Archive for “France”

Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibits in Paris

Paris, 17 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Louvre Abu Dhabi makes its international debut with an exhibition entitled “Birth of a Museum”, to take place at Paris’s Louvre from 2 May until 28 July.

The construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the result of an agreement made in 2007 between the French government and the United Arab Emirates. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, it aims to bridge the gap between East and West through the creation of a universal museum. It is to open in 2015.

The exhibition will display 150 works out of the 400 acquired by the Emirates. Amongst these is Le Bohémien (The Bohemian) by Edouard Manet, René Magritte’s La lectrice soumise (The Submissive Reader) and other more contemporary art works including Anthropométrie (Anthropometry) by Yves Klein and nine works by Cy Twombly.

“Birth of a Museum” was exhibited in Abu Dhabi between April and July 2013.

Tobias Rehberger to restyle Paris metro

Paris, 17 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

RATP — the transport company operating in and around Paris — and Emerige — a Paris-based renovation company — have joined forces to give German artist Tobias Rehberger the opportunity to create a work to decorate the exterior of a new metro station, Pont Cardinet, on line 14 of the Paris metro system.

The project, conceived by Tobias Rehberger himself, is a contemporary interpretation of the iconic Art Nouveau entrances to metro stations created by Hector Guimard in the early 1900s. Speaking via a press release, RATP stated: “taking this emblematic model as his foundation, the artist has imagined a geometric, colourful and welcoming architectural structure to frame the entrance to Paris’s underworld and to serve as a point of reference to metro users and people living in the quarter.”

The artist at the helm of the project, Tobias Rehberger, was born in Germany in 1966. Awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2009, his work has been presented at institutions including Palais de Tokyo, Tate Liverpool, Walker Art Center, Whitechapel Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. He currently lives and works between Berlin and Frankfurt.

Items withdrawn from upcoming auction of Nazi war memorabilia

Paris, 17 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

France’s Culture Minister, Aurélie Filippetti, recently called upon the services of the Conseil de Ventes Volontaires (CVV) – the French regulatory body overseeing voluntary auction sales – in order to advise on the suitability of lots formerly belonging to senior Nazi dignitaries which were to feature in an upcoming sale. This query follows controversy from Jewish associations, notably the representative body of Jews in France (CRIF) and the National Office of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.

The CVV, whose powers include the ability to cancel, suspend, or exclude lots from sales, has decided to withdraw some of the objects proposed for the upcoming auction.

The sale, which is to be led by the Société de Ventes Volontaires (SVV) – the French body behind the organisation, realisation and estimation of voluntary sales – is scheduled to take place at Vermot de Pas (Paris), and is titled “Prises de guerre de la 2eDB du général Leclerc dans le Berghof de Hitler le 5 mai 1945″ (Battlefield spoils taken by General Leclerc’s 2eDB division from Hitler’s Berghof on 5 May 1945). The Berghof was Hitler’s second residence situated in the Bavarian Alps; the building was ransacked by the French 2nd Armoured Division Blindée (2eDB) on 5 May 1945 and the soldiers involved took many of the objects found inside the mansion. The planned sale was scheduled to present several of the items seized on the day of the raid, many of which formerly belonged to Adolf Hitler or Hermann Göring.

Several items in the sale are of such historical significance that their estimated values are in the thousands: when initially valued for the sale, two passports belonging to Hermann Göring were estimated to fetch between €3,000 and 5,000, whilst a wooden chest which was given to Adolf Hitler was estimated to fetch within the same region. The chest was supposedly given to Hitler as a gift on 20 April 1938 to celebrate his 49th birthday, the auction house adding, “the following day, Hitler planned the attack on Czechoslovakia”. The sale also proposed a variety of lots including manuscripts, books and photographs, many of which have been withdrawn following complaints.

Christie’s to present a sale dedicated to Shiro Kuramata

Paris, 17 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

On 20 May 2014, Christie’s in Paris is to present a sale dedicated to the Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991). The works offered at the sale come from the private collection of the London-based designer and furniture dealer Zeev Aram. Aram’s collection includes also significant works by Eileen Gray, amongst others.

The lots on sale are emblematic of the designer’s artistic output between 1967 and 1985, a period which was of particular importance in his career. It was during this period that Kuramata began experimenting with new technologies in his work, being awarded the Mainichi Industrial Design Prize in 1972.

