Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #37 - from 8 March 2007 to 14 March 2007

Art Of The Day Weekly

#37 - from 8 March 2007 to 14 March 2007


The billion of Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI – That's it, it is signed! On tuesday 6 March the French minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, signed an agreement with the authorities of the emirate that links the Louvre museum and other national museums for thirty years to the «Louvre of the desert», due to open in 2012, for which the architect will be Jean Nouvel. The fees provided for this «marriage» - nearly 1 billion € - go far beyond any other known patronage operation and can be broken down in various parts. The royalties agreed for the sole use of the «Louvre» name for 30 years is 400 million €. The creation of a new entity, the International Agency of museums of France (the AIMF, a product of the Louvre and other great public institutions such as Orsay or the Centre Pompidou), that will accompany all the process, will be financed up to 165 million €. The organisation over 15 years, from 2012 to 2027, of 4 temporary exhibitions per year (that is 60 exhibitions), will bring in 385 million €. To this we can add: 25 million € to support the development of the Louvre and 5 million € to restore the castle of Fontainebleau. What will be given in exchange for this financail godsend? From 2012 to 2027, the Louvre and the major French museums must lend hundreds of works, for a few months when it is for temporary exhibitions, up to 2 years for the beginning of the permanent collection. A lot of questions remain: what works will be lent? And what institutions will lend them exactly? And won't the creation of the permanent collection of the Louvre Abou Dhabi, to be steered by the AIMF with a budget for 10 years of 400 million € produce conflicts of interest with the purchasing policy of the French museums ? We will have these answers in the next two decades…


TEFAF celebrates its 20 years

MAASTRICHT – The Dutch fair, now almost as much of a "must" as the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. It will do so without one of its founders, the charismatic art dealer Bob Noortman, who passed away recently. The implacable rise of the Asian scene seems to materialise in 2007 in a bronze tapir inlaid with precious stones. It was cast in China 2500 years ago, and today the Littleron & Hennessy gallery is offering it for 12 million dollars: it is the most expensive object in the fair. Other «highlights» include the ultimate painting by David, The ire of Achilles at the sacrifice of Iphigeneia and Women birds, a Miró from 1944. There are 219 galleries this year(compared to 97 in 1988) but we are witnessing a reshuffling of the cards between periods: the will to give its real place to the XXth century has weakened other sectors such as that of primitive art. There were 17 000 visitors in 1988 and 84 000 in 2006. In order to avoid too large a flux of visitors that could -according to the organizers- «threaten the reputation of the Tefaf as far as the quality and the exclusivity», admission prices have gone up…

  • Tefaf Maastricht from 9 to 18 March, at the MECC Maastricht

    The website of the fair


    They have made Beckett speak

    For the public at large, Beckett is a writer difficult to seize, an emaciated Irish man with the profile of an eagle. The exhibition the Centre Pompidou is dedicating to him, in the line of those dedicated to Roland Barthes or Jean Cocteau, shows a greatly varied work, including an experimental movie (Film, shot in 1964 with Buster Keaton) and programs for television. Aside from the elements expected from such a retrospective (photographs, manuscripts and letters underline the choice of bilinguism Beckett made, once he settled in France in 1938), the curators wished to place the work of the Nobel winner face to face with that of artists who were his contemporaries such as Sol LeWitt or Richard Ryman, or with current creators who have designed visual or sound installations.

  • Samuel Beckett, at the centre Pompidou, from 14 March to 25 June

    The website of the Centre Pompidou

  • A similar procedure commanded the two exhibitions dedicated to Kafka, in Orléans (collégiale Saint-Pierre-le-Puellier, until 25 March) and Beaugency (église Saint-Etienne, until 17 March) with the title The dream of Joseph K. Some tenty contemporary artists, from Daniel Dezeuze to Vladimir Skoda, including Hans Bouman and Anne Gorouben, explore the work of the author of The Metamorphosis.

  • Marin Karmitz, producer, founder of the MK2 movie houses, had a brief life as a movie director, marked by Comédie, the adaptation of Beckett's play with the same name. It created a scandal at the Biennale of Venice when it was shown there in 1966. The film is presented once more at the MK2 Beaubourg as of 14 March, every day at 7:30 PM, at the price of 1 euro.

  • Fontainebleau, the mother of all forests

    PARIS – It is awesome to see all the great minds it has welcomed! If the forest of Fontainebleau did not exist; we would have to invent it. It was a part of many of the most beautiful adventures in modern art, from the pionneers of outside painting (Théodore Rousseau as of the 1830s), to Corot's full landscapes, from Manet's revolution (Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe owes a lot to it) to the first essays in photography (with Gustave Le Gray, for example). It surely deserved a retrospective, as much as a great artist… Now it has been organized at the musée d’Orsay, wih its very appropriate funds but also with loans from Denmark to Switzerland, to give the largest image possible of this very varied nature at the doors of the French capital.

  • La Forêt de Fontainebleau, un atelier grandeur nature au musée d’Orsay, du 6 mars au 13 mai.

