Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #173 - from 6 May 2010 to 12 May 2010

Art Of The Day Weekly

#173 - from 6 May 2010 to 12 May 2010

Special general election in Great Britain: the young Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn painting Gordon Brown on toast.


Pompidou Center, bis

METZ – A third of a century after its opening it is one of the most visited cultural institutions in the world (3.5 million visitors per year). Today the Centre Pompidou is opening out. As of 12 May the Paris headquarters will have a little brother in the Lorraine region. The Centre Pompidou Metz, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban in the shape of an original Chinese hat, will welcome in its 5000 m2 of exhibition space, by rotation, a part of the Parisian collections: Paris holds nearly 60 000 works but can never present more than one thousand simultaneously. The vocation of the Centre Pompidou Metz is not to be a simple depot; it also intends to be a creative venue, with original exhibitions. This unusual experience will be followed very attentively. Indeed the decentralization of a large cultural center could easily be imitated: we are expecting for 2012 the opening of Louvre Lens, another clone of excellence in the province.
•The Centre Pompidou Metz suggests five days of «discovery» as of 12 May 2010, with a festive weekend on 15 and 16 May. The opening exhibition, Chefs-d’œuvre, will be held from 12 May to 25 October 2010.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981 Acrylique, greasy pastel and sprayed paint on canvas, 198 x 173 cm Collection Mia and Patrick Demarchelier © 2010, ProLitteris, Zurich

Basquiat at fifty

BASEL – His premature death automatically placed him among the great names in art. The son of immigrants from Haiti and a friend of Andy Warhol’s, Jean-Michel Basquiat became the symbol of art of the 1980s, of the «young savages» who disrespectfully combined the masters of the past and graffiti. Today his paintings are worth fortunes (record near 10 million euros in 2007 at Sotheby’s New York) but he did not profit from that as he died in 1988 at the age of 27. Basquiat would be 50 years old today, an age that is as difficult to conceive as it would have been for James Dean or Keith Haring. To mark this date, the Fondation Beyeler has organized a very large retrospective, combining creations of his short artist’s life that began joyfully with his participation to Documenta in 1981 and ended one day from an overdose. There are some one hundred paintings from museums and private collections, full of energy, symbols and colors.
Basquiat at the fondation Beyeler from 9 May to 5 September 2010.

Florian Joye, Bawadi, Desert gate, 2006, photography 81cm x 62 cm, Collection de l’artiste, Paris © Florian Joye, ecal

Dream cities

PARIS – One used to go with all the family to the Louvre, or to the Uffizi, or to the Luxembourg gardens, just as our parents and grandparents did. The points of reference have changed in just a few years. The arrival of theme parks, of insane museums, of increasingly phantasmagorical international Exhibitions changed our vision of the city. It is precisely this contagion of fun things and of the free feat, seen as early as in the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris, with the Eiffel Tower, that the Centre Pompidou studies in it new exhibition with a very explicit title, Dreamlands. «Fun Palace», «Learning from Las Vegas» or «New York Délire» show that our cities continue to try to resemble Hollywood movie sets and the «copy-paste» activity is not the sole property of word processer users: Dubai is the symbol of these new metropolis that are embodied in multicultural patchworks.
Dreamlands at the Centre Pompidou from 5 may to 9 August 2010

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Eternal China

PARIS –China: how can anyone today escape its influence? The inauguration of the Universal Exposition in Shanghai last week materialized once more, the sudden emergence of a new culture superpower. The exhibition of the EDF foundation puts aside contemporary aspects and plunges into the past by welcoming an unusual collection. François Dautresme, the founder of the Compagnie française de l’Orient de la Chine, spent 35 years researching throughout the Middle Kingdom. «Plough», «craft», «dress», «heal» are the four themes that guided the selection in this fund of 10 000 objects that celebrate rural and age-old China. Seeders, clothes in bamboo, acupuncture dolls or pharmacopoeia elements show how the link with the earth remains and cannot be severed by the country’s mind-blowing economic successes.
Chine, célébration de la Terre at the Espace Fondation EDF, from 7 May to 19 September 2010.

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Julie Manet (1867-1966), Portraits, Pencil on paper, 17 x 25 cm, Estimate: € 150-200. Courtesy Tajan Paris

Drawings, for not much...

