Art Of The Day Weekly
#441 - from 22 September 2016 to 28 September 2016
IN THE AIR
Magritte, the power of the image
PARIS - "He's a man who thinks by images", according to curator Didier Ottinger. Very good description actually: Magritte's paintings are printed in our memories with the collection of fetishist objects - veils, curtains, drapes, bells and pipes. The exhibition brings together an impressive selection, on loan from museums all over the world, among them le Jockey perdu from 1927, le Blanc-seing from 1965, which wraps up the exhibition, the unforgetable Ceci n’est pas une pipe as well as his bright coloured works from the "période vache" (difficult period. The exhibit pretends Magritte was not only a painter (he never had a workshop but simply spread a carpet in his living room to set up his easel) and was not only an Impressionist. He is most probably, above all a philosopher who explored the themes of reality, dreams, the subconscience, with brushes and tubes of paint. He had a very cinematographic, synthetic, flat vision of our stay on earth. "I could see the world as if it were a curtain placed in front of my eyes": it is the best definition of the artist's work, by Magritte himself.
• Magritte, la trahison des images, at Centre Pompidou, 21 September 2016 to 23 January 2017.
Cosmè Tura, Saint George, ca 1460-65, oil on wood, 21,6 x 13 cm. Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venezia, Galleria di Palazzo Cini.
Ariosto, a maker of dreams
FERRARA - Ariosto's brain was a mental geography, inhabited by knights and dragons, by exotic landscapes and desirable though unattainable women. His brain was cluttered with all of these elements when he wrote his best-seller of the Renaissance period, i>Orlando Furioso. Five hundred years after its first publication - on 22 April 1516 -, his native town dedicates a mirror-exhibition to the poet. It reflects his obsessions by plunging into the endless source of Italian art, and in particular in that of Ferrara which is known for a specific tendency towards excentricity, from Cossa up to the metaphysical period of de Chirico and Carrà. And we are not disappointed by the accumulation of strange images, of purple tunics by Cosmè Tura to the well-known monsters of Piero di Cosimo, including a viola da gamba with its belly decorated with distorted faces. This has to be placed in a context and a period when there was no television, no movies, no internet, nor press or magasines, which we are reminded of in the very lovely second title of the exhibition itself: "What Ariosto saw when he closed his eyes".
• Orlando Furioso, 500 anni at Palazzo dei Diamanti, 24 September 2016 to 8 January 2017.
Charles Dugasseau, (1812-1885), The Death of Sappho, 1842. Le Mans, musée de Tessé © Musées du Mans.
Baudelaire as an art amateur
PARIS - Baudelaire liked to change positions, shifting from that of the damned poet from the Fleurs du mal to that of a respectable critic in litterary salons. The ever idylic venue of the Musée de la vie romantique welcomes in its meanders of rooms, alcoves (among which one that presents, next to the virginal white of a large marble statue by Bartolini, La Jeune Fille et le Scorpion, witty erotic prints) and staircases, a well rhythmed panorama of his artistic tastes. Of course there is Delacroix, Courbet, Constantin Guys. As well as other painters who well deserve to be re-discovered, such as Alphonse Legros, a great friend of Fantin-Latour, a hero in England, whose dark procession of old bigots, Antoine Chazal, a naturalist painter, or Dugasseau, Ingres' admirer. His Suicide de Sapho shows the voluptuous Lesbian next to the cliff, bathed in the light of the sunset. We can go see, in the same street, the galeries Chaptal and the Nouvelle Athènes, which both show a good choice of XIXth century art.
• L’œil de Baudelaire au musée de la Vie romantique, 20 September 2016 to 29 January 2017.
A passion for Félicien Rops
LE CREUSOT - HIs undressed, blindfolded courtesan (simply wearing stockings, gloves, black high heels and a light belt), guided by a pig, is his best known work. Next to this Pornokratès, many other works by Félicien Rops (1833-1898) - with his carrousel of daring women, of devils, of skulls, of crosses - contributed to blow up the bourgeois and religious rules of his native Wallonie. The nearly 100 works presented at L’art, scène nationale, are a unique collection gathered with passion over half a century by a Belgian couple. They remind us that Félicien Rops, a friend of Baudelaire's, was a respected engraver (nearly 1000 engravings listed), a remarkable drawer as well as a painter of melancholic landscapes (Ostende, Blankenberge, the bay of Klampenborg).
• Vous avez dit Félicien Rops ?!, at the Arc, 24 September to 16 December 2016
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Arno Gisinger, War Room, from the the series « Reims - patrimoines revisités », 2016, colour photograph, inkjet print on plexiglas 5 mm, 120 x 160 cm.
Arno Gisinger in the folds of history
An interesting exhibition in Reims, in the former cellars of Mumm (then Jacquart), with its beautiful mosaics on the facade, groups together five photographers who give their personal vision of the local patrimony. That of Arno Gisinger (Austria, 1964) sticks very closely to that of the wars - and reconciliations - which left such a strong impression on the town. Following his habits, the photographer fed on research, in particular at the Carnegie library, a magnificent Art deco building, given by America for a warless Europe. An intriguing image shows the classroom of the Modern and Technical school: a Battle map on the wall, chairs in order (except for the one of the Soviet interpreter), a large meeting table. Everything seems to be set in time but actually everything is rebuilt to be more authentic. Nothing seems to have changed since the fatal 7 May 1945, 2:41 a.m., that has been largely forgotten: it was here, at the Supreme Allied Headquarters, that the German surrender was signed and not in Berlin the following day, a simple rehearsal that Staline wanted in order to praise the fundamental role of the Red Army. In the collective memory, one date pushed aside the other: how is History written?
• Arno Gisinger exhibited in Patrimoines revisités at the Cellier, in Reims, from 17 September to 31 December 2016, accompanied by Jordi Bernardó, Claudio Sabatino, Paolo Verzone, Sophie Zénon.
OPENINGS OF THE WEEK
AUDE MOREAU - THE POLITICAL NIGHTFALL
23 September 2016 - LUXEMBOURG - Casino Luxembourg
A personal vision of the North-American city with its staggering skyline
A taste for ruins
They are very much in fashion after seducing Hubert Robert and then the Romantics such as Goethe and Chateaubriand. Ruins have an inner beauty that is very touching - and not only the "noble" ones of classical architecture. A whole school of photographers, over the last thirty years, runs after the buildings in ruins of our societies. Very soon useless, they leave some impressive ruins! The former Soviet world, with its nuclear plants, its missile ramps and its Pharaonic convention centers, is an expert in this field. But one can see the same thing in the West with its palaces with frescoes (in Italy), textile plants (in Germany), mines (in Belgium), roads swallowed by nature (in Japan). The three other photographers brought here - Sylvain Margaine, Henk Van Rensbergen, Romain Veillon - are the subject of an exhibition in an unusual venue, the Espace Niemeyer at the headquaters of the Communist Party. Choose a convention day to be able to enter this incredible room with the twinkling cupola of the Central Committee. The idea that one day it could be on a map for explorers, in a city of Paris eaten up by the jungle, puts shudders down one's back.
• Temps suspendu, exploration urbaine, directed by Céline Neveux, Silvana Editoriale, 2016, 144 p., €25.
TOULOUSE - The Printemps de Septembre is being held from 23 September to 23 October 2016.
VIENNA - Vienna Contemporary art fair is being held from 22 to 25 September 2016.
WASHINGTON - The National Museum of African American History & Culture opens on 24 September 2016.