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Art Of The Day Weekly

#21 - from 2 November 2006 to 8 November 2006


Who did it?

FRANKFURT – The Schirn Frankfurt is currently offering a very interesting exhibition. All you need do is create a small change in regard to what one is used to – in this case erase the name of the artists – for the visitor to loose his points of reference. We so often read the label before looking at the work and thus judge the latter based on the name of the creator… That is impossible at «Anonymous». The eleven artists concerned decided to remain just that, anonymous. Their way of proceeding is of course very conceptual and aims at putting the finger on a reality, nurrished by the media system: known artists are increasingly limited to brand names (come on, take one example, that of Damien Hirst) which are then promoted according to the traditional marketing methods. And we end by putting aside any criterium of quality or originality. What curator had this brillant idea to have people talk about him? To date, he is playing according to his own rules and has remained unknown. If we push the game further, we would like for the embargo to remain after the exhibition. But maybe that is going too far. The system always catches up with those who try to resist it…

The website of the Schirn Kunsthalle (in English and to the rhythm of an Irish jig)


Klimt or Picasso, the night of the records?

NEW YORK - No sale has ever been so enticing: Christie's will be offering in New York, during its auctions on 8 and 9 November, five paintings each estimated about 50 million dollars. Will the market be solvent? When the contents of the sale were announced a few months ago, the star attraction was a Picasso, a melancholic portrait of the blue period, that of Angel Fernández de Soto (1902), that belongs to composer Andrew Lloyd Weber. Since then, the arrival on the market (again at Christie's) of four works by Klimt, stolen during the war and returned to their legitimate heirs, has disrupted the situation. A fifth painting of this ensemble, the portrait of Adèle Bloch-Bauer, was indeed bought in the Spring at 135 million dollars by Ronald Lauder, the king of cosmetics. And it is rumored he wishes to continue on the same path. Consequently checks will include various zeros that evening, even if one is never protected from a bad surprise. Next door, a Balthus at 7 million dollars (Les Trois Sœurs The three sisters), a Kirchner at 18 million or a Schiele at 20 almost look like trinkets. Gauguin's L'homme à la hache (Man with an ax) is the only one that could aspire to climb up on the podium. No easy task nevertheless, as it is only estimated at 35 million dollars…

Presentation of the sale


November is photo time!

PARIS – This event, created in 1980, follows a bienial rhythm: in the fall of each year with an even number, November is promoted to «month of photography». Which implies there will be some 80 exhibitions on a given theme – this year it is the relations between photography and the printed page. In museums and galleries of course, as well as in book stores (Artazart, la Chambre claire), foreign cultural centers, town-halls of various arrondissements (Erich Lessing in that of the Xth), be it in a lycée (Louis-le-Grand). At la Maison européenne de la photographie, the flag ship in a way of the event, the focus is on young European creators (Mutations 1, starting on 2 November). A project that will be echoed in partner cities (Berlin, Bratislava, Luxembourg, Moscow, Rome and Vienna). The climax of this marathon of images will be the festival Paris Photo, from 14 to 18 November.

  • Mois de la photo in Paris in November

    All the information on the website of the Maison européenne de la photographie

  • Artaud's parallel worlds

    PARIS – A febril, frightening, crazy creative power, and in so many fields: cinema, drawing, writing, theater… The Bnf wishes through this exhibition to underline just that which characterized a man unique in his way, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948). His share of craziness, his confinment at the insane assylum of Rodez are rendered scenographically by a tunnel the visitor must enter. But the wealth of the funds of the Bnf and of private collectors allows us to go beyond what has become the Artaud cliche. Dozens of hand written notebooks, of which some have never been seen before, some sixty drawings (with various selfportraits), strange «spells» thrown on his friends as well as his writings on art, his contributions to cinema (in 1927-28, years that were very intense, he was directed by Dreyer and Dulac and played the part of Marat in AbelGance's ). To help define the character - if that were possible -, some of his sources of inspiration are shown in front of them. They go from Lucas de Leyde to Balthus, including André Masson and María Izquierdo's Mexican painting.

  • Antonin Artaud at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (François-Mitterrand site), from 7 November 2006 to 4 February 2007, Gallimard catalogue, 40 €.

    Presentation of the exhibition

  • Rouault - Matisse: their friendship

    PARIS – While all exhibitions aim at being unforgetable, unique, this one - rich, intelligent - announces it has no ambition of being a retrospective. This is very refreshing! The objective is simple: to bring back to life the friendship that united two major artists of the XXth century by focussing on their parallel lives. They were contemporaries– Georges Rouault (1871-1958) was slightly younger than Henri Matisse (1869-1954). They went to Gustave Moreau's workshop and agreed over half a century on a number of «knots»: the taste for landscapes, the love for the circus, the passion for Baudelaire, which they both illustrated. When they were in their seventies, Rouault and Matisse met one last time in the magazine Verve of Tériade. Those were the 40s: the heroes were old and tired, they had witnessed two horrendous wars but remained friends…

  • Rouault, Matisse, correspondence, at the musée d’Art moderne de la ville de Paris, until 11 February 2007

    The website of the Musée d'Art Moderne


    London calling... over...Paris...

