Letter from France – August 2013

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

From September 9 to 15: Paris Design Week
The Paris Design Week seems maybe to be considered as an appetizer before the London Design Festival (September 14-22), but it provides a huge opportunity to discover the last trends of the young French Design through 7 theme’s journeys in Paris, with more than 230 exhibition’s places including galleries, stores, hotels and even restaurants… (http://www.parisdesignweek.fr/en/accueil/)

Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques de Calvi (Corsica): 10-14 September, enjoy the traditional Corsican chants sung by locals which immerse visitors in the history and culture of the island. The concerts will be organised around the town of Calvi’s most beautiful edifices.
On 14 and 15 September, across the entire country, exclusive venues and exhibitions will open their doors to the public. Along with free entry to museums and special trails, this access will allow you to discover France’s remarkable heritage.

On 14 and 15 September, across the entire country, exclusive venues and exhibitions will open their doors to the public. Along with free entry to museums and special trails, this access will allow you to discover France’s remarkable heritage.

Loire Festival (Loire Valley): 18 – 22 September, Orleans will be teeming with over 600 barges, 400 artists and over 150 free events as well as gastronomic gatherings, shows and musical firework displays. The festival will wrap with a boat parade on the Sunday.

Roi de l’Oiseau (Auvergne): 18 – 22 September, step back into the French Renaissance in the town of Puy-en-Velay, whose origins date back to the 16th century. The festival will host a variety of entertainment including concerts, shows and – of course – the archery competition from where it got its name.

Fete de la Gastronomie (General): 20 – 22 September, every corner of France will come alive with events to celebrate its UNESCO-listed ‘world intangible heritage’ status. From grand-scale concerts to local sing-a-longs, and Michelin-star set menus to small village banquets, the country will be in lively spirits to celebrate one of its most popular claims to fame.

From September 27 to 30: Sails of Legend race in Toulon
During 4 days Toulon will be the port of call of the Tall Ships Regatta when around forty giants sailing ships compete on the Mediterranean Sea. Everyday ships’ visits, nautical events, concerts, parades… are scheduled. The Toulon’s natural harbour with its dark blue waters surrounded by green hills will be the best setting to admire the ships’ parade under full sail.

Reopening of the Galliera Museum (Paris): The French capital’s fashion museum will reopen its doors, after extensive renovations, on the 28th September with an exhibition on Azzedine Alaïa’s career alongside the museum’s extensive permanent collections.

Running now

Until September 9: Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Generation
This digital exhibition, the first of its kind in Europe, shows the work and the world of Allen Ginsberg. During this virtual stroll Allen Ginsberg introduces the visitor through videos, photos, sound documents drawings and texts, to the hallucinatory universe of the poets of the Beat Generation that led to the worldwide counter-culture movement.
Metz, Moselle-57, Centre Pompidou-Metz. (http://www.centrepompidou-metz.fr/en)

Until September 15: The River Creuse Valley, an Artist Studio 1830-1930
To highlight the river Creuse valley landscape that attracted many renowned artists including Monet himself, four regional museums offer complementary exhibitions about a century of art creation from 1830 to 1930 from the birth of Impressionism to the Fauvism.
‘Photographic Art in the Valley in the time of Impressionism’ at Musée d’Eguzon
‘From Romantism to Academic Realism in the Valley’ at Château d’ars – Musée de la Châtre
‘The Impressionists in the Valley, the Transcended Light ‘ at Musée de Châteauroux
‘The post-Impressionist Valley’ at Musée de Gueret
Eguzon (Indre-36), La Châtre (Indre-36), Châteauroux (Indre-36) and Guéret (Creuse-23)

Until September 16: Red and Gold at the Museum Jean Cocteau in Menton
Changing annually so that as many of Cocteau’s works as possible can be seen in the museum, the new exhibition theme is ‘Red and Gold’ and is used to discover how Cocteau worked in creating a theatre play. See some of his greatest interpreters like actors, Jean Marais, Edith Piaf and Jeanne Moreau.
Menton, Alpes Maritimes-06, Musée Jean Cocteau (http://museecocteaumenton.fr)

Until September 22: Legends of the Seas, the art of living on board liners
The Palais Lumiére in Evian shelters an exhibition testifying of the golden age when travel means luxury and pleasure, when the main cruise companies used to command works of art, paintings, furniture, silverware, crockery, to decorate their floating palaces as were called the last century liners.
Evian, Haute Savoie-74, Palais Lumière (http://www.evian-tourisme.com/palais-lumiere-evian.html)

Until September 22: Impressions Dior
This exhibition is part of ” Normandy Impressionist Festival”
The Christian Dior Museum in Granville presents Impressions Dior, an exhibition which links the impressionism art movement to Dior’s first creations in 1947 and to those imagined nowadays by Raf Simons. Thanks to an exceptional array of loans the museum combines more than 70 dresses with a selection of masterpieces from impressionist painters themselves.
Granville, Calvados-14, Musée Christian Dior (http://www.musee-dior-granville.com)

Until September 22: Charles Ratton, the invention of “Primitive” Arts
Charles Ratton was an inspired collector and the main dealer of African primitive arts. His links with the surrealist artists Paul Eluard, André Breton, Man Ray and with his huge network of international art collectors, helped him to become the main promoter of “primitive” arts in France and in the USA.
Paris, Musée du Quai Branly (http://www.quaibranly.fr/en)

Until September 23: A Summer for Matisse
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Matisse museum, the town of Nice presents in eight of its museums, exhibitions showing various aspects of Matisse’s works, his links to other contemporary artists and the influence he had on the art world. ‘La Musique à l’Oeuvre’ (Music in Work), the main exhibition, is at the Matisse museum and there is a 10€ pass to visit all the connected exhibitions in the eight museums.
Nice, Alpes Maritimes-06 (http://www.matisse2013.nice.fr)

Until September 27: Desorder by Bernard Venet
This exhibition is part of ” Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Cultural Capital”
In Marseille, inside the gardens of the Prado that overlook the old harbour and the sea, Bernard Venet the renowned conceptual sculptor imagined a spectacular composition by twelve unique pieces composed of 84 monumental corten steel arcs. The opposition between curved steel and old palace front wall, the contrast of the weightiness of the steel pieces and of the lightness emanating from the impression of precarious equilibrium are part of the artist’s concept.
Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône-13 (www.mp2013.fr)

Until September 29: ‘Landscapes … from here and there’ by Michel Tronel
In Burgundy the Council room of the amazing Renaissance castle of Ancy-le-Franc hosts the exhibition of works by Michel Tronel, a contemporary painter.
Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, Yonne-89 (http://www.chateau-ancy.com)

Until September 29: A Summer at the Water’s Edge, Leisure and Impressionism
This exhibition is part of ” Normandy Impressionist Festival”
Around eighty paintings representing individuals experiencing new recreational activities connected with water through the vision of Impressionist painters are displayed in this exceptional exhibition that included works by Boudin, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Gauguin, Seurat, Maurice Denis and a few more.
Caen, Cavados-14, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen (http://www.mba.caen.fr)

Until September 29: Pissaro and the Ports – Rouen, Dieppe, Le Havre
This exhibition is part of ” Normandy Impressionist Festival”
Pissaro was the first of the impressionists to produce a series of painting of ports mainly from Normandy including the same scene seen at different times of the day. The rapid development of ports during the nineteenth century fascinated the impressionists of whom many works are presented in parallel with those belonging to Pizzaro.
Le Havre, Seine-Maritime-76, Musee d’Art Moderne André Malraux (MUMA) (http://muma-lehavre.fr)

Until September 30: Dazzling Reflections, 100 Impressionist Masterpieces
This exhibition is part of ” Normandy Impressionist Festival”
More than 100 works from around the world including 16 Sisleys and 40 Monets as well as a special collection of photographs by Le Gray or Marville shows the importance of the theme of reflections on water
Rouen, Seine Maritime-76, Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen (http://www.rouen-musees.com/Musee-des-Beaux-Arts)

Until October 7: Views from Above
This exhibition is the dream of Icare, from the first aerial pictures to the recent satellite images of the earth. The surprising beauty of these unusual landscapes fascinates everyone and had an impact on the work of many contemporary artists. Some five hundred pieces show the key-role of bird’s-eye views on some modern and contemporary art-works.
Metz, Moselle-57, Centre Pompidou-Metz. (http://www.centrepompidou-metz.fr/en)

Until October 13: Le Grand Atelier du Midi, ‘From Cezanne to Matisse’ and ‘From Van Gogh to Bonnard’
This double exhibition is part of “Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Cultural Capital” and is shared between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.
‘From Cezanne to Matisse’ in the Granet Museum in Aix-en- Provence shows how the Riviera-Provence’ region became the main attractive pole for painters who found there an incredible light that highlights landscapes and colours.
‘From Van Gogh to Bonnard’, the second part of the exhibition held in the renovated Longchamp Palace in Marseille presents the works of so many renowned artists who found in the South of France a magnificent open-air studio of ‘luxury, calm and voluptuousness’ as Matisse said, that stimulated their creative imagination.
Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône-13, Musée Granet
Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône-13, Palais Longchamp (www.grandatelierdumidi.com)

Until October 20: Gardens’ International Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
Coming from as far as China, Russia, Japan and Algeria about 20 new gardens were created by artists, designers, landscapers and gardeners for the 22d edition of the Festival. This year’s theme is ‘gardens of sensations’, and the visitors will enter into a fairy tale’s world of colours, smells, sounds and silences, and should not forget to visit the Castle and the Park who are also located inside the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire.
Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loire-41 (http://www.domaine-chaumont.fr)

Until November 10: Roulez Carosses!
A loan from the Palace of Versailles, to the museum of St Vaast Abbey in Arras, shows for the first time the best pieces of French royal and imperial horse-drawn carriages along with numerous artefacts belonging to their use. There are also a few paintings of important events during which these vehicles were used.
Arras, Pas-de-Calais – 59, Musée-Abbaye St Vaast (http://www.versaillesarras.com)

Until November 13: Chasses Magiques (Magical Huntings)
Close by the Grotte Chauvet and its unique Palaeolithic paintings that will never be open to public, and before the future opening of the grotto’s facsimile in early 2015, the Château de Vogüe shelters an exhibition showing the links between the magical and religious practises of hunting by primitive peoples throughout the continents.
Vogüe, Ardéche-07, Château de Vogüe (www.chateaudevogue.net)

Until December 31: Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Cultural Capital
As European Cultural Capital, Marseille presents the first artistic events of a long series hosted not only by Marseille but also by Aix-en-Provence – the old city well known for its beautiful buildings and its art-de-vivre. Hundreds of cultural and artistic events, theatre, street arts, music, exhibitions, are scheduled all along the year, including the exceptional creation of a new French national museum, the MUCEM that opened last week.
Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône-13 (www.mp2013.fr)

Salambo by Rochegrosse

Until 2014, January 5: Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse, the Splendour of Decadence
Well known in his time at the end of 19th Century, as a famous illustrator for Gustave Flaubert’s and Victor Hugo’s books as well as a painter of colourful and violent historical scenes, Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse slowly disappeared from memories and is now rediscovered in an exhibition which is the first one ever totally dedicated to his work.
Moulins, Allier-03, Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu (http://www.mab.allier.fr/)

Until 2014, January 5: Monet, Renoir…Chagall, Journeys around the Mediterranean
This exhibition is part of “Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Cultural Capital”.
Inside the monumental Carrières de Lumières (Quarries of Lights), a huge lightshow projects more than 3,000 images of works of art by 16 main artists onto a wall surface of around 7.000 sq metres. The theme of this exhibition is the Mediterranean Sea and its countryside that inspired all these artists. Walking through the quarries, the spectator strolls from Impressionism with Monet and Renoir, to Pointillism with Signac and Cross, then to Fauvism with Derain, Vlaminck, Matisse … and ends with Chagall.
Baux-de-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône-13, Carrières de Lumières (http://monet-renoir-chagall.com/en)

Images © Frederic de Poligny

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