Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #339 - from 27 March 2014 to 2 April 2014

Art Of The Day Weekly

#339 - from 27 March 2014 to 2 April 2014


Parr's Paris

PARIS – Of course there is a kitsch aspect, since that is one of the keys of his work, with golden Eiffel Towers and tourists with flashy T-shirts. But there are also some bucolic images, taken in public parks, or chic ones, taken in the fashion district of Paris, avenue Montaigne or rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the museums and at the horse races… Martin Parr, born in 1952, is not part of the family that includes Brassaï, Man Ray or Izis, who adopted Paris. But he has often looked ironically at the French capital. There was therefore a certain logic in asking the photographer of Epsom, member of Magnum for the last twenty years for a panorama of an intimate aspect of Paris. Since he has humour in his genes, the catalogue (Xavier Barral) is quite unexpected as it is a real map of Paris, with the plain, timeless cover of the Ponchet publishing house, the bible of taxi drivers before the GPS appeared…
Martin Parr at the Maison européenne de la photographie, from 26 March to 25 May 2014.

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William Henry Hunt, The Gallery, Chiswick House, 1828, watercolour. © Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees

Kent, the master of Georgian architecture

LONDON – In England he was one of the architects who defined the style of a new dynasty, the Hanover dynasty which followed the Stuarts at the beginning of the XVIIIth century. William Kent (1685-1748), was nicknamed Il Kentino due to his love for Italy following a long trip to Rome from 1709 to 1719. He helped introduce Italian themes, in particular the Palladian ones, in an architecture inspired until then by France. He was a favourite of the wealthy and powerful Lord Burlington, for whom he designed Chiswick House. Kent also designed various emblematic buildings at Whitehall, in particular those of the Horse Guards and the Treasury. The exhibition brings back to life this brilliant Jack-of-all-trades –he was also a painter, decorator and landscape artist –with drawings, models and furniture.
William Kent at the Victoria & Albert Museum, from 22 March to 13 July 2014.

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The American Impressionist cousins

GIVERNY – Was Impressionism a French movement? At the beginning no doubt. But it became popular worldwide, due to its success. The exhibition shows us through some 80 works, from Mary Cassatt to Childe Hassam, the way it picked up in the United States and the typically American motives that appeared, inspired by the wild nature and the wide open spaces.
L’impressionnisme et les Américains at the musée des Impressionnistes, from 28 March to 29 June 2014.

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All of Mapplethorpe

PARIS –Patti Smith’s boyfriend went on to become one of the most talented and steamy photographers of the second half of the 20th century before dying at the age of 43 in 1989. The Grand Palais reviews all of his production, from the nudes to the still lives.
Robert Mapplethorpe at the Grand Palais, from 26 March to 13 July 2014.

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Gérard, Josephine's favourite

FONTAINEBLEAU – Baron François Gérard (1770-1837) was described as the painter of kings and the king of painters. Though slowly forgotten, he completed a talented chronicle of the society at the time of the Empire, having done the portrait of everyone who was anyone in Napoleon's court.
François Gérard, portraitiste at the castle of Fontainebleau, from 2 March to 30 June 2014.

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Abstraction, Dewasne style

LE CATEAU-CAMBRESIS - Jean Dewasne (1921-1999) painted, sculpted but was known above all for his 'antisculpture'. He was a member of the constructed abstraction movement and had a passion for geometry and bright colours, leaving his print in public areas or plants such as the Renault factory or the Centre Pompidou.
Jean Dewasne, la couleur construite at the musée Matisse, from 21 March to 9 June 2014.

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Lot n° 29, George Bottini (1874-1907), Femme en noir appuyée à un buffet, 1898. Watercolor. Signed and dated in the lower right angle of the subject. 24.1 x 16.2 cm. Estimate: €2000-3000.

Bottini, the Montmartre spirit

PARIS - He spent all of his short life in Montmartre, where he died in 1907 at the age of 33, a victim of syphilis. All the elements for a tragic, bohemian legend. He greatly admired Toulouse Lautrec, as can be seen in his work and he used to run into Picasso in the cabarets. There is no photo of him! But Pierre Cabanne included him in his Dictionnaire des petits maîtres de la peinture, which is a type of recognition in itself. We will therefore probably never see such an impressive ensemble: a complete artist's workshop, including 110 works by this interpreter of the local way of life of the Butte. Scenes in cafés, women in their bath, and of course, French Cancan dancers… These charming scenes of Parisian life are influenced by Japanese and Nabi art, as well as Bonnard and Vallotton in these charming scenes of Paris lifestyle. The mysterious identity of the artist gives it an extra spice .
Antique and modern drawings at hôtel Drouot, on 27 March 2014 (Ader).

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Alex Katz, a Pop Art of his own

He is 87 years old but doesn't seem to want to slow down. Alex Katz was born in 1927, and had his first personal exhibit in 1954 at the Roko gallery, in New York With this latest exhibition at the Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in Paris,he can now boast hardly beyond the figure 200… Of Russian origiin, born in Brooklyn, brought up in Queens, Katz experienced a founding moments in 1949-50 during a visit to the Skowhegan School of Painting in Maine, where he discovered outdoor painting. His passion for the world around him was born then. He retraces it in a figurative manner, through landscapes, flowers, nudes, numerous portraits of his loved ones, his wife Ada in particular and of his contemporaries. He was a pop artist before its time, with his monochrome backgrounds and his clear lines, produced many lithographs and silk prints, in constant contact with the world of cinema, theatre and poetry. Katz is like a large visual encyclopedia of the world that surrounds us.
Alex Katz, 45 Years of Portraits, 1969-2014 at the galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Pantin), from 3 March to 12 July 2014.

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WWI heroes in stained glass

How does our memory function? Sometimes thanks to a thread that is so taught that one needs a series of circumstances to succeed in unwinding it. That is what happened to the authors, when their wanderings guided their steps to a small church in the Perche region and to its strange stained glass window. Saint Louis is in the middle surrounded by half erased images, like palimpsests: it is neither Thomas of Aquina, nor Ambrose nor Martin but rather some unknown characters, simple men, simple poilus, the soldiers from World War I! It is thus that the investigation begins at Préaux-du-Perche, with an element of the local heritage recently restored, and pours out a collection of simple and tragic stories. Who was Marcel Buté, dead at age 21 on 10 October 1916, from his wounds at the battle of Sailly-Saillisel? And Albert Leroux, 33 years old, who disappeared? And Alfred Guillin, 22 years old, who had an absurd death, due to "friendly fire". These forgotten men come back to life, as well as their period through old prints, contemporary photos of the sites and a sensitive text. One single conclusion can be quoted, and the avalanche of celebrations may make us forget it. That is Prévert's remark: the war is such a stupidity!
Mémoire de verre, mémoire de guerre, by Patrick Bard and Marie-Berthe Ferrer, éditions de La Martinière, 2014, 224 p., €39.

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PARIS – The Salon du Dessin is being held at the Palais Brongniart from 26 to 31 March 2014.

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PARIS – The Art Paris art fair is being held at the Grand Palais from 27 to 30 March 2014.

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PARIS – The PAD design fair is being held at the Jardins des Tuileries from 27 to 30 March 2014.

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PARIS - Drawing Now, a contemporary drawing fair, is being held at the Carreau du temple from 26 to 30 March 2014.

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