Shiro Kuramata afforded a strong sense of psychological interpretation to his design process, considering a drawer’s secret dimension to be worthy of reflection. This psychological exploration led him to subvert the traditional approach to furniture design, producing Furniture in irregular forms, side 1 (1970), one of the lots to be presented at auction. The work is estimated between €50,000 and 70,000.

Homage to Josef Hoffman, Begin the Beguine (1985), a chair which Kuramata burned to reveal a ghost image of the original design in steel, is predicted to command the highest amount, estimated between €150,000 and 200,000. The lot represents one of only two examples of the work.

Shiro Kuramata worked in a referential tradition, occasionally drawing inspiration from contemporary art and artists including Piet Mondrian and Donald Judd. Pieces by Shiro Kuramata feature in internationally prestigious collections, such as New York’s MoMA and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Steven Cohen could face charges of indecent exposure

Paris, 17 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The South African artist Steven Cohen appeared in front of the Paris Magistrate’s Court on 24 March faced with charges of indecent exposure.

The legal controversy surrounds the performance, titled Coq, which took place on 10 September 2013 in the main square of the Trocadéro in Paris. The artist appeared dressed in a corset and headdress with a cockerel strapped to his genitals, and paraded around the square on high heels until he was arrested by the police.

Steven Cohen initially appeared in court in December 2013, but the case was dismissed. According to French daily newspaper Le Figaro, the dismissal was prompted by Cohen’s lawyer, Agnès Tricoire, who asked that the court first watch the video of the performance before continuing with proceedings.

The verdict is to be given on 5 May 2014.

Appeal to the French Prime Minister and Mayor of Paris to save Picasso’s studio

Paris, 17 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Several prominent personalities of the art world have written an open letter to the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Paris to save the Grenier des Grands Augustins — the studio where Picasso painted Guernica.

A legal dispute between the Association du Comité National pour l’Éducation Artistique (CNEA) and the Chambre des Huissiers (Chamber of Legal Bailiffs) has been ongoing since 2013, on the subject of the arts organisation’s expired right of residence in the studio. The space, which belongs to the Chambre des Huissiers, has been occupied by the CNEA since 2002. The Chamber issued an eviction order on 7 August 2013; however, the art organisation refuses to abandon the space and responded by appealing for public support. According to Opinion Internationale, the website which launched the petition, the building in which the studio is located — closed to the public since November 2013 — risks being transformed into a luxury hotel.

The open letter addressed to Anne Hidalgo and Manuel Valls — both of Spanish origin — has been signed by Charlotte Rampling, Bernard Lavilliers, Lucien Clergue, Jean-Pierre Mocky and Didier Lockwood, amongst others. It appeals to the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Paris in the following terms: “You were both born in Spain and have chosen to live in France, in Paris. Paris is also the place where Picasso painted the most important work of the 20th century, Guernica (…). In a way, you are the singular heirs of Guernica and you tread the same path as Picasso.” It appeals to Anne Hidalgo and Manuel Valls “to instigate an urgent procedure to classify the studio as an important landmark site”, according to AFP.

Picasso, who lived at 7 rue des Grands Augustins between 1937 and 1955, painted several major works in the studio, including Guernica in 1937. Other artists resided in the studio, such as Jean-Louis Barrault, who founded his first theatre company whilst he lived there between 1933 and 1936.

50th anniversary of the Fondation Maeght

Saint-Paul de Vence (Nice), 16 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Fondation Maeght is marking its 50th anniversary with a special upcoming exhibition, entitled “De Giacometti à Tàpies, 50 ans de collection”, to run from 22 June to 2 November.

Featuring works by artists such as Pierre Soulages, Simon Hantaï and Alfredo Giacometti, the exhibition is to celebrate both the Fondation as a space dedicated to modern art, and the legacy of its founders, Aimé and Marguerite Maeght. It is hoped that this show will highlight the foundation’s importance as an art space both within the region of Nice and internationally.

Established in 1964, the Fondation Maeght houses a vast collection of modern paintings, sculptures, ceramics and collages. Its exhibition spaces include a unique building designed by Lluís Sert, a courtyard filled with Giacometti sculptures and gardens showing work by Braque and Miró.

Fondation Vincent van Gogh brings his artworks back to Arles

Arles, 11 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opened on 7 April, in the city in southern France where the artist realised some of his most iconic paintings. Four years in the making, the foundation is to bring van Gogh pieces back to Arles, which has until now only staged two temporary exhibitions of the artist’s work, in 1951 and 1989.

