Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #445 - from 20 October 2016 to 26 October 2016

Art Of The Day Weekly

#445 - from 20 October 2016 to 26 October 2016


Unpopular Buffet is back

PARIS - At the age of 20, pennyless, he painted on the pants and sheets his grandmother gave him. At the age of 30, he was wealthy, the owner of a castle and of a Rolls Royce, and was nicknamed the "painter with the golden arm" by a German newspaper. When he died in 1999, he was - with Soulages - , the best known French artist in the world and an idol in Japan, where a whole museum is dedicated to his work. Only one country snobbed him, France. French museums only bought one of his works, in 1950. The time for revenge (post-mortem) has finally come with this large retrospective that opens the doors of a major institution. One can learn all about his life in high society: his long relationship with Pierre Bergé; his friendship with Jean Giono and Jean Cocteau; his marriage with Annabel, the rival of Juliette Greco at Saint-Germain-des-Prés; his exhibitions at Maurice Garnier's where large crowds came every month of February. But one also learns about the scandals for obscenity (Vacances en Vaucluse), his struggles (his huge triptyc in Horreurs de la guerre), the doubts and his touching end: affected by Parkinson's disease, he produced a series on death and then committed suicide, leaving behind as his last testimony a movie done by his son. The great number of works presented cannot completely erase the feeling of ease, of kitsch - like the series on automobiles, or the one on Jules Verne - but is also allows us to separate Buffet from his eternal harsh trait, that looks like an engraving on metal, and which he ended by carrying like a scar. His works after the war - views of workshops, portraits, ascetic men in maids' rooms - kept their power. One detail says it all: even after they broke up, Pierre Bergé kept, for over fifty years, the paintings from that period.
Bernard Buffet, rétrospective at the musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, from 14 October 2016 to 26 February 2017.

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Auguste Rodin, The Thinker, plaster, S.03469, © Agence photographique du musée Rodin, photo P. Hisbacq.

Rodin's visions of Hell

PARIS - He worked at it for thirty years but never saw it cast in bronze. The Porte de l’Enfer (Gate of Hell) is one of Rodin's mythical works. One can count in this monumental work that was constantly worked at no less than 200 persons - condemned from different circles, among them Ugolin who swallows his own children. As strange as this may seem, no exhibition had ever been organized on the complete work. The organizer, François Blanchetière, emptied the reserve collection to take out plaster casts, molds, drawings (very rarely shown) to show how Rodin never ceased to rearrange, to place and remove, giving certain groups like the one of the Kiss, initially in the Gate, an autonomous existence. In doing so, some very interesting interpretations are offered to us like the one that turns the famous Thinker into Minos, the judge of Hell, who weighs the souls. Rodin was initially inspired by Dante, but he then diversified his sources of influence, among which the one of Baudelaire in particular, stands out. One of the main objects is Paul Gallimard's copy of Fleurs du mal, full of drawings by the master. As for the bronze of Homme au serpent (The man with a serpent), recently identified in Switzerland, it had never been exhibited since it was sold at an auction in 1914. At the end of the visit, one must of course remember to go see in the garden the museum's copy of Porte de l’Enfer. The twelve mandatory copies have not all been made: the most recent one, the eighth, was unveiled last June at the Soumaya museum in Mexico, founded in 2011 by billionaire Carlos Slim.
L’Enfer selon Rodin at the musée Rodin, from 18 October 2016 to 27 January 2017.

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This is one of the busiest weeks in the year. We will soon talk about some of these events. Illustration: Eddie Peake, Got No Time For The Unspectacular, 2016 Lacquered spray over polished inox, 100 x 140 x 5.3 cm © Eddie Peake. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby). To be seen at the FIAC.


Delvoye the dynamiter

The term that surely best defines him is iconoclast. He had every day objects as coarse as cement mixers, bulldozers or tires be sculpted out of precious wood, giving them the aspect of lace. He tatooed a portrait of Osama Ben Laden on a pig skin. He drew aChapelle (at the Mudam) where the stained glass windows are made with X-rays of kisses, of vulgar finger signs or of sexual acts. Lastly, what in great part made him famous, was to design an extremely complex machine, capable of reproducing the process of human digestion. In other terms, a machine that can create excrements: this impressive Cloaca, a sort of synchrotron of an ew era, has been enriched by new versions, exhibited in the retrospective the Mudam Luxembourg dedicates to the artist until 8 January 2017. A true business man, Delvoye has glass artists from Gand, earthenware artists from Delft, Iranian illuminators and Indonesian sculptors work for him, to animate a true "factory" in the same line as that of Damien Hirst, to create a world "brand", but more surprising than Nestlé or Unilever.
Wim Delvoye, directed by Enrico Lunghi, éditions Somogy, 2016, 224 p. , €35.

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20 October 2016 - PARIS - Galerie Eva Meyer

Between architecture and sculpture, the work of a French artist in Buenos Aires

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