Art Of The Day Weekly
#421 - from 10 March 2016 to 16 March 2016
IN THE AIR
Picasso, a great sculptor
PARIS – Our title paraphrases Marguerite Yourcenar, to wonder whether Picasso wasn’t actually a sculptor before being an exceptional painter. He watched over this part of his creation jealously, aside from a book by Wildenstein in 1949, photographs by Brassaï and a few presentations. The importance of this work was only really appreciated after his demise, during the estimate run by Maurice Rheims’ teams. Since then the great variety has not ceased to amaze one and all. This exhibition presents a complete selection, from his first known experiences in 1902 to the sheet metals of the sixties. Picasso was bulimic: when he worked with wood he would take everything he could put his hands on, from oak to beech, boxwood, linden tree or pine. He could do massive ones – for example his Baigneurs from the later period – or very small – his surprising cut-outs from ‘Celtique’ cigarette packages during the war. Very complicated or very simple (his incised cobblestones). Figurative - the Futurist heads of Fernande in1909 or abstract, unique pieces or series , like the one brought together for the first time of six glasses for absinthe from 1914, sudden explosions to long-though-out research –like his failed trials at a monument to Apollinaire. Picasso models, cuts, nails down, assembles and welds with relentless inventiveness: his Grue from 1953 is a scrambled combination of a shovel, a fork and a gas faucet. But above all it is a crane! • Picasso. Sculptures at the Musée national Picasso, from 8 March to 28 August 2016.
Hubert Robert, L’Ancien Portique de l’empereur Marc-Aurèle (Former portico of Emperor Marc-Aurelius), 1784, oil on canvas, 161x117 cm, Paris, musée du Louvre, deposited at the French embassy in London © musée du Louvre (dist. RMN-GP) / Todd-White Art Photography.
Hubert Robert, beyond ruins
PARIS – He was (much too) quickly put in the category of “painter of ruins”. Actually, the career of Hubert Robert (1733-1808) is much richer than it shows. This is the first retrospective of his work since 1933 and it shows an over-talented drawer –three thousand known drawings by his own hand -, who learned through his fascination for Italy, where he went at the age of 20 to accompany his protector, count de Stainville. He could equal Fragonard in his landscapes with waterfalls or invent false Etruscan reliefs, he could paint delightful small colour-filled paintings and simultaneously build large compositions various square meters big on France’s huge monuments. He invented gardens, having contributed among others to those of Versailles and Méréville, in his free time he designed furniture for the Laiterie de Rambouillet, - one of the tables has just been found at the castle of Pau – and china – one can admire his remarkable pitcher Jatte téton, in the shape of a breast-. After avoiding ‘by the skin off his neck’ the infamous guillotine being accused of “well-known lack of civic behaviour” Robert became one of the leaders of the new Louvre at the end of the century. He later became its curator and had a workshop there until 1805. He left memorable renderings of the museum. His Grande Galerie en ruine is a permanent warning against vandalism of all sorts.
• Hubert Robert, un peintre visionnaire, at the musée du Louvre, from 9 March to 30 May 2016.
Hélène Hoppenot, Jeune fille au puits, lac Atitlán, Guatemala(Young girl by the well, Atitlán lake, Guatemala) 1953. Silver gelatin print, 59.6 × 49.9 cm. Paris, musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Hoppenot, the ambassadress' photos
MONTPELLIER – Hélène Hoppenot (1894-1990) was the wife of a famous diplomat and with him travelled the world over for more than half a century. She rubbed elbows with Saint-John Perse, Paul Claudel, Darius Milhaud, as well as the crowds in Brazil, Syria or Vietnam, where her husband was named high-commissioner following the Geneva Accords of 1955. She wrote a personal diary during those eventful years which is on the verge of being published by the éditions Claire Paulhan. But she also took an unlimited number of unknown photographs, from Beijing to New York including La Courneuve. While she lived through the turmoils of a brutal century, her images, shown for the first time in a retrospective with a title worthy of Stefan Zweig, are more an ode to peace, to daily life, to the beauty of landscapes..
• Hélène Hoppenot. Le monde d’hier, 1933-1956 (The world of yesterday) at the Pavillon Populaire, from 16 March to 29 May 2016.
AND MUCH MORE
Günter Brus, Vienna Walk, 5/7/65. Inner City, 1010 Vienna © BRUSEUM/Neue Galerie Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum; photo Ludwig Hoffenreich.
BERLIN – He was among the most aggressive Viennese actionists, a group of contemporary artists who favoured extreme modes of intrvention in the spublic space and on their own bodies . This included paint, tying up, mutilations.The Martin-Gropius-Bau studies all of the work by Günter Brus (born in 1938), the creator of the mythic restaurant Exil in Berlin, including of course the famous Viennese promenade (Vienna Walk) from 1965. From 12 March to 6 June 2016.
