Art Of The Day Weekly
#385 - from 23 April 2015 to 29 April 2015
IN THE AIR
Le Corbusier, forever controversial
PARIS – Anytime one mentions le Corbusier, one heads for a controversy. And, from down deep in his tomb he must enjoy it! His sense of humor made him enjoy suggesting to others the destruction of half of Paris –in his famous plan Voisin in 1925! The current discussion has more to do with his political commitment than on his real role in XXth century architecture. It is common knowledge that he had flirted with the Pétain regime. But new publications seem to uncover new data that simply and purely qualify him as a fascist. Current events place the great priest of modern architecture on front stage: it is the 50th anniversary of his death and the Centre Pompidou has organized a retrospective with some 300 works to demonstrate how the human measure, symbolized by the famous 1.83 m tall Modulor, nourished all his creation: drawings and models of buildings, urban perspectives, travel sketches, decoration motifs, furniture, paintings and sculptures. The portrait of an ever-moving, universal talent with its disturbing dark areas.
• Le Corbusier, mesures de l’homme at the Centre Pompidou, from 29 April to 3 August 2015.
Hermen Anglada Camarasa, Le paon blanc, 1904, oil on canvas, 78.5 x 99.5 cm, Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.
Barcelona at the end of the century
FERRARA – The city in 1900 surely covered from Gaudi to Picasso. But not only. Barcelona at the turn of the XXth century (which really starts with the Universal Exhibition in 1888 and closes with the Tragic Week in 1908) was an extraordinary creative melting pot of which history only remembers a handful of names. This exhibition pays tribute to the others – to all those eccentrics who had their second home in the Quatre Chats cabaret, hung their drawings on its walls and got drunk with anis del Mono. Actually, Ramon Casas or Santiago Rusiñol, Picasso’s picturesque comrades with very figurative talent had also acquired a certain degree of fame. But what about the sculptor Miquel Blay? Or the jeweler Luis Masriera? Photographer Adolf Mas? And painters Oleguer Junyent and Joaquim Mir? Posterity can be very cruel and flood some lucky few with light while leaving others to the mercy of discerning observers. For once, the second fiddles have front stage.
• La rosa di fuoco, la Barcellona di Picasso e Gaudí at Palazzo dei Diamanti, from 19 April to 19 July 2015.
The other Pollock, Charles
VENICE - His younger brother Jackson left him in the background. But the moment has come for Charles Pollock (1902-1988) to come out under the spot light. A figurative artist in his beginnings, the artist settled in Paris in 1972 - rue du Cherche-Midi- and lived a long career as an abstract painter, marked by cycles inspired by his stays in Mexico or Rome. This is the most important retrospective ever dedicated to his work.
• Charles Pollock at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, from 23 April to 14 September 2015.
The Corbusier year
POISSY –Villa Savoye, one of the masterpieces of Le Corbusier (1931), is the ideal framework for a festival Corb’ -as he is familiarly named -, offering contemporary creators the possibility of presenting their works in open spaces initially meant for a famous insurer. In June, installations by Susanna Fritscher will question “the five points of modern architecture”. Throughout the summer dancers and musicians (Tristan Macé, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Benoît Delbecq, etc.) will perform as well. In October, an exhibition will be dedicated to cars, a modern invention that would have fascinated the architect who actually owned various Voisin models. At the same time, following its renovation, the Maison du jardinier will finally reopen. It is the only example of what could have been an inexpensive family house, presented for the first time at the 1929 International Congress of Modern Architecture.
• The festival Corb' will be held all year long at the Villa Savoye.
Le Corbusier, the temptation of fascism
Over an eighteen month period, in 1941-42, Le Corbusier paced the corridors of the administrations of the French State, in the hotels of Vichy, to receive honors and commissions, in particular for his prefabricated houses, the “murondins”. But to no avail. Was that his only form of allegiance to French fascism? Certainly not, according to the author who dug out the anti-semitic behavior he showed in the period between the two world wars, a sort of admiration for Hitler (who could have “crowned his life with a grand work: the development of Europe”) and the not very recommendable people he befriended. Pierre Winter, for example, a doctor and one the ideologues of the Revolutionary Fascist Party and director of the magazine La Révolution fasciste. When in 1934 Le Corbusier’s building went up rue Nungesser and Coli, where he kept the seventh floor for himself, Winter settled in the fourth – and their relations would be solid and lasting. In 1943, Le Corbusier was named counselor for the fondation Carrel – the famous apostle of eugenics, and qualified as indignant at the time of the Liberation. In the post war period Le Corbusier found the way to play the part of the Commander and to have the public forget his dangerous relations.
• Le Corbusier, un fascisme français, by Xavier de Jarcy, Albin Michel, 288 p., €19.
Sayat Nova, movie or painting?
Paradjanov (1924-1990) was a genius and was persecuted (put into prison in the Soviet Union from 1974 to 1979 for political "deviance" and homosexuality). The artist only left a few movies. They are all extraordinary symphonies of images – and Sayat Nova (1969), which is coming out again this week, is probably even more so than the others. The rhythm is slow, the story is difficult to follow (a life of suffering, in face of the misery in the world, of an Armenian poet from the XVIIIth century). But the visual shock is immense. Whether it is men with nude torsos pulling weeds off the roof of the cathedral, old bibles getting dry on the square in front of the church, the pages turned by the wind, or dyers balancing their colored hanks , one has the impression of wandering through a succession of paintings, going from illuminations to Surrealism. Movies and painting have never seemed so close before.
• Sayat Nova, la couleur de la grenade by Paradjanov (the Armenian restored version, never shown before) comes out in Paris movie theaters on 22 April.
OPENINGS OF THE WEEK
LUC VAN MALDEREN
26 April 2015 - BRUSSELS - La Fonderie
A graphic work dedicated to the Belgian and European industrial heritage
BRUSSELS - The Patinoire royale, the former Royal Skating from 1877, will be inaugurated on 23 April 2015, after being restored, with an exhibition-sale on teh theme of Résistance des images for which the curator is Jean-Jacques Aillagon.
HYÈRES –- The 30th Festival international de la photographie de mode (International fashion photography festival) will be held from 23 to 27 April 2015 at Villa Noailles.
LIEGE - The musée du Louvre and Boverie, the new cultural facility in Liège (the former CIAC) have announced a collaboration over a 4-year period with three exhibitions of international interest to be organized from 2016 to 2018.
PARIS – The XXVIIe Salon International du Livre Rare et de l'Autographe, de l'Estampe et du Dessin (International Rare Books, Autographs, Prints and Drawings Fair), will be held from 24 to 26 April 2015 at the Grand Palais.
PHILADELPHIA – Two unknown drawings by Cézanne, recently discovered behind two watercolors, are currently presented and until 10 May 2015 at the Barnes Foundation, their owner.
PONT D’ARC – The Pont d’Arc Cave, a replica of the famous Grotte Chauvet, painted 36,000 years ago, opens to the public on 25 April 2015.