Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #56 - from 6 September 2007 to 12 September 2007

Art Of The Day Weekly

#56 - from 6 September 2007 to 12 September 2007


The FRACs come to you

The public at large sees this abbreviation as something quite barbaric, to be found in the dictionnary right after the FNAC, the shop for books and dvd, and FRAM, the travel agency. The FRACs are the Regional Funds of Contemporary Art (Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain) and were created at the beginning of the 80s under Jack Lang's administration. Their mission is to build collections that reflect current creation. Their budgets are rather meager. While they organize exhibitis in their own headquarters, of which some are truly remarquable buildings (for example, the FRAC Lorraine, in Metz, in a "hôtel particulier" from the XVIIth century, brilliantly renovated), they are also meant to make their collections move around to become better known. It seems major means have been used to sensibilize neophytes, or this autumn, the FRACs will be leaving their eggshells and accept the invitaiton by thelarge department stores. Consequently, from Bordeaux to Strasbourg, including Berlin, nine Galeries Lafayette will present – between escalators, washing machines and school supplies - paintings by Soulages, sculptures by Wang Du or videos by Fischli & Weiss. This confrontation is good for the soul and for the wallet: nothing is for sale.

  • L’art, c’est renversant (Art blows me over), from 12 September to 6 October 2007 in the Galeries Lafayette in Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Limoges, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Strasbourg and Berlin

    The commun website of the FRACs


    Going through Beyeler

    BASEL – The exhibition that celebrates the first decade of the Beyeler foundation strongly resembles the one dedicated to Ambroise Vollard at the musée d’Orsay. In both cases, the aim is to present an anthology of works that went through the shop of the famous art dealer during his life. While the idea seemed quite natural when it concerned Vollard who died in 1939, it is not the case regarding Ernst Beyeler(and his wife), who are still alive. In this case, one tends to show the «secret garden», in other words the art dealer's personal collection (as is under way in Berlin for Jan Krugier). But that could never do justice to the multitude of works of art that actually went through this influential gallery. When speaking of Beyeler, who has been active for 60 years at the same address (9 Bäumleingasse in Basel), the astronomical figure of 16 000 has been given. One of course does not see all of them, but a significant choice is exhibited, from Braque to Dubuffet, from Giacometti to Gris, from Kandinsky to Mondrian, Picasso and Elsworth Kelly.

  • L’Autre Collection, hommage à Hildy et Ernst Beyeler at the Beyeler foundation, until 6 January 2008.

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  • To be Pollock or not to be?

    BOSTON - We heard so much about them, now we will finally see them! "Them", of course, means the 32 unknown works by Pollock, which Alex Matter, the son of the painter's intimate friends, pulled out of his hat -or attic- in 2002. Ever since this has been a touchy subject and their authenticity has even been disputed by the laboratory analysis at Harvard. But not everyone is convinced and now the public is being asked for its opinion on 25 of the paintings. It is very fashionable these days to be your own expert! Obviously there are some financial considerations involved: any Pollock is very expensive and he set the record for a private transaction (around 140 million $) when his n°5, 1948 belonging to David Geffen, the Hollywood tycooon was sold last autumn. This is surely a wonderful media coup for the museum that will show them. Who has ever heard of the McMullen Museum of Art, in Boston? The real theme of the exhibition, hidden by all this hullabaloo, is the relationship between Pollock and the photographer Herbert Matter, who it seems played a crucial role in the genesis of the «dripping» technique.

  • Pollock matters, at the Mc Mullen Museum, from 2 September to 9 December 2007

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  • In Jason's footsteps

    PARIS – Just like the Pharaohs or the Incas before them, all treasures are one of the public's favorite themes. They allow for very interesting discoveries: following the Scythian, Thrace and Bulgarian gold treasures, here is one that is not as well known, that comes from Georgia. This land on the shores of the Black Sea was known in the antiquity as Colchis, home to the Golden Fleece, which aroused the passion of Jason and the Argonauts. While the site of Vani, on an affluent of the Riomi (the former Phase), has been searched for over a century, the pieces shown come from the more recent discoveries in 2004, of tombs with a rich funerary furnishings. Angular jewels with voluted pendants, signet rings, bracelets and necklaces, pearls in the shape of melons and hairpins with stags show the virtuosity of the crafstmen who worked gold, from the Vth to the Ist century B.C.

  • L’Or de la Toison d’or at the Monnaie de Paris, from 11 September to 7 November 2007


    Threats to photojournalism

    PERPIGNAN - « The first aim of the festival is to reconfirm the role of press photography»: the philosophy of Visa pour l’Image (Visa for the image), now with its 19th edition, holds in that manifesto. At a time when the «yellow press» in photography is at its height, research work on difficult subjects has an increasingly hard time finding a place in the pages of magazines. François Hollande's love life -the French Socialist leader- or Britney Spears's pregnancies do not leave much room for investigations on malaria in the world, the ghettos of Bombay or the «disposable babies in Ghana». These three reports by John Stanmeyer, Jonas Bendiksen and Ian Berry are some examples among others of the themes presented at Perpignan, and which could easily belong to an endangered species. Attendance at the festival, gone from 35 000 visitors in 1989 to 183 000 in 2006, seems to show though that a growing number of people is no longer satisfied with this state of affairs.