    See the illustrated article (in French) on arttaujourdhui.info


    A farewell to Bouchard

    PARIS – In the same vein as the African saying, when a museum closes, it is like when an old man dies: a part of our memory disappears. That is what is going to happen in Paris this week, when the Bouchard workshop closes definitely. It holds 1200 works by the figurative sculptor(1875-1960), and has been lovingly watched over by his son, who will be ninety years old this Spring, and his daughter in law. Their devotion has lasted since 1962, when these two loving admirers of the sculptor's work decided to dedicate themselves body and soul to protect Henri Bouchard's work. He was not really in fashion at the time, and yet he was the author of «classic» works (the Apollo group at the Trocadéro, the pediment of the church of Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot, the bas reliefs of women at the Printemps department store, etc). Though the authorities at town hall in Paris were often called upon for help, they did not show much interest in the collection. Fortunately, there is a happy ending: a beautiful institution is going to welcome this fund and present it as it is, with the accumulation of bronzes and plasters, its wall with nails (even the stove?). It is the musée de la Piscine, in Roubaix, of which Bouchard was one of the decorators,when it was -as its name says - an Art déco pool. We are going to have to be patient though, since this renaissance will only take place in 2010.

  • L’Atelier Bouchard, 25, rue de l’Yvette, 75016 Paris, will close on 14 March. It only opens on wednesdays and saturdays from 2 to 7 PM. So there are just two days left- March 10 and 14- to discover it…

    The website of the musée Bouchard


    Mike Kelley, installations everywhre

    LONDON – It is difficult to resume the work of this American artist, born in 1954 in Detroit. He can make sculptures with objects found as well as statues of well-known persons in fibreglass (John Glenn), photographs in black and white of familiar venues or even large installations. He was honored by the Louvre in 2006 with the exhibition «American artists and the Louvre», with a specific commission (the video installation ) and just made a nice score at Christie’s in New York on 26 February with his famous Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity and Manipulatory Responses (1999). This cage 18 meters long and 7 meters wide, that was the setting for a Martha Graham ballet, contains various objects that refer to lab experiments on monkeys. Mike Kelley is the current guest in London in the huge Gagosian gallery for a much more sober exhibition of «Hermaphrodite Drawings», representing human bodies or certain organs.

  • Mike Kelley, Hermaphrodite Drawings at the Gagosian gallery, 6-24 Britannia Street, from tuesday to friday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, until 17 March.-07

    The website of the Gagosian gallery


    Liberty, equality, art?

    What is the function of art? Certainly to produce beauty. But it is increasingly to contribute to create a social link in the societies that have lost their traditional points of reference. In following this vein, Claire Moulène, who often writes in the magazine les Inrockuptibles, has prepared a diagram of current creation. This small, illustrated and easily handled book reviews actors such as the Atelier Van Lieshout or Spencer Tunick (known for his photos of naked crowds), whose work takes the individual, the group or a community as the main actor. The book underlines the work of interesting collective groups such as Stalker, the group of Roman architects , who during their long walks have taken over fallow land and empty urban lots; or «stars» such as Thomas Hirschhorn, who built his Musée précaire Albinet in Aubervilliers with wooden pallets, before filling it with real masterpieces. Jeremy Deller reliving the confrontations of Orgreave at the time of the miners' strike in England, Malachi Farrell or Tatiana Trouvé inventing fictitious entreprises, are some of the artists reviewed, up to the most radical of all, Santiago Sierra, with his disturbing performances: to pay prostitutes to masturbate or African immigrants to dig holes in the desert of Almería, in Spain.

  • Art contemporain et lien social, par Claire Moulène, published by Cercle d’Art, 2007, ISBN : 978-2-7022-0828-1, 19 €

    Buy that book from Amazon


    AUCKLAND-The 3rd triennale of Auckland opens on 9 March in the capital of New-Zealand with the title turbulence and explores the themes of exile, of memory, of colonisation. Among the artists present, there are Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, Carlos Garaicoa and Michal Rovner.

    Know more

    DUBAI-The Gulf Art Fair will be held from 8 to 10 March with some forty international galleries, among them the White Cube from London and the French Baudoin Lebon.

    Know more

    PARIS - Three works by Picasso, one drawing and two major paintings, evaluated at 50 million € - Maya à la poupée and a portrait of Jacqueline - were stolen during the night between 26 and 27 February from the home of Diana Widmaier, the painter's grand-daughter.

    PARIS-For International woman's day, the natural science museum wishes to be contemporary and presents the exhibition «Heroic women, a modern mythology», that aims to be the «first real and virtual world exhibition». Come see with your own eyes…

    Know more

    PARIS-The Magda Danysz gallery is going to leave rue Durkheim in the XIIIe arrondissement, wher it set up in 1999, and will move next May to a 500 m2 space, on rue Amelot, in the XIe arrondissement.

    The website of the gallery


    This week do not miss

    Views of Europe. Europe and German painting in the XIXth centurye

    BRUSSELS - With many loans from the museums of Berlin, Munich and Dresden, the Palais des Beaux-Arts offers a complete panorama of German painting of the XIXth century, including Friedrich as well as Max Lieberman. They were greatly attracted by their neighbors of the continent and the exhibition studies this through chosen phases that go from an idealised antique Greece to France, including Belgium and Scandinavia.

    See the article