01 June 2019

 

 

 

 “Paradis d’Oiseaux”

 

This original exhibition at Van Cleef & Arpels’ L’École des Arts Joailliers features iconic bird brooches representing them on land, perched on branches and in flight as well as through the media of painting, drawing, engraving and ceramics. It begins with a chronological overview of the evolution of jewelry design between 1850 and 1960. In the 19th century, an attraction of exotic birds as well as birds from the countryside transformed these graceful creatures into jewelry and elements of interior decoration. Hummingbirds, swallows, roosters, swans and peacocks were popular birds of paradise since they offered a dazzling range of shapes but also have symbolic and cultural references. By recreating the bird’s graceful shapes, brilliant colors and lively movements in cleverly arranged gemstones (often a ruby was used for eyes), the jewelers designed a dazzling paradise and provided insight into jewelry creation and the arts in general.

Be sure to take a look at Portraits d’Oiseaux, a collection of beautiful gouache and watercolor paintings on vellum (fine parchment) from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, that is presented digitally. The trend for romance, curiosity and travel was inspired by the growing knowledge of birds that were presented in richly illustrated ornithological publications.

Birds singing in the background and a wall looking like the sky create a perfect setting. Many birds look realistic enough to fly into paradise! I wonder if brooches, considered as being vintage decorative jewelry items, will become fashionable again like vintage clothing.

 

Hints:

1. This exhibition runs through 13 July 2019. The School of Jewelry Arts is open Monday through Saturday from 12:00PM to 7:00PM. It is located at 31, rue Danielle Casanova, Paris (1st). Free entry.

2.A beautifully illustrated and very informative free book (141 pages!) is available in French and English and descriptions are in both languages. It’s a delightful visual experience!

 

Check here for more information:

11 May 2019

 

 

 

 “Calder - Picasso”

 

This exhibition at Musée Picasso Paris located in the beautiful Hotel de Salé features masterpieces by two great 20th century artists, Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). It explores the common theme of the void, or the absence of space, through their abstract and figurative works. Both wanted to present or represent non-space, whether by “giving definition to a subtraction of mass, as in Calder’s sculptures, or by expressing contortions of time, as in Picasso’s portraits.” Each room has a different theme – such as capturing the void, the void and volume, drawing in space, making and deconstructing, piecing and folding, in the studio, and more – with quotes from various major texts. More and more I am discovering artists, consciously or not, are influenced by each other. I found the common ideas shared yet differently expressed by these contemporary artists rather intriguing as well as fun to identify. It was also the first time I visited the garden and took this opportunity to admire a large sculpture by each artist.

 

Hints:

1. This exhibition runs through 25 August 2019. The museum is open every day except Tuesday from 10:30AM to 6:00PM and weekends from 9:30AM to 6:00PM.

2.Information is provided in French and English on the wall in each section. Plus an audio guide is available in various languages.

3.Museum is accessible to people with limited mobility.

 

Check here for more information:

05 March 2019

 

 

 

 “Roux! De Jean-Jacques Henner à Sonia Rykiel”

 

Red hair! If you are a redhead, this exhibition at Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner will be of special interest to you. It is a perfect location for this theme since during Henner’s career he used red hair as his signature. Through Henner’s permanent works and the temporary collection, insights into the perception of red hair during the 19th and 20th centuries are explored. An eclectic set of paintings, fashion sketches, posters, photographs, drawings, masks, films and more are displayed alongside Henner’s paintings. Redheads attract and stand out perhaps because they are so rare. As they are often nicknamed, these “carrot tops” have been viewed differently over time – sometimes feared and other times admired. Discover the portraits of American Indians with their red mohawks, the uniqueness in Sonia Rykeil’s red hair “homage dresses” and the charm of a super-strong redheaded and freckled faced Pipi Longstocking (called Fifi Brindacier in France). Have you ever wondered how you would look as a redhead? Try on a wig and take a photo of yourself. I saw a young bearded man do this and we shared a smile!

If you have never been to this museum, this is a good opportunity to plan a visit. I was totally intrigued by this beautiful 19th century mansion with its four floors, winding staircases, period furniture and much more.

 

Hints:

1. This exhibition runs through 20 May 2019. The museum is open every day except Tuesday from 10:00AM to 6:00PM. It is located at 43, avenue de Villiers, 75017 Paris and the building deserves 5 paws! Thanks to a renovation about ten years ago, it is accessible to people with reduced mobility.

2. A brochure provides information about the exhibition in French and English. Also, there are descriptions in French in the various rooms and a film in French to watch in the indoor winter garden.