Luc Hoffmann and his family have funded the project, financing the renovation of a 15th-century mansion in the historic city centre. The Hôtel Léauteaud de Donines, a 3,500-square-foot UNESCO World Heritage Site, now houses a gallery and exhibition space.

The foundation’s inaugural exhibition is entitled “Van Gogh live!”, which is presenting van Gogh’s paintings, some of which have been loaned from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, alongside the work of contemporary artists who have been inspired by him. Pieces by Raphael Hefti, Gary Hume, Camille Henrot and Elizabeth Peyton, amongst others, are on display, and Thomas Hirschhorn has been commissioned to create a new work specifically for the show, entitled Indoor Van Gogh Altar.

Martin Parr captures Paris

Paris, 11 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Following in a tradition set by Paris’s Maison Européenne de la Photographie, which gives internationally renowned photographers the opportunity to present their view of Paris in an exhibition, the work of the British photographer Martin Parr is on display in the institution until 25 May 2014.

The exhibition “Martin Parr: Paris” comprises around sixty photographs taken by the photographer over a two-year period. The images focus an array of themes which enable their viewer to form a view of Parr’s Paris: fashion shows, public celebrations, Paris Plages and tourists all feature, many of the images paying particular attention to tourists and their response to the city. Both previously unseen and older works are to be presented in the exhibition.

Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, in 1952 and went on to study photography at Manchester Polytechnic. Concentrating on social documentary, he has had retrospective exhibitions at the Barbican Art Gallery (London) and the National Media Museum (Bradford), as well as acting as Guest Artistic Director for the Rencontres d’Arles in 2004.

An inaugural success for Paris Tribal

Paris, 10 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The inaugural edition of Paris Tribal, an event bringing together several galleries in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, took place between 3 and 6 April.

All 26 participating dealers announced their satisfaction with a high turnout of collectors, who came from both France and further afield: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the USA.

Significant sales which took place over the course of the weekend included: a wooden Senoufo ointment pot (c. 1870) from the Ivory Coast, sold by Galerie Bacquart; African, Nepalese and Guatemalan masks and a Murik, Sepik mask from Papua New Guinea at Alain Bovis; a Moro leather set of armour from the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines at Pascassio Manfredi; a Sigi Kun (buffalo head) at Albert Loeb; and an important Nepalese mask in wood, metal and clay at Indian Heritage gallery.

The second edition of Paris Tribal is forecast to take place in spring 2015.

Kendell Geers explores alchemy at Yvon Lambert

Paris, 10 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

“Solve et Coagula”, Yvon Lambert’s third solo exhibition of work by the artist Kendell Geers, is to take place from 26 April to 31 May 2014. An integral aspect of the work presented in this exhibition is the artist’s questioning of the relationship between artistic creation and transgression, often producing works which represent violence in its many forms.

This exhibition is to illustrate the South African artist’s multifarious artistic methods, drawing on a mix of installations, paintings and performance which together present a fantastical approach to violence. The title of the exhibition is a reference to the theme of alchemy which runs through the works, concentrating upon the inevitability that a body will decompose before it transforms into a spirit.

The performance Ritual Resist and several of Geers’ large paintings are influenced by the theory outlined in Lignes de Fuite by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: the viewer is situated in a place of social and spatial instability, from which we are expected to form our own ethical position. Paintings which possess strong tribal motifs, and the troubling image of a swing with a seat made of broken glass, also form part of the works on display. As a whole, the exhibition encourages an exploration of art and its limits, its relationship to history and its ability to construct narratives.

Jean-Marc Scanreigh reinterprets the work of 14 photographers at Le Lac Gelé

Nîmes (France), 10 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Le Lac Gelé, a specialist photography gallery in Nîmes, has given the French painter Jean-Marc Scanreigh free rein in its space until 10 May.

In a show entitled “Sui Generis: La photo dans la mire du dessin” (One of a kind: Photography as seen through drawing), Scanreigh reinterprets the work of fourteen photographers, both chosen by the gallery (including Jean-André Bertozzi, Julie Canarelli, and Alejandro De Los Santos) and taken from the collection of M. Millot-Durrenberger (including Colette Hyvrard, Bogdan Konopka, David Nebreda, and Denis Roche).

