Art Of The Day Weekly
#104 - from 9 October 2008 to 15 September 2008
IN THE AIR
It is forbidden not to touch!
ROME – Who ever dares nowadays to get close to the art works in the museums? Ropes keep the visitor at bay, alarms trigger off and sour-tempered guards are ready to finish off the work if one has not obeyed the various warnings. Certain artists have tried to break that isolation such as Robert Rauschenberg, who wanted the public to participate in his «Schemes». In vain… It is therefore really revitalizing to plunge into Bruno Munari’s creative itinerary, who throughout his life (1907-1998) opposed the idea one has of the work of art and the intimidating distance it imposes. As a matter of fact one of the exhibitions mounted in Rome to celebrate him invites children to touch to better understand, the founding principle of his didactic method. An iconoclast, Munari invented, next to ashtrays and lamps that are still produced, the «travelling sculptures», the «useless machines», a watch in which the hours are placed in disorder (project for Swatch) or a «chair for very brief visits», with a back rest at a 45° angle. Speaking of which, couldn’t that type of chair be set up in museums, in order to accelerate the pace of the visitors?
How to be an artist in 14-18
MADRID-It is a sculpture by Derain, recently discovered. What is special about it? Simply that it was made using a bomb shell. It symbolises the reason of being of the immense exhibition at the Thyssen museum and the Caja Madrid: how did European artists – most of them «warmongers», according to the curators – continue to produce during the first world conflict? During leaves, periods of convalescence or even while they were at the front: Braque, Léger, Franz Marc or Boccioni are among the major figures who were killed or injured between 1914 and 1918. Over 220 works of art, by 68 artists, from 80 lenders: the exhibition pretends to be complete, be it definitive. One can discover Severini’s or Man Ray’s horsemen, Gleizes’ and Sironi’s patriotic gatherings, Beckmann’s or Kirchner’s self-portraits in uniform (with a cut hand). This exhibition leads to a rather painful conclusion: war is also a unique explosion of creativity.
Van Dyck, a painter fit for the kings
PARIS-He was a very cosmopolitan painter and this is seen in the origin of each of the paintings brought to the Jacquemart-André museum: the Hermitage, the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation in Lisbon, the Getty Museum, the Pinacoteca Capitolina, the museums of Dresden, Brussels, Vienna, Edinburgh… Born in Antwerp, he was taught at the workshops of Rubens. But Van Dyck worked in Rome, Genoa and London (for the king Charles Ist), and he answered “calls for bids” in Paris (for the Great Gallery of the Louvre, where he was beaten to the job by Poussin). He died very young (at age 42 in 1641), but he succeeded in imposing himself as the most brilliant portrait artist of the XVIIth century, able to render the power of the land of the Flemish bourgeois as well as the decadent refinement of the Roman princes of the church. The exhibition closes on a small cabinet of drawings, that recall the importance of work on paper – preparatory studies for the paintings or models for the printers, who were the one’s to make Van Dyck famous.
Madame Pompadour, an ambassadress of French taste
TOURS-After Marie-Antoinette, Lady Pompadour, or LA Pompadour as the French like to refer to her! The Egeria of the dying Ancien Regime are in fashion. After the legitimate wife of Louis XVI, here we have the Poisson, the little bourgoise who became the mistress of Louis XV. The museum of Fine Arts of Tours has a greater ambition than to exhibit her, all covered with powder and with her wigs, in a series of postures. Instead it intends to show how the courtesan left her print on French aesthetics of the XVIIIth century, the time when Molière’s man of «wit» was replaced by the man «of taste», with a definite freewill. A lover of chocolate and champagne, la Pompadour was also a great patron for artists, she supported the manufacture of a the porcelain of Sèvres and defended, through her brother, the marquis of Marigny, the general official of the King’s buildings, the return to the ancient style of architecture. The exhibition, organized in the context of the Franco-American cooperation (FRAME), groups together some sixty paintings by Boucher, Greuze, Chardin and Fragonard.
