Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #271 - from 20 September 2012 to 26 September 2012

Art Of The Day Weekly

#271 - from 20 September 2012 to 26 September 2012

Parterre, Musée du Louvre, département des Arts de l'Islam @ 2012 Musée du Louvre / Philippe Ruault


The Louvre is carrying out its Islamic revolution

PARIS –Timing is not ideal, since it coincides with images of furious masses attacking American embassies in the Arab world. Or on the contrary, is ideal: the opening of a department of Islamic art in the Louvre is a good opportunity to show another aspect of Islam. A refined aspect (with this masterpiece in engraved ivory, the pyxide of al-Mughira), an open aspect (with this zoomorphic oil lamp from Iran or this Lion from Monzón, from the workshops of Cordova, that belonged to Mariano Fortuny) and a tolerant aspect as well (various works bear inscriptions in Hebrew). The eight department of the Louvre, spread over nearly 3000 square meters in the cour Visconti and covered by a flying carpet designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, cost €98 million of which 70% were financed by private patrons or States (Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Azerbaijan). They also contributed to the restoration of certain pieces such as this limestone Mamluk arc from the XVth century, meant to be shown off at the Universal Exhibition in 1889 and that had to wait 125 years before finally being reconstituted…
• The Département des arts de l’Islam will open to the public on 22 September 2012.

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Antonio Canal, Canaletto, The entrance of Canal Grande and the Salute, 1740, oil on canvas, 54x71 cm, Milan, Pinacoteca du Brera © Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali

Canaletto so nice, you see it twice

PARIS – This is a combat of Titans: Canaletto against Canaletto, by the intermediary of two Parisian museums. In one corner we have the musée Maillol, in the other, the musée Jacquemart-André. Both are showing, simultaneously, the master of the ‘laguna’, used to being a triumph at the box-offices. The Maillol boasts of a close collaboration with the museo Correr in Venice (which will soon celebrate the artist’s 300th Anniversary with a retrospective) to present some fifty works. They include paintings as well as drawings and a rare notebook dated 1731, of which only one page will be visible but all the rest may be handled, virtually. At Jacquemart-André, the exhibit is widened to the other view painters who contributed to make the city of water and stone world-known: Guardi, of course, as well as Carlevarijs or Marieschi. There are no joint tickets between the two museums, as such competition could leave some marks …
Canaletto à Venise at the musée Maillol, from 19 September 2012 to 10 February 2013.
Canaletto-Guardi, les deux maîtres de Venise at the musée Jacquemart-André, from 14 September to 14 January 2013.

The exhibition at the musée Maillol

Ivan Meštrović, Vestal, Cannes, 1917 © Split, Galerija Meštrović. Photo : Živko Bačić

Rodin, a Balkan version

PARIS – This is the big return of the “Croatian Rodin”. In the context of the cultural program dedicated to Croatia this autumn, Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962) will enjoy his first retrospective in nearly half a century, on French soil. He was first influenced by the Secession during his studies in Vienna (1901-1906), and then fell under the influence of Rodin, whom he befriended during his Parisian years (1908-22). A creator of sculptures and monuments that bring back to life the epic of his people – in particular by building mausoleums or statues of major historical characters such as Gregory of Nin or Njegos -, Mestrovic spent his last years in the USA without ever going back to his native country. A museum has been dedicated to him in Split, on the Dalmatian coast, in a palace he restored in the 1930s.
Ivan Mestrovic at the musée Rodin, from 18 September 2012 to 6 January 2013.

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These exhibitions also open this week…

Artaud after his death

MADRID - How did Antonin Artaud influence the art of the 1950s? The question is at the core of Espectros de Artaud at Museo Reina Sofía. From 19 September to 17 December 2012.

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Le Havre on the art map

PARIS - At the Musée du Luxembourg, Le Cercle de l'art moderne presents how an audacious group of collectors in the French port of Le Havre took position among the main promoters of fauvism. From 19 September 2012 to 6 January 2013.

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The magic of hair

PARIS - Cheveux chéris, at musée du quai Branly, deals with one of the main weapon of human seduction through the ages: hair. From 18 September 2012 to 14 July 2013.

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The West, a mirror of the Orient

The sub-title is explicit: “a history of the influence between East and West”. The point of departure of this deeply wise essay that manipulates concepts that at times are difficult to understand, is the presumed divorce between the Western–style perspective, with a rational order of the visible world, and the Easter approach that neglects the human figure and uses different, “irrational” principles to classify the visual field. Reality is not as clearly cut as that. The fact is a real ping-pong game kept the two cultures busy for centuries, and thus we like to present them as incapable of seeing eye to eye. One of the surprises we have as we read this book is the fact the mathematical perspective of the Florentines is a direct legacy from Arab science. The works of Alhazen, a researcher from the XIth century who lived in Bagdad, the author of 92 books and the real inventor of the camera oscura, who paved the way for the famous experience by Brunelleschi, thanks to unknown go-betweens such as Blaise of Parma. Points de fuite, theater settings, « urbinate » perspectives and Andaluzan muqqarnas are some of the phases that accompany this deciphering operation.
Florence et Bagdad by Hans Belting, Gallimard, 2012, 382 p., €35.

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AMSTERDAM - The Stedelijk Museum, with a new building designed by architect Mels Crouwel reopens on 23 September 2012.

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CHICAGO - Expo Chicago, a new fair dedicated to contemporary art and design, is being held from 20 to 23 September 2012.

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LONDON - The Koestler Trust, a prison arts charity, celebrates its 50th birthday with the exhibition Free: Art by Offenders, at the Royal Albert Hall, from 20 September 2012.

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VIENNA - Viennafair, an art fair dedicated to contemporary art, will be held from 20 to 23 September 2012.

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