    LONDON – The season «Paris Calling», dedicated to the French contemporary scene and open since June, was officially launched by the minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, on 31 October. It presents a series of events in the English institutions (Pierre Huygue at the Tate Modern, Antigone under hypnosis by designers M/M at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Klossowski and Bellmer at Whitechapel) and in the private galleries (Tatiana Trouvé at Bischoff & Weiss, Erik Dietman at Anthony Reynolds). But also some installations at the Great Eastern Hotel and at the Chelsea College of Design. Or Ange Leccia at the Sketch, Pierre Gagnaire's very trendy restaurant. With the secret desire of proving that French contemporary art is capable of being exported…

  • Paris Calling, in some twenty different sites, until the end of December 2006.

    The website of the event


    Klein for children

    It is not always easy to get children interested in contemporary art. The publishing house Artissima tried it with the collection Flip-flap’art, designed by Martine César, who had shown his cretivity before at Mango. The first volume is dedicated to Yves Klein, who is the subject of a retrospective at Beaubourg. Art is a window to the world: the principle is applied here at each page, where a small round, square or rectangular porthole opens out to the work and quotation that follow. All talk of technic and chronological references are totally left aside. This is a shame because the child is left at the mercy of his sole fascination and of phrases that are often difficult («the monochrome aspect is the only physical way of reaching the spiritual absolute» or «the metaphysics of the void or Art Soul of Yves Klein »). Art also implies dialogue: let us hope that a knowledgeable adult will be around to help the child decypher…

  • Yves Klein, collection Flip Flap'Art, éditions Artissima, ISBN : 2-35398-0007, 2006, 13,50 €

    Buy that book from Amazon


    AMSTERDAM –The 2006 edition at Cyprus of Manifesta has just been canceled, but the travelling biennial event of contemporary art has just announced that the edition of 2008 will be held in the Trentino-Alto Adige region, in Italy.

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    BUENOS AIRES – The Malba, the museum of Contemporary art of Buenos Aires, is celebrating its 5th anniversary. It has welcomed over 1.6 million visitors since it opened on 21 September 2001.

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    COLOGNE – The Art Cologne fair, celebrating its 40th anniversary, will be held from 1 to 5 November. This is the last time it will be held during the autumn. The next edition is announced for the Spring of 2007, with the number of galleries limited to 190.

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    METZ – The first stone of the Centre Pompidou in Metz, designed by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, to open in 2008, will be placed on 7 November.

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    PARIS – The FIAC has come back to the Grand Palais and during this important event the French state has bought 30 works of contemporary art (among them from the workshop of van Lieshout, Pierre Bismuth, Stéphane Couturier, Bruno Serralongue). The Marcel Duchamp prize was awarded to Philippe Mayaux (born in 1961). As for the «satellite» fair, Show Off, it has announced 11 000 visitors and «confirmed» sales for 800 000 euros.

    PARIS – The sale of Jean-Pierre Raynaud's personal collection, on 26 October at Christie’s, reaped 2.2 million €, beyond all estimates. The most expensive piece was Sens + Sens, at 303 000 €.

    SEVILLE – The international contemporary art Biennial of Seville (BIACS), opened on 26 October and will close on 15 January 2007.

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    SHANGHAI-Bologna Fiere, the organizer each year of Arte Fiera, the international fair of contemporary art in Bologna, announces the creation, in partnership with the Chinese specialized associations, of a new fair of contemporary art turned towards the Asian markets, ShContemporary 2007. The first edition is programmed in Shanghai from 6 to 9 September 2007. Lorenzo Rudolf, the former director of Art Basel, and gallery owner Pierre Huber will participate to the project.

    TAIPEI – The Biennial of Taipei, whose curators are Dan Cameron and Jun-jieh Wang, will be inaugurated on 3 November. It will end on 25 February 2007. Thirty-five artists will take part, among them Monica Bonvicini, Katharina Grosse and Koki Tanaka.

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    This week, do not miss...

    Maurice Denis

    PARIS - The Orsay museum presents one of the most complete retrospectives dedicated to the painter, but… to the photographer as well since his little known snapshots are one of the curiosities of the exhibition. These small nabis formats with monumental decorations full of mysticism review over 50 years of his career, from 1889 to 1943. Certain pieces, such as the cycle of Psyché, kept in the Russian museums, had not been seen in Paris for over a century.

    Read the article in artoftheday.info