The exhibition presents around twenty drawings, produced in coloured pencil, pastel and gouache. The artist’s approach to his subjects is playful, exhibiting an undercurrent of occasionally dark humour.

Claude Lévêque gets iPad app

Paris, 10 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A new app has been launched to coincide with the unveiling of a new Claude Lévêque work  — a red neon light installed in the pyramid of Paris’s Louvre.

The app provides a comprehensive guide to Claude Lévêque’s oeuvres, presenting a hundred works accompanied by videos of installations, sounds, music and a previously unreleased interview with the artist. Expectected to be regularly updated by its creators, the app can be downloaded free of charge from site Art Book Magazine until 30 April.

ICOM launches website to tackle cultural goods trafficking

Paris, 10 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Coinciding with the 128th edition of ICOM’s (International Council of Museums) Executive Council meeting in Paris on 4 and 5 April 2014, the website of ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods was officially launched.

The International Observatory is an ICOM initiative which is benefitting from the financial support of the “Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme”, enacted by the European Commission’s Directorate General Home Affairs. Originally conceived as a three-year initiative, the ICOM is now committed to making it a sustainable feature.

The website of ICOM’s International Observatory is to serve as a central hub for centralising and disseminating a variety of resources and documentary aids which relate to the illicit traffic of cultural goods, and the means through which to combat the trade. It is to offer, amongst other things, a range of texts, documents and sound recordings as well as normative ethical instruments, international legal instruments and links to information websites which retain information on similar subjects.

“Photography through sculpture”: Tomoaki Suzuki at Bordeaux’s CAPC

Bordeaux, 9 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

CAPC – the museum of contemporary art in Bordeaux – is presenting an exhibition of work by Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki until 1 June.

The museum, a former colonial spices warehouse, has opened up its nave to the young artist, assembling a selection of Suzuki’s figurative sculptures under the vaulted ceiling. Standing no higher than 60cm, each wooden figure is an intricate representation of London fashion – with the artist finding people to pose for him in the streets around where he lives. In a meticulous blending of contemporary style with traditional Japanese woodcarving techniques, it takes Suzuki four months to complete a single sculpture.

Curator Alexis Vaillant has created a very unconventional exhibition – which, with 20 sculptures, is a semi-retrospective – with no separation between the visitor and the work. Without display cabinets, or even a base to the sculptures, the two share the same floor and occupy the same space. While small in stature, the rich, painstaking detail of the pieces forces the visitor to crouch down and place themselves on the same level. Dimensions are fleetingly created and broken within the space, which Suzuki uses to convey the impossibility of a notion of “community” in the age of social media.

Speaking to Art Media Agency, Suzuki spoke of creating a “confrontation” between the sculptures and the museum’s unique architecture – albeit a positive one. Describing his work as “photography through sculpture”, the amount of time he dedicates to one piece allows him to translate each individual personality through small details in their clothing or gestures. On the eve of the show’s opening, the highlight for him was seeing fifteen years’ worth of work in one place, allowing him to revisit characters and friends that have marked his career so far.

Born in 1972 in Mito, Japan, Tomoaki Suzuki moved to London in 1998 to study at Goldsmiths College. His work has been exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, Michael Janssen Gallery in Köln, and Marc Jancou Contemporary in New York.

Robotic Art at Paris’s Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

Paris, 8 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 8 April 2014 to 4 January 2015, Paris’s Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is to present the exhibition “Art robotique”, a temporary exhibition displaying work which primarily uses mid-20th century technology such as robotics, electronics, bionics and computing.

The works on display are all either the product of robotic construction or are “robots” in their own right. The exhibition is to feature the work of around ten artists, all of whom have approached the topic from different artistic platforms and with varying inspirations. In the region of twenty works are to make up the exhibition, the majority of which are to be displayed in the institution’s 1600m2 exhibition space. Two works are of such large scale that they are to be displayed separately in the institution’s hall and passageway: Totemobile — a Citroën car which transforms into an 18-metre-high totem pole — by Chico Macmurtrie and Amorphic Robot Works, measures 18m in height and reaches nearly to the roof of the building. Other works have been inspired by space, nature, industry and iconography.

Working in collaboration with EPIDEMIC, all the works on display form a dialogue between restoration and transformation and draw on a mix of mechanical and optical spectacles. The institution is coining the term “transformation-powered artworks”, a concept which situates the pieces in an exploration of kinetic work.