The demon of geography
CASSEL – With their maps and atlases, the inventors of new projections and representations, they were at the origin of modern mapping. Mercator and Ortelius, two Flemish friends from the XVIth century, are together at the musée de Flandre. From 12 March to 12 June 2016.
EDIMBURGH – The National Museum of Scotland takes over after the British Museum to show the saga of the Celts, cut short by the Roman power. The exhibit includes superb metal pieces (torques, cauldron of Gundestrup) a well as refined stone sculptures and objects of everyday life such as combs and pins. From 10 March to 25 September 2016.
The return of Giorgione
LONDON – Titian is an absolute glory who needs no advertising. On the other hand, the biography of Giorgione remains mysterious, as do his paintings with enigmatic themes. A la Royal Academy of Arts, In The Age of Giorgione at the Royal Academy of Arts places the artist back in the center of the Venetian galaxy that would mark the beginning of the XVIth century and helped rediscover neglected painters, such as Giovanni Cariani. From 12 March to 5 June 2016.
Ode to childhood
PARIS – A few years ago the museum of the Orangerie had organised an interesting exhibition on model children. The Marmottan-Monet museum has chosen a much wider theme, that of children in art. From enamels by Edouard Limosin to art brut by Dubuffet, including Chardin and a large section on the Impressionists. So here we have them, along five centuries, some of them are rich, others poor, happy or distressed, still or in the midst of games. From 10 March to 3 July 2016.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Jannis Kounellis, art that is not so povera
Some of his creations have made history, such as his transformation in 1969 of the Roman gallery L’Attico into horse stables or the fish version of the sword of Damocles: a sharpened penknife threatening two defenceless fish in a plate at the Stommeln Pullheim synagogue (1991), which survived Nazi anti-Semitism. Kounellis –attached to the Arte Povera movement- was born in Greece in 1936 but was based in Italy where his friends Merz and Pistoletto worked. He was capable of moving heavy material, such as the accumulation of amphora and coal at Capodimonte in Naples in 1989, or of playing with the void when pianist Frederich Rzewsky played Verdi’s Va pensiero in the angle of a room during the Quadriennale in Rome in 1970. Kounellis knows how to juggle with his numerous fetish objects including jute cloth, metal, coffee, oil, stones, boats, as he questions like his contemporaries the notion itself of artistic material.
• Janis Kounellis presents an installation at the Monnaie de Paris, from 11 March to 30 April 2016.
The Louvre faces history
In step with the successful publications by Neil MacGregor, the boss at the British Museum, who decrypts the history of the world based on a few emblematic pieces from his museum, the Louvre is presenting its own book. It is written by Adrien Goetz who also presented chronicles over radio France-Culture in 2015. He is known for being a true lover of the hidden stories and the failings of the history of art. The Mona Lisa is the host, this unknown beauty who was not even noticed when the museum was founded, before becoming the most famous art work in the world. Other iconic works are also included such as the Venus of Milo, Vermeer’s Astronomer (Goering’s favourite painting) or Bathsheba by Rembrandt. They are all accompanied by objects that talk to us of the destiny of civilisations such as the Code of Hammurabi, the Squatting scribe or the Sarcophagus of the Spouses from Cerveteri. Each one of them delivers to us an excerpt of man’s destiny, tells us about their era, the turmoil in the world or simply the artist’s status. This is something like a choral symphony that reminds us of that specificity which major museums guard so preciously, faced with vandalism and requests for restitution: their universal mission is to be the depositaries of the beauty in the world. A beauty that is greatly threatened.
• 100 chefs-d’œuvre du Louvre by Adrien Goetz, Beaux Arts éditions/Louvre éditions, 2015, 312 p., €29.
OPENINGS OF THE WEEK
12 March 2016 - PARIS - Les Douches
A young Cambodian photographer explores the identity of her fellow Khmers
AIX-EN-PROVENCE - A Venus by Cranach the Elder, one of the iconic works at the exhibition dedicated to the collection of the princes of Liechtenstein at the Hôtel de Caumont, was seized by French police on Thursday 3 March 2016 in a legal suite regarding its authenticity.
BORDEAUX –The new building of the Archives municipales, designed by the Robbrecht & Daem agency, was inaugurated on 10 March 2016.
MAASTRICHT - The ancient and modern art fair TEFAF will be held from 11 to 20 March 2016. According ot the data of the TEFAF Art Market Report, the global volume of art sales came down 7% in 2015, at US63.8 billion.
PARIS – The mandate of Guy Cogeval, who has been at the head of the musée d’Orsay since 2008, has been extended by one year, until April 2017.
STRASBOURG – The Rencontres de l’illustration will be held from 9 to 20 March 2016.
VIENNA – The Kunsthistorisches Museum celebrates its 125th anniversary by organising a series of events starting on 8 March 2016.
VIENNA - The contemporary art fair Art Austria will be held from 10 to 13 March 2016 at the Leopold Museum.