A sketch by Julie Manet, the daughter of Berthe Morisot and Edouard Manet’s niece, for 150 €, is not very expensive, even if it only a historic document or a fetishist object: on condition the estimate is maintained … This is the sort of piece that will be found at the sale of drawings on 7 May, next to very affordable authors such as the dynast of the Mossa from Nice (pleasant views of the Côte d’Azur and genre scenes). There will also be a very beautiful series of landscapes in watercolor by Alexandre Benois, one of Diaghilev’s appointed decorators for his Ballets russes, charcoals by Fautrier and a few nudes done in 1944 by Fikret Moualla. It does not seem absurd if one pays 500 or 600 € for an artist with a difficult destiny (he resided a number of times at the psychiatric hospital of Sainte-Anne; an alcohol-dependant, it is rumored he exchanged a drawing given by Picasso for a week of free drinks) and who is considered today a «classic» of XX century Turkish art.
Dessins on 7 May 2010 at Tajan.

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Marc Desgrandchamps, Untitled (MD 1744), 2009 Oil on canvas – 200 x 140 cm. Courtesy Jean-Louis Losi – Galerie Zürcher, Paris – New York

Desgrandchamps, a world in blue

First noted in 1987 during an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Marc Desgrandchamps (born in 1960) then spent some time in the artistic wilderness. If the ratings at auctions regularly surpassing 20 000€ for the last three years can be considered as an indicator, he has since confirmed his status, without having fundamentally changed the contents of his work. This is the unimaginable secret of how reputations are built. Desgrandchamps has indeed remained faithful to figurative representations – characters, urban landscapes and horses, with the contours erased by colors – and to his favourite color, blue. The artist explained once that he had been impressed by the permanence of this color – the blue of the sky, which is not necessarily that of Georges Bataille’s – even in the most tragic images – wars or massacres. In his new exhibition, seagulls, windmills, even horse, lose their reality and interpenetrate. Could this be a step towards the informal?
•Marc Desgrandchamps is exhibited at the galerie Zürcher (56, rue Chapon, 75003 Paris) until 19 June 2010.

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In Wyndham's vortex

We have awaited this retrospective of Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) for fifty years. And who has set it up: neither London, nor Toronto (where he spent WW II), nor New-Scotland (where he was born). It is Juan March foundation in Madrid. The luxuriant catalogue reflects the chaotic itinerary of the founder of Vorticism. The book in a very pure typography gives this leader of the European avant-garde, the first British abstract painter, a cousin of the Italian Futurists and the Russian Rayonists the place he deserves. His constant attacks against the de Bloomsbury group and his faux pas in 1931 (he signed a book, Hitler, in which he spoke about being favorably impressed by the future Chancellor) won him prolonged ostracism, which not even his later anti-Nazism would compensate. His extraordinary creativity was consequently half forgotten. In this book it is looked at with a magnifying glass: his Abstract period, his manifesto Blast, «in violent pink», his numerous portraits, from Ezra Pound to T.S. Eliot and Edith Sitwell, his work as a typographer and an illustrator (in particular for Timon of Athens by Shakespeare), his remarkable work as an author, combining essays, novels and travel stories.
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), directed by Paul Edwards, published by the Juan March foundation (in English or in Spanish), 2010, 400 p., 49,60 €.

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• The exhibition Wyndham Lewis is presented until 16 May 2010 at the fondation Juan March

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DAKAR – Dak’Art, the biennale of contemporary African art, will be held from 7 May to 7 June 2010.

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LUXEMBURG – Villa Vauban, the Art museum of Luxemburg, has reopened its doors as of 1st May 2010 after works to extend it, carried out by architect Philippe Schmit. The opening exhibition is dedicated to Dutch painting of the Golden Age, from the collections of Villa Vauban and the Rijksmuseum

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MADRID – The Madridfoto fair will be held from 12 to 16 may at the Palacio de Deportes

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MONTROUGE – The 55th Contemporary Art fair of Montrouge (Salon d’art contemporain de Montrouge) will be held at the Fabrique from 6 May to 2 June 2010.

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NEW YORK - Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932), by Picasso, became the most expensive painting ever sold at auction when it fetched $106.5 million at Christie's on 4 May 2010.

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PARIS - The Pinacothèque, one of the most frequented halls for temporary exhibitions, announced on 5 May 2010 that it would open a new "universal museum" of painting and scupture in January 2011, with long term loans from private collectors.

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QUEBEC – Manif d’Art 5, the biennale of contemporary art, will be held from 1st May to 13 June 2010.

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VIENNA – Viennafair, the contemporary art fair specialized in central and oriental Europe, will hold its 6th edition at Messe Wien, from 6 to 9 May 2010

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This week, do not miss


BRUSSELS -A contemporary ode to the Belgian capital is what this exhibition suggests. To do so it brings together works by ten artists of different origins who found the ideal conditions in Brussels to express themselves. The curator Berend Hoeskstra, himself an artist, gave no preference to a particular theme, and chose to let himself be guided by subjectivity.

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