The exhibition is curated by Richard Castelli.

Artist does 13-day performance with just the bear necessities

Paris, 8 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A French artist is inhabiting the inside of a bear carcass in a two-week-long performance piece at Paris’s Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.

Abraham Poincheval is performing “Dans la peau de l’ours” (In the skin of the bear), in which he occupies a space measuring 1.6m x 1.2m x 2.6m. The bear has been specially designed in skin and fur from a Canadian black bear, and took three months to create. Eating, sleeping and relieving himself inside the animal for thirteen days, Poincheval is to be forced to confront issues of humanity, in a work which sees him “become” the animal.

The artist, born in 1972 in Alençon, is no stranger to performance installations that test his physical limits: in 2012 in Marseille he shut himself in a 60cm x 160m hole in the ground for seven days, and in 2013, embarked on another week-long burial underneath the city hall in Tours.

As well as the essentials for Poincheval to survive for 13 days, the bear is also equipped with a camera, which is broadcasting a live stream of the performance via the museum’s website.

“Despite it all they make art!”: Syrian art from the Revolution onwards

Paris, 8 March 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The exhibition “Despite it all they make art!”, which focuses on Syrian art produced since the onset of the Syrian Revolution, is taking place from 10 April to 27 July at Paris’s Institut des Cultures d’Islam. Subtitled “Syria: Having faith in the arts”, the exhibition showcases the work of sixteen artists and artist collectives whose recent work takes diverse forms.

The works on display serve as a dialogue between the artists and their response to the violence which has recently dominated their country’s landscape. Through a broad range of media, including video art, photography and sculpture, the works address the conflict in a variety of different ways, some resisting the violent and voyeuristic images frequently portrayed by the media – choosing instead to show the conflict in a more artistic light. Abounaddara’s video works favour a cinematic language; the collective’s films give a voice to Syrians, rather than focusing on the theme of violence. For their part, some artists have chosen to highlight the country’s problems; Fadi Yazigi attacks bags of flour, an action which shows a strong contrast with the country’s real bread shortage.

The exhibition also features the series Syria, Art in Arms, which comprises of images by artists who have been active on social media sites since the beginning of the conflict. The series originally appeared in the publication Syria, Art in Arms (La Martinière, 2013) and presents the work of visual artists whose frequently humorous works have commanded significant media attention.

“Paris 1900, The City of Entertainment” at Paris’s Petit Palais

Paris, 7 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The exhibition “Paris 1900, The City of Entertainment” is running at Paris’s Petit Palais until 17 August. The head curator is Christophe Leribault, Director of the Petit Palais.

Over 600 works evoking the atmosphere of the Belle Époque in the City of Light are on display: paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, costumes, posters, photographs, films, furniture and jewellery.

The show is organised into six different sections. The first, entitled “Paris, showcase of the world” is  a commemoration of the World’s Fair. The next section features pioneers of Art Nouveau — including Gallé, Guimard, Majorelle, Mucha, and Lalique —, leading harmoniously through to the third section: “Paris, Capital of the Arts”. Here, works by Cézanne, Monet and Renoir (among others) are displayed. Visitors are then taken on a journey through the fashion of the era, before reaching the final two platforms — “Paris by night” and “Paris on stage” — centred on Parisian entertainment of the 1900s. Here, works by Sarah Bernhardt, Yvette Guilbert and Edmond Rostand stand alongside Toulouse-Lautrec’s notorious illustrations of the Moulin Rouge and other legendary haunts of the multifaceted city.

Journeys across geo-poetical space: Enrique Ramírez at Michel Rein

Paris, 3 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 5 April to 24 May 2014, Michel Rein gallery is to present the first Paris-based solo exhibition of works by Chilean artist Enrique Ramírez.

A fine artist specialising in video and photography, Ramírez produces work which considers memory and migration, drawing on ethnographic and sociological studies. Entitled “Cartographies pour marins sur terre” (Cartography for sailors of the earth), the exhibition takes water as its central theme, considering the element as one which facilitates travel and exchange. Featured works are to include texts, drawings and videos.

Describing his work, the artist states: “The vast landscapes which scatter my work are are conceived as imaginary, geo-poetical spaces, territories which are open to looking and wandering. The images are contemplative in tone: landscapes, the breeze, water, sand, everything seems to cooperate to form a landscape which commands a unique, subjective response.”