Concierge’s Newsletter n°23-November 

Takahashi Murakami

Château de Versailles

September 14th – December 12th 2010

Photo“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.

Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.”

Takashi Murakami.

Rubens, Poussin and XVIIth century  artists

Musée Jacquemart André

September 24th  2010 – January 24th 2011

rubensThis exhibition assembles around sixty paintings from some of the best private and public collections in Europe (Art museums in Lille, Nantes, Rennes, Oxford, Liège, and more). It offers a unique view of two great artistic movements of the 17th century: Flemish Baroque painting, of which Rubens is the chief protagonist, and the French Classical school led by Poussin and the influence they had on each other. The Jacquemart-André Museum has set out to write a new page in the history of art.

The exhibition’s primary aim is to highlight the importance of the Flemish movement in France at the beginning of the 17th century by showing the works of the great artists who were present on the French artistic scene at the time (Rubens, Pourbus, van Thulden, etc.). A comparison of their paintings with those of the Le Nain brothers or Lubin Baugin reveals the strong influence of the Flemish Baroque school on French artists.

Rubens 2

The rest of the exhibition is devoted to the rise of French Classical art during the second half of the 17th century. It presents some new pictorial models, developed in France by Nicolas Poussin, Laurent de La Hyre, Eustache Le Sueur and Charles Le Brun, before being adopted by Flemish artists such as Bertholet Flemalle and Gérard de Lairesse. This is the note on which the exhibition finishes, thereby highlighting the reversal of influence which operated between these two schools during the 17th century.

Basquiat

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

October15th 2010 – January 30th 2011

BsquiatBetween 15 October 2010 and 30 January 2011 the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is devoting an enormous retrospective to American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Marking the fiftieth anniversary of his birth, this is the first Basquiat exhibition ever on this scale in France. Of mixed Puerto Rican and Haitian descent, Basquiat was born in Brooklyn in 1960 and died of a drug overdose in New York in 1988, aged twenty-seven. He was part of the generation of graffiti artists who burst onto the New York scene in the late 1970s.

In 1977, he began signing his graffiti “SAMO” – for “Same Old Shit” – with the addition of a crown and the copyright symbol ©. In the course of a dazzling career, his work moved from street art to painting, offering a mix of Voodoo and Biblical mythologies, comic strips, advertising and the media, African-American music and boxing heroes and assertion of his negritude. Thus he defined an underground urban counterculture at once violently anarchistic and seething with liberty and vitality. In 1982, Basquiat was invited to Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany, and in the following year he became the youngest artist – and the first black one – ever to show at the Whitney Biennial in New York. In 1984, he began co-creating paintings with Andy Warhol, continuing until the latter’s death in 1987.

At the time, Conceptualism and Minimalism were the austerely dominant avant-garde currents in American art. Basquiat’s coming brought a break with this trend and saw him become the star of the “Neo-Expressionist” wave.

This unexpected revival of a painting espousing innocence and spontaneity, deliberate lack of skill and unrestrained use of violent figuration lasted until the early 1980s.

Basquiat had always described himself as influenced by his everyday urban environment, and the roots of his “primitivist expressionist” practice are to be found in the postwar European painting of Jean Dubuffet – refractory to “stifling culture” – and Cobra, as well as the great American tradition extending from Robert Rauschenberg to Cy Twombly. His premature death in 1988 left behind it a substantial oeuvre pervaded by death, racism and his personal fate. With its mix of star-system and revolt, his explosive, incendiary life was the inspiration for Basquiat, directed by filmmaker-painter Julian Schnabel in 1996.

In 1984, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presented Jean-Michel Basquiat in the group exhibition “Free Figuration France/USA”, in which his work appeared alongside of that of Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa and Keith Haring.

The Incas’ Gold : Origins and mysteries

Pinacothèque de Paris

September 10th 2010-February 6th  2011

IncaThe Incas dominated the Andes for a century (1400-1553). When they settled in the Cuzco région in the 13th or 14th centuries, ten civilizations had already lived there. The Incas were therefore the inheritors of sophisticated traditions, elaborated over four thousand years.

Regarded as being the sun’s « sweat », the suprême being in the animist Inca panthéon, gold was strongly linked to religious rituals. Since the Inca emperor was the living embodiment of the sun, gold was equally prominent in the représentation of power. It was a means of sociak différentiation for the élite and an indispensable part of the deceased’s funeral trousseau. Gold was used in a wide range of objects, all of them présent in the exhibition : crowns, diadems, earrings, nose ornements, pins, ritual cups, pectoral ornaments, necklaces, figurines or onrments. Objects made from silver, the métal linked to the moon goddess, were also very prévalent in the Andes and High quality Works are also shown.

Moebius transe forme

Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain

October 12th  2010- March 13th 2011

Photo 5From October 12, 2010 to March 13, 2011, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain will present MOEBIUS-TRANSE-FORME, the first important solo exhibition in Paris devoted to the work of Jean Giraud, alias Mœbius. A legend in the world of comic strip art, a master of draftsmanship, an inventor of extraordinary forms, Mœbius has continuously moved beyond the conventions of his discipline. The theme of metamorphosis, which runs throughout the artist’s entire career, will be the central focus of this first major exhibition devoted to his work. Replete with shifting landscapes and characters that are continuously changing, the drawings of Mœbius explore the limits of the unconscious, revealing an imaginary and fantastical world. Through the often sudden and disturbing transformation of a character, Mœbius opens up the possibility that the forms in our environment may not be as stable as they seem.

MoebiusRealized in collaboration with Mœbius Production, the exhibition at the Fondation Cartier will present original notebooks, comic boards and paintings as well as new, previously unpublished drawings. The exhibition will also feature two new films screened for the first time at the Fondation Cartier: a 3D animated film co-directed by Mœbius and BUF Compagnie and based on his comic strip La Planète Encore as well as a 52-minute portrait of the artist realized specifically for the show by Damian Pettigrew and Olivier Gal. Through a spectacular exhibition design showcasing over 300 drawings, the visitor will be provided with an unprecedented opportunity to discover the work of a highly influential artist who has continuously pushed back the limits of form in search of new horizons.

moebius 2A few weeks ago, Disneyland Paris welcomed their latest addition to Walt Disney Studios Park – Toy Story Playland. Guests of all ages can now feel what it’s like to be shrunk to the size of a toy and to become literally part of the Toy Story universe in Andy’s backyard. Guests venturing through the over-sized landscaping of Andy’s yard discover three play areas, each featuring an exclusive attraction. With Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, Guests are invited to join Andy’s Little Green Army Men in a simulated fall from the sky. Guests of all ages can climb aboard Slinky Dog on Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin as our four legged friend chases his tail. And in Andy’s most dare-deviling set up, RC Racer will give a feel for what it’s like to zoom along a Hot Wheels half-pipe track.

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