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​France: upcoming exhibitions

[29 Aug 2017]

The major cultural event of the French ‘back-to-work’ season is the Lyon Biennale (20 September 2017 – 7 January 2018) this year titled “Les Mondes flottants” (at the Sucrière, the Dôme and Lyon’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as previously announced). Here are some of the other exhibitions that should not to be missed.

Hansen’s secret garden – The Ordrupgaard collection

Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, 15 September 2017 22 January 2018

The superb Jacquemart-André Museum has a permanent exhibition that includes works by undisputed masters like Fragonard, Coypel, Uccello, Botticelli and Greuze. But it also regularly organizes high quality temporary exhibitions. The next one will focus on an amazing collection acquired by a Danish couple passionate about art. A Mill by Jean-Baptiste COROT, Bathers by Paul Paul CÉZANNE, a Woman Combing Her Hair by Edgar DEGAS, an Adam and Eve by Paul GAUGUIN, an elegant Woman with Fan by Berthe MORISOT, a Sunlit Garden by Camille PISSARRO, Barges by Alfred SISLEY, a still-life by Henri MATISSE… Forty Impressionist and post-Impressionist jewels from the Ordrupgaard collection (near Copenhagen), collected by the Danish couple Wilhelm and Henny Hansen, will be exhibited in the prestigious Musée Jacquemart-André before moving to other museums, including Ottawa’s Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. An ambitious collector, in 1918 Wilhelm Hansen founded a consortium of art lovers to buy French art “en bloc”. The group managed to acquire the Georges Viau collection and part of the Alphonse Kann collection, works that they either divided among themselves or, in some cases, sold. This successful strategy enabled Mr. Hansen to build one of the most impressive private collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, and it will now be shown in France for the first time.

Pastel art, from Degas to Rodin

Petit Palais, Paris, 15 September 2017 – 8 April 2018

This exhibition features a selection of 150 pastels from the Petit Palais collection covering the artistic currents of the second half of the 19th century, from Impressionism to Symbolism. L’art du pastel de Degas à Rodin allows rediscovery of some of the collection’s jewels: works by Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, Symbolist artists such as Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, Charles Léandre, Alphonse Osbert, Emile-René Ménard, a remarkable collection of works by Odilon Redon, but also more ‘society’ art by James Tissot, Jacques-Emile Blanche, Victor Prouvé and Pierre Carrier-Belleuse.

Irving Penn

Grand Palais, Paris, 21 September 2017 – 29 January 2018. Organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the RMN (Réunion des musées nationaux) – Grand Palais, in collaboration with The Irving Penn Foundation.

To mark the birth centenary of Irving PENN, one of art history’s most famous photographers, the Grand Palais is hosting a retrospective in September, the first in Europe since the artist’s death in 2009. Jerome Neutres, Strategy & Development Director for the RMN – Grand Palais and curator of the exhibition wished to reconstitute (in part) “Irving Penn’s studio in New York, (…) to present the famous curtain in front of which so many masterpieces were created… and the cameras, some of which he made himself.” The exhibition combines his famous press and fashion photos with his more experimental works, including still lifes and photographs taken in Africa. Each image can be considered a rarity because Penn “never authorized any exhibition prints” recalls Jerome Neutrals, “… all the pictures presented at the Grand Palais will be original prints he personally developed.”

From Picasso to Seraphine, Wilhelm Uhde and Modern Primitives

LaM (Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art), Lille, 29 September 2017 – 7 January 2018

This exhibition traces the career of Wilhelm Uhde (1874-1947), an essential figure in the revelation of the avant-garde artists. Collector, dealer and art critic, Wilhelm Uhde was one of the first fans of Braque and Picasso as well as an ardent defender of the “Modern Primitives”: André Bauchant, Camille Bombois, Henri Rousseau, Louis Vivin and Séraphine Louis, known as Séraphine DE SENLIS, named after the town where she lived. From nascent Cubism to Naive and Outsider art, Wilhelm Uhde was anti-dogmatic in his choices and absolutely avant-garde. The bringing together of works from these different currents from important public and private collections promises an unusual and unique exhibition.

Picasso 1932 – Erotic Year

Picasso Museum, Paris, 10 October 2017 11 February 2018. In partnership with the London Tate

After an exhibition devoted to Olga Khokhlova, Picasso’s first wife, the eponymous museum pays tribute to PICASSO’s so-called erotic year. In 1932, on 15 June, a publication called l’Intransigeant published an interview with the artist shortly before the opening of his retrospective at the Galerie Georges Petit. Prompted by a desire to reveal the man behind the painter, the art critic Tériade published the interview with what subsequently became one of Picasso’s most famous statements: “The work we do is a way of keeping a diary.”

The exhibition poster shows a painting of Marie-Thérèse Walter asleep in a big red chair, charged with eroticism. Today, Le Rêve (1932) is a famous painting that has enjoyed a sensational trajectory on the private market. It has twice made headline news, first in 2006 when its former owner Steve Wynn, a Las Vegas casino magnate, accidentally ripped it just a few hours before an appointment to sell the work privately for around $140 million, and second in 2013 after the announcement of its purchase (once restored of course) by Steven Cohen for $155 million, the highest amount ever paid for a Picasso at the time (source: Picasso’s Le Rêve Bought for record sum by finance giant Steven A.Cohen, in The Guardian, 27 March 2013).

Être moderne: MoMA in Paris

Louis Vuitton Fondation, 11 October 2017 – 5 March 2018

Être Moderne is the first exhibition in France dedicated to the work of the New York MoMA, a leading museum established in 1929 and which has acquired works by the greatest Modern and Contemporary artists from Cézanne and Brancusi to the latest digital creations. Two hundred works have been selected to trace the history of the MoMA as a collector, with works by Alexander Calder, Max Beckmann, Paul Cezanne, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt, Paul Signac and Frank Stella. This major exhibition, organized jointly by the two institutions, Vuitton and MoMA, also shows important archive documents.

Malick Sidibé – Mali Twist

Cartier Foundation, Paris, 20 October 2017 – February 2018

Malick SIDIBÉ, the Malian photographer known as l’œil de Bamako died on 14 April 2016 at the age of 81. His joyful and humanistic photography conquered the public but also the experts who awarded him the International Prize from the Hasselblad Foundation (2003) and a Golden Lion of Honor at the Venice Biennale for lifetime achievement (2007). The last prize was a milestone, as a Golden Lion had never before been awarded to an African. Considered a “father of African photography” along with his compatriot Kaidou Seita, Malik Sidibé preferred meeting ordinary people, youth people… and frequented parties and celebrations with lots of music. The title Mali Twist chosen for this retrospective at the Fondation Cartier is also a reference to the title song of the Malian singer and guitarist Boubacar Traoré. For this important tribute, the Fondation Cartier has given carte blanche to André Magnin, curator in collaboration with Brigitte Ollier.

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