Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #256 - from 26 April 2012 to 2 May 2012

Art Of The Day Weekly

#256 - from 26 April 2012 to 2 May 2012

Alain Bizos, Marianne Colères, France, Paris, 2012 ©Galerie Vu' (exhibition of photography at François Hollande headquarter from 23 Avril to 5 May 2012)


Culture, the French exception?

While most of the countries hit by the crisis have drastically reduced their financing of the cultural sector – in Spain, clear cuts in the movies, in Italy, no more help to the museums among which some are in dire straits such as the new Maxxi in Rome, in Greece, even in the Netherlands – could France stand up as the leader of a resistance movement? Marine Le Pen wanted to focus her politics on defending old stones, Dupont-Aignan wishes to protect national artists and Mélenchon wants to bring up the budget so that it represents 1% of the GNP. But the two finalists of the second turn, Hollande and Sarkozy, each have a vision that is better balanced… But nowhere to we see the panache of the Mitterrand era with his big works, his music day or his museum policy (from the Grand Louvre to the museum of archaeology of Bibracte). Everyone agrees to see tourism as the industry of the future in a globalized world, but much too few decision makers realize it is closely dependant on the cultural offer. Museums, festivals, patrimony and large exhibitions are the “loss leaders” of destination France. To see culture as an instrument to relaunch the economy: we would love to hear this formula said out loud with more conviction…


El Greco, The Penitent Magdalene, c. 1580-86, oil on canvas, 104,6 x 84,3 cm, © The Nelson –Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 30-35, Photo: Jamison Miller.

El Greco, a German painter

DUSSELDORF - El Greco inspired Beckmann, Macke, Kokoschka, Franz Marc and all the German avant-garde of the XXth century? This is one thing most had forgotten but this exhibition “El Greco and the Modernists” is here to remind us. It is presented one century after the storm that took place when the paintings by El Greco arrived on German soil. They belonged to the Nemes collection, and were presented in Berlin, then in Dusseldorf in 1912 and finally at the Städtische Kunsthalle. It was there that the young artists were able to see this strange artist up close and the way he transformed proportions using an aggressive palette, filling his compositions with ecstatic characters with wax-colored complexions… One hundred years later, the dream of bringing together the great master and his students is finally a reality. Next to some forty paintings by El Greco, brought in from the Metropolitan, the Louvre or Toledo, we have works by Beckmann, Lehmbruck or Oppenheimer put in counterpoint, proving that Cézanne was not their only reference…
El Greco und die Moderner at the Kunst Palast, from 28 April to 12 August 2012.

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These exhibitions also open

The Mauritshuis is moving

THE HAGUE – During the two years the museum will be renovated, some one hundred Chefs-d’œuvre du Mauritshuis – among them View of Delft by Vermeer and the Lesson in anatomy by Rembrandt – will be leaving their usual habitat to be hung at the Gementemuseeum. Masterpieces Mauritshuis. As of 28 April 2012.

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Picasso as an engraver

LONDON – The British Museum exhibits in its entirety a monument in the art of engraving, the 100 prints from the Suite Vollard done by Picasso between 1930 and 1937. From 26 April to 2 September 2012.

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The Hubert Looser collection in Austria

VIENNA – One of the major private Swiss ensembles, the Collection Hubert Looser, with a wealth of first class contemporary works by de Kooning, Twombly, Penone, etc. is presented for the first time out of its site, at the Bank Austria Kunstforum. From 26 April to 15 July 2012.

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The smoke blue garden © DR

Art is in the gardens

CHAUMONT SUR LOIRE – Can a cook chair the jury of the garden festival? Why not, especially if said honor is bestowed to Alain Passard, a lover of herbs and plants, which he uses in his Parisian restaurant, L’Arpège. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, this festival launched in 1992 in one of the most beautiful castles of the Loire valley has chosen willingly a very festive theme: “Jardins des délices, jardins des délires” (Gardens of delight, gardens of delirium). Next to a new, 10-hectare park designed by Louis Benech, the traditional international contingent has scattered its creations in front of the medieval towers. Trees with precious stones in lieu of fruit or forests inspired by cakes by the great chef Carême… From Pablo Reinoso, known for his spaghetti benches, to Sim Flemons and John Warland, who set up the revolution of the garden dwarves, up to Toulotte and Iglesias García de Sola, the inventors of another mechanical orange, a new generation is taking its place, making the frontier between art and landscape yet more imprecise.
Festival international des jardins at the château de Chaumont, from 25 April to 21 October 2012.

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Adel Abdessemed, Décor, 2011-2012, razor wire, four elements each, 223,5 x 174 x 40,6 cm. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner Gallery.

Adel Abdessemed examines the ills of our time

His entry on to the Western artistic scene could not have been more brutal and was to mark his creation: Adel Abdessemed (born in 1971 at Constantine) left the Ecole des beaux-arts in Algers on the day its director was murdered by extremists in 1994. Since then the artist has worked in the most important cities in the world, from Paris to Berlin including New York where his residence ended with an exhibition at the P.S.1. He questions the ills of our society – social inequalities, intolerance, exodus, unjustified violence-, he produces videos or installations that often give rise to violent reactions such asDon’t Trust Me, that shows the butchering of animals and was forbidden in the Art Institute of San Francisco in 2008, Taxidermy, another work done based on animals (burned after being stuffed), or Practice Zero Tolerance shows a burnt car after the riots of the Paris suburbs in 2005.
• Adel Abdessemed presents at the musée Unterlinden in Colmar Décor, a work inspired by the Crucifixion of Grünewald. He is also present in Paris, during the Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo, Intense Proximity.

The website of the Unterlinden museum



The Pompidou Center, a trip to Switzerland

Alain Seban, president of the Centre Pompidou, recently announced his wish to lead a “brand policy” to contribute to the institution’s financing. The exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda, until 24 June 2012, of a selection of portraits illustrates this intention. The growing number of temporary exhibits of museum collections (the Hermitage at the Prado, the Louvre in Atlanta, etc.) is quite intriguing… This policy only seems legitimate when it makes the public discover unknown museums, such as the one of Brukenthal, in Rumania, whose collection was exhibited at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris in 2009). Nevertheless, we have to admit that a theme such as the one of portraits allows us to look differently on a very rich fund and to rediscover pieces often left in the reserves. Consequently, from the bust of Picasso by Gargallo to the nude prostitute by Marquet, from the Chaliapine full of haughtiness by Boris Grigorieff at the Guynemer transformed into an icon by Roger de La Fresnaye, the walk has a few surprises.
Portraits, collections du Centre Pompidou, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, 2012, 188 p.

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BERLIN-The 7th Biennale of contemporary art will be held from 27 April to 1 July 2012

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BRUSSELS- The 12th Foire Internationale d'anciennes céramiques et d'objets de collection (12th International fair of ancient ceramics and collection items) will be held from 27 April to 1 May 2012.I

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HYERES - The 27th Festival International de mode et photographie (27th International festival of fashion and photography) will be held at villa Noailles from 27 to 30 April 2012. Exhibits continue until 27 May 2012.

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PARIS - The Foire Internationale du livre ancien et de l'estampe (International fair of old books and prints) will be held at the Grand Palais from 27 to 29 April 2012.

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