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Major stars such as Rodin, Eiffel or Kandinsky as well as more surprising offers: contemporary graffiti, the myth of Tarzan or beauty in the Middle Ages: the season is quite eclectic in the capital…

Gillian Wearing, Trauma, colour video with sound (30 minutes) - edition of 5 + 2 AP – 2000, Courtesy Maureen Paley, London, Collection musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (from exhibition at Musée Rodin)


PARIS – The surrealists were rather attracted by urban landscapes, by the driftings of towns and cities. Even though André Masson (1896-1987) was a member of a group, he was always fascinated by Nature. To prove it, the musée de la Poste has brought together nearly 150 works, paintings as well as drawings or books. The animal kingdom – bulls, chickens, insects – is very varied, often involved in violent activities, and the spieces sometimes crossed with man (the Minotaur) or the vegetable world. A real GMO! The exhibition also includes a small, secret cabinet – an erotic bestiary – to confirm that insipidness or the politically correct are not of interest here.

  • Musée de la Poste, until September 5
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    PARIS – It seems impossible to have an exhibition on graffiti, an art form born in Brooklyn at the beginning of the 70s. Are they going to rebuild the walls of the Bronx, bring in the New York subway cars? It can only be done with photographs, movies (among them the unavoidable Style Wars) and other forms of documentation. To give some substance to the exhibition, explain Action Writing or Freestyle, the Fondation Cartier has invited the most famous graphers to create works purposely for this event. This is proof they are no longer outlaws or hooligans but rather the pets of contemporary art. Will be present the seniors P.H.A.S.E. 2 or Seen and a cosmopolitan delegation including Chilean artist Basko Vazko, Swedish artist Nug or French artist JonOne.

  • Fondation Cartier, until November 29
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    PARIS – The Eiffel tower, of course, the tallest monument in the world when it was inaugurated in March 1889. But there is also the Garabit viaduct, that of Porto in Portugal, a train station in Budapest, the internal structure of the statue of Liberty. There is even the house of the Portuguese general governor of Maputo in Mozambique! Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), an engineer of genius, left traces of his know-how everywhere, and it was then exported in particular with the system of portable bridges. An exhibition tries to give a complete idea of the person and his legacy, by unveiling another facet of his talent: at the end of his life, weakened by a financial scandal, Eiffel «recycled» himself into the field of aeronautics, and designed prototypes of fighter planes for Farman or Bréguet.

  • Hôtel de Ville, salle Saint-Jean, until August 31
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    PARIS – Look for the man. You will not find him! But you will find Sonia Delaunay, Joan Mitchell, Vieira da Silva, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle… The new presentation of the collection of the Musée national d’art moderne intends to be revolutionary. As the curators specify, no permanent fund of a major institution had ever presented women artists alone. This is undoubtedly true, even if we have seen similar initiatives. In New York for example, the Brooklyn Museum opened the Sackler Center for Feminist Art two years ago, combining an installation by Judy Chicago and temporary exhibits. Now it is the turn for Paris to take the initiative, and the Guerilla Girls must be smiling happily. Was it really so necessary? We have known for a long time that there are great woman artists. We can easily imagine the revolution that would have been triggered off had a collection «men only» been announced. In this occasion, it is paradoxically the absence of a hostile reaction that demonstrates the road still to be covered towards equality …

  • Centre Pompidou, until Spring 2010
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    PARIS – He was seen for the last time in Paris in 1984 and the occasion was the donation (1976) and the legacy (1981) by his wife Nina to the Musée national d’Art moderne. Here we have Kandinsky again, one of the inventors of abstraction, in a large retrospective of some one hundred paintings presenting his major periods, from 1907 to 1942. What is new in regard to the previous exhibition? A portfolio from the Bauhaus, watercolors from the Russian period (1914-1917) and manuscripts from 1912-1914, belonging to the Centre Pompidou. As for the rest, this is an opportunity to see once again the masterpieces assembled by the three main holders of his fund: aside from the Centre Pompidou, the Städtliche Gallerie in Munich (where the exhibition was presented before) and the Guggenheim in New York (where it will go after). From the figurative paintings full of characters from 1906, of a deeply Russian taste and glitter, to the stylized mountains from 1910, from the geometric compositions in primary colours from 1926 to the «biomorphic» forms at the end of his life, this exhibit offers the visitor a true section of the XXth century.

