin, from the North to the South, our representations of the American continent.

  • Musée de l’Image, until November 11
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    BEAUVAIS - Odon (Guy Houdoin) was born in 1940, in the City of Le Mans. Until 1997 he signed his works with his name Guy Houdoin. Since then he is simply Odon. This purification of his name recalls saint Odon of Cluny, also from Le Mans, whom he refers to when the subject is meditation or spiritual practice. His work was figurative in the beginning, but it followed the same movement towards asceticism, symbolised by plaiting.

  • Musée départemental de l’Oise, until November 11
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    ANGERS – He is one of the sacred monsters of abstract, monumental sculpture. Anthony Caro, born in 1924, learned to work with cast iron with Henry Moore, when he was his assistant from 1951 to 1953. But he quickly graduated from this traditional material to produce large structures of rusted or painted metal, influenced by the megaliths of Carnac or the sculptures of Julio Gonzalez and David Smith. The museum of Beaux-Arts d’Angers will dedicate the largest French retrospective ever done to date with 18 pieces, of which half come from the artist’s personal collection. The small ones at least have the dimensions of a sitting man and Fathom folds out over nearly 8 metres.

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Angers, until September 31
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    EPINAL - He waited for a long time, but he finally got it... We are refering to the first monographic exhibition dedicated to Jacques Villeglé in a museum of contemporary art in France: justice has finally been made in the French province, in the Vosges region. One of the last survivors of the group of the New Realists (with Spoerri and Raysse), who was given his place with the retrospective at the Grand Palais in the Spring of 2007, will present all of his work, from the first unglued posters to the more recent creations, statues, banners or tapestries.

  • Musée départemental d’Art ancien et contemporain, until September 1
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    BEAUVAIS – Yvonne (1909-2001) and Maurice Allemand (1906-1979) are two key figures of the artistic landscape in France from the 1950s to the 1970s. A great renovator and director of the museum of Art and Industry of Saint-Étienne from 1947 to 1967, Maurice Allemand set up the artistic avant-garde in the city and allowed the birth of its famous museum of modern art. He was then very active as principal inspector of artistic creation. Their collection, made up almost exclusively of donations, enriched the Musée départemental de l’Oise in 2003.

  • Musée départemental de l’Oise, until September 29
    Read the article (in French) on artaujourdhui.info