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8.31.2011

Claude Cahun, Jeu de Paume, Paris... Last days!!

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
Writer, actress, photographer, Claude Cahun, a French artist (1894-1954), left behind her a very intimate, poetic and autobiographic work which was focused on questioning mankind, sexuality, homosexuality, transvestism... Her self-portraits are probably the most interesting of her works. One cannot say at the first sight if it's a man or a woman!

A few connoisseurs know her work. She has been unknown for a long time as if her work, which is very intimate, was appreciated only by a few experts and art collectors in the vein as artists like Pierre Molinier, Victor Brauner, Unica Zurn... Claude Cahun, whose real name was Lucy Schwob, was the niece of writer Marcel Schwob and the great niece of writer Leon Cahun. She was a close to the Surrealists and involved in politics between the First and Second World Wars. Her girlfriend, Suzanne Malherbe (aka Marcel Moore), was a painter and an engraver. They were faithful to each other until the death of Claude.

If artists such Pierre Molinier or Man Ray used to represent themselves as a woman, Claude Cahun often photographed herself as a guy! She had at her disposal things like fabric, bedspreads, sheets and hangings to do the background and masks, gloves, capes, overgarment to reinvent herself. She definitely must have inspired artists such as Cindy Sherman who made herself as a clown, a man, a random girl and many other characters. At the beginning of the 20th Century, she was one of the first artists who explored questioning about identity and gender.

This amazing exhibition has to be seen! Beautiful, intimate, sensitive and disturbing. Runs til end of September.

8.30.2011

Bernar Venet at the Chateau de Versailles

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
He's one of my favorite French contemporary artists. I remember the first time I met him a few years ago. I was invited in his house in South of France, a huge house full of works of art obviously. He succeed the French Xavier Veilhan, the American Jeff Koons and the Japanese Takashi Murakami as the artist who takes Versailles by storm!

Jean-Jacques Aillagon, who curated this exhibition, wished to focus on Bernar's work which questions the relation between art and nature, between art and architecture. His sculptures are enormous and heavy but they seem floating upon the surface. Arcs, whorls and lines appropriated Versailles and offer to the viewer an amazing and beautiful reflexion about classicism in parallel with modernity as well as a massive architecture and a minimalist design.

Like he said during an interview it was a challenge to create works that could be integrated in the landscape without being a blot on it! The best thing to do was to sculpt pieces especially for the site. According to him the best time of the day to see the show: at sunset, when light is reflected on the red-ocher steel...

One can call him the "French Richard Serra" because they both create monumental sculptures made out of steel. What do you think?? On view til November 2011

8.29.2011

"Paris - Delhi - Bombay" Beaubourg - Centre Pompidou Paris

Good morning contemporary art lovers!
For the past few years, the Indian contemporary art scene gets itself talked about. I've been to Delhi and Bombay a long time ago and I was lucky to meet artists such Subodh Gupta and his wife Bharti Kher, Shilpa Gupta, Anita Dube, Thukral and Tagra... and many other artists, designers and curators. That was an incredible and intersting experience. A trip that brougth me into a spiritual and magic world recreated through this exhibition.

Curated by Alain Seban, president of the "Centre Pompidou" in Paris, this exhibition aims to provide a link between the French and Indian contemporaries art scenes. 30 Indian artists and 17 French artists have been invited to participate at the exhibition. 70% of the works were specially made for the show. As well as works of art like paintings, sculptures or installations, one can read historical and economical comments that can help us to understand the Indian history and its sociological aspects. Unfortunately for those who expected to see a funny and kitsh exhibition based on Bollywood pictures and movies, that's not the purpose of the show.

Welcomed by the enormous head of Tara, gilded with gold leaves and made by Ravinder Reddy, the viewer wanders into a circular area. Reddy is well-known for his huge sculptures based upon iconographical Pop pictures and indian traditions. He refers to the "Yakshis" deities. Anita Dube's works denounce the social conditions of the gay community. Subodh Gupta incorporates ubiquitous everyday objects in order to emphasis on the economic transformations of his country. Most of the time he creates huge sculpture made of kitchenware. Pierre & Gilles, a French duet, discovered Bollywood in 1978 and it's gonna be the beginning of a new era in their work. They were very influenced by all the colors, the kitsh, the traditions...of India....

Many other would deserve I write about their work but it's always better to see by itself! Exhibition runs until September 19th!