Monday, October 24, 2016

Icones of modern Art, The Shchukin Collection, Fondation Louis Vuitton

Last Thursday I previewed the new Shchukin Collection brought in from Russia at Fondation Louis Vuitton.  The show is a tribute to one of the 20th century’s greatest patron of the arts, Russian businessman Sergei Shchukin, and brings together 130 major works from his collection. We were all dressed in black as is required for these events but by the end we were infused with brilliant color.
Icons of Modern Art will be on till February 20, 2017. It is a Must-see.
On the first floor a room full of Tahitian period Gauguins. Your jaw drops. You won't recover from this glorious exhibit till hours later.
"I recently painted a chic nude, two women at the water's edge; I think it's the best thing I've done up to now." Paul Gauguin, 1892
Wealthy industrialist, Sergei Shchukin collected Matisse like mad and commissioned 'The Dance' from him. Matisse even visited him in Moscow to view the collection.
"The search for color did not come to me through studying other painters, but from outside - in other words, the revelation of light in nature." Henri Matisse, 1930
Multi-media videos were specially produced to tell how Shchukin developed his collection of French modern art and its influence on the Russian avant-garde. This is the first time ever these paintings have left the Pushkin and Hermitage state museums of Fine Art. A landmark exhibit of astonishing works.
There are 13 Monets. Here the cliffs of Etretat.
"Then, in London, what I love above all, is the fog...Because without fog London would not be a beautiful city." Claude Monet
Monet's extraordinary picnic painting.
His wife in their garden.
Sisley, a Seine view.
A classic Pissarro, 'rainy day, Paris'.
Shchukin was enthralled with Picasso. "Picasso took hold of me for good, and I began to buy painting after painting." Sergei Shchukin
An exquisite Odilon Redon.
Rooms of artist's self-portraits like this Gauguin.
The rooms inside the fondation are spacious and airy even though there are no windows in the exhibit areas.
Yet Shchukin's collection in his palace in Moscow was displayed side by side almost like reading a book with all the pages spread open.
Three floors of the Frank Gehry-Daniel Buren architectural creation are filled with the visiting collection.
"A color's transparency and quality when projected using a color filter is, is to me, far more vibrant than a color painted on a surface." Daniel Buren Some might disagree after seeing the Shchukin collection. Do try to catch this not-to-be missed experience.
Meanwhile the paint has been flying. I'm making new Paris pastry bonus watercolors to go out with renewals and subscriptions. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, Tous à la plage! Oct ParisLetter

Yesterday was the preview at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine of 'Tous à la plage' at Trocadero. More pictures on FLICKR.
When I saw the preview posters around I said, I am not missing this!
And neither should you when you come to Paris. Its on till February 13 2017.
Playing in the sand is part of my DNA. Summers spent in Surf City and Beach Haven, NJ left sand in my shoes forever.
Why ever did I leave behind my sand bucket collection when I moved to Paris. Perfect for holding watercolor brushes too. Why oh why...
The exhibit is historically organized starting with the first cabins des bains often pulled onto the beach by donkeys.
What to change into in your cabins des bains. Stripes.
A whole range of architecture was designed for beach resorts some of it very grand pavilions and palaces.
What to sit on the beach? More marine stripes.
Loads of film snips from cinema and newsreels to watch, though no actual sand anywhere.
Glamorous pools were built right on the beach at Trouville and Dieppe.
Everyone in! The old posters are terrific.
The view out my window at hotel Les Embrans in Trouville of that same pool.
One way you could go to the beach.
Or take the train in style.
In the far upper left the Deauville-Trouville train station looks exactly the same today as in this 20s poster.
I'm thinking should I take the train down to Brighton next trip to London?
Or Blackpool.
Benidorm, Spain. At first I thought it was Rio de Janeiro.
Remember Club Med? And the beads? Did you go? I went to quite a few. They're still in business on boulevard de l'Opera. Below Florida looks very sane and serene. Altogether a wonderful exhibit full of nostalgia for those sand bucket days. Time to plan for next summer.
October's Paris letter went out enfin Monday! Its a What's on in Paris letter. enjoy and thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers !

Thursday, October 13, 2016

JMW Turner:Adventures in Colour, John Akomfrah's Vertigo Sea - Turner Contemporary, Margate UK

Last week at this time I was in Margate in the UK previewing the new terrific JMW Turner and color exhibit at Turner Contemporary. This week I've been trying to paint watercolors like Turner (see above)...ahem.
The museum was built exactly on the spot of Mrs. Sophia Booth's boarding house frequented by Turner more times than I can count. They were 'an item' you could say.
Inside you're looking at exactly the same views Turner saw and painted frequently, so its quite thrilling even on a grey, cloudy day. Not that Turner was one to shrink from painting grey, cloudy days. All kinds of weather was his favorite subject.
I saw the same exhibit in June in Aix-en-Provence but the rooms were so dark, and all descriptions in French. I felt I had to see it in better surroundings. Being in Turner's home away from home, Margate, made a huge difference.
And many of the paintings are of Margate. We were not to shoot very close because nearly everything belongs to the National Trust.
We were lucky indeed to have Ian Warrell take us round, one of the top Turner experts. Many 'new' Turners were discovered during and just after the Second World War. They were found whilst taking inventory, lurking in museum storage rooms covered in dust cloths neglected. What a lovely surprise!
Of course I was glued to the case holding Turner's travel set made of leather of all things. As an aid he made little post-it like pads of paper to test out color swatches. Brilliant.
Love this wall panel of miscellaneous information.
I did catch a few shots of Turner's marvelously atmospheric watercolors.
But they're near Impossible to capture with all the reflections bouncing hither and thither still you get the idea. Turner was completely innovative at capturing atmosphere and weather with layers of washes, sometimes made by dipping the paper in paint, (called 'color beginnings') working on several at one time. Critics of the time drew cartoons ofTurner painting with a giant mop on his canvas.
It's said Turner tied himself to the ship's mast to experience all kinds of weather the better to paint them. Not my cup of tea. He made something like 25 foreign tours between 1817-1845. That's much more appealing. He was constantly searching and testing out new pigments and papers. A particular blue-grey paper he used may have been to curb strong reflections from the sun. Well if you will insist on tying yourself to a ship's mast...
The exhibit ends dramatically on a series of swirling vortex pictures and a ' Great Deluge' painting of a sinking ship. Strangely you hear the ocean crashing behind you.
The next room over, John Akromfrah's triple screen,'Vertigo Sea' perfectly dovetails into the Turner exhibit.
A shattering visual meditation on man's destruction of the sea, whaling, immigrants, climate change.
Powerful. The perfect companion to the Turner exhibit.
I ran out after the preview to look for classic fish and chips in Margate.
I settled on dressed crab though I wouldn't have minded undressed crab either.
The Shell Grotto is another must-do in Margate.
A mysterious subterranean passage no one can quite explain but well worth seeking out. I loved Margate and hope to return when skies are blue and sunny. A typical British seaside town just 1h25 train ride from London. Do consider going to the Turner Adventures in Colour on till January 8, 2017.
By the way there's a new mess of watercolors up on Etsy.Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast! If you like this post and want to support it, 
buy my Paris letters and watercolors or forward this to someone who might enjoy it. Cheers!