Attribué à Filippo Bellini (Urbino vers 1550-Macerata 1603) Portrait de Sixte Quint, 94 x 110 cm. Estimation : 30 000 - 40 000 €. Courtesy Beaussant-Lefèvre
Small prices for the Great century
PARIS-During their long and rich career as gallery owners, Guy and Christiane de Aldecoa have contributed to identify the paintings of French masters of the XVIIth century such as Lubin Baugin or Simon Vouet. They had among their close friends one of the leading art historians of the second half of the XXth century, Federico Zeri. Since no agreement was reached for them to cede their collection to a major French museum, a part of it will be scattered. This is an opportunity to get near important artists without going to extravagant estimates: a Bassano at 20 000 €, a Sofonisbe Anguissola at 10 000 €, a hieratic portrait of a Spanish woman with a strawberry mark on her face by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz at 4 000 €! Needless to say, these estimates are more than likely going to be contradicted… Among the one hundred paintings put up for sale, produced between the XVIth century and the beginning of the XIXth, the stars are probably a Christ on the cross attributed to Mathieu Le Nain (45 000 €) or Education of Bacchus by Antoine Coypel (50 000 €)
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
She is Chilean, young and pretty, and for her first Parisian exhibition she has a prestigious venue, the New Galerie de France, which was directed for a long time by Catherine Thieck. Now Catherine Dana, who used to work at Sotheby’s, has joined by, to rejuvenate her space. Christiane Pooley, 25 years old, has been included in their program together with other new hopes such as Florian Schmitt or Jonathan Delachaux or better-known artists such as Martial Raysse. Trained in Santiago and then at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, she is decidedly figurative. Large, colored characters who, it is said, are sometimes the visitors to her exhibits, people her canvases. In passive attitudes passives, sitting, strolling, resting on an elbow, their jacket over their shoulder, they are our exact contemporaries. Done in oil, these paintings seem to illustrate the return to favor of painting and the human representation.
Under the glass, the color
Paintings using the "eglomy" technique, paintings set under glass, paintings al fresco with gold leaf added, paintings with a big brush? This very minimal technical vocabulary is necessary to penetrate the world of painting under glass. The author knows what she is talking about, as half of the works reproduced come from her collection. We generally associate this technique to religious, slightly naive paintings, with bright colors – saints from Bohemia and southern Italy, peasant scenes from Bavaria, seaside ex-voto from Flanders. Actually, the variety of painting under glass is much larger than one imagines, from the «gold sandwich» bowls from the Puglie in Italy to IIIth century B.C. (the gold leaf was exactly placed between two bowls that fit into each other) to the decorations of the restaurants of the Belle Epoque (the Grand Véfour in Paris for example) up to the creations of Croatian naïf artists of the XXth century… There is a special thought for the XVIIIth century: it has still lives from Franche-Comté, in Chardin’s style, portraits from the Lorraine region, wise paintings from Augsbourg and central Switzerland (mythologic scenes, architecture views).
BERLIN-The festival of lights, including the lighting of various public buildings, will be held from 14 to 26 October 2008.
BOURBOURG-The commission made to Anthony Caro for the church of Saint John the Baptist of Bourbourg (department of the North) will be inaugurated on 11 October 2008. In parallel, a retrospective dedicated to the British artist will be held in three museums of the region, in Calais, Dunkerque and Gravelines.
COLOMBEY-LES-DEUX-EGLISES-The Charles de gaulle memorial, designed by architects Jacques Millet and Jean-Côme Chilou, with a scenography by the agency Conte-Noirot, will be inaugurated on 10 October 2008 in the presence of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel.
PARIS – The Centquatre, «a venue of cultural renewal and creative vitality», will open on 11 October 2008 at 104 rue d’Aubervilliers (19e arrdt). It will offer a multi-cultural program and artist residences.
PARIS-Julien Anfruns, the former financial director of the Louvre museum is, since 1 October 2008, the general director of the ICOM (International Council on Museums).
PARIS-Olivier Tcherniak, the secretary general of the Orange Foundation, has been elected president of the Admical (The Carrefour du mécénat d'entreprise-Corporate Patronage Council), and will replace Jacques Rigaud, one of the founders of the association.
PARIS-Cassandre/Horschamp, an association that supports a major documentary base on the art world and publishes a magazine of high quality with the same name, is going through difficulties given the decrease of subsidies from the public authorities.
PARIS-Place aux artistes, the outdoor contemporary art fair, will be held at place Jacques-Demy in the 14th arrondissement on October 11 and 12 008, from 10 AM to 7 PM.
PARIS - The sale dedicated to Jacques Brel at Sotheby's on October 6 and 7 brought €1.05 million. The highlight of the sale was the manuscript of the song Amsterdam (€108,750).
ROME-During the Roma Art Weekend, the contemporary art galleries will be open until midnight on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 October 2008.
This week, do not miss
REMBRANDT, PAINTER OF STORIES
MADRID - For his first exhibition in Spain, the Dutch genius is presented at the Prado under his aspect of a story teller: Saint Paul, Samson and Dalila, Bathsheba in her bath are some of the 35 paintings on loan from famous museums all over the world for this special occasion.
MONET, THE IMPRESSIONIST EYE
PARIS -The aim of the exhibition at the Marmottan Monetem museum is to decypher Monet's look through some sixty paintings that allow us to measure his science of contrasts, of colored shadows, of sunsets. And it reminds us that the fact of having suffered from a cataract must have contributed to the artist's creativity…