  • Centre Pompidou, until August 10
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    PARIS - The Musée Rodin is putting the spotlight on the special art of the portrait through two exhibitions. The first one, « la Fabrique du portrait, Rodin face à ses modèles », is a a creative laboratory but also a social insight that invites you to discover the considerable but little-known work of Rodin the portraitist. It highlights the artist’s creative process and approach in building a portrait. The second one, « Confessions / Portraits, videos », is a contemporary extension. It presents two videos by the British artist Gillian Wearing.

  • Musée Rodin, until August 23
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    PARIS - Highly appreciated in China, master Chu Teh-Chun, at the height of his art, has just dedicated two years to create a works in ceramic. Fifty-six, hand-painted vases are exceptionally presented in the midst of the collections of the Guimet museum. Chu Teh-Chun is the first French artist of Chinese origin to be elected to the Académie des Beaux-arts, in 1997. He wished to honor the country that has welcomed him since 1955, by associating his talent to that of the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres.

  • Musée Guimet, until September 7
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    TARZAN !

    PARIS – He has the «stoicism of an animal and the intelligence of a man». «He» is Tarzan, the ape man invented in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs and who became famous all over the planet. Although his centennial has not yet turned up, he is already the subject of an exhibition at the quai Branly museum. A wildly «transversal» retrospective: one has an idealistic image of Africa (Burroughs never went there in the same manner Shakespeare never set foot in Verona to write <Romeo and Juliet) but we also sense the construction mode of a super-hero or the birth of an ecologic sensitivity before its time. Drawing sheets by Burne Hogarth (not to be confused with William Hogarth!) as well as prince Arenberg’s stuffed leopard, Ethiopian amulets in leopard teeth and photograms of Johnny Weissmuller, this exotic trip is more comfortably taken in the company of specialized guides such as Ridder Haggard or Rudyard Kipling…

  • Musée du quai Branly, until September 27
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    PARIS – Cotton buds, scent balls or a crystal marten head against fleas? At the time of the Renaissance, toilet cases were over-sized and (in our opinion) picturesque. The care of the body became a true ceremony, in which both artisans and artists found an interest. The former created flasks, bottles and combs, the latter perfected a new type of portrait, of a woman in front of her mirror, half-naked. In Ecouen, the splendours of beauty during the Renaissance are evoked by the toilet case from the museum of Basel or the gold bottle decorated with opals from the London Museum. Paintings, drawings by Jean Mignon and cosmetic treaties complete the selection. The museum of Cluny suggests extending the backwards tracking, all the way to Antiquity: Gothic combs, wall paintings from Naples, containers still bearing traces of whitening cream, along with the results of a study by the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France and L’Oréal, about 150 of the products used at that time.

  • Musée national du Moyen Age (in Paris) and Musée national de la Renaissance (in Ecouen), until September 21
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    PARIS – They come from the National Gallery in Sofia, from the Historical Museum in Preslav, or the monastery in Batchkovo: a choice of Bulgarian icons, presented at the recently restored Sainte-Chapelle in the Castle of Vincennes. The icon was born when the people converted to Christianity in 864, and became a true political symbol of the country during the fight for independence, won in 1878. The nearly 80 examples brought together are set up on a narrow wooden gallery, similar to a iconostasis, and span a period of nearly one thousand years, from a saint Theodore in ceramic from the Xth century up to profane motifs from the XIXth century, including large compositions from the XIVth century, when the genre was at its peak.

  • Château de Vincennes, until August 30
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