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Art Of The Day Weekly

#274 - from 11 October 2012 to 17 October 2012

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Bicicleta al cielo (Bicycle in the sky), 1931. Modern silver gelatin print. Collection Colette Urbajtel / Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, s.c. © Colette Urbajtel / Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, s.c. (exhibition at Jeu de paume, Paris).


Alvarez-Bravo, one hundred years of photography

PARIS – ‘I am a Sunday photographer’ he used to say… That was a way for Manuel Alvarez-Bravo to claim a type of photography that is not prepared, that is spontaneous, one that gets close to the famous ‘decisive instant’ so dear to his friend Cartier-Bresson. Because of that choice, or thanks to it, he observed life with a friendly eye, he found in the street a repertoire of scenes, he saw poetry everywhere, even in the most tragic things. Was this empathy with his environment the secret of his longevity? Born in 1902, Alvarez-Bravo pushed on the shutter almost continuously until his death in 2002. He only owned his first camera in 1924, two years after the arrival in Mexico of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti whose friendship was vital to him. But as of the next decade he produced his icons – the murdered worker and the girls from the brothels. But glory has a tendency to set people and reputations, and his remained linked to the Mexican Revolution and the country of the poor. It was important to dust away a century of clichés in order to show that he never stopped experimenting, and went from abstract motifs to avant-garde movies and colored Polaroid photographs. Alvarez-Bravo is a metaphor of his century, since they are both impossible to resume…
Manuel Alvarez-Bravo at the Jeu de paume, from 16 October 2012 to 20 January 2013.

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Constant Permeke, Over Permeke, 1922, Collection MuZEE, Ostende. Photographer: Niet Vermeld © SABAM 2012

Permeke, a Flemish power

BRUSSELS – He was a contemporary of Otto Dix and Egon Schiele. But the expressionism Constant Permeke (1886-1969) demonstrated had a very specific personality, reflecting the little people of Flanders - workers, women with many children and peasants – who led a very rugged existence. Dark colors, the power of charcoal often mixed with paint, the monumental approach (the rigidity of his women reminds one of antique goddesses) made Permeke the herald of Flemish expressionism. Yet his reputation did not cross the borders easily. By bringing together 130 of his works, the organizers also wish to show his modernity and they chose to confront him to two contemporary artists – Marlene Dumas and her nudes, Thierry de Cordier and his landscapes.
Constant Permeke at Bozar, from 11 October 2012 to 20 January 2013.

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These exhibitions also open this week…

Boldini after the quake

FERRARA –Damaged by the earthquake that shook the region last spring, the Modern art Gallery is showing some of its masterpieces in Boldini, Previati e De Pisis at the Palazzo dei Diamanti. From 13 October 2012 to 13 January 2013.

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Maria Blanchard, an unknown Cubist

MADRID – María Blanchard (1881-1932) was part of the Parisian avant-gardes at the beginning of the XXth century, next to Picasso, Juan Gris or Lipschitz. The Museo Reina Sofía presents 77 of her works, including those from the cubist period.From 16 October 2012 to 25 February 2013.

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Raphael, the ultimate work

PARIS – At the Louvre museum, Raphaël, les dernières années explores the last creative period of the master of the Renaissance (1513-20), who died at the age of 37. From 11 October 2012 to 14 January 2013.

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Van Eyck and friends

ROTTERDAM - The Road to van Eyck at the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum is a retrospective of the ‘inventor’ of oil painting, Jan van Eyck, and his contemporaries. From 13 October 2012 to 10 February 2013.

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Lot 399. Pauline Garcia-Viardot, Frédéric Chopin de profil. Estimate: €10,000-15,000

Meyer, a life for music

PARIS – A composition exercise sheet by Beethoven (€100,000), the first complete edition of The well-tempered clavier by J-S. Bach (€100,000), a Lullaby by Stravinsky, the manuscript by Schoenberg of his second string quartet, an in-folio of a first edition of Frescobaldi, pieces of viola di gamba by Martin Marais. As well as portraits of Rameau, of Gluck (by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, €15,000) or of Chopin… According to the specialists, the collection gathered by André Meyer, a man who dedicated all his fortune made in the textile business to his passion and who died in 1974, is one of the very best. In 493 lots, it covers three centuries of the history of music, from Baroque to the avant-gardes of the period between the two wars. • Collection musicale André Meyer, at Sotheby’s, 16 and 17 October 2012.

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Journeys into pre-history(ies)

The canonical vision of prehistory is that of man slowly standing up, going from the cut stone period to that of the polished stone, hunting then breeding and cultivating, and who confided their existentialist anguish to ornate caves. How does this ‘Western’ pattern adapt to other cultures than the European ones, which are not necessarily poured into the same mould? The question is presented in this work, the result of a conference held in 2010 at the musée du quai Branly in Paris. In doing so, it brings forward another pre-history ‘for the others’, whether in Senegambia (rich in megaliths) or in the pre-Colombian societies (where a barter economy was founded based on shells). Certain essays unveil a strong exoticism for beginners such as ‘La percussion tendre organique dans l’Acheuléen d’Afrique orientale’ (The tender organic percussion in Acheulean Eastern Africa). Others ask simple but delicate questions: how to compare without falling into reductive generalisations, the Magdalean camp of Pincevent (discovered by Leroi-Gourhan in 1964) and the current nomad camps of the Siberian taiga?
La Préhistoire des autres, Perspectives archéologiques et anthropologiques, directed by de Nathan Schlanger and Anne-Christine Taylor, La Découverte/INRAP, €28, 2012, 384 p.

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ISTANBUL - The Design Biennial will be held from 13 October to 12 December 2012.

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LONDON-The Frieze fair of contemporary art will be held from 11 to 14 October 2012.

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LONDON- PAD, the fair dedicated to the decorative arts of the XXth century, will be held from 10 to 13 October 2012.

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This week, do not miss

I WENT Works from the Centre national des arts plastiques at the Musée Guimet

PARIS - A partnership begun in 2010 around artist Chen Zhen continues with the presentation of the collections of the CNAP (National Centre for visual arts) at the musée Guimet.

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