 

Check here for more information:

14 February 2019

 

 

 

 “Braco Luz (White Light) by Joana Vasconcelos”

 

This amazing installation in the atrium and the windows of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche features a Valkyrie named “Simone.” The strange and invading work of contemporary art is suspended under the skylights and entangles itself around the escalators as it looms over the store. It is composed of two monumental, ethereal creatures. The Portuguese artist, Joana Vasconcelos, created these organic white forms with various trimmings including sequins, fringe, lace, knitted wool, feathers and tiny lights. Take a close look at it from all three floors as well as the escalators. Wish I could have seen it being hung in place from the ceiling!

 

Hints:

1. This exhibition runs through 17 February 2019. Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is open Monday through Friday from 10AM until 8PM and 8:45PM on Thursday. It is also open Sunday from 11AM until 7:45PM.

2. Information is provided in French and English.  However, it’s really just an incredible visual experience!

 

Check here for more information:

16 December 2018

 

 “Christmas in Paris - 2018”

 

It seems that I cannot pass a department store Christmas window without taking a picture! Paris becomes magical this time of year and my first stroll took me along Boulevard Haussmann to Galeries Lafayette, with their traditional huge tree under the stained glass dome and the colorful displays at Printemps. Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville (BHV - Marais) was featuring Mary Poppins this year. Plus I never fail to check out Notre Dame's outdoor tree, minature village and espcially the crèche. My most unique photo this year has to be the neon signs showing through the inverted pyramid at the Louvre - Carrousel shopping center.

   My husband, Rob, assembled some of my photos into a 5 minute video with Christmas music. We hope you enjoy wandering through Paris with me and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

 

14 November 2018

 

 

 

 “Le Diamantaire, Des Structures”

 

The Center des Monuments Nationaux, in partnership with the Mairie de la 8e arrondissement, presents an exhibition by the artist Le Diamantaire at Chapelle Expiatoire. Another interpretation of this neoclassical monument, that was built to commemorate the "royal martyrs" who perished during the French Revolution, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, is offered through works that play using this building’s rigorous lines and light. Several different and ingenious installations reveal a fragmented reading of architecture through subtle mirror games. Don’t miss the metallic shaped diamonds before entering the chapel. Inside the main piece on the floor looks like a crown in high relief surrounded by sixteen stars. It is made with only mirrors surrounding a center that revolves giving the appearance of flickering diamonds. In the crypt, the “diamondoscope,” halfway between the kaleidoscope and the telescope, is totally amazing and captivating. Look through it to see the colorful and multiple reflections of the stained glass window and the installation opposite it. This work is a tribute to the kaleidoscope invented in 1816. Also, try the interactive installation with a crank that moves reflections and multiplies their effects according to speed and direction of rotation. Can you find me fragmented and multiplied in a photo? Starting as a street artist and now considered a contemporary artist, Le Diamantaire invites us to use our imaginations and desire to explore. I discovered all that glitters is not gold!

 

Hints:

1. This exhibition runs through 8 December 2018. It is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00AM to12:30PM and 1:30PM to 5:00PM and is located at 29, Rue Pasquier, Paris (8th).

2. Information about the exhibition is available in French. However, it’s a delightful visual experience!

 

Check here for more information:

24 October 2018

 

 

 

 “Bagues d’Homme - Collection Yves Gastou”

 

This extraordinary exhibition at Van Cleef & Arpels’ L’École des Arts Joailliers is exclusively dedicated to men’s rings. Male jewelry affirms power, communicates a message and is an accessory of fashion that echoes social, political, economic and artistic reality of its time. Yves Gastou started collecting rings at age 16 and continued for over 30 years. His hunting grounds included antique sales, auctions, jeweler’s inventory sales, studio collections as well as from his travels. Being an artist, this collection is a means of expressing his creativity and it reflects his fascination with a masculine-feminine world. It ranges from antique rings from ancient Egypt to 17th century rings of Venice doges to 18th century enameled rings to American biker rings of the 1970s to rings of contemporary artists. Every ring in the collection tells a story. Some look more comfortable to wear than others! The choice of rings is representative of the seven themes of the collection while illustrating its diversity: neoclassical, chivalry, Gothic, religious, vanities, ethnic and curiosities. The rings are beautifully displayed in glass showcases according to these themes. Their sizes, shapes, colors, designs, materials used and more make each ring truly unique. The lovely setting with purple and royal blue curtains evokes the world of cathedrals and the music enhances the visual richness of the images. Decide which ring you would like to add to your collection!

 

After seeing this vast ensemble of rings, I find myself checking to see if men are wearing rings and what they look like.

 

Hints:

1. This exhibition runs through 30 November 2018. The School of Jewelry Arts is open Monday through Saturday from 12:00PM to 7:00PM. It is located at 31, rue Danielle Casanova, Paris (1st). Free entry.

2. A beautifully illustrated and very informative free magazine is available in French and English and a description of each of the seven themes is in both languages. It’s a delightful visual experience!

 

Check here for more information: