Joan Miro, Beyond Painting at the Maeght Foundation
Michel Gathier

#Saint Paul de Vence He has never ceased to translate into lines and colours this wonder that he shares with us in the universality of his language. Miro speaks to us with simple spots, lines, clear colours and, mysteriously, all these signs are activated like musical notes for a concert of stars, moons, stars or arrows. A primitive writing is engraved on the surface of the work to celebrate the wedding of heaven and earth.

Since 1927 the artist has been passionate about the multiple possibilities of a graphic work in relation to writers. His passion for experimentation led him to an ever more sophisticated mastery of engraving and lithography. In 1947 he signed his first lithograph for Maeght Editeur and the adventure of graphic art began to take off. In 1964 Adrien Maeght created the ARTE printing house and here the artist multiplied catalogues, posters and books for bibliophiles. He collaborates with Eluard, Prévert, Tzara, Leiris and many others. Miro’s writing resonates with that of the poets and this exhibition provides us with a testimony of this and can be read as much as it can be seen.

Everything about Miro is obvious: the evidence of a great secret. He unrolls the veins of the universe, he grabs the tremor of life, the sliding of color in a line or a point. Everything is so simple in these beatings of the world captured at their origin. Miro paints, sculpts, draws, engraves this silent dawn when words and things are still only a starry seed. He discovered the carborundum technique with Henri Goetz to whom he wrote: “Such an engraving can have the beauty and dignity of a beautiful painting. “Black will then be decisive for his engraved work, both as a sign and as a punctuation of his poetic inspiration.

“Beyond painting” is not only this multitude of visual poems created by Miro over several decades, but an exhibition that focuses on the story of an artist fascinated by all the techniques of a graphic work. The visitor follows the progress of a work, the copper plates, the preparatory tests, the different prints. The work is alive and never ceases to unfold as if each colour, each line found in itself its own breath in the infinity of space.

Until November 17

Joan Miro, “Beyond Painting”

Maeght Foundation, Saint-Paul de Vence

Collection of Ancient Egyptian Art at the MET

#NEW YORK The Ancient Egyptian Art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (The MET) consists of about 26,000 art objects, from the Paleolithic to the Roman period (about 300,000 B.C. – 4th century B.C.). Chronologically arranged in about forty rooms, the objects reflect the aesthetic values, history, religious beliefs and daily life of Ancient Egypt, this great civilization. One of the most popular rooms in Egyptian galleries undoubtedly remains the temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing. Built around 15 BC by the Roman Emperor Augustus, who succeeded Cleopatra VII, the last of Egypt’s Ptolemaic rulers, the temple was dedicated to the great goddess Isis and the two sons of a local Nubian ruler who had helped the Romans in their wars with the Queen of Meroe in the south. Located in Lower Nubia, about fifty kilometres south of modern Aswan, the temple was dismantled to save it from the rising waters of Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan High Dam. This unique legacy was offered to the United States by the Egyptian government in recognition of the American contribution to the international campaign to safeguard the ancient Nubian monuments.

Will Eisner: “A Pact with God”

#BD This album, published in 1978, is considered the first graphic novel and designated as such by its author Will Eisner, who wrote “ A graphic novel ” on the cover. An editorial strategy to get the album out of the youth and humour sections where comics were usually placed in the USA, but not only. Considered by his peers and fans as one of the greatest cartoonists of the medium, Will Eisner, who had put aside his activity as an author for the benefit of advertising and the re-release of his previous works, returns with a fresh look at comics and will change the history of the 9th art.

This veteran of drawing, who masters all contemporary styles and codes, is looking for other graphic and scriptwriting approaches for comics. The author of the Spirit reinvents himself by proposing a new way of telling with a more intimate point of view, a denser format in black & white far from the dailies and serial publications. It benefits from a unique layout that frees itself from the usual box and layout. A desire to create a total art for this man who also theorized the Comic Strip through courses at the School of Visual Arts in New York and educational books. From the script to the inking, from the lettering to the staging, passing by the drawing or the dialogues: the designer reinvests all the posts in a universe where these tasks are usually very codified and spread over several artists. Eisner’s boards seem animated and his characters come straight out of a play.

Composed of short stories that have New York, Jewish immigrants and memory as their common denominator, Un pacte avec Dieu will be followed by two other books that form an informal trilogy: Jacob the cockroach and Dropsie Avenue. All the titles written during this period are quite exceptional, explore these themes, present elements borrowed from the author’s biography and we can only recommend them: New York trilogy, The Dreamer, In the Heart of the Storm, The Waltz of Alliances, and one of the most successful: Fagin the Jew. A tireless creator, Will Eisner ended his career by renewing himself once again, publishing Le Conspot, L’histoire secrète des Protocoles des Protocoles des Sages de Sion, a book halfway between graphic novel and investigation, between pages of fiction, quotations and document reproduction. 
Vous will have understood it, A Contract with God or New York trilogy are only the gateway to his incredible universe that you are advised to explore up to the Spirit.

The highest distinctions won by comic strips in the United States are called the Eisner awards in honour of the great cartoonist (Also awarded are the Harvey Awards and the Ignatz Awards among the most prestigious). He won this award three times in 1992, 1997 and 2002. Was registered at the “ Temple de la renommée ” of the Eisner  in 1987, and elected Grand Prix of the city of Angoulême in 1975. As well as dozens of prizes all over the world.

Thomas Mourier,

A Covenant with God by Will Eisner ed Delcourt,

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Magistral “Dinner Party” au Brooklyn Museum
Lili Tisseyre

#BROOKLYN Militant, intellectual, unclassifiable creator, Judy Chicago is a key artist in the history of feminist art in the 1970s. She co-founded with Miriam Schapiro the Feminist Art Program and organizes in 1971 the mythical exhibition “Womanhouse”. Judy Chicago is more of a researcher and devotes 5 years to her most (re)known project to date”.The Dinner Party“». She celebrates 1038 women who have counted in the culture in a grandiose triangular installation, a table set up with plates decorated with ceramic vulva and embroidery, all different, from the froufrouteuse Emily Dickinson to the venomous Georgia o’keefe. A permanent installation to discover at Brooklyn Museum.

“The Untouchable, Harvey Weinstein” by Ursula MacFarlane
Dominique Vautrin

Documentary, Released August 14, 2019. A dive into the heart of the most explosive saga in the history of cinema: The INTOUCHABLE tells the story of the rise and fall of Hollywood tycoon Harvey Weinstein. How he acquired and preserved his omnipotence over the decades, even when the scandal was looming. Former collaborators and several of his accusers describe his modus operandi, as well as the consequences of his alleged sexual abuse, in the hope that justice will be done and things will finally move.

Claude Lévêque: “Human Fly” in Saint-Nazaire
Michel Gathier

#SAINT-NAZAIRE Memory clashes with contemporary reality and the mythologies it evokes. This would therefore be enough to make Claude Lévêque’s work provocative. Especially since his installations proceed through confusing detours that contrast with the extreme simplicity of his subject. Thus “Human Fly” refers to the memory of a Cramp music – a reminder of the punk culture from which the artist comes – but also to the fly which, with its diffracted vision system, imposes another perspective. Another detour, then, another dive into childhood. And also a false entry into the expected work when the exhibition poster takes the image of a merry-go-round with its naive planes in the colours of a bygone era.

As always, the simplicity of the approach and the materials – objects, sounds and lights – are confronted with the disproportionate effect produced In the former submarine base of Saint Nazaire Claude Lévêque reactivates this field of memory with the intensity of the perceptual shock. No narrative will emerge from this permanent tension between an underground and enclosed place, its mass of raw concrete and the reminder of the chaos of the bombardments to which it was subjected. Only the effect caused in the spectator who, without his knowledge, updates the sensory disorder of those who suffered it.

Claude Lévêque, once again, is attached to this distortion that takes place between a place, its function, its architecture and the event it creates, not to signify or restore a memory but rather to break the stranglehold of space and time in which any story is constructed. What he pursues is the ephemeral, the shock of the present, the imbalance and the loss of sensory landmarks in the attack of subjectivity until the risk of loss of meaning.

Thus this environment consists only of stainless steel rod structures that reflect the flash of the projectors in a night full of lightning. The deafening and metallic sounds tear the space to the unbearable. Pleasure and revulsion intertwine for an experience where abstraction is pushed to the point of explosion that structures our consciousness in a line of fulgurations for others possible. Here we are subjected to an experience of which we become the only masters. Claude Lévêque tells us:

“Only art offers visions, the rest, the spectacle of media politics, does not make you dream. Only pockets of resistance are essential. »


Until September 29, 2019

LIFE, Submarine Base, Saint-Nazaire

Simon Bérard and Tom Giampieri “Shooting the address”
Michel Gathier

#NICE Two artists, Simon Bérard and Tom Giampieri, invest “the castle”, i. e. the vast room formerly devoted to an electric generator, at the end of the courtyard of L’Espace à Vendre. Both are driven by experimental research on colour chemistry and, while each exhibits its own pieces, some are produced jointly and reflect the similar objectives they pursue. But the common thread of the exhibition develops from other artists from whom their reflection has been built. We will therefore find as soon as we enter the works of Roland Flexner, John Armleder, Stéphane Steiner and Dominique Figarella who provide a key to the exhibition by opening the research field of the two artists.

The work of Simon Bérard is widely quoted and based on the difference in language and how to access colour. Starting with the words “quail” and “straw”, he establishes a material and chromatic relationship on various supports in relation to nature. By metonymy, a shift occurs between quail, mouth, egg and similar images from beans for shape and colour equivalence. The artist materializes this axis by using straw for the mouth that can project the egg yolk on a support as for the old technique of tempera. And the semantic game continues with the use of, for example, red cabbage and lemon. The effects are surprising and the artist sets out to conquer the old techniques by using images as ironic detours of these processes.

Tom Giamperi s’s more directly interested in the color, in the external modifications that it can support, for example through UV. He too explores its roots, enjoying the pigments linked to wood or iron. He adds the object that diverts the process, the plastic fork. The derisory becomes form. The overheated fork spreads its white threads and draws lines that play with or disharmonious with the colored background. The result is a form of colourful poaching junk or humorous rebus. It all depends on the philosophical credibility that is given to the two artists. They meet in certain rooms where the identity of one or the other tends to merge when the work is not collective. Moreover, as a synthesis of these practices, a miniature workshop is built like a greenhouse containing all the real or intellectual materials on which this research is based. There is something serious and mischievous about this. We’re having fun and wondering about this hazardous trajectory. You never get bored.

“Pull the address” is the title of the exhibition that unfolds from floor to ceiling when the starting point refers to the rhizome that Deleuze mentioned. All the practices thus follow one another on a horizontal axis as well as on a horizon line in the infinity of the work and its repels. All you have to do is believe in it.


Until September 28th

Simon Bérard and Tom Giampieri, “Pull the address”

The Space for Sale, Nice

Art Spiegelman: MAUS

Art Spiegelman is one of the most recognized and celebrated comic book authors in the media, partly thanks to the Pulitzer Prize he won for Mausen in 1992. And for his covers of the New Yorker, in particular the one of the two black towers on a black background that followed the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
Grand defender and promoter of the comic strip medium, Art Spiegelman has taken possession of the comic strip to tell his time, to talk about ambitious subjects with a relevant use of text and images. The cartoonist published the plates of this story for more than 10 years in the RAW magazine (which he publishes with his wife Françoise Mouly. An important magazine for auteur comics in the USA that has published contemporary American authors and artists from all over the world).

Maus staged the memories of Vladek Spiegelman, the author’s father, in Poland in the death camps with a double temporal device: a game of back and forth between the present where the illustrator listens to his father’s story and asks himself questions about his relationship with him, and the 1930s and 1940s with a story in the form of an immersive fiction drawn from Vladek’s memories. He thus addresses the persecutions of Jews in Poland, the Shoah, liberation, but also immigrants to the United States, the family, filiation.
 The subject is supported by a graphic research that intervenes in the narrative, the first part presents an animal universe: Nazis are represented in cats and Jews in mice (mouse = Maus in German) A particularly striking staging because the drawing allows the author to slide from anthropomorphism to masks. The symbolic beasts give way to the animal humans who hide under a mask. A post-modern work that is full of references and games between text and image, making the work specific to the medium and untransposable in another field. 
Beaucoup artists, journalists, academics have examined this exceptional work and the author himself, who confesses to be haunted by this work of a lifetime, has published a book 20 years later: Meta-Maus which tells the story of the project, extracts from notebooks and interviews, transcriptions of discussions, sketches and sound and visual extracts.
If you were to read only one of these 10 titles, start with this one, your vision of the comic book will be forever changed.

Only comic book author to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has won numerous Eisner and Harvey awards for all his works and has been a member of the Eisner Awards’ “Hall of Fame” since 1999. In France, he won two awards for Best Foreign Album in 1988 and 1993. He is also Grand Prix of the city of Angoulême in 2011.

Thomas Mourier

MAUS de Art Spiegelman

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Monster Chetwynd sublimates Monster Rebellion at Villa Arson
Michel Gathier

#NICE The influence of Mikail Bakhtin’s critical work on her own work is something Monster Chetwynd claims loud and clear. We will therefore find the same appetite for polyphony, the carnival structure from the medieval universe when the stories intersect, contradict each other: and tend to subvert social and political authority from humour and popular cultures. The analysis that Bakhtin conducted from the novel, through Rabelais and Dostoevsky in particular, Monster Chetwynd continues it in a burlesque and transgressive work where the performance and multilingualism of the figures are never absent.

The name that the artist now gives himself is nothing more than the actualisation of an identity that is always moving in relation to a work that is also worked on by the notion of “intertextuality”: we meet the medieval world, the relationship to Jérôme Bosch, bats, snakes and salamanders but also the comic strip, fanzines and the collective elaboration of the work when, for example, she collaborates with groups of children…

Monster Chetwynd’s imagination takes over Villa Arson in an outpouring of creativity on the walls, ceilings or floor. A sound atmosphere and colorful lighting support this punk and humorous production. The artist adds an ecological claim through a strong relationship with poor, light, easily transportable materials. Like children, she creates “monstrous” with cardboard, papier mâché, to which she adds liquid latex and other elements. The result is an improbable universe, timeless, sometimes as sinister as it is funny, but which always transports us to the fabulous realm of the imagination. Everything is of a claudicant beauty and a crippled logic when the fantastic creatures vampirisent a painting by François Boucher while, from one room to another, a new setting opens up for a gigantic carnival.

Monster Chetwynd’s night world is deliciously irreverent. Grimacingly light. We circulate there with jubilation, we meet our ghosts, we wander in the garden of delights, we have fun with these do-it-yourself projects and we tell ourselves that the world is made like this: we are strangers to it and yet we live there. These hybrid creatures that are watching us are also a part of ourselves.

Monster Chetwynd (ex Spartacus and ex Marvin Gaye Chetwynd) was born in 1973. She lives and works in Glasgow. It is represented by Sadie Coles HQ galleries in London, Massimo de Carlo in Milan and Gregor Staiger in Zurich.

Until October 13, 2019

Monster Chetwynd, “Monster Rebellion”

Villa Arson, Nice

Ode to Freedom, freedom darling
Michel Gathier

#NICE Confining oneself in an illustrative approach despite the variety of approaches and forms that it can take remains the risk of any thematic exhibition. Very often images and genres are juxtaposed or overlapped in relative cohesion without a real analysis of the theme addressed and the forms it implies. The success of this exhibition is therefore due to the fact that it is not based on celebration as the title “Liberty, freedom cherished” might suggest

In the preamble Simone Dibo-Cohen, Commissioner and President of the Mediterranean Union for Modern Art, quotes Paul Valéry:

“Freedom is one of those detestable words that have more value than meaning, that sing more than they speak, that ask more than they answer. »

Its indefinable, indeterminate aspect therefore opens up to all possible possibilities to such an extent that the same words could correspond to a definition of art.About twenty living artists present their proposals around this poetic horizon, this “song”, this questioning on which the concept of freedom would be based. And if it is still in progress, blind to the future forms it will produce, here it is associated with the field of creation. The artist is therefore above all a creator of Freedom.

The works presented here all seek to express a specific aspect of the concept and one can only regret that the subject is sometimes confused by other themes such as the animal cause. This leads to a dangerous confusion between freedom and morality… The works remain strong and that is the most important thing Liu Bolin immerses himself in reality to the point of blending in with the elements in which he is photographed. Is being free then merging, becoming invisible? What about protecting yourself from the world or acting on it? Gérard Rancinan updates the iconography of freedom by reinterpreting Delacroix’ painting through photography. The Iranian Shadi RezaeiThrough drawing and video, he is interested in the freedom of the body in relation to cultural and religious traditions Benjamin Sabatier s’attache particulièrement à la sculpture et à l’expérimentation qu’elle permet tandis que bien d’ autres artistes évoquent la sexualité, la répression et les drames de l’histoire. Perhaps it is in the very idea of painting and figuration that François Bard thinks this concept of freedom. The anonymous figure, centered to the point of suffocation, “depicts” a form of absence, the scar of a lack. There are also Franta, Louis James, Philippe Perrin, Gérard Taride, Myrian Klein, Bennacer… The exhibition is held in a former prison: Proof that art can overcome oppression.

Until October 15th

“Liberté, liberté chérie”, Collective exhibition

Lympia Gallery, Nice

Claire Tabouret, a story of travel and immobility!
Michel Gathier

#NANTES If only the sea could sleep… To this interrupted reverie, Claire Tabouret gives form and movement, hoists the sails of her painting with force in the old banana shed in the port of Nantes. A story of travel and immobility. Or even exile, perhaps, when you consider the contempt that some institutions in France have for painting…

On the other side of the Atlantic, Claire Tabouret sends us back strong works, of a serious poetry with intense and sometimes painful colours – paintings, drawings or plaster sculptures, all marked by the presence of bodies but also by their solitude or absence from the world.

The space is crossed by immense sails that the artist cuts and rebuilds. On their near transparency, she paints the convulsion or rigidity of the bodies reduced to traces, to footprints as if this sea were also a ploughed field, delivered to all the undertones of the dramas or dreams of humanity. We guess there was life, love, effusion but we only perceive a dry echo, we now only see the bone. Claire Tabouret paints beings at the moment of a primitive nerve, above all a narrative, a psychology. They are the ghosts who pierce us and question us about who we are. Colours are no longer captured in the kingdom of nature but, acid, they emerge from another world where muffled voices whisper to us from buried truths, the dream or the possibility of an elsewhere to which painting would allow us to access.

The silhouettes haunt space, they wave in the breath of a sea air whose mysterious gravity we suffer. The sails are filled with these human and earthy imprints while, on the walls, acrylic and inks diffuse the strangeness of their luminous halo. Borrowed from a poem by Adonis, “If only the sea could sleep” is a superb meditation on the horizon of the bodies or their extinction, on the surge of feelings or their ossification, on the poetry itself when art manages to give it shape like music would speak silence.

Claire Tabouret says: “I paint what I don’t see” Art is then that blind spot that painting reveals.


Until September 15th

Claire Tabouret, “If only the sea could sleep”

HAB Gallery, Quai des Antilles, Nantes

The MÉCA, a new cultural showcase in Bordeaux
Patrice Huchet

#Bordeaux and its region is acquiring a new cultural tool, the Méca, in which the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine is settling in cohabitation with two major regional actors in artistic creation. A magical setting to welcome the artistic dynamics of the largest region in France.

After restoring its historic centre and following the construction of the Cité du Vin with its bold architecture, Bordeaux is continuing its transformation and is firmly in line with the 21st century. Today, she is launching a new challenge with the creation of the MÉCA (Maison de l’Économie créative et de la Culture en Nouvelle-Aquitaine). The MÉCA brings together three institutions in a flamboyant building neuf : the OARA, a structure dedicated to performing arts, the ALCA, the book, film and audiovisual agency, and the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Through this co-location and the sharing of shared spaces, the New Aquitaine Region thus intends to generate a synergy of interdisciplinary projects and propose tools adapted to the requirements of contemporary creation.

A stone’s throw from Bordeaux train station, the place inaugurated on 29 June last, embodying the cultural influence of the Region, is housed in a bold building that is developing like a loop on the banks of the Garonne, with its opposite access ramps. This sand-coloured “M” shaped arch is impressive with lightness, depth and transparency, despite its large dimensions. Its lines play with geometries and perspectives that confer a distorting effect and give the illusion of an architecture in motion.

A grandiose architectural project, an open door to the river in the shape of an “M”

The building is designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, known for his innovative building projects, Bjarke Ingels is at the head of an impressive series of projects including the new Google headquarters in California and the second major tower of the World Trade Center in New York. Located on the banks of the Garonne, on the site of the former slaughterhouses, the

MÉCA raises its 18,000 m2Its 120 metres long and 37 metres high on a platform composed of tiers and ramps. Inside, the MÉCA is home to the “largest stage in the region”. This modular space, of 360m2 and 20 m high, allows artists of the living arts (theatre, dance, circus, street arts…) to have a large creative stage at all times of the year for three-week residencies. The building also includes a dance studio, an 80-seat digital projection room, school reception areas and conference rooms. It is managed by the OARA (Office Artistique Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine)

The MÉCA is intended to be a place open to everyone but mostly intended for creative artists,” says Frédéric Vilcocq, MÉCA project manager. With some 35 artist residencies expected each year and the installation of the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the site completes the production and promotion of contemporary artistic creation in the region with the CAPC.

A new showcase for the FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine

The New Aquitanian FRAC, which prides itself on having a Jeff Koons, the only one that a French public collection would possess, will have at its disposal 1200 m2 of exhibition spaces and 900 m2 for his reserves. To inaugurate its new premises, the Frac is offering a very dense exhibition “Il est une fois dans l’Ouest”, a hanging dedicated to the artistic scene in western France.

With the MÉCAthe region is acquiring a new generation Frac. An essential working tool, for its essential mission today, to democratize contemporary art, to plan the cultural development of the territory and to support young creation.

This building is the anchor point of a collection of more than 1200 travelling works, contemporary heritage of the Region with a network of more than 100 regional partners, associations, museums, art centres or schools and social institutions, exhibitions or events throughout the region. With this new space, Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine is entering a new dynamic by offering additional creative capacities thanks to its workshops and equipment, thus allowing artist residencies in collaboration with the other institutions of the MÉCAOARA and ALCA, which will encourage pluridisciplinarity and the meeting of different ways of thinking.

For the opening of its new offices, the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine proposes us “Once upon a time in the West” (article to come) a river exhibition that meets the one it runs alongside. This inaugurates a dense program and launches the new life of the FRAC NEW-AQUITAINE MÉCA under the best auspices.

29 June – 9 November 2019


Frac New Aquitaine Méca

MÉCA, 5 parvis Corto Maltese 33000 Bordeaux


Lucio Fontana, Terra e Oro at Villa Borghese
Lili Tisseyre

#ROMAThe Galleria Borghese is dedicating an exhibition to Lucio Fontana’s gold “Concetti spaziali” and ceramic “Crucifixions”. This is the first time that the Roman institution has invited an Italian artist from the 20th century to its premises after having organised major retrospectives in recent years: Bacon, Giacometti or Picasso. A consecration for this avant-garde artist, founder of the space movement who since 1949 has imposed his mistreated, incised, perforated monochromes to claim the three-dimensionality of his works: For him, the thus mistreated canvas changes status and is no longer a flat support: it records the passage of time and thus interacts with light.

In dialogue with the permanent tenants (Botticelli, Bruegel l’Ancien, Le Titien or Le Caravage among others) and presented in the various rooms dedicated to painting or sculpture, the fifty or so pieces by Lucio Fontana, oils on canvas with gold and ceramics, are essentially from the period 1958-1968, the year of his death. The exhibition is completely in line with the institution’s approach, which today seeks to enhance, on the one hand, its exceptional spaces in terms of architecture (Renaissance) and the identity of its permanent collection.

In this extraordinary tangle of works from the different periods of art history, where space – the pitfall and original questioning of figurative art – is “represented” in the most varied or innovative way possible, only Lucio Fontana could demonstrate the final realization of this representation, because Fontana is not space… he creates it. He radically goes beyond his representations that were only spatial claims – (space “represented”) – and builds a new space.

It is true that appealing to this great “innovator” of modern art is a matter of great maturity in the exercise of curation and the desire to bring together in the same space periods, movements, artistic thoughts and approaches that are sometimes at odds with each other (Curated by Anna Covida). Lucio Fontana’s pieces reveal here all the ingenuity of this architectural jewel and its treasures (sculptures by Bernini, altarpiece by Raphael).


Until August 25, 2019

Lucio Fontana: Terra e Oro

Galleria Borghese, Roma

Daniel Clowes: Ghost World

#BD This book is one of the most powerful graphic works written and drawn on adolescence and its malaise, the transition to adulthood and its share of existential questions, with an omnipresence of that particular boredom that turns into a golden age once in their thirties. Pre-published in its magazine Eightball among other titles and short stories, Ghost World is one of the best-selling graphic novels in the USA and its film adaptation by Terry Zwigoff is a huge success. 
Le book tells the story of Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca’s teenage friendship “ Bekky ” Doppelmeyer, two young American women who are dejected by their families and this conformist American society. Like many teenagers, their misanthropy pushes them to frequent freaks and the marginalized. Their fusional friendship, materialized by scenes with very funny lines, conversations about sex that no other comic book makes so well and this natural complicity so well made that one will feel crumbling as the pages go by.

Daniel Clowes paints an unfiltered portrait of this strange period when everything is at stake, when people try to assert their personality through codes where cynicism and unease infiltrate all social relationships. 
Enid Coleslaw (anagram by Daniel Clowes) embodies the paradoxes of this youthful age, full of both envy and disappointment at the time of its greatest fragility. The drawing, both aesthetic and clinical, is part of this melancholic, tender and cynical vision of this particular adolescence, which tends towards the universal through a profusion of details, simplicity and realism. Drawings oscillating between sketches from models and caricatures, management of temporality in different episodes, use of two-colour and colour in narrative form and the draftsman plays with shapes, frames and lines for his “ monde fantôme ”. A great connoisseur of the history of comics, the draftsman likes to adapt his style according to the references and discreet tributes he pays to his masters. And this album supports the nods to the great cartoonists of everyday life like Frank King or more modern like Chris Ware. This is more evident in his most recent works and you can read Patience (favorite here) to convince yourself.

Enid draws, art is a way to understand the world and to translate its codes, which are so difficult to appropriate. This heroine’s notebook allows a mirror game between the work and its subject, between the subject and the medium used by its author. Dan Clowes’ elaborate line highlights an essential element of the book’s success: beauty can emerge where we could only see boredom, the poetry of banality.

Winner of an Ignatz Award in 1998, the author also won an Oscar for best screenplay adapted for Terry Zwigoff’s film (watch it, it’s a little different, but at least as successful!)

Thomas Mourier

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, ed Cornelius

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“A l’Est du nouveau” visit of the La Gacilly Photo festival
Michel Gathier

#LA GACILLY For its sixteenth edition, La Gacilly photo festival in French Brittany is part of this fierce desire to defend a nature in danger and to confront it with the human and societal challenges it involves. The village of La Gacilly itself is nestled in this exceptional natural setting in the interior of Brittany and the thousand of images presented subtly fit into a vegetal path where the anguish and misery of men are revealed, but also their dreams and hopes.

Coming from the world of art or photojournalism, these images reveal all the ambiguity of a world threatened by chaos but always preserved thanks to this most humble awareness to defend this only true wealth of which man has, nature.
This green museum presents this year “A l’est du nouveau”. But if the Festival is essentially interested in photographic works from Russia, Poland or Lithuania, it nevertheless allows us to confront them with other perspectives for similar issues. And the “new” is also based on a historical return to what may have shaken photography, particularly in Russia.

We will therefore meet Sergy Prokudin-Gorsky for photos taken between 1905 and 1915 whose documentary power is coupled with a technical feat: he resynthesizes the original colors of a shot by successively superimposing three monochrome plates Rodchenko as for him, he is the eye of the constructivist revolution and introduces conceptual thinking into photography. Closer to us, Alexey Titarenko, born in 1962, is a wonderful magician of photography. In “St. Petersburg, the city of shadows”, the light undulates with the city, the bodies melt into waves of mist, the darkness seizes the eternity of dreams.

Dostoyevsky wrote: “To live without hope is to stop living”. This abundance of images, this diversity of approaches appear as gestures to promise salvation as long as we strive to speak the world, to merge with it, to believe in the multiple sparks that flow from it. Each photograph presented here has the strength of a testimony and a hope. Perhaps everything could then be summed up in the astonishing photographic universe of the French Maia Flore, imbued with a magical lightness, where the intimacy of the body merges with the vegetable as reality is woven with the imaginary.


La Gacilly Photo Festival, “A l’Est du nouveau”
Until September 30, 2019

“Diego Maradona” by Asif Kapadia
Dominique Vautrin

Documentary, released July 31, 2019. On July 5, 1984, Diego Maradona arrived in Naples for a sum that set a new world record. For seven years, he set the stadiums on fire. The most mythical footballer on the planet has found his perfect home in the most exciting – but also the most dangerous – city in Europe. In the field, Diego Maradona was a genius. Off the field, he was considered a god. This charismatic Argentine loved to fight adversity and led SCC Napoli to the top of the table for the first time in its history. It was a waking dream! But the price to pay was high. Diego could do anything he wanted as long as he worked miracles on the field. However, darker hours finally followed these prosperous years…. Diego Maradona was made from more than 500 hours of unpublished images from the footballer’s personal archive.

Dalí, a painting story at the Grimaldi Forum
Michel Gathier

#MONACO This is about describing a man’s journey with his complexity, his extravagance and the genius who, he said, lived there. But, all his life, he devoted it to painting, not only to his own but to that of the great Masters he admired. Salvador Dalí‘s genius consisted in blurring the lines between the real and the imaginary, in striving for meticulous perfection while playing with the excess of his palette and figures, in assuming his borrowing from the masters of the past while despising all conventions.

The real thing for Dalí was above all Cadaques and its white house in the small bay of Port Lligat, which, from the sea, crawls by espaliers towards the sky. With its wild light, a raw wind that shears rock and sun. And the frame of the windows opening onto the Mediterranean like the incision of the landscape on his canvases. “It is impossible to understand my painting without knowing Port Lligat,” he wrote. On the 4000m2 of this retrospective, a central island recreates the whole of this landscape around which a whole series of rooms are organized that discover it from windows open onto the magic of the sky, the earth and the sea. This link between the intensity of a place and the painter’s different periods is the sap of this initiatory journey.

Starting from a chronological thread, the visitor, through paintings but also through drawings, documents or photographs, experiences the gestation of a work that is part of the great movements of 20th century art. At first he will see the father’s house in Cadaques, treated with an impressionist touch. Then bold paintings in their cubist vein. And even materialistic attempts in the Catalan spirit and the discovery of Warhol and Pop Art. Painting then tends to leave its frame, to explore the possibilities of a third dimension, the last step before Dalí’s ultimate dream, immortality.

But all these movements he went through remain irrigated by surrealism, of which he was one of the main actors, while remaining at the margins of the movement. Yet the exhibition, without evading the heart of the work, takes the decision to explore its contours, to reveal the fantasies and anxieties that shake it beyond the construction of a style Because dalí’s style remains the real mystery that this exhibition at least allows us to touch. He probably resides in the tutelary shadows he celebrates, the light of Vermeer, the power of Michelangelo, the verticality of the cypress trees in Böcklin’s “Isle of the Dead”, the horizontality of the earth with Millet’s “Angelus” and all that writing of anxiety and the paranoid-critical method that he claimed. Dalí’s language is this vocabulary of symptoms that are transformed into signs before being measured against the painting of his “fathers” to be accomplished. This exhibition is an important moment to find a key in the Dalí mystery.

Until September 8, 2019

“Dalí, a story of painting”

Monaco, Grimaldi Forum

The Master of Colour Carlos Cruz-Diez is dead
Lili Tisseyre

#PARIS Carlos Cruz-Diez, the emblematic pioneer of kinetic art, died at the age of 95 at his Parisian home on July 27.

The artist, with his exceptional production, is at the origin of a new cognitive approach to the phenomenon of colour and begins by studying its physical properties, put into practice in his “physichromy”. He then focused on the dissociation between form and colour and throughout his career, developed a research around 3 main axes: additive colour, the most famous of which was created in 1975 and was used on pedestrian crossings on Sabana Grande Boulevard in Caracas, chromatic inductions from 1963 and dual-frequency inductions from 1986.

In his most famous works, he breaks up shapes and transforms coloured planes into a succession of colour parallels, which he arranges vertically. Thus, he creates geometric images in offset that change and dematerialize according to the spectator’s movement. The latter then becomes the actor of the movement and its transformations. Carlos Cruz-Diez shows the vibration of light and the infinite variety of colours that compose it in still images.

Humanist and concerned about an art that is shared and addressed to all, Carlos Cruz-Diez will remain an essential figure in the urban art that is created for and in the public space.

“The street and architecture seemed to me to be the best way to communicate art and integrate it into society.”

In Miami, more than two million colred pieces of ceramics are associated along the pedestrian walkways of the Marlins Stadium, the local baseball team. By creating visual stimuli, Carlos Cruz-Diez offers everyone an aesthetic, poetic and sensory experience. In the midst of his in situ works, the public discovers an ability to create, by his own sensations and perceptual means, colours that do not exist on the work’s support

Until his last days, the artist will have continued his amorous dialogue with architecture and space. A nod to his unwavering commitment, his latest creation, which can be admired as part of the “Constellation” event until mid-September on the Human Rights square of the Pompidou-Metz Centre, accompanies the visitor into a “chromatic environment” and shifts the public’s habits without hesitation, hitting the nail on the head once again and forever!


Unusual family diving (or not) in the Ocean

#PARIS The National Museum of Natural History invites you to discover “Ocean, an unusual dive”, a beautiful and prospective exhibition to be done with your family (or not). The playful and didactic itinerary immerses us in the complex universe of the marine worlds. An environment perceived as a space of absolute freedom because of its infinity.

Welcome to a world that tells us about our origins. The ocean is not only a world of salt water…… It’s literally a soup of life!

Until January 5, 2020

Ocean, an unusual dive

Natural History Museum

For the Champs Elysées, make yourself beautiful!

From our special envoy Ray

#TOURDEFRANCE That’s it, the tour ended with a final sprint on the most beautiful avenue in the world. In 3 weeks, thousands of kilometres swallowed (pedaled) for the bitumen convicts. falls, abandonments, victories to the snatch, a lot of emotion and a whole series of images totally shifted but which perfectly reflect the atmosphere of the Grande Boucle, between the big barnum of the caravan, rigour of the organization and sporting exploits which sometimes leave you wondering!