  • Visa pour l’Image, 19e festival international de photojournalisme, until 16 September

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    Malick Sidibé's studio © Malick Sidibé Courtesy galerie Claude Samue

    Malik Sidibé, focus on Africa

    He had already been awarded the prestigious Hasselblad prize in 2003. But it was the Lion d’or given at the Venice Biennale in June 2007 for his whole career, that really established his reputation as an artist(and indirectly, that of African photography). Born in 1936 in Bamako, Malick Sidibé opened his studio in 1962 in the town of Wassolo, near the Guinean border. For decades he took the portrait of the notable citizens, of adolescents, of boxers, of most events that rythm

    local life – baptisms, marriages or funerals. While the majority of his work is in black & white, he has also taken color photographs. His quoted value, very reserved until now – not over 3000 € for his «vintage» large formats from the 1960s - could experience a strong increase.

  • Malick Sidibé is exhibited at the galerie Claude Samuel (69 avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris), from 8 September to 27 October 2007.

    The website of the Claude Samuel gallery


    Kiki in a cartoon strip

    To tell the story of Kiki de Montparnasse, the famous oracle of the twenties? It has already been done, by the heroine herself in Souvenirs retrouvés(Souvenirs revisited). What is new though in this case is the way the subject is dealt with: the exuberant Alice Prin, a native from Châtillon-sur-Seine, reviles through the cartoon strip. Catel Muller draws clear, informative lines, without any embellishments. José-Louis Bocquet is in charge of the scenario and he introduces the main characters of this of the arts: Man Ray, of course, Kiki's lover (but not the only one!), Pascin, Foujita, Desnos, Cocteau or Paul-Henri Roché, the dandy and author of Jules et Jim. The wonderful hours of the Coupole, of the bal Bullier, the dadaïstes excentricities and the numerous love affairs, rue Broca, rue Delambre or rue Campagne-Première, are all well drawn. All the way to te end, which has nothing of a fairy-tale happy ending: Kiki sees her companion Henri Broca end up in a psychiatric hospital while she is a hydropic cocaïne addict and hydropisique, and bloats up out of proportion until she dies, poor, at the age of 52, in 1953.

  • Kiki, by Catel and Bocquet, Casterman publishing house, ISBN: 978-2-203-39621-0, 2007, 384 p., 18,95 €

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    BRUSSELS- The Moffarts foundation instituted a «Art in the media» prize, including 2500 €, to reward a work done by a qualified art critic. The participation forms must be sent in before 16 September 2007.

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    BRUSSELS -The first edition of Design September event, including some thirty events (exhibitions, conferences, workshops, design menus, etc), is organised from 10 to 30 September.

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    ISTANBUL- The 10th Biennale of contemporary art of Istanbul, presenting 96 artists directed by its organizer, Hou Hanru, will be held from 8 September to 11 November.

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    LONDON - According to the Bloomberg agency, the skull decorated with 6801 diamonds by Damian Hirst has been sold to a group of investors for 100 million £.

    LUXEMBOURG - art4lux, the 3rd European Forum of young creation which attracts over one hundred artists, will be held from 10 to 16 September at the Casino Luxembourg and at the Abbaye de Neumünster cultural center.

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    MANTOVA - The castle of San Giorgio will welcome from 6 September 2007 to 6 January 2008 a sculpture exhibit by Lucio Fontana. The inauguration will coincide with that of the festival of litterature, in which in particular Yves Bonnefoy and John Berger will take part.

    To see some of the works exhibited

    PARIS - Following a refurbishing campaign to comply with current standards, that began in December 2004, the Grande Halle de la Villette will reopen with the exhibition Bêtes et hommes, presented from 12 September 2007 to 20 January 2008. It is now serviced by a restaurant and a bookstore.

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    PARIS - The State has just bought for the castle of Ecouen (Musée national de la Renaissance) two tapestries of the Hanging of the history of Diane. It had been commissioned towards 1550 by Henri II for Diane de Poitiers.

    PARIS - The 6th edition of the Parcours des mondes (Itinerary of the worlds), dedicated to the "first" or primitive arts, will be held from 12 to 16 September at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, to which 53 French and foreign art dealers will take part. Among the new participants: Charles-Wesley Hourdé (Africa and Oceania), Sam Fogg (Ethiopia) or Tony Anninos (Tibet, Nepal).

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    This week do not miss

    SALON DU COLLECTIONNEUR Third edition of the Collectors Art Fair

    PARIS - A fair with a true pedagogic vocation: such is the event that will be held alternatively with the Biennale des antiquaires. At the Grand Palais, over 120 exhibitors from 12 countries are grouped together according to their specialties, from furniture to primitive art, including work in silver and gold.

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