Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #172 - from 29 April 2010 to 5 May 2010

Art Of The Day Weekly

#172 - from 29 April 2010 to 5 May 2010

Erró, Angélus, courtesy Cent artistes pour l'Angélus, Barbizon


Mary, Mary...how does your garden grow?

CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE - Nature heals as we have known for a long time and the current rage for bio products and the use of the flowers of Bach are there to prove it. Naturally –excuse the expression- the theme chosen for the 2010 edition of the Garden festival is the healing, appeasing garden, the source of positive energies, as it readies for its 20th anniversary. It surfs on the wave of invading and rather emblazoned neologisms: herbal medicine, horticulture based therapy, hedo-therapy… But the quality of the participants will trigger off another type of debate. The twenty themed gardens were indeed selected by a group directed by neurologist Jean-Pierre Changeux and will be completed by iconoclasts with a «free hand», including architect Dominique Perrault (author of the vegetable walls of the feminine university of Ewha in South Korea) and the couple Anne and Patrick Poirier, who examine our infatuations with an archaeologist’s magnifying glass. Is this passion for gardens a simple fashion or a deeper rooted tendency? We hope the flower-beds of the Renaissance castle will give us a few clues to find the answer …
• Le 19e festival international des jardins will be held at Chaumont-sur-Loire from 29 April to 17 October 2010.

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The Bourbons, a family of archaeologists

MADRID – We have never heard that Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette financed archaeological diggings. Their taste for playing shepherdess and actor undoubtedly took up all their time. Now, on the other side of the Pyrenees, and at the same period, their cousins showed a particular taste for studying the past. Felipe V (1700-1746) took a fundamental initiative by founding the Real Academia de la Historia while Carlos III (1755-1788) was nicknamed the «Bourbon archaeologist»: the discoveries of Pompey and Herculanum took place under his reign, when he was still king of Naples. The exhibition shows through 150 objects from the national collections – including a bust of Trajan unveiled at Italica, a Roman site near Seville, wise studies or antique porcelains – that while this passion for archaeology was de to a personal taste, it served in particular the interest of the State by vindicating an «Imperial» way of thinking.
Corona y arqueología at the Palacio Real, until 11 July 2010.

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Irving Penn, Fireman, Paris, 1950, © Les Editions Condé Nast S.A., courtesy Fondation Cartier-Bresson, Paris

Penn's men

PARIS – He died not too long ago and there have been numerous events to celebrate this great photographer who was active for over half a century. An ace in still-lives, in fashion, in portraits of celebrities, Irving Penn (1917-2009) excelled in various fields. The Cartier-Bresson foundation presents a series that is not very well known, made over a short period - 1950-51. The analogy with August Sander’s colossal project– the portrait of German society in his Men of the XXth century - is obvious, as is the relation with François Kollar’s large epic, la France au travail(France at work). But Penn widened his work to three large cities – Paris, London, New York –and chose an aesthetic approach, by making the portraits of the trade associations either standing, or in a studio, or on a uniform background. The fireman, the chestnut vendor, the car park watchwoman, the chimney sweeper and the butcher apprentice become romantic icons, as if stepping out from a Marcel Carné movie.
Irving Penn, les petits métiers at the Fondation Cartier-Bresson from 5 May to 25 July 2010.

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Robert Combas Angélus, courtesy Cent artistes pour l'Angélus, Barbizon

A century of Angelus

PARIS – It is hard for us today to imagine the popularity this painting had in the past. We remember of course modest interiors with poor colored reproductions over the side board. But Millet’s Angelus had a much more grandiose career, and for a long time it was the most famous painting in the world. When it arrived in the United States to be exhibited it was no more but no less the tour of a pop star: the convoy was accompanied by a jubilant crowd and each stop attracted tens of thousands of visitors. The Angelus today seems out of date, ridiculous, imbedded with a type of old fashioned religiousness. The experts at the Orsay museum do not think that though. To them it is a question of the point of view, and that is the sense of the original exercise they threw themselves into when they asked contemporary artists to reinterpret the famous scene of the country at twilight.
Cent artistes pour l’Angélus at Barbizon, from 1st May to 31 July 2010.

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Artoftheday also recommends…

• The Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin dedicates an important exhibition to one of the artists the public loves most, Frida Kahlo: 150 works detail her very short career, from the mid-thirties to her death in 1954, at the age of 47. From 30 April to 9 August 2010.

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• In ARTe SONoro, the Casa Encendida in Madrid shows the rich relations between contemporary art and music. Until 13 June 2010.

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• At the museum in Roanne, Antoine Barbier, un Roannais voyageur (Antoine Barbier, a travelling citizen from Roanne) shows the itinerary of this painter globe-trotter (1859-1948), the founder of the Society of watercolor artists from Lyons, to whom we owe above all the decors of the palace of Sofia. From 2 May to 19 September 2010.

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Pétra Werlé, Eros and Thanatos

Pétra Werlé, the bread of life

She is miles away from any avant-garde technology. She uses no video, no digital images, but rather characters in flesh and blood. Oops, we should rather say in bread. Indeed, the first material Pétra Werlé uses are bread crumbs kneaded and united by saliva. This matter is very malleable and allows her to build a whole wonderful universe of elves and goblins (which we saw at the Lélia Mordoch gallery), in colored clothing, often drawn from the animal world, and in particular insects. The link with a far gone world in which poor materials could give birth to invented wonders – compositions made from nuns’ hair, inlaid straw work or brides’ bouquets under a bell - is obvious. It is put forward in this original exhibition shown in the heart of an extraordinary “cabinet de curiosité”; indeed these delicate creatures have been set up at the musée Dupuytren, which usually shows the different aberrations medicine deals with. Pétra Werle is accompanied in this exercise by Lolita M’Gouni.
Eros et Thanatos, Pétra Werlé and Lolita M’Gouni at the musée Dupuytren d’Anatomie pathologique (15 rue de l’Ecole de médecine, 75006 Paris) from 26 April to 28 May 2010.

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Bauhaus revisited

Any well-learned person knows the general idea: an unprecedented fusion of the arts that flourished during the republic of Weimar and died under the early Nazi boot; an impressive union of creators, from Gropius to Max Bill, from Lissitzky to Klee. But what lies behind this cliché? This little synthetic manual by a specialist of that period sets the Bauhaus movement in its time and shows that its history (1919-1933) held many more conflicts than one usually thinks. Conflicts between the main characters: either between Gropius the director and Itten, and his surprising pedagogic methods, or between Gropius and Von Doesburg, who was hurt not to be chosen as a teacher and organized counter-pedagogy. It is also a conflict of guiding principles, as the Bauhaus evolved brusquely from the exaltation of craftsmanship and the total work of art to an intermarriage with the most advanced technology. From Weimar to Dessau, from Dessau to Berlin, all those internal tensions are undoubtedly responsible for the wealth of this movement.
Comprendre le Bauhaus by Lionel Richard, Infolio publication, 2009, 270 p, 10 €

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Lot 127, Le Sahara à Paris, Palais du Vélodrome d'Hiver, Champ de Mars. The original text were "Les Touaregs à Paris", the printer have glued on "Le Sahara". Chaix Paris Folds. Missing papers. 124 x 88,5 cm, courtesy Néret-Minet-Tessier, Paris. Estimate: €5,000-10,000

Geography through posters

PARIS – The Néret-Minet-Tessier house will be auctioning some great though not necessarily expensive classics in its sale of collection posters. Such as the Mont-Saint-Michel by Villemot, the Mountain Circuit in Auvergne by Géo-Ham or the Lactine phosphatée Cozette milk product by Courtot. This is an opportunity to review one’s geography, from Dinard plage des élégances (The elegant beach of Dinard) by Félix Bizien, estimated at 3000 €, to Monaco by Jean-Gabriel Domergue, illustrated by a lovely nude naiad, from the Mont-Dore to La Bourboule. And one can also go beyond the French borders, with the transporters of that great period who operated the Super-Constellation or cruisers decorated by the Art deco masters: TWA, Air France, Chargeurs réunis, Venice-Simplon-Express… The poster of La Fabre Line, that linked France to the United-States or to La Plata, colored by Hook Sandy, could climb up to 11 000 €. A few movie posters close the auction but the alluring creatures from Giochi erotici in famiglia(Erotic family games) or Piloti del sesso (Sex pilots) are no great competition. No one will give much more than a few hundred Euros for their nude anatomies, a lot less than for the pine-trees from Gérardmer or the thermal baths at Néris-les-Bains…
Affiches anciennes de collection on 4 May 2010 at Richelieu-Drouot (Néret-Minet-Tessier)

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CHICAGO - The Art Chicago modern and contemporary art fair will be held from 30 April to 3 May 2010.

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NEW YORK - The Brody collection, including in particular a Grande tête de Diego by Alberto Giacometti (estimated at 35 million $) will be up for auction at Christie's on 4 May. The following day, at Sotheby's, the main lot will be Modigliani's Jeanne Hébuterne au collier (estimated at 8 million $)

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PARIS - The Great contemporary art fair (Grand marché d'art contemporain) will be held on place de la Bastille from 28 April to 2 May 2010.

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BEIJING - The Art Beijing and Photo Beijing fairs will be held from 29 April to 2 May 2010.

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RENNES - The contemporary art biennale Les Ateliers de Rennes will be held from 30 April to 18 July 2010.

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SHANGHAI – The World Expo will open its doors on 1st May and will remain open until 30 October 2010.

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TOULOUSE – The MAP, the photography festival that aims at «bringing photography down to the street», will be held from 1st to 30th May 2010.

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This week, do not miss

UTOPIA MATTERS! From Brotherhoods to Bauhaus

VENICE - The Peggy Guggenheim Collection looks closely at the evolution of the concept of utopia in art. With the artistic communities in the XVIIIth century, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Bauhaus and the Russian constructivists, the exhibition shows that utopia remains essential in contemporary art.

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