Letter from France: September 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions


Until October 1:  “Dali: Eureka!”

This major exhibition covers the whole output of Dali (1904-1989), that highly imaginative artist who was always passionate about sciences and psychoanalysis.  Thinking of himself as a genius, he said “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad“. And this exhibition proves it. Ceret Museum of Modern Art    Ceret, 66-Pyrénées Orientales. www.musee-ceret-expo.com

Until October 1: “Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, Art Patrons of the 20th Century”

On June 30th, the Villa Noailles re-opened with this new presentation of around 100 works (Dali, Man Ray, Giacometti, Bunuel, Brancusi…) that show the wide collecting tastes of Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. This exhibition is in their very house on the Mediterranean coastline where they played host to so many artists and intellectuals.    Hyeres, 83-Var. Villa Noailles    www.hyeres-tourisme.com

Until October 2: “Austrasia, the Merovingian Lost Kingdom”

After the fall of Rome at the end of the 5th century, a large kingdom appeared covering the east of France, Belgium and West Germany, mixing two cultures, Roman and what was called “Barbarian”. This exhibition shows the beauty and the richness of the artefacts belonging to this kingdom that stood for over two and a half centuries but which is now almost totally forgotten. St Germain-en-Laye, 78-Yvelines Musée d’Archéologie Nationale.                  www.musee-archeologienationale.fr

Until October 9: “Adventurers of the High Seas”

From the seventh to the seventeenth century, sailors and merchants sailed the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean to bring back fabulous goods unknown in Europe. This fascinating exhibition is more about the trade of valuable goods and the exchanges between numerous countries than about the men who travelled the oceans and who often died for this luxury trade.   Marseille, 13-Bouches-du-Rhône MUCEM. www.mucem.org

Until October 10: “Aztec Hotel”

At the dawn of the twentieth century California and the USA were hit by a Mayan mania following the discovery of mysterious ruins of the Mayan civilisation. A few architects like Franck Lloyd Wright began to create “Mayan” buildings. Robert Stacy-Judd designed the iconic Aztec Hotel near L.A.  This exhibition shows all aspects of his romantic vision which also inspired musicians, artists, film directors and even fashion designers. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly     www.quaibranly.fr

Until October 15: “Giacometti, the Ultimate work”

This exhibition in Nice dedicated to Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) aims to highlight the last years of the artist through 50 major pieces from his mature period (1960 till 1965) including “La grande femme III”, one of the paintings from the famous Caroline series and a bust of the photographer Eli Lotar.    Nice, 06-Alpes Maritimes Galerie Lympia https://galerielympia.departement06.fr.

Until October 15: “Sisley, the Impressionist”

Whatever the surface, grass, water, snow, clouds or sky, Sisley was the master of light, capturing and translating all its effects onto his canvases. The comparison between the numerous versions of the same landscape shows how he could seize any variation of light from one day to another or even from one hour to another. Aix-en-Provence, 13-Bouches-du-Rhône Hotel de Caumont.   www.caumont-centred’art.com

Until October 23: “David Hockney, Retrospective”

To celebrate the 80th birthday of David Hockney, the Pompidou Centre presents the largest retrospective of his incredible career, showing more than 200 works of all sorts, from his first images in Bradford  where he grew up, to the most recent ones created using his own I-pad in California, where he now lives. Paris, Centre Pompidou    www.centrepompidou.fr

Until October 30: “Fernand Léger, Beauty is everywhere”

This exhibition pays tribute to the exceptional personality of Fernand Léger, who painted a pleasant and colourful humanity transfigured by our world of machines and mass production. Metz, 57-Moselle Centre Pompidou-Metz    www.centrepompidou-metz.fr


Until November 1: “Picasso”

This is a unique exhibition as most of the 200 Picasso works are on display for the very first time. Lots of them were kept by Picasso himself in his own private collection and were later bequeathed to his last wife, Jacqueline. Her daughter, Catherine Hutin, loaned them for this exceptional exhibition that covers the whole artistic life of Picasso. Landerneau, 29-Finistére:   Fondation Hélène et Edouard Leclerc    www.fonds-culturel-leclerc.fr

Until November 11: “Pompidou and Art: a Viewer’s Adventure”

Georges Pompidou, former President of the French Republic, was a great contemporary and modern arts lover and collector. This exhibition covers about thirty years of French painting, 1950-1970, and highlights how he made some pertinent, and occasionally audacious, choices. Château de Chambord, 41 Loir-et-Cher        www.chambord.org

Until November 12: “Germaine Richier, l’Ouragane (the Hurricane)”

Germaine Richier (1902-1959) was a major sculptor but her works are quite unknown to the general public. Mixing mineral, vegetable and animal themes she gave life to fabulous, hybrid beings in her bronze sculptures.                 Mont-St-Michel, 50-Manche   Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel.  www.abbaye-mont-saint-michel.fr

Until November 12: “The Africa of Routes”

Africa is a huge continent where, since prehistoric times, commercial and cultural exchanges have always existed. Over 300 art pieces are on display to help us discover the immensity of the network of overland, sea and water routes linking African tribes and kingdoms, and how this influenced their art.   Paris, Musée du Quai Branly    www.quaibranly.fr

Until November 13: “The Third Man, Prehistory of Altaï”

There is no better place than the National Museum of Prehistory to display the recent discoveries made in Altaï (Russia). The former scenario of modern humans quickly replacing neanderthals, does not apply there. In Altaï these two human lines coexisted with a third one only very recently discovered, the Denivosans. Some genetic exchanges between these human groups have been proved by new palaelogenomic analysis.  Les Eyzies-de-Tayac,                     24-Dordogne.    www.musee-prehistoire-eyzies.fr

Until November 17: “Lee Ungno, The Man of the Crowds”

Lee Ungno (Yi Eungro) 1904-1989) was a Korean painter who explored the relations between traditional calligraphy and abstraction, giving birth to his major theme – crowds. With Soulages, Hartung and Zao Wou-ki he took a significant role in the Parisian avant-garde movement. Paris, Musée Cernuschi      www.cernuschi.paris.fr

Until 2018 January 7: “Samurai, from War to Path of Arts”

Armours, helmets, weapons and masks highlight the mysterious world of the Samurais. Following the strict rules of Bushido, their mix of martial arts, loyalty until death and deep love for arts like poetry, literature and finest calligraphy left a mark that is known the world over. Nice, 06-Alpes Maritimes, Musée des Arts Asiatiques        www.arts-asiatiques.com

Until 2018 January 8: “Bosch, Brueghel, Arcimboldo at Carrières de Lumières”

In the ideal setting of the white stone quarries of Les Baux de Provence, visitors literally walk inside the fantasy world of these three painters from the sixteenth century. Their works are screened onto the huge walls as well as the ground as well. It provides a sort of fairy tail trip between the hallucinated imagination of Bosch, the unbelievable portraits of Arcimboldo and the joyful triviality of Brueghel.  Les Beaux de Provence, 13- Bouches-du-Rhône    www.carrieres-lumieres.fr

New opening Musée Rigaud

After refurbishment, the Musée Rigaud re-opened recently in the heart of the old city of Perpignan. It offers a wide panorama of the artistic life of the regions through centuries. The portraits by Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743), one of the most famous sketch artists of his time, are alone worth the visit. Until November 5th, a small exhibition chronicles the stays of Picasso and his relatives in this very building belonging some of his very close friends. Perpignan, 66-Pyrénées Orientales     Musée Hyacinthe Rigaud. www-musee